“The world’s population is expected to reach or surpass nine billion by 2050 and current popular opinion is that at the current rate of production, there will not be enough food to feed the world. Enough food for a larger population is only one reason behind the support for genetic modification (GM). This got us thinking – how is genetic modification changing food?”
In a recent Best Food Facts article, renowned experts Ruth MacDonald, PhD, RD, Chair and Professor of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University and Wayne Allen Parrott, PhD, Professor of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences and Institute for Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics at the University of Georgia, provide great insight into this question of how genetic modification is changing food:
“Both Dr. MacDonald and Dr. Parrott acknowledge that GM technology provides for faster and more direct methods of improving plant and animal foods. According to Dr. MacDonald, with GM technology, food can be produced using fewer chemicals but also under conditions that would otherwise damage them, such as drought or high heat. Genetic modification allows for specific traits to be turned off, modified or enhanced, and moved from one species to another.
“Dr. Parrott specifically mentions GM foods that have recently been FDA-approved for commercialization: non-browning apples and potatoes. With the Arctic® apple developed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits, scientists have been able to identify and “turn off” the enzyme that causes apples to brown. The Innate™ potato developed by J.R. Simplot is not only non-browning, but also does not produce acrylamide, a natural compound that forms during frying and is speculated to be carcinogenic.”
Read the full article here.