While we only eat, food science researchers speculate on what we should eat. Indeed, there were no genetically modified maize and soybeans. Although these products have already come into a general and international consumption, not everyone understands the notion of "genetically modified food". In the recent years, the food science has made a huge advance in the food technology, as it began to apply the modern biotechnology in the food production. What is the modern food biotechnology? It is not a simple breeding and selection of new sorts. It is a recombinant gene technology, which makes plants, animals and microorganisms to be genetically modified with new traits, which is impossible through the common breeding and selection.
As a result of these studies, in the mid-1990s, the first genetically modified products, such as maize, soybeans, rape and cotton were introduced into the international markets. As of today, there are already genetically modified varieties of papaya, rice, potato, sugar beet, tomato and squash, grown in different locations. The food science has already proved that the genetically modified food, available in the international market, have passed all risk assessments and presents no risks to human health.
Hence, if you have heard anything about the risks of the GM food consumption, these suppositions are likely to be groundless. However, the direct risks to human health and development can occur in the future, since many genes and traits, used in agricultural genetically modified organisms, are novel and have no history of a safe food use. The risks of the food biotechnology application also contain ethnical and socioeconomic aspects. Some countries do not accept the idea of gene technology for their religious and moral principles, and it may cause problems on the international level with the general spread of the food biotechnology application.
The scientists also point out numerous benefits of the food biotechnology application, including an increased agricultural productivity, an improved quality of food and a reduction of the agricultural chemical usage, crop sustainability and a variety, and a lot more. The perspective applications of this food technology in agriculture will comprise a reducing usage of fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides, while increasing yields, the shelf-life of products, conferring the drought- or salt-tolerance on crop plants, and increasing nutrient qualities of products. Imagine that in the future we will not have infertile lands and years of dearth, as there will be cucumbers, resistible to drought and wheat and easily overcoming the flood!
Food science experts consider that the food biotechnology can help solve food problems in the countries with a low land fertility, severe droughts, floods and food shortages. Today's figures show that eight hundred million people in developing countries are undernourished, of which a significant number live on less than one dollar per day. Thus, there are two problems: whether these countries can afford adopting the food biotechnology and their citizens can afford consuming these products.