GMO products are the food products that are grown or produced through the use of artificial means that propagate the growth. This is done by the help of hormones and chemicals either at the farming place or the site of production. Food is a basic need for the survival of human beings. The increase in human population globally has led to the increase in demand for food production to feed the rising number of dependents in the world. This has forced the human beings to find solutions to the readily available supply of extra food sources to supplement the scarce food supply. Adequate and accessible amount of safe food is needed for human survival.
However, there has been a scarcity in the food supply in most of the developing countries that has led to a global concern in equitable food distribution so as to ensure human health is maintained at the high expectations and standards that have been set by human beings. This is the main driving force that has been attributed to the idea of technological advancements that applies the technology of transgenic modification to come up with modified animal and plants food sources. These food sources also known as Genetically Modified Organism if used with relevant capabilities will help improve human health and nutrition. However, several risks are associated to these GMO products.
Biotechnology has been at the center stage of the research about GMF and GMO and has led to the rise in questions concerning their safety. However, the future of these GMOS can be discussed in four major topics, human health, socio-economic, ethical concerns and the effects on environment and food safety.
Majority of citizens of the developed countries have adequate supply of safe and relatively cheap food. However, this is not the case with the developing countries where there is a lot of malnutrition affecting a large percentage of its residents. In such countries, the budget that goes into supply provision of food is huge and this can only be cushioned through sustainable solutions like providing high quality foods. These quality foods can only be achieved through bio fortification that has potential risks which are yet to be tested. Biotechnology has also been used to improve quality of food through reduced production cost.
The crops are usually resistant to insects, herbs and have delayed benefits relating to fruiting. Their effects to the environment have been proven to be friendly. Their resistance to both abiotic and biotic effects makes them significant in sustainable production of food in these developing countries. However, it is advice to practice biotechnology alongside the culturing of plant tissue, breeding that is marker-assisted and plant breeding of conventional manner. Scientific methods should be used to monitor the efficiency of farming, food production and the impacts on the environment
The Genetically Modified Organisms can used in the production of industrial products such as starch, fiber, oils, proteins and other chemicals that are used in various industrial processes. The high content of oleate found in soybean is as result of the GNO process. The laurate that is present in canola oil is as a result of GMO process too. There has been concern on how the apply renewable sources in the GMO products so that the petroleum and non-renewable products are conserved while at the same time giving preference to human safety and adequate supply of food. The Genetically Modified crops are prevented from getting into the human food chain to prevent any possible poisoning. This helps prevent any harm to the environment or human health.
The increase in fish demand has led to the production of genetically modified fish. Poultry and livestock have also been subjected to genetic modification although for them the method that is usually applied has been proven to be expensive and relatively inefficient. There are potential environmental and health hazards that these practice pose to the human population raising a lot of public concerns about the welfare effects and the ethics behind manipulating domestic animals. Several genetically modified microorganisms have been used in ingredients causing unintended effects that threaten the safety of these food additives derived from GMM.
The socio economic factors of Genetically Modified Organisms are both positive and negative depending on the impact they cause on the development of the rural areas and sustainable agriculture. The equity, efficiency, environmental capital, natural resource and stocks are all affected by GMOs. The policy of intellectual protection, implementation of biosafety, liberalization of trade is all keys issues to sustainable development. If these policy options dive each other in opposite directions, then the socio-economic conditions of the GMO production becomes significant. Other issues that also affect the production of GMOs are the public attitude and the issues concerning the society. The perception that the public will have towards technological advancements in farming affects the success of that technology. Communicating the risks and benefits of GMO products will not be enough to win the confidence of the public to embrace such practices. Involving the public in the debate about the technology is very critical in determining the success of the GMO practices. This effort will help improve the relationship that exists between science and the society thereby determining the future of GMO.
Several regulations and assessments of the risks that are related to GMO products need to be conducted to prevent the risks that are associated with the conventional methods used to improve animals, plants and microorganism. The unique risks that may come as a result of this practice must be identified. Regulatory guidelines have been made available through the publication by WHO, FAO, OECD that give the guidelines to be followed in the application of science in GMOs. This safety will be carried on daily basis by relating the present and future food products. This is usually done on the assumption that conventional food products are the basis of evaluation given that they are safer for human consumption hence the effects to the consumers health can be analyzed. Limited selection of compounds is used in detecting the change in composition of GMOs. The expression of new gene is another technology that can be applied in this analysis.
The future of GMO is dependent on how the practice is carried out. It will be successful if it is carried out in a developing country with the motive of providing better quality food to supplement the little that is available to the citizens. The public must also be involved in this kind of practice so that they get to understand the benefits of the GMO practice. Depending on the society, environment and economic circles within which we operate, the recognition of the relevance of GMO practice is very diverse. The society must adopt the policy that is relative to GMO practice if at all we want to see success in that field. On the contrary, GMO products have been considered the source of several human illness and cancerous tumors. Most of these GMO products are usually produced under unhygienic conditions making them very unsafe for human consumption.