Tuesday, January 15, 2008

GM crops

Some Genetically Modified (GM) crops apparently has shown up in the market shelves of many countries. Despite the many controversies of its use, for true reasons unknown to many, government approve the use of GM crops. Well, some governments do declare that GM crops have to be labeled as GM food when they reach the shelves. Yet, the full impact of GM crops to human body and environment are yet known.

First of all, GM crops introduced to plantation will interbreed with other wildtype version. Hence, after some time, plant researchers will definitely have their hard time in finding the real wildtype crops. Unwittingly, by allowing the GM crops, government has turned all variants of the particular approved crop to be GM. Why is it so? Because when the GM crop interbreed with other variant, it will definitely pass some of its gene to the descendants. Noone ever control what's being passed to the descendants. Hence, some time, ALL variants wil contain parts of the GM and hence, in a few years time, ALL of the crops' variants should actually be labelled GM, shouldn't they?

Secondly, noone should at this point claim they understand the function entire genome of the GM crops and I honestly think noone will do that. If you insert some DNA into a cell, DNA unknown to the cell, the cell might or might not take it. Well, in the case of GM crops, the plant take it and then incorporate it into its own gene. Have anyone ever declare they know what'll happen to other genes when a new gene is inserted? Well, as far as I know, noone yet declare they know. Hence, it's quite clear that noone actually know for sure what the GM crops have fully in store. Maybe by interbreeding the GM crops with wild types for years to ensure that the traits are being passed down to the descendants and stable, we can be at least 1% sure that the plant accept the new traits. Again, maybe that by doing such, we can be sure that the crops pass some selection. Alas, noone will know for sure.

Lastly, the long term effect of the GM crops is not yet known. There is even a notion that the government is unwittingly (or maybe wittingly) allowing the GM crops producers to use the entire population as the guinea pig of GM products. After all, no company will be crazy enough to do a 20-30 years trial on their product officially before they pass it to the market. Now, you be the judge whether you'd want to eat GM food or not. For me, if I ever read the label and know for sure that's GM food, I'd avoid it.

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