Transgenic foods | University of Maryland Medical Center

Transgenic foods | University of Maryland Medical Center

Transgenic foods | University of Maryland Medical Center

They are those foods that have been inserted exogenous genes (of other plants or animals) into their food. genetic codes.

Genetic engineering can be done with plants, animals or microorganisms. Historically, farmers produced crops and raised animals to obtain species with desirable characteristics for thousands of years. For example, they raised dogs from poodles to great Dane and roses from sweet-smelling miniatures to today's odorless and perishable red roses.

Selective breeding with time created these broad variations, but the process depended on nature to produce the desired gene. Humans then chose to mate the individual animals or plants that carried that particular gene, in order to make the desired traits more common or more pronounced.

Genetic engineering allows scientists to accelerate this process by passing the desired genes from one plant to another or even from an animal to a plant and vice versa.

Alternative Names

Food produced with bioengineering The most likely benefits of transgenic foods are:

More appetizing foods Drought-resistant plants and diseases that require less environmental resources (water, fertilizer, etc.) Reduced use of pesticides li> Increased food supply at lower cost and longer shelf life Faster plant and animal growth s Foods with more appetizing characteristics such as potatoes that absorb less fat when fried Medicinal foods that could be used as vaccines or other medicines ul>

Food sources

Through biotechnology, tomatoes, potatoes, ahuyama or pumpkin, maize and soybeans have been genetically altered. Many more foods have ingredients processed with bioengineering and others are being developed. For more information, check the Food and Drug Administration's website.

h2> Side Effects

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the production and labeling of transgenic foods. Some people have raised concerns that genes in one food that are inserted into another can cause one

. For example, if the peanut genes are in the tomatoes, could it happen that someone with a peanut could react negatively to the tomatoes?

In January 2001, the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of the FDA FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition ) proposed that those who develop genetically processed foods send scientific and safety information to the FDA at least 120 days before the product is released. More details on these foods can be found on the FDA website.


Transgenic foods are generally considered safe; however, there has been no adequate evidence to ensure complete safety. There are no reports of illness or injury from these foods. Each new transgenic food will have to be evaluated individually.

References Sudak N, Harvie J. Integrative strategies for planetary health. In: Rakel D, ed. Integrative Medicine . 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier, 2007: chap 105.

Key S, Ma JK, Drake PM. Genetically modified plants and human health.

    • Last reviewed on 7 / Sep / 2008 5/2012
    • Jeffrey Heit, MD, Internist with special emphasis on preventive health, fitness and nutrition, Philadelphia VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

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