March 14, 2012

Consider GM Foods To Stay Healthy

Scientists are researching ways to help solve health problems by way of Genetically Modified (GM) foods.

Blood oranges, for example have been found to help stave off the absorption of fat, helping to reduce the amount of fat absorbed by the body and reducing the severity of obesity.

But, blood oranges are not exactly the favorite orange, at least for UK consumers. Scientists are looking at ways to include the beneficial nutrients in blood oranges, called anthocyanins, within GM oranges that are more pleasing to UK palates.

According to Cathie Martin, of the John Innes Center, “There are enormous problems in creating something that can be grown in Europe, and big problems in public funding, because of the regulation.”

The scientists believe that the general public will be more accepting of the GM oranges as they are benefiting people rather than lining the pockets of large multinational corporations. According to Professor Dale Sanders, of the John Innes Center, “This isn´t about increasing the profits from multinationals – there are big gains to be had.

Another project researchers are studying involves including algae genes into oilseed rape. This combination would become a way to grow nutritious fish oil without the need to kill fish. Injecting the algae genes into the oilseed rape plant allows the nutritious oil to be mass produced without the need for large algae farms that would take up precious land and water.

Another deficiency scientists are looking to solve with GM foods is zinc deficiency. Zinc deficiency can cause mental impairment and damage the immune system. This immune deficiency lowers the body´s defenses against common diseases such as malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea.

The World Health Organization estimates 800,000 deaths yearly from zinc deficiency and they estimate one-third of the world may suffer from it.

But, according to researchers, it may be possible to modify grains genetically to take up more zinc from the ground that is digestible to humans.

Professor Sanders believes that genetically modifying foods can help remove nutritional deficiencies in many areas and have great benefits to human health.


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