Essay Genetic Engineering and Developing Countries

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The genetic engineering of foods has been the subject of much controversy since its first appearance in the mid 1980’s. As scientists began to learn more about genetically engineered foods and the benefits of such foods, their potential also began to be realized. Developing countries, because of poor nutrition, would benefit the most from modified foods. Millions of people in developing countries die each year form lack of nutrition and hundreds of thousands go blind. Overpopulation is another problem facing developing countries and without food and nutrients survival will be tough. Alternately, there exist genetically modified foods, which can supply these poor nations with the proper nutrients and agricultural knowledge to prevent…show more content…
Many environmentalists have expressed much concern about whether or not altered foods will cause human allergies and food and allergy specialists have not let the concerns of environmentalists go unnoticed (Hoban D3). One such environmentalist, Ronnie Cummins of Motion Magazine, has stated that, “people with food allergies (which currently afflicts 8% of all American children), whose symptoms can range from mild unpleasantness to sudden death, may likely be harmed by exposure to foreign proteins spliced into common food products”(“Hazards of”). But, Cummins and other environmentalists need not worry because food and allergy specialists, who also expressed concerns about allergies, have pointed out, “it’s virtually impossible for anyone to have an existing allergy to a protein that would be completely new to the human diet” (Hoban D3). Other scientists have also come to same conclusion which led Stewart et. al. of BioTechniques magazine to state that, “gene products that are not allergenic normally will not suddenly become allergenic when expressed in a transgenic plant” (841). Genetically engineered foods are as safe if not safer than the current products on the market. The problems that exist, as mentioned earlier, are mainly in developing countries where there is a lack of nutrition and overpopulation. The inhabitants of less
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