Verma et al. define genetically modified organisms as organisms (other than humans) whose genetic material has been altered in an unnatural manner through natural recombination or mating (3). This would modify the genes endogenous to the organism or express the genes not native to the organism.
It is this genetic modification that has caused a heated debate among various stakeholders. Ethical dilemmas have barred the public from appreciating the benefits of genetically modified foods (Freedman 80). It has made the public ignorant of the widespread food insecurity facing the global population with 900 million people suffering from undernourishment. However, despite the widespread public fear, genetically modified (GM) foods are safe for human consumption and a solution to food insecurity.
Critics of GM foods argue that interfering with the genes of organisms through genetic modification would adversely affect the health of humans in future generations. Freedman documents these critics as wondering the reason for scientists pushing for the adoption of GM foods when it remains obvious that the introduction of a gene into the genome of a varied organism would result in unpredictable reactions (85). Normally, the reaction would occur gradually and would be expressed in the future generations when the genes become different in position and characteristics, far from what was intended when it was being introduced into the organism (Shaw 279). To prove this argument, critics of GM foods have cited numerous studies where animals, particularly rats, have been used to show the adverse health effects of GM foods. Rats fed with GM corn foods were noted to develop cancer in later life. Thus, if rats suffered adverse health effects from GM foods, so would humans. However, Verma et al. criticize such claims, citing the lack of clear research methodologies in such studies (4).