GM Food
                           
Genetically Modified Food

What are GM foods?
GM stands for genetically modified food.
GM foods have been artificially changed by scientists in a laboratory.

In the past, plants have been improved by breeding them with other, better 
plants - a natural process which takes years. But with GM foods, it's done 
quickly and artificially, and lots of people are worried about it.

Are they dangerous?
There have been angry debates between scientists and campaigners about 
whether GM foods are safe or not. Campaigners against GM foods say:

GM foods can damage your health - research showed that rats eating 
them didn't grow properly. New diseases could also be created by accident.

Different species are being mixed up - to give a tomato a more reddish 
colour, it may be given parts of a very red fish, which seems to be against nature.

Because GM foods are new, there has not been any long-term testing to see 
if they are dangerous to humans.

Give me an example of how food is changed?
People often use the example of the genetically modified tomato.

Tomatoes are used in a lot of foods, but they rot quickly and don't always taste nice. So GM tomatoes have been created which last longer, look redder and taste better.

Do GM foods have any real benefits?
Scientists argue GM technology is the future of food. They say plants 
can be bred to fight off weeds and pests, so crops are never spoiled.

We can then produce more food, like rice, and feed the world's starving people. Food could also be cheaper because there would be more of it.

 

Are GM foods allowed in the UK?
GM crops are being grown on a few farms in Britain, as an experiment. 
But people have become so worried about GM foods that most of the big 
supermarkets have banned them.

Most items should say on the label if they contain genetically modified 
ingredients - you can decide if you're happy to eat them or not.

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