A GMO is a genetically modified organism. It can be a microorganism, plant, animal or any organism whose genetics are modified through the use of genetic or transgenic engineering in a laboratory.
It is done to develop species of microorganisms, plants or animals which does not occur in nature. Genes of the organism created using GMO are modified in such a way which can not be obtained by traditional crossbreeding methods.
An organism made by GMO is called a transgenic organism because the DNA of the organism is modified using DNA of some other organism. For example a DNA of a lizard which helps it in regeneration could be inserted into the DNA of a tiger. This way the tiger which is formed may have regenerative abilities just like lizard.
Non GMO is food or organism which is not genetically modified.
Genetically Modified Food:
The food which we eat on a daily basis in our lifestyle are affected with GMO in one way or the other. Number of GMO’s in commercial use is growing day-by-day.
Like for example hens which lays eggs are made to eat food which is modified by GMO, so the eggs which are obtained and reach the markets are also affected by GMO.
To make the fruits and vegetables tasty and resistant to diseases and extreme weather conditions scientists are genetically modifying them. Tomatoes have been developed using genes of a cold water fish to resist freezing temperatures.
Apples that don’t get brown have been genetically engineered by reducing the enzymes that cause browning of apples. The biggest use of GMO is in agricultural crops.
Some GMO foods:
- Sugar beets
- Yellow “crook neck” squash
- “Arctic” apple
- “Innate” potato
Health Effects of GMO food:
1. Allergy from food
Foods like eggs, milk, peanuts, wheat which are produced using may cause allergic reactions in the human body.
2. Toxic Effects
Milch animals or other mammals which are fed on GM maize and soy are found with consistent toxic effects on liver and kidneys.
There is a link between GM foods and adverse health effects. In one study on GM corn it was found that there was a significant decrease in fertility and weight in mice fed on GM corn.
4. Gluten Disorders
They are also related to gluten allergy problems in certain people.
5. DNA Mutation
GM food is created by inserting genes from other species. So there is a concern that GM DNA can also tranfer to humans and the environment. Ingested DNA can survive the digestive tract, pass through intestine dna enter bloodstream.
6. Birth defects
It can also cause birth defects, infertility, sperm destruction and cancer.
A study linked reported that rats who fed on GM corn are more likely to develop tumors and die.
Effects of GMO on Environment
1. Increased use of pesticides and weedicides
2. Creates super strong weeds
3. Harms aquatic and terrestrial life
4. GMO contamination of organic and non-organic crops