Myths of our time: genetically modified organisms. Is the devil so terrible?

    It has long been a man’s interest to be interested in the outside world and to find explanations for those surrounding things and events. Actually, without this, a person would not have become a person. On the basis of beliefs, myths, religion first developed, and then modern science developed, which already very successfully explains the world around it from a very small to an impressive scale. But there were always people who resisted progress and spread established myths, assuring that they answer all questions and there is no need to move on. Thunder thunders - that Perun the Thunderer is angry; someone got sick - it is God punishing him, here are the explanations for you, leave me alone, do not ask questions , but rather pray .
    Modern myths are deeper and usually associated with science. The reasons are understandable - science has developed (especially recently) to such an extent that a tremendous amount of knowledge is often needed to just understand what it is all about. Many people do not have this volume or are irretrievably lost, which reduces their resistance to various myths of our time. The myth of the harmfulness of Exxx food additives; the myth about the usefulness of the natural and the harmfulness of "chemistry"; the myth of killer doctors poisoning people with vaccinations; the myth about GMO is so terrible that stickers with the words "without GMOs" must be glued even to napkins and packs of salt.
    A picture to attract attention
    What is GMO? What are they needed for? How great are the dangers and benefits of using them? Is there evidence of the safety of these organisms?
    Disclaimer: the author of the article is not related to biology - he is neither a biologist, nor biochemist, nor geneticist and does not have at least some kind of related profession. This article is just an attempt to deal with a pile of information and reality about one of the threats of the modern world. So if you are closer to biology and genetics, I warn you in advance that you may suffer from reading an article, for example, bursting with laughter. In fact, this article is a compilation of articles on the topic of GMOs (links are given in the text).

    What is a gene and genotype

    From the very beginning we will determine what will be discussed. To begin with - what is a gene? As you know, the carrier of hereditary information (genome) is DNA - a long molecule that looks like a double helix, which is contained in each cell of the body and stores complete information about the body. In rare cases (in viruses), the carrier of hereditary information is RNA.
    In the picture - DNA processed by DNA ligase (picture from Wikipedia)
    DNA is a colossal molecule, if its spiral is simply expanded, this line will be a few centimeters long. DNA contains a sequence of genes (genome), which, together with environmental conditions (growth conditions), determines the phenotype - the appearance of the body (and the internal one too), its features, and the features of internal processes. Each gene encodes the production of a protein or functional RNA, which subsequently participate in the biochemical processes of the body.

    There are a lot of different proteins with different purposes, for example, in the human body there is hemoglobin protein, which is used by the body to provide internal organs with oxygen, there is insulin, which regulates the level of glucose in the blood, and many others.
    Insulin. One of the genes of the 11th chromosome is responsible for its production in the body.
    Obviously, different people have different DNA, because people are not similar to each other (and not people too - in fact, every organism, with the exception of perhaps the simplest ones, has its own unique DNA). DNA is constantly changing - under the influence of external factors (radiation, ultraviolet and other things), mutations arise in DNA - changes in genes, “turning off / on” genes and other transformations. According to the theory of evolution, the most successful mutations are fixed, individuals with unsuccessful mutations are eliminated. DNA mutations occur more often than commonly thought. The human body is pierced every second by hundreds of high-energy cosmic particles, naturally, many of these particles enter the DNA and cause changes in it. Many of these changes are corrected by the body itself (see the picture above with DNA ligase, which deals with DNA repair), but some are resilient and lead to various mutations. Mutations can be harmful (for example, the mechanism of internal control of reproduction “breaks down” in a cell and a cancer cell is obtained), they can be neutral and useful - useful ones are fixed in the process of evolution. Note that, according to the theory of evolution, positive mutations are fixed, that is, those that allow the species to survive in the current conditions. But man fixes that change of plants (and animals), which is beneficial to him, and not to the environment - more juicy and larger apples, more dairy cows and so on. For this, there is selection and genetic modification. can be neutral and useful - useful are fixed in the process of evolution. Note that, according to the theory of evolution, positive mutations are fixed, that is, those that allow the species to survive in the current conditions. But man fixes that change of plants (and animals), which is beneficial to him, and not to the environment - more juicy and larger apples, more dairy cows and so on. For this, there is selection and genetic modification. can be neutral and useful - useful are fixed in the process of evolution. Note that, according to the theory of evolution, positive mutations are fixed, that is, those that allow the species to survive in the current conditions. But man fixes that change of plants (and animals), which is beneficial to him, and not to the environment - more juicy and larger apples, more dairy cows and so on. For this, there is selection and genetic modification.

    Traditional breeding

    Since GMOs are often compared precisely with traditional breeding (by the way, the impression is often made that opponents of GMOs do not know anything about its methods), it is necessary to mention the methods of traditional selection.
    In fact, traditional selection aims at the same thing - changing the genotype of a certain species (mainly plants) in order to achieve the results that a person needs. Plant breeding is also simple in that the plants are very prone to changing the genotype depending on external conditions - they have one of the methods of protection against animals and other pests that has developed during evolution. Mention some selection methods:
    • Selection. The oldest and easiest selection method. We sow vegetables / fruits, pick, leave only those that we need (for example, with the largest fruits), sow again, grow and pick again, and so on. So derived, for example, Antonovka. He is obviously the slowest selection method.
    • Polyploidy. Duplication of chromosomes in a plant, which leads to an increase in the size of cells and the entire plant. Quote from here:
      Currently, methods of artificially producing polyploids are used, affecting plants with different mutagens (mainly colchicine), which destroy the cell division spindle. Thus, from diploid (2n) tetraploid (4n) forms can be obtained.
      Colchicine is a toxic substance. It was planned to fight cancer because of its high toxicity to cancer cells, but was banned when it was discovered that it was also toxic to ordinary cells.
    • Mutagenesis. Spontaneous or induced production of mutants (change in the gene code). Again we give way to quotes: :
      X-ray-induced mutants were isolated in many cereals (barley, wheat, rye, etc.). They differ not only in increased productivity, but also in a shortened shoot. Such plants are resistant to lodging and have significant advantages during machine cleaning.
      Currently, on the basis of the enormous development of nuclear physics, which has provided new available sources of radiation in the form of gamma rays from Co60, neutrons in nuclear reactors, etc., the powerful influence of radiation is used for practical purposes in the selection of plants and microorganisms. selection was associated with the development of a number of scientific principles in the field of genetics, and primarily with the development of the question of the nature of the material foundations of heredity, the knowledge of which made it possible to reveal the physical and chemical nature of tviya radiation on hereditary structures in the cell.
      When introduced into industrial use, the initial penicillin strain (strain 1951B25), its activity was only about 50 units. The selling price of penicillin at that time was enormous. For ten years of work using radiation selection methods, by 1960, strains with activity up to 5000 units were obtained. In this case, strains were obtained that did not emit a golden yellow pigment, which greatly facilitated the chemical purification of penicillin. As a result, penicillin has become a cheap, widely available treatment. The same thing happened with streptomycin. The activity of the initial strains was about 200 units, now radiation strains emit 2000 or more units.
    Maybe such selection methods are no longer used? Please - the modern selection method TILLING . Wheat germ is treated with the strong mutagenic and carcinogenic substance Ethyl methanesulfonate , which leads to mutations in about half of the plant's genes. After that, a plant is determined by scanning, in which the specific gene we need is changed, and by gradually crossing with a normal species, we obtain a more or less sane plant with the desired modified gene. And, most likely, with a bunch of other modified genes that did not prove to be in control.

    Thus, traditional selection makes extensive use of such methods as x-ray irradiation, radiation exposure, and the use of toxic substances. Obviously, in this case, the solid part of the gene code changes, and no one controls what exactly has changed in the code and what consequences these changes can cause.

    Genetic modification

    We turn to the topic of our story. According to the modern classification, genetically modified organisms are organisms (bacteria, plants, animals), in the genetic code of which certain changes are artificially made - for example, additional genes, changes in the activity of existing genes and the like.
    The key word here is artificial change. At the same time, different methods of genetic engineering are used, for example, now special viruses are mainly used - after all, it is the viruses that know how to invade a cell and change its gene code to its own. A small modification of the virus - and it already changes the code not to ours, but to the one we need.
    There are other modification methods, I ’ll separately note only the TALEN method ( Transcription activator-like effector nuclease), which allows the creation of unidentifiable GMOs - that is, genetically modified organisms in which the fact of modification cannot be proved by any analysis (in the "older" modification methods, it is possible to prove by certain border sequences. This is expensive and complicated, but possible. For more details, see article “Not caught - not GMO” ).

    In general, in fact, the only difference between traditional selection and genetic modification is that in the genetic modification we know what we are changing, we know what we want to receive and purposefully. In the traditional - we don’t know , we’re just looking to see if we’ve got it or not.

    Arguments for

    The arguments for are easy to find from manufacturers of genetically modified organisms, as well as view the database of genetic modifications . This includes increased yield, and the presence of certain substances (for example, “golden rice” - rice with a high content of vitamin A, more on that later), resistance to herbicides that allow you to change the spraying mechanisms of crops with herbicides, and the production of certain toxins against pests (for example, potato with resistance to the Colorado potato beetle), which reduces the use of the same pesticides, and so on.
    Fears against GMOs are usually associated specifically with GMOs that are eaten. But this is not limited to their area of ​​use. With the help of a genetic modification, for example, the following are derived: cats glowing in the dark ,cats that do not cause allergies, bacteria that produce certain drugs, and many other useful things .

    Arguments against

    Let us examine the arguments “against” that are used by opponents of GMOs. Arguments are listed in decreasing order of delirium. Below are comments about.

    They will add flounder genes to tomatoes, and a person will eat it and his gills will grow

    For the average layman, it may not be necessary to know that a gene and a genotype are two different things. And that there is no tomato gene or flounder gene. And that during the modification, it is not the genotype that changes, but the individual genes, not artificial ones, but quite ordinary genes (they may be from plants or animals, but there may simply be “included” genes of the plant itself). But that's why the same genes, eaten separately in the form of ordinary flounder and ordinary tomato, do not lead to the growth of gills, and combined into one organism lead to me - a mystery for me.
    By the way, the joke about the tomato with the flounder gene is very old and is just a joke. The most famous genetically modified tomato is Flavr Savr., a modification of which they tried to get rid of the “tastelessness” of store tomatoes - it simply “turned off” the gene responsible for “breaking” the cell walls during tomato maturation (that is, they did not add any new genes, they simply made one of the existing ones responsible for pectin production ) Initially, the line was quite popular, but because of the story with the experiments of Pashtai (see below) and the general hysteria that started about GMOs, the branch was closed, and more GMOs have never been delivered to the market.

    And how do you know what they changed there?

    Many people are not aware that all GMOs are subject to registration, and there is an open database of all currently existing GMOs: . At the very least, a description of the change is indicated. In addition, it is again worth comparing with traditional breeding, where it is already not known exactly which parts have changed in the genome.

    The spread of GMOs has led to the fact that even tomatoes in supermarkets are tasteless

    Usually in this context it is tomatoes that are recalled. Nevertheless, it should be noted that shop tomatoes are really not as tasty as those grown by hand. But these tomatoes have nothing to do with GMOs, this is the product of the usual selection, which was actually asked to make a tomato, which a) all the fruits ripen at the same time; b) all the fruits of which can be brought to the store in marketable form.
    More details - an article on - “Why Tomatoes Have Been Tasteful” . And another article in LJ .

    The problem is that the poor “keeping quality” of a tomato is a consequence of its taste - the main components of the taste of the tomato (glutamate, etc.) at a high content (in tasty ripe tomatoes) lead to a “breakdown” of the cell walls due to the high pectin content, and the tomato itself becomes very vulnerable - it is very difficult to bring an ordinary garden tomato to the shelves of the store, it is soft, wrinkles and deteriorates. Therefore, a tomato was brought out by selection, in which such a breakdown does not occur, the tomato itself is stronger, but the taste suffered as a result of the breakdown of pectin production in the course of traditional breeding, and the production of glutamate and other sweets broke down.

    You only have to eat natural, centuries-tested food

    Two very common myths combine here:
    1. The irrational belief in the "natural" and the fact that it is necessarily better than the "artificial". It is based on the ridiculous belief that nature created apples, bananas, corn, soy, and so on exclusively for human consumption and they contain a perfectly balanced set of vitamins, proteins, fats and everything else.
    2. The belief that all non-GMO products sold in markets and stores are unchanged for centuries varieties that people eat and grow for a very long time.
    It is useful to know that almost 100% of the varieties of foods that are the main feed for humans and animals (potatoes, corn, soy, and so on) have a maximum of several decades of history - most were bred in the 20th century and have no analogues in wildlife ( and in the wild, by the way, do not survive). Wild apples look like greatly reduced copies of their counterparts on store shelves, and wild corn in nature can not be found already.
    This argument is also amazing to hear from people who have potatoes as one of their staple foods. But even some 200 years ago, an attempt to force peasants to grow potatoes caused rejection up to "potato riots." Location Quote :
    Under Catherine II, the “earthen pear”, “tartufel” began to be introduced in Russia as a means of combating hunger. On February 8, 1765, by decree of the empress, all governors committed themselves to personally take care of the dilution of the product. But the rural authorities reacted to the matter formally and quietly sabotaged. In the formal replies to Petersburg it was reported: “There were no other apples in appearance”, “according to the Divine will, not a single apple was harvested”, “the apple didn’t show to the laity”, “not only offspring, but also what was planted in the ground "
    or from here :
    The order for sowing potatoes, which did not have a coercive character, was made as far back as 1837-1838 and did not arouse any sense among the people. Subsequently, when the unrest broke out, the people seized on him, looking for evidence of his conviction in the sale of peasants to some master. The rewards promised for sowing potatoes were incomprehensible to the peasants, and they tried to find some special, secret meaning in the actions of the authorities. Being provided with bread, they saw in a potato the same vegetable unnecessary for them as any other. These awards could be significant in the province of non-farmers, in which potatoes could replace a lack of bread.
    That is, the “time-tested” potato as a whole does not include a couple of centuries of use, and modern varieties even dozens of years (for example, the popular Nevsky variety was entered into the register of Ukraine only in 1984 ).
    And this is potato, one of the staple foods. In the topic you can mention the very beloved by many, tangerines, oranges and other exotic fruits, which could not be massively eaten here just a hundred years ago.

    Lovers of the “natural” can be asked simple questions - why did nature create a bunch of poisonous berries, plants and animals that people should not eat? The time-tested argument also fails - there is an example a time-tested and long-used plant that causes cancer (I emphasize that it does not serve as a stimulating factor, not a concomitant sign, namely it directly causes urinary tract cancer).

    GMOs are insufficiently researched and there are no studies proving their complete safety

    Readers who are familiar with the formal logic and techniques of discussion should instantly figure out the ridiculous trick in the phrase "complete security has not been proven." For those who do not understand - google “Russell's teapot”. In short, it is formally impossible to prove the complete safety of something, for the simple reason that it is fundamentally impossible to prove the absence of anything.
    Are GMO dangers present and proven? Of course, there is - for example, with the help of GMOs it is quite possible to remove, for example, tomatoes with cyanide and they will be deadly. And here the reader is given another exercise in logic - does this mean that all GMOs are a priori dangerous and their production and research should be banned?
    Moreover, absolutely safe products do not exist. Even banal dihydrogen monoxide is deadly poisonous with a single use in volumes of 10 liters. Therefore, the question should be posed as follows - are commercial GMO products more dangerous than traditional non-GMO products. The results of the experiments show that no, no more dangerous. And even assuming a theoretical danger, the real positive effects of the use of GMOs far exceed the hypothetical harm from it.
    And again, it is worth recalling that traditional breeding products are tested on a voluntary basis. That is, as a rule, they are not checked by anyone.

    Scientific studies confirm the dangers of GMOs

    Often referred to in a dispute. That GMOs cause cancer; that GMOs lead to third-generation infertility; that GMOs cause stomach problems. These studies have one thing in common - the irreproducibility of the results. Consider some research:
    • Pustai’s experience
      Now it’s hard to believe, but once the phrase “genetically modified” didn’t scare anyone and even served as a marketing advantage.
      But in 1998, a study by Arpad Pustai appeared, which showed that GM plants can be dangerous and cause various negative effects. Briefly about this study - Pustai took a set of rats and fed them with three different varieties: ordinary potatoes, ordinary potatoes with added lectin, transgenic potatoes with a high content of lectin. Lectin is not the most useful component (it has toxic properties), so it is not surprising that rats fed with high lectin potatoes felt much worse than rats fed with regular potatoes. Pustai linked the fact of rat diseases with the GM modification - and an indignant wave went around the world about "scientists who themselves do not know what they are doing." If we take pure statistics according to the article, it turns out that there is no connection between the fact of plant genetic modification and diseases. Details on Pashtai experiments for those interestedhere and here .
    • Ermakova’s experiments
      Ermakova is a well-known freak; according to the results of her experiments, she came to the conclusion that eating GM cereals resistant to glyphosate (Roundup) causes sterility in laboratory rats and other negative effects. The experimental methodology has been called into question by many scientists; the results are not reproduced. Analysis on Wikipedia.
    • Seralini’s
      experiments. Recent experiments, according to the results of which a wave of messages like “GMOs cause cancer” swept across the world's media. Seralini became famous overnight. By the way, a book about the dangers of GMOs went on sale from him simultaneously with the release of a devastating article . Briefly about the experiment itself. Seralini took a certain line of laboratory rats and fed them with ordinary and transgenic plants. Separately, it should be noted the selected Sprague Dawley line - this line was developed for the study of cancerous tumors, more than 70% of individuals of this line suffer from cancer during the first two years of life . Rats were divided into several groups of 10 individuals, some of the groups were fed with ordinary plants, some transgenic. Of somegroups of those fed GMO plants, it was concluded that there is an increased likelihood of cancer. For those who understand statistics, such a conclusion seems ridiculous. As a result, the same thing, according to statistical calculations, no relationship between GM plants and the presence of cancerous tumors is again observed.

    GMO has more than 20 years of research. And there is not a single scientific research constructed according to the rules that would show the danger of such organisms precisely due to the use of gene modification.

    Greenpeace vs GMOs

    Yes, the popular “public” organization Greenpeace is an ardent opponent of GMOs and strongly protests against its use and research. It comes to the point that the most ardent activists destroy the experimental crops of GM wheat - the results of five years of work by scientists.
    Who are Greenpeace? Theoretically - environmentalists, with the dominance of corporations that poison the planet and so on. In fact, this is a long time ago an organization that made a name for itself on the mythical “protection of nature” and made money by environmental racketeering. Recently, I came across an emotional, but curious article on the topic of Greenpeace, the facts in which speak for themselves .
    But maybe Greenpeace makes reasonable arguments against GMOs? Read. We see the same populist slogans about “uninvestigated”, as well as the repetition of the old joke about tomatoes with the flounder gene. (An organization that fights against GMOs and does not distinguish a gene from a genome is very indicative, I think. I emphasize that this is an official site). But even they confirm that GMOs have been studied for over 20 years.

    GMO plant can cross with wild and go into the wild

    GMO seeds are specially made barren so that farmers are forced to buy them every year

    Both myths are brought together to demonstrate what is happening in the minds of individuals. Yes, many opponents of GMOs use both of these arguments at the same time.
    First, the first argument appeared - that GMO plants can mutually fertilize with wild ones and go into the wild. In the most “advanced” version - that GMO plants themselves will grow their legs and leave for themselves. We will not seriously consider the latter, but in order to consider the very possibility of “going into the wild” several conditions must be met: the presence of closely related plants near the fields capable of mutual pollination with GM plants, the very fact of such pollination, and most importantly, that the resulting hybrid will really survive in the wild (that is, it will have properties that allow it to actively fight weeds and other plants that already occupy uncultivated land). Since neither the goal of selection, nor the goal of um modification is almost never to get a plant,
    However, some seeds are made sterile by producers (mainly because of the charges in the previous paragraph). This has given rise to speculation such as “GMO producers plant farmers on their product and make it buy every year.” Why farmers will lose their memory and forget how to grow non-GMO plants and why farmers will be forbidden in this case to buy ordinary breeding (non-GMO) material is usually not specified.
    So, farmers, as a rule, alreadypurchase seed every year. The fact is that the cultivation of seed material and the cultivation of the product itself, which is then sold (for bread, livestock feed, ...) are different activities and it is more convenient for farmers to buy ready-made seed material than to allocate land for growing seed material, carefully monitor its growth, ensure the storage of seed material and so on.
    In addition, the purchase of seed by farmers is also carried out regularly due to the fact that the hybrid (mutant) versions of the plants that they grow, when seed hybridized with conventional (over-pollination) lose their hybrid properties in the second or third generation (degenerate) - see Mendel’s splitting law. In order not to lose the properties of hybrids, they must be crossed exclusively among themselves, that is, to select special fields for this, to monitor the sterility of these fields from non-hybrid options - in general, as a rule, all these farmers do not really want to deal with this, there are some special seed producers.

    The government would not ban GMOs if it was harmless

    The argument is based on the strange belief that the government sets the primary purpose of its service to society. In most cases (especially in our countries, in this context, I mean Russia and Ukraine), the main goal of the government is to maintain its place, if necessary, at any cost. If the majority of the population does not like, for example, airplanes, rest assured that the government will also ban them.
    Yes, the degree of hysteria has reached such heights that the government, for example, of Ukraine, has issued a decree on the mandatory notification of the buyer whether or not GMOs contain individual products, which, by the letter of the law, leads to paradoxes such as the need to label “without GMOs” even on salt , water and napkins.
    However, common sense prevailed in both Ukraine and Russia, such marking is canceled, and mandatory marking is introduced instead if the product contains more than 0.9% GMOs .

    In GMO, a series of suicides of farmers due to GMOs

    The myth claims that due to the large spread of GMOs in India, there is a series of suicides of farmers who grow them. In fact, there is no direct link between GMOs and suicides of Indian farmers. Details here .

    Monopolist Monsanto Poisons People

    GMO technology is only a tool in the monopolization of the world agricultural. produced by the American chemical concern Monsanto. The point of introducing these biotechnologies is only to increase profits at all costs, Monsanto does not care about the safety of consumers and nature. They mainly market seeds of plants genetically modified for resistance to pesticides produced by them in order to sell their carcinogenic poison in tenfold doses. From here .
    And in general, Monsanto is a major monopolist who has decided to destroy all living and capitalist organizations, which will stop at nothing .
    Monsanto (a very large producer of GM-modified plant seeds, and, concurrently, the largest producer of the popular herbicide Roundup - the commercial name for glyphosate) is regularly accused of its monopoly position in the field of GMOs. We’ll deal with monopoly right away. Thanks again to the general hysteria about GMOs, the procedure for admitting GMO products to the markets has become such that it is commercially viable to do this only for large producers. A small biolaboratory simply will not bear such costs. But Monsanto is not the only oneGM seed producer, which is easy to see if you look at the aforementioned database.
    The source of the myth comes from a factual ignorance of the fertilizer application procedure. For some reason, it is argued that watering plants that are resistant to herbicide, it is necessary 10 times more. It is also argued that glyphosate can trigger cancer. The last - though certain relationships were found, which, in principle, is not particularly surprising for a herbicide - a substance designed to destroy living organisms (glyphosate can destroy plants, bacteria, but practically does not affect people and animals, since they lack those enzymes that block given substance).
    Now the facts:
    • Glyphosate is the most popular herbicide because it kills a very wide range of weeds. Other herbicides act more selectively and, as a rule, they need to be used in combination.
    • Glyphosate completely destroys many types of plants, getting to them through foliage and stems. It doesn’t act on seeds in the soil; it decomposes in the soil. Gradually also decomposes in plants, if ingested.
    • Monsanto's patent for glyphosate ended in 2000. Now it is produced by a bunch of manufacturers, including Russian ones. Although Monsanto remains its largest producer, it is by no means a monopolist.
    • Glyphosate does not need to be poured in tenfold doses to increase effectiveness. Moreover, in most civilized countries, in order to exceed tolerances for pesticide irrigation, farmers need to apply for a special permit and seriously argue it.
    • Glyphosate-resistant GMO plants can be watered with glyphosate more abundantly, but only once and several weeks before harvesting, allowing glyphosate to decay. Ordinary less resistant plants need to be watered several times and the likelihood that glyphosate will fall into ripened fruits is higher for non-genetically modified varieties.
    • "Resistance to glyphosate" also means that glyphosate does not enter the plant.
    • And about why resistance is specifically to glyphosate. So far, glyphosate is the only herbicide resistance to which is encoded by a single gene. A search for similar substances is underway, but so far without success.
    I propose to draw conclusions on my own.

    GM soy with peanut genes can cause allergies in people

    The most reasonable argument of those considered. Indeed, if the modified soybean will produce the protein that is found in peanuts, then negative effects are possible in people who are allergic to peanuts.
    But for GM, it is usually precisely known what exactly has changed and what kind of new protein will be produced, that is, cases of allergenicity can be checked already at the stage of preliminary studies. And in this case, it is not the labeling “contains GMOs” that is needed, but the labeling which proteins contain the GMOs (saw the inscription “may contain peanuts” on chocolate? That's something in this style), which, in fact, no one objects. And if a person voluntarily eats products that say that a given person can cause an allergy in a given person, then this is not at all the fault of GMOs.

    Interesting Facts

    The already mentioned insulin for patients with diabetes is produced by genetically modified bacteria. The modification allowed the creation of bacteria that produce insulin, completely analogous to human, which is easier to digest unlike porcine insulin (different from human by one amino acid) and from insulin from cattle (different from human by three amino acids).
    So what?
    A word to Captain Evidence: a complete ban on GMOs will lead to a serious drop in insulin quality for patients with diabetes.

    Almost all papaya that is now grown in the world is GM varieties. The “natural” papaya was destroyed by the pest, to which GM papaya is resistant. So if you do not want to eat GM organisms - never buy papaya.

    Thanks to Greenpeace and other ecologists, “golden rice” with a high content of vitamin A has just arrived in the fields of China. It took an additional 12 years of research for these ecologists to calm down. It is estimated that around 8 million children in China have died or become seriously ill from a lack of vitamin A during this time .

    And an apology to all who read. The picture to attract attention at the beginning of the post has nothing to do with GMOs. Moreover, a frog with extra legs is not a product of human activity at all.
    The fault is only a small parasitic worm . It is he who, getting into the frog, makes it grow extra legs. The goal is to get into the stomach to certain birds, where this parasite lives on comfortably. The modified frog is not only similar to a grasshopper (more attractive to birds), but also less mobile, which makes it easy prey.
    Here's another interesting example of a parasite:
    Parasite fungus ant
    An ant parasite fungus that can take control of the ant’s central nervous system and completely subordinate it to itself. The goal is the same - to obtain optimal conditions for their lives and the ability to leave offspring.
    These facts are presented to demonstrate that nature itself is extremely diverse and our so far rather ridiculous, small, cautious attempts to edit the genome are a trifle compared to what nature can already show. If a primitive fungus can control the nervous system of a more complex organism, and a primitive parasite can cause a frog to change its morphology, then why shouldn't a person use what even simple atomic particles can do for a long time?

    Instead of a conclusion

    Personally, after evaluating the pros and cons, I consider GMOs to be a progressive scientific technology that allows humanity to solve some urgent problems, and I consider horror stories about them either very greatly exaggerated or completely invented. The vast majority of prejudices against GMOs are broken up by the simple fact that the stores are full of products obtained as a result of radiation, x-ray and chemical mutagenesis, and for some reason this does not bother anyone. Some arguments for and against GMOs are considered in the article and, I hope, will serve as a reason for additional reasoning. More detailed information on the topic can be collected at the provided links.

    Recommended for study:
    1. Elena Kleschenko. GMOs: urban myths. “Chemistry and life” No. 7, 2012
    2. Leonid Kaganov. RAZGOVOR.ORG: I want to eat genetically modified foods.

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    Will you eat food if it contains GMOs?

    • 48.3% Yes, and I would prefer GMO food to unmodified analogue 2292
    • 39.1% Yes, but if there is an alternative, I’ll better take the unmodified version of 1855
    • 12.4% None. They have not been studied enough yet, I'm afraid of the consequences of 590

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