Biotech food that has been engineered to remove ingredients that can be harmful to your health is now available for purchase. The first foods expected to be available are salad dressings and granola bars. These items will contain soybean oil that has been genetically altered to remove ingredients harmful to your heart.
Biotech Food: What Is It?
By early 2020, the first foods from plants or animals that had their DNA “edited” will be on your grocers’ shelves.
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has declared gene editing one of the breakthroughs needed to improve food production so the world can feed billions more people amid a changing climate. Yet governments are wrestling with how to regulate this powerful new tool.
GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are plants or animals that were mixed with another species’ DNA to introduce a specific trait. Best known are corn and soybeans mixed with bacterial genes for built-in resistance to pests or weed killers. Despite international scientific consensus that GMOs are safe to eat, some people still remain skeptical. The reason: Some scientists believe that the GMOs could introduce herbicide-resistant weeds.
The new biotech food technology comes with foods like CRISPR and TALENs. They alter foods more precisely and cheaply without adding foreign DNA. Instead, they change the letters of an organism’s own genetic alphabet.
For example, scientists are making more ambitious changes, such as — wheat with triple the usual fiber or that’s low in gluten. Mushrooms that don’t brown and better-producing tomatoes. Drought-tolerant corn, and rice that no longer absorbs soil pollution as it grows. Dairy cows that don’t need to undergo painful de-horning, and pigs immune to a dangerous virus that can sweep through herds.
Citrus greening could be obliterated by GMOS. This is a virulent infection that destroys Florida’s oranges. There is no current solution, except to use standard herbicides — which cause their own problems.