Genetically Modified Organisms

Health and Safety Concerns

When it comes to the question of how GMO’s can impact people health wise, there is not a concrete answer. The following two charts show that there is still too much uncertainty surrounding GMO’s.

Only those who are university educated (Figure 1) have more of an understanding about GMO’s, whereas the general population does not.

In Figure 2., there are a large number of people who are indifferent, meaning they are not well informed. What we do know is that there have been many studies conducted on rats and pigs which have determined that there are no long-term effects to their health, and any health issues that arose were not related to the ingestion of a genetically modified crop.

Figure 1. Chart depicting Canadian perception of the safety of gm foods
Figure 2. Chart depicting the Canadian perception regarding quality and safety of gm foods

Another question that has been raised is what were to happen if scientists use a gene from a crop that in turn causes someone have an allergic reaction. The answer is that when it comes to allergies, “researchers have relied on multiple indirect methods for predicting whether an allergic response could be caused by a protein that is either added to a food by genetic engineering or appears in the food as an unintended effect of genetic engineering” (National Academies of Sciences, 2016, p. 202). Rigorous pretesting and post testing conducted to ensure there are no side effects for when it is introduced for general consumption.

Unfortunately, we still do not have an answer as to what consuming a GMO can do to our health in the long term.


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