The transgenic foods are those having constituted at the least one ingredient derived from an organism which were applied modifications or genetic techniques, ie that is not typical of the species the original. For example: meat, wheat, potatoes, tomatoes.
Only from the optimization of the techniques of genetic manipulation of food is it possible to generalize the use of transgenics, and at present it is estimated that around 70% of the foods that are consumed regularly contain at least one gene that it is not intrinsic to its species.
- See also: Polyculture
The way in which transgenics are developed is from the selection , among the millions of cells that a living being has , of those carriers of the desired chromosomes.
It is an experimental task since the cell is not a perfect or exact machine, and therefore the results can be varied.
The cells are then grown in the genetically modified heritage, which can then lead to further transformation if the bacteria produce growing hormones .
When did transgenic foods appear?
The first experiments with gene transfers were carried out in the 1970s , and it was not until the later that it happened that a transgenic plant could be made, which was a tobacco that was particularly resistant to the antibiotic kanamycin.
The first food that was commercialized with genes that were not characteristic of the species was a tomato, the Flav Sabor that supposedly had been altered to have better taste and longer duration. Progressively more agricultural products were incorporated, consequently with the sowing of adulterated seeds in response to the new times.
The spread of the use of transgenics was the reason for increasing the demands of consumers and therefore producers, being at this point essential to enter the food market to be willing to use this kind of alterations.
They allow GM to make food have a longer shelf life , withstand harsh environmental conditions (frost, drought and saline soils), resist pests insects , diseases and herbicides, and also have better nutritional qualities.
At present, the level of controversies that exist regarding transgenic foods is very high, to the extent that there are many organizations that warn about different risks in their use.
They not only carry risks to the extent that they endanger genetic varieties , but even to the extent that many consequences for people’s health have not yet been fully investigated: there are countries that prohibit the use of certain GMOs, according to the possible danger that they bring with them.
Examples of transgenic foods
Here are some of the foods that use GMOs, and the reason why their genes are altered.
- Soja . Modification in the seed, to be more resistant to herbicides.
- Corn . Genes inserted into the genome of the plant, to make it more resistant to insects .
- Carnes . Increase the size and weight of animals , and accelerate their growth rate.
- Wheat . Make it more resistant before droughts.
- Papas . Starch enzymes are invalidated .
- Tomatoes . Enzymes are inhibited to slow down the decomposition time.
- Rice . Introduction of three new genes, to obtain a rice with a higher content of vitamin A.
- Pumpkin . It is modified to protect the plant against viruses .
- Sugar . To make it resistant to herbicides.
- Banana . To make it more resistant, two species are crossed to make it.
- Cotton . With serious risks in its consumption in the case of cottonseed oil.
- Alfalfa . GMOs are added to make it resistant to the Roundup herbicide.
- Milk . Cows are given a special hormone to increase their production, banned in many countries in Europe and Asia.
- Oranges . Exposed to a substance (ethylene) that accelerates the degradation of chlorophyll.
- Aspartame . It is a transgenic compound that is used as a replacement for sugar, and it is highly toxic.
- Sunflower . Genes are altered to make it resistant to drought.
- Prune . GMOs are added to increase their productivity.
- Radicheta . GMOs are added to increase the sweetness in its flavor.
- Coffee . Modified in order to increase production.
- Grapes . Increase resistance and eliminate the seeds inside the fruit.