Written by Dr. Shalini Aul, MBBS, DND | 
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff / ms. sheela philomena, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on Jun 22, 2018

Advantages of Genetically Modified Food and Livestock

The question is - can we tinker with the genetic material in the short term without any long-term implications. Economical advantages may sometimes make politicians overlook the disadvantages of Genetically Modified Food.

The people responsible for promoting genetically modified foods argue that it is scientifically safe and has the capacity to provide for millions of starving and famished people.They claim that it has a capacity to increase the nutritional and other beneficial effects of food and medicines.

Advantages of Genetically Modified Crops:

  • Have a desirably better taste and quality
  • Better production in lesser time, thereby providing food for more people.
  • Inbuilt resilience to diseases, viruses, insects and herbicides and therefore require lesser pesticides. These reasons make them supposedly environmental friendly.
  • An enhanced farming technique is advocated.
  • Evidently more nutritious with better stress tolerance as more nutritional substances can be introduced into the transgenic variety.
  • Can be transported long distances as they have an increased resistance to spoilage with a better shelf life.
  • They are potentially non-allergenic.
  • They conserve the natural reserves of water, soil, and energy and can also grow in areas with scanty water and poor soil, and other hostile climatic conditions.
  • More economical to the farmer and consumer in terms of production and supply.

Advantages of Genetically Modified Animals:

  • Provide more resistance to diseases,
  • Provides an increased production of eggs, milk and meat.
  • Provides improved health of the population and thereby reduces the economic burden.

The question of safety of genetically modified foods can be decided by various criteria’s such as its potential or immediate affects on the health and the toxicity associated with it.

Finding answers to how stable is the inserted gene and does it produce any allergic reaction, what are its nutritional and toxic properties and what is the unknown side - effects due to genetic insertion?

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