Possible Control Measures on the Harmful Effects of Genetically Modified Foods
Despite the fact that genetically modified foods have demonstrated that they have less risks unlike what the media has continually reported, there is the need to ensure that the loose ends are considered and actions taken towards them. Under this, the hazards to the environment and to human health should be paid attention to. It is equally important to gather all details on genetically engineered foods to ensure that any happening or outcome relating to the same is predictable; the probability of it happening without the awareness of the Scientists would be tragic.
For further control actions, environmental laws, health and safety laws should be amended providing for efficient, effective and cautious application of technology on the production and consumption of genetically engineered foods. Agreements such as the Cartagena Protocol on Bio-safety, International Plant Protection Convention and the Convention on Biological Diversity should be included in both national and international laws. With such a structure in place, risk and uncertainty will be managed. Such agreements have proved essential over time as they analyze methodologies of GMO production in statistics, evaluates the individual components constituted in the production of genetically engineered foods for instance the inserted DNA, vector and donor organism, consider the final result in its totality, (traits of the organism with new characteristics, characteristics of the intended receiving environment and intended use) and they finally consider, analyze and evaluate information generated from both private and public research institutes an also the international agencies.
The human mind is very delicate when it is illiterate or semi-illiterate. It is therefore essential that populations should not be allowed to stay with little or absolutely no information regarding genetically engineered foods. When the citizens are not educated on the topic, they will grab and believe the entire news they get on the media and perceive it as the entire truth. Activists and anti-GMO individuals will be opportunistic enough to communicate to individuals that genetically engineered foods have been the main cause of the increased cases of cancer. They might lack the evidence to support it but the innocent mind will most probably request for no evidence for they are exposed to minimal knowledge on the issue.
The bottom line is, the populations should be educated on the true benefits and the real hazards out there that will without a doubt develop due to the production and consumption of genetically engineered foods. It is the responsibility of the individuals to seek information about the topic and why the debate is so hot. The government, non-governmental organizations, farmers, biotechnologists and the entire stake holders in genetically engineered food have a mandate to feed the human race with the correct, truthful and up-to-date information on the topic. Let the population know that there are possible risks to the environment, remember to add that the technology is still viable and still gives hope of a hunger free tomorrow even with the increasing population.
For instance, back in February 2013, there was a tsunami of massive stories that were spreading under the Monsanto Protection Act. Basically, it contained a minute provision contained in a large agricultural spending bill. When President Obama signed this in to law, writers were up with their pen spreading the word that this was actually the most dangerous food act ever in the United States and was also termed as being a terrible piece of policy. Some progressed further to claim that the president had signed it in a dark night. It was shocking enough to later understand that the provision had actually been drafted an year ago and had been circulating for nine months in Washington. In essence therefore, no one, let alone the hyper-vigilant campaigners against GMO were caught unaware. This is an example of the serious propagandas that will mislead people’s reasoning and judgments on genetically engineered foods.
It is with unreasonable doubt that the public perception regarding the genetically modified foods and the scientific side of view seems to be distant. There is need to establish a baseline to make this differing views to table their views to demonstrate that genetically modified foods are more helpful in the end.
The government, farmers, scientists and economists should step up and shape what the people think. There should be a structure that responds to the articles in the media that seem to report that genetically engineered foods are strategically produced to cause harm to human life. Let the scientists bombard the media as well with facts that demonstrate the practical and tests that they have conducted in their endeavor to ensure that the production and consumption of genetically modified foods can be an effective and long term answer to the world’s demand of food.
The writers, critics and analysts should step up on their mandate to realize that they have a duty to the public. With this in mind, they should ensure that they are fare and bias free when they talk and discuss genetically engineered foods. They should engage scientific reports and facts. With this, the public will have access to the correct and efficient information on genetically modified foods. However this world has offered freedom to humans, therefore, such critics will always be present. As a result, the responsible parties such as the government should be on the frontline educating its people on what is true and that which are not.
While there is still the need to let the people understand that genetically engineered foods are not as dangerous as most people claim, there is need to minimize or probably eliminate the possible human health and environmental hazards. Scientists need to invest and research further to ensure that there will be more positive discussions on the genetically engineered foods project.
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Lang, J. T., & Hallman, W. K. (2005). Who Does The Public Trust? The Case of Genetically Modified Food In The United States. Risk Analysis, 25(5), 1241-1252.
Pollan, M. (2006). The omnivore's dilemma: a natural history of four meals. New York: Penguin Press.