GENETIC MODIFICATION FOR FOOD ABSTRACT: Genetic modification for food is the science that involves modification of genetic materials of plants or animals. Initially, it was done by farmers as old agricultural practice in the past, but recently it has been improved by technology.
Today the food which we consume are either genetically modified (GM) whole food, or either they contain ingredients which are derived from genetic modification technology. Despite the benefits of genetic modification, it is surrounded by controversy. Criticis of GM technology include many groups like consumer and health groups, religious rights groups, food advocacy groups().Genetic modification (GM) has been advocated as alternative to nutrients inventions such as supplementation, dietary diversification. While the GM biofortified food crop looks like promising the decision of policy makers that require the socio-economic impacts (1). Benefits of GM includes the improvement of fruit and vegetables, improved nutritional quality, improved fats and improved quality of livestock, milk and meat.
The potential risks as well as the benefits to man and technology are reviewed, it has been suggested for minimizing the potential risks and maximizing the benefits. Genetic modification food business should increase public awareness in this technology to enhance worldwide acceptability of GM foods. This can be possible only through openness, research and education (2). INTRODUCTION: Biotech crops has been rising since their commercialization in 1996.United States, Argentina, India, China, Brazil account for almost 90% of global GM production with more than 50% being produced in United States alone. The principal biotech crop, soybean occupying 51% of the global biotech area in 2007, followed by maize (31%), cotton (13%) and canola (5%).
The GM crops are classified in generations according to the trait being introduced. The first generation of GM crops refers to seeds that are biotechnologically increased in production. In other words, these are similar for consumer either in taste, nutritional value or appearance.
The seeds of this generation have resistance mechanisms towards pests, diseases, viruses. Examples for this type of generations are soybean, insect-resistance maize, insect-resistant potato. These crops are planted on millions of farmland hectares. The second generation of GM plants crops consists of new traits with direct value to consumers. This crop has increased levels of proteins, fats, modified carbohydrates, increased level of micro nutrition or any other phytochemicals.
Some examples for this second generation of GM plants are rice with beta-carotene with high zinc and iron levels, higher supplements of carotenoids, phenolics in tomato and maze with increased vitamin c levels. The third generation of GM are emerging from research pipeline. The genetic modification in third generation plants are designed with greater ability in order to with stand the droughts, high temperature or from saline soils. The other food which is modified in such a way that it provides additional health benefits or renewable raw materials. Pharma-plants come into third generation which are used as biological production for manufacturing high grade pharmaceutical ingredients (3).