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Genetically modified foods: a feeding system in need of improvement?

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  1. Benefits of genetically engineering foods
  2. Potential harmful effects on humans, the environment and ecosystems
  3. The nursing profession and genetically modified foods

Genetically engineered food has become a very controversial topic over the past few decades, and the issue continues to gain importance as more companies are producing genetically engineered/modified foods. The process of genetic engineering involves taking food products, alternating their genetic makeup in order to somehow "improve" the product, and then mass produce the products and sell it to consumers. In most cases, companies that make these genetically engineered foods do not disclose the information to consumers, since there is no law (in the United States) requiring companies to do so.

[...] Smith, J. (2007). ?Genetically engineered foods may cause rising food allergies.? Total Health, 22-23. Thompson, P. (1997). Food biotechnology's challenge to cultural integrity and individual consent. Hastings Center Report, 34. [...]


[...] In some cases, researchers have found that allergies to food may be a result of the genetically modified foods that many Americans have been eating. In the United States, huge jump in childhood food allergies in the U.S. is in the news often, but most reports fail to consider a link to a recent radical change in America's diet? (Smith 2007), and the diet that this report is referring to is the increased consumption of genetically engineered foods. While eating this kind of food once in a while usually does not have very detrimental effects since the human body is able to handle such variety, this is not the case when a person is constantly consuming genetically modified foods. [...]


[...] Over the years, various studies have indicated that genetically engineered foods can pose serious hazards to humans, animals, and the environment as a whole. The human health effects could be very harmful: ?Human health effects can include higher risks of toxicity, allergenicity, antibiotic resistance, immune-suppression and cancer? (Centerforfoodsafety.org). Additionally, the environment is likely to suffer because genetically engineering in agriculture can result in ?uncontrolled biological pollution,? which poses a major threat to plant and animal life, it threatens some species with extinction, and it is possible that genetic engineering can contaminate non-genetically engineered materials (Centerforfoodsafety.org). [...]


[...] Looking mostly within the United States where such foods are common, he found that: to the use of genetically modified soy and corn in processed foods, it is estimated that over 70 percent of foods in U.S. grocery stores contain genetically engineered ingredients? (Malterre 2008). Additionally, the author found that in the United Kingdom, allergic reactions to soy increased by 50% as soon as the nation introduced genetically modified foods. Some of the studies mentioned in the book also suggest that changing the genetic makeup the human body may have very adverse health risks. [...]

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