Currently available GM foods stem mostly from plants, but in the future foods derived from GM microorganisms or GM animals are likely to be introduced on research paper on gm foods market. In the future, genetic modification could be aimed at altering the nutrient content of food, reducing its allergenic potential, or improving the efficiency of food production systems. All GM foods should be assessed before being allowed on the market.
WHO Codex guidelines exist for risk analysis of GM food. Critics say we tamper with nature at our peril. Yet not all criticisms of GM are so easily rejected, and pro-GM scientists are often dismissive and even unscientific in their rejection of the counterevidence. A careful analysis of the risks and benefits argues for expanded deployment and safety testing of GM crops. Robert Goldberg sags into his desk chair and gestures at the air. This the most depressing thing I’ve ever dealt with.
Goldberg, a plant molecular biologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, is not battling psychosis. Today we’re facing the same objections we faced 40 years ago. Across campus, David Williams, a cellular biologist who specializes in vision, has the opposite complaint. Thirty years ago we didn’t know that when you throw any gene into a different genome, the genome reacts to it. But now anyone in this field knows the genome is not a static environment.
Inserted genes can be transformed by several different means, and it can happen generations later. Williams concedes that he is among a tiny minority of biologists raising sharp questions about the safety of GM crops. But he says this is only because the field of plant molecular biology is protecting its interests. Funding, much of it from the companies that sell GM seeds, heavily favors researchers who are exploring ways to further the use of genetic modification in agriculture.