Monday, 6 May 2013

Genetically modified food

Genetic engineering means that you change the the genes in plants or animals, so they get new properties.

Designed vegetables

Gene-splicing or genetic modification means that one inserts the genes into a plant or an animal, so it gets new properties which it does not have naturally.
That way you can eg. help plants to develop properties that make them more resistant to pests and diseases. You can also genetically modified plants, so they produce more vitamins than usual.

It is in the genes

When food is genetically modified, or GM, it means that you have put some alien genes into inheritance installations in the organism (plant, animal or micro-organism), the food is made of. The food is no different that it is GM-unless the new properties are important for appearance, taste or similar.

Completely or partially

Genetically modified food can be either food, where everything is genetically modified – it can be a tomato-or food where some ingredients are genetically modified – it can for example be chips or soy sauce.
Genetic engineering must be approved
Genetically engineered foods must be approved before they can be sold to consumers. When looking at whether the new properties can be harmful to human health or have harmful effects if they spread in the wild. Approval shall be granted only if one believes that the genetically engineered food is as safe to eat as the corresponding non-genetically engineered.
That will appear when the item is genetically modified
There must always be on the label, when the food is genetically modified or contains ingredients that are genetically engineered.
There need not, however, to stand, to an ingredient comes from an animal that has been genetically modified feed. You can therefore buy some sausage with meat from a cow that has lived off genetically modified corn, without that it says on the package.

Do you want to have genetically modified food?

In England, we have not so many genetically engineered foods in such as. in the United States. Even though we have on our shelves genetically engineered foods that have been approved, there are many discussions whether it is unhealthy or not to eat genetically modified food.
If you don't want to buy genetically engineered foods, you can check the list of ingredients. Here it will or should say if an ingredient in the food is genetically modified or produced from something that is genetically modified. You can also choose organic food. In organic foods do not use genetically modified ingredients or meat, milk and eggs from animals that have been genetically modified feed.

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