Australian supermarkets are now full of foods with ingredients that are derived from genetically modified crops. Most evidence from the genetically modified food companies show that genetically modified foods are harmless. However, most of the evidences show it is not safety nowadays. Current labelling regulations make it almost impossible for consumers to know when they are buying GM foods. The topic of the investigation is the advantage and the disadvantage of genetically modified food.
Genetically modified foods are a special set of technologies that alter the genetic makeup of such living organisms as animals, plants, or bacteria. Biotechnology refers to using living organisms or their components to make products that include wine, cheese, beer, and yogurt. Combining genes from different organisms is known as recombinant DNA technology and the resulting organism is genetically modified, genetically engineered or transgenic.
The history of genetically modified food
The history of genetically modified food is showed. The first grown genetically modified food crop was a tomato created by Cal gene called the Flavr Savr. Cal gene submitted it to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for testing in 1992. In fact, a tomato, it did not constitute a health hazard and did not need to be labelled to indicate it was genetically modified. Cal gene released it into the market in 1994 where it met with little public comment. Subsequent genetically modified food crops included virus-resistant squash, a potato variant that included an organic pesticide called Bt, strains of canola, soybean, corn and cotton engineered by Monsanto which immune to their popular herbicide Roundup and Bt corn (Genetically modified food – Definition 2010).
The advantages of genetically modified foods
1) Environment benefit
A) Better natural waste management
One advantage of environmental benefit by using genetically modified food is a better natural waste management. Genetically modified foods have high resistance to the weed as well as pests. Thus, famers use less of the herbicides and insecticides. It is good for the environment as the herbicides and insecticides are harmful materials. Growing GM foods such as B.t. corn can help eliminate the application of chemical pesticides and reduce the cost of bringing a crop to market4, 5. Therefore, less usage of them makes less waste and pollution to the environment (George 2010; What are genetically modified foods 2008).
B) Conservation of soil ,water and energy
Another advantage of environmental benefit by using genetically modified food is the conservation of soil, water and energy. The genetically modified foods have high resistance to weeds as well as pest, so most products become successful which do not damage by the pest. Moreover, less fail products, such as the product do not have enough nutrition, formed as the result. Therefore, less extra places, water and energy use in the fail products (What are genetically modified foods 2008; Whitman 2000).
C) Less deforestation
One advantage of environmental benefit by using genetically modified food is less deforestation. As the genetically modified food can growth in extreme weather, such as drought and cold weather, less tree will be cut and less place will be used(Human Genome Program2008 ; Vioce Marking 2011).
2) Economic benefits
A) Use lower cost to product more products
Using lower cost to product more products of economic benefit is showed. The genetically modified foods have less maturation time and have high resistance to the weed as well as pest. It is not cost-effective to remove weeds by physical means such as tilling, so farmers will often spray large quantities of different herbicides to destroy weeds, a time-consuming and expensive process. Crop plants genetically-engineered to be resistant to one very powerful herbicide could help prevent environmental damage by reducing the amount of herbicides needed. For