The article Is seed-contamination with GMOs a problem for food safety and the environment? Written by Haslberger Alexander and published in 2001 by Trends in Biotechnology addresses some of the fundamental issues surrounding the debate of genetically modified organisms. In particular, Haslberger addresses the specific issues related to the traceability and labeling of seeds in European countries and in relation to the regulations in the European markets. The author of the article also highlights the intricacies surrounding the selling of GMO foods around the world especially involving corn. One of the challenges that the author identifies is the existence of parallel regulations over the production and selling of GMOs in the United States and Europe which requires a harmonization of regulations to ensure trade between the two regions is not disrupted. In spite of the existing agreements between Europe and North American countries, the discovery of GMOs in European market such as contamination of canola seeds has always raised the concerns to consumers in Europe. The author highlights the procedures which are recommended to be followed in the implementation of GMO foods in different markets including a revision of the novel food regulations in future which will definitely allow European regulators to approve some of the feared GMO foods on their markets. Inherently challenges in the debate surrounding GMO foods is found in the pollination processes and seed longevity which have elicited heated discussions around the debate. The writer of the article highlights the steps taken by European Commission such as introduction of traceability systems for GMOs and tolerance levels for contamination and also temporal and spatial limitations for the use of GMOs as tentative measures to contain the challenges of seed longevity and pollination of GMO seeds. However, Haslberger identifies the consumer resistance to the free trade in GMO foods as a major impediment to the universal acceptance of GMO foods. In particular, he notes that consumers demand food and feed free from GM production such as is the case in organic farming where methods of genetic modification are not permitted.
Explain my passion:
Great scientific and technological advances have already been achieved in the 21st century much to applaud of consumers. However, the scientific advances in biotechnologically and more specifically food production has continued to receive resistance even from well informed groups around the world. The GMO foods are identified as cause of cancerous diseases. On the other hand, the world is in need of technologically advanced systems of food production if it has to meet the demand for food for it’s close to 7 billion people. While the solution for this challenge lies in the scientific production of food around the world, many people are still naïve on the use of GMO technology in the production of food. This is the reason I chose to research about this topic.