GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. It is a common term seen and used in food processing and more notably in the organic sector. Unless you start growing your own organic food, you would come across GMO in one way or another.
What GMO does?
How this works is that GMO is actually the outcome of processes that were carried out in the laboratory. During these process, genes from one species were extracted and then injected into the genes of another organism. This could be a plant or an animal.
Modifying genes are dangerous
When the laws of nature are artificially changed or altered, it poses a dangerous risk. Such genes that are being transferred could be from organisms like insects, animals or bacteria, among others.
GMO basically goes with different names like:
- Transferring of genes
- Genetic Engineering or GE
- Genetic Modification or GM
- Transgenic Organisms
What are the scientific risks?
As mentioned, once the natural set up of genes have been altered, it would be difficult to predict the outcome. Such alterations could cause mutagenic results. That means that changes to the DNA would be unpredictable. Proteins that are being produced could lead to reactions that are toxic and hazardous.
Why GMO still rampant?
Despite the danger of GMO, such practices are still being carried out. Why is that? Food producers need to ensure consistent supply of their foods. As such, they use GMO to enhance the growth of their livestock.
Some use GMO to have better control over reproductive activity and this is very common with livestock like chicken and beef. Some claim to increase the livestock’s tolerance and resistance against parasites and environmental factors. If the producers could control the DNA of the crops, they could even modify the behaviour of the livestock to minimize aggression or other outcomes.
While such reasons might justify for the food producers, it might not be as favourable to the consumer.