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Avicenna J Med Biotechnol. 2011 Jul;3(3):109-17.

Genetically modified foods and social concerns.

Author information

1
Biotechnology Department, Iranian Research for Science and Technology (IROST), Karaj, Iran.

Abstract

Biotechnology is providing us with a wide range of options for how we can use agricultural and commercial forestry lands. The cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops on millions of hectares of lands and their injection into our food chain is a huge global genetic experiment involving all living beings. Considering the fast pace of new advances in production of genetically modified crops, consumers, farmers and policymakers worldwide are challenged to reach a consensus on a clear vision for the future of world food supply. The current food biotechnology debate illustrates the serious conflict between two groups: 1) Agri-biotech investors and their affiliated scientists who consider agricultural biotechnology as a solution to food shortage, the scarcity of environmental resources and weeds and pests infestations; and 2) independent scientists, environmentalists, farmers and consumers who warn that genetically modified food introduces new risks to food security, the environment and human health such as loss of biodiversity; the emergence of superweeds and superpests; the increase of antibiotic resistance, food allergies and other unintended effects. This article reviews major viewpoints which are currently debated in the food biotechnology sector in the world. It also lays the ground-work for deep debate on benefits and risks of Biotech-crops for human health, ecosystems and biodiversity. In this context, although some regulations exist, there is a need for continuous vigilance for all countries involved in producing genetically engineered food to follow the international scientific bio-safety testing guidelines containing reliable pre-release experiments and post-release track of transgenic plants to protect public health and avoid future environmental harm.

KEYWORDS:

Food; GMOs; Genetically Engineered; Genetically modified; Health; Humans

PMID:
23408723
PMCID:
PMC3558185

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