Myths and Realities about Genetically Modified Food: A Risk-Benefit Analysis

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Abstract or Summary

The development and consumption of genetically modified (GM) crops are surrounded by controversy. According to proponents, only molecular biology approaches and genetic engineering tools are realistic food shortage solutions for the world’s ever-growing population. The main purpose of this study is to review the impact of GM products on human, animal, and environmental health. People still reject GM crops not only because of safety concerns, but also for moral reasons. Toxicity, allergies, and possible horizontal gene transfer (HGT) to the environment or to other species have been associated with the marketing of GM products. Moreover, the scarce data available about the long-term implications of using GM crops is another opponent concern. Nevertheless, science has evidenced no harm from GM crops use to date but has, instead, reported several benefits that result from their commercialization, such as economic, environmental, and health benefits for the general public. Legislation and policies about GM product labeling standards are being discussed. To overcome emerging food security challenges, considering quality scientific information is essential rather than leaving the issue and merely moving toward moral discussion. Hence, a risk–benefit analysis is necessary.

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