Qcan eating genetically modified crops expand ones life expectancy?

can eating genetically modified crops expand ones life expectancy?

AExpert Answer

I think the answer for this question is – it depends….

In the developed world where we have access to a wide variety of foods, I think that eating a food derived from a genetically engineered crop it unlikely to expand one’s life expectancy in and of itself.  However, certain components of those crops can certainly contribute to improved health. High oleic soybeans produce a monounsaturated fat that is trans-fat free. Trans-fats can contribute to an increased LDL cholesterol, which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. By substituting high oleic oil in place of hydrogenated oils thereby removing trans-fat from the food item, certainly the health profile of that food item improved. However eating that exact food will not “expand one’s life expectancy,” simply help contribute to the possible improvement of health outcomes.

In the developing world, foods such as Golden Rice would most certainly lead to expanding one’s life expectancy. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 2013 State of the Food and Agriculture report, “In social terms, child and maternal malnutrition continue to reduce the quality of life and life expectancy of millions of people. Vitamin A deficiency is most prevalent among young children and pregnant women and lactating women as they have increased needs for important nutrients. Studies have shown that providing adequate amounts of Vitamin A can reduce overall child mortality from common illnesses (including measles, severe pneumonia, and persistent diarrhea) by 23-34 percent.” Supplying additional Vitamin A in the diet through a staple food such as rice, can contribute to expanding life expectancy where the diet is otherwise deficient and sufficient food is a daily struggle.

For me, the future is about using the technology for the potential benefits that help improve health outcomes such as Golden Rice, or which reduce the environmental impact of agriculture such as Bt crops significantly reducing insecticide use. I’m looking forward to the new innovations in plant breeding that will help improve nutrition worldwide while reducing the environmental impact of food production.

Posted on July 30, 2018
Genetic engineering (GE) touches on the routine life of billions of people (but not everyone). Food, clothes, and medicine are commonly made with the help of genetically engineered organisms. Certain medicines, like insulin, could only be mass-produced this way. Fiber for clothes is made less expensive thanks to GE cotton plants. You also PROBABLY sometimes eat plants with a few engineered genes, depending on where you live. But genetic engineering isn’t just for making new or better... Read More
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Posted on February 28, 2018
This is an important question! Of course scientists wouldn't want to release any plants or products that would be harmful to humans. The first part of the answer is that I'm not aware of ANY examples of released GMOs hurting human bodies. In fact, GMO (or genetically engineered, GE) crops have actually helped both plants and human health, by making harvests more efficient and reducing the need to spray harmful pesticides. Safety to humans is an important part of the... Read More
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Posted on May 10, 2017
The simple answer is that 20+ years of composition assessments of GMO crops have demonstrated that crop composition is not appreciably affected by the GM process (1). In addition, data collected through that time have indicated that general factors such as the growth environment can contribute to notable variation in component levels (2). Plant agglutinins (or lectins) and amylase inhibitors are examples of anti-nutritional compounds that may be present in crops. The relevance of such a... Read More