Japan has started importing GM crops in 1996 although several years later, the ministry tightened the rules in response to criticism - the system being too lax in preventing unapproved GM food from entering Japan.
What is a genetically modified food product ?
A tomato designed to stay fresh for a long time is one example. Corn designed to resist pesticides is another. More complicated, potato designed to produce a poison which kills harmful insects, meaning the farmer no longer needs to fight insects with insecticides. Animals can also be genetically modified.
Rice or paddy needs no introduction to us, Asians. Rice is food for us and no other plant has had such a deep-rooted influence on our lives. Scientist created Golden Rice by inserting three genes into a certain rice variety which will in turn produce a greater amount of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. The debate over GM rice's effectiveness in eliminating vitamin A deficiency is still raging.
Most people prefer not to buy food that has been genetically modified. The demand for organic foods is booming.
- Does GM mean less pesticides in long run ?
- Will GM damage our environment ?
- Can GM produces higher yields ?
- Are GM foods safe ?
- Is anyone controlling GM ?
Opponents of genetic modification argue that we do not know enough about the science and that altering genes could lead to unforeseen problems for future generations. A particular concern is that GM foods could trigger new allergic reactions. Supporters of the technology argue that strict controls are already in place and each modified product is thoroughly assessed. How can one avoid GM foods ?
What is your concern about GM ?