Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Science and Potential Risks of GMOs

The pressure to adopt GMOs in Africa is increasing steadily. There is need to strike a balance in attention according to issues that centre around GMOs. Some of these issues include food security, bio diversity, sustainable agriculture, regulation and legislation. Most of the decisions about GMOs are based on scientific facts so it is essential that scientists produce accurate information with a high degree of certainty in order to provide a good ground for negotiating against GMOs.

Implications and risks
  • Health; Effects on gastrointestinal tracts: Inflammations, ulcerations and excessive growth of stomach and gut lining, disturbance of liver, pancreas and kidney function, disturbance of testes function alterations in haematology, altered body weight, allergen city/ immune responses, impacts on second generation. These effects are due to nutritional changes attributed to altered level of existing or presence of new toxins, new allergens, anti nutrients and altered levels of existing nutrients (e.g. vitamins).
  • Contamination of food e.g. Bt rice, food crops through cross pollination, seed, wild or cultivated relatives and centers of origin (maize in Mexico)
  • Environment; Impact on pollinators e.g. bees, beneficial organisms e.g. Lady birds, lace wings, moths, butterflies, soil food web - plant interaction, invasiveness (super weeds, e.g. RR soya in Argentina), forest (soya in Argentina) and emergence of secondary pests.
  • Bio diversity and agro bio diversity
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Food security
For more on this visit www.lukwangackc@gmail.com

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