What are the benefits of genetically engineered foods?
More and more farmers around the world are turning to growing genetically engineered crops as these lead to faster, larger and better yields. It also helps that the genetically engineered crops are resistant to pests and diseases. In Hawaii, genetic engineering helped create a papaya resistant to the insect-borne papaya ring spot virus (PRSV).
Such resistant crops require fewer or no pesticides, which make them safer for consumers. Genetically engineered crops can withstand cold, drought, poor soil and many other adverse environmental conditions. One example is a strawberry that is not affected by frost.
Genetic engineering can lead to food with more nutrients and vitamins. The Institute for Plant Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, backed by the Rockefeller Foundation, have created a 'golden rice' that is high in Vitamin A. The idea is to cultivate this rice in Third World countries to address the problem of malnutrition in these regions. However, concerns by opponents of GM technology have currently put these plans on hold.
Genetic engineering has produced plants, fruits and vegetables that contain antibodies and vaccines to fight against many common diseases and health conditions. Peanuts, soybeans and wheat have been produced with no allergens or reduced amounts of allergens.