By Vannesa Hidalgo - Bootcamp By PFG
Few people are correctly informed about the transgenic food industry: what they are, where they come from and what are the consequences of their consumption are some of the main questions around the subject.
At present, Argentina is one of the countries with the highest production of transgenic foods; in fact, it is one of the five countries in the world that has more than 95% of areas with genetically modified organism crops, this according to a report from the World Health Organization updated in 2014. Canada, the United States, Brazil and China complete the quintet.
But let's start by explaining what is a transgenic food? This is the name given to foods that have been genetically modified or intervened (that is, in their DNA structure) so that they acquire certain characteristics that make them resist weather factors, pests or enhance their growth and maturation.
It was created by genetic engineering with the aim of promoting planting and harvesting in infertile inhabited areas, an action that promised to end the problems of famine. However, global organizations such as Green Peace accuse it of being a commercial action, with economic purposes so that large companies - food producers - will save time and money, as this technological advance increases production and shortens waiting times. Thus, both plant and animal food grow much faster with these genetic transformations.
The scientific intervention of the species used as food dates from before the Christian era, where according to historical records, an improvement was already being made in the reproductive control technique of food plants.Obviously, these were "scientific" modifications according to the time. In contemporary history it was not until 1980-1990 that the first transgenic plant was produced.
The first foods treated under these techniques were tomatoes and soybeans. In fact, they are still two of the seven most commercialized GM foods (along with animal milk, corn, pumpkin, alfalfa and beets).
The complaint by global organizations against this practice is that the studies on the effects that these foods have on the body are not entirely clear, lacking conclusive results. The problem points to the fact that the large transgenic food industries have multiplied their profits to the detriment of health, as they achieve a return on investment in less time. They have also increased their profits by producing genetically modified foods outside the seasonal calendar.
The big question for consumers is whether these "treated" foods are bad for health and that is when the controversy arises.
Researchers have explained that when genetically altering a fruit or vegetable so that it grows fast, strong and resistant to pesticides, allergens and toxins are being added to the food constitution that could put the food safety of thousands of consumers at risk. The requirement is that these products at least come identified as "transgenic foods" and that they specify what type of allergens they could contain.
In 2012, the University of Caen, in Normandy, France, established the relationship between cancer and transgenic products after a study carried out in rats. More than 200 rodents were fed for two years with transgenic products and the main conditions they suffered were necrosis, liver problems and cancerous tumors.The effects in rats were noticed a year later, equivalent to 40 years in humans.
The suggestion goes through the consumption of organic food, free of toxins and other substances, which naturally keep their nutritional values.