Genetically modified organisms are organisms that have had new foreign genes from other organisms added to their existing genes. The aim of manipulating organisms in this way is to give them new characteristics, like disease resistance. While GMO foods may have their benefits, they may also present several problems. The jury is still out on this one. But whether people like it or not, GMO foods are on the supermarket shelves. As much as 80 percent of processed foods in the United States have some ingredient that has been genetically engineered by man.
“The perception that everything is totally straightforward and safe is utterly naive. I don’t think we fully understand the dimensions of what we’re getting into.” – Professor Philip James
“Well, I agree with you in the sense that when you use these methods you don’t know what part of the chromosome that the new gene is being introduced into and that is, you know, what I would say is a drawback to the technology.” – Professor Bevan Mosely, former head of the Institute of Food Research.
“The genetic modification of food is intrinsically dangerous. It involves making irreversible changes in a random manner to a complex level of life about which little is known. It is inevitable that this hit-and-miss approach will lead to disasters. It must disrupt the natural intelligence of the plant or animal to which it is applied, and lead to health-damaging side-effects.” – Dr. Geoffrey Clements
“There’s almost no food that isn’t genetically modified. Genetic modification is the basis of all evolution. Things change because our planet is subjected to a lot of radiation, which causes DNA damage, which gets repaired, but results in mutations, which create a ready mixture of plants that people can choose from to improve agriculture.” – Nina Fedoroff