The use and harm of genetically modified plants is the topic of many scientific disputes and discussions. Transgenic form of modification has long been used in the agricultural industry, and - it should be given credit - brings a lot of tangible benefits. But is there any benefit to human health? Specialists are trying to answer this question for more than a decade.
Scientists had to spend about six thousand studies to prove that genetically modified corn is not only harmless, but also useful in a certain sense - both for animals and for humans. Transgenic corn prevents intoxication with mycotoxic substances: such toxins in nature are found in cereals, vegetables and fruits.
The use of genetic engineering helped raise world yields of corn from 5% to almost 25%. Moreover, the genetically modified product was 37% more resistant to mycotoxins.
The main "supplier" of mycotoxic substances are molds. The presence of such substances in the food composition leads to the appearance of mycotoxicosis - poisoning is manifested by a decrease in productive capacity, impaired reproductive function, impaired immunity. Even complete physical and chemical processing of cereals does not help to completely get rid of mycotoxins - for example, a small amount of such substances can persist in organic maize species.
In transgenic products, a lesser amount of mycotoxic components is detected, since they have greater resistance to insects and diseases. Different insects "undermine" the immunity of plants, so the fungal infection easily takes root in weakened cultures. Fungi, in turn, begin to massively "produce" mycotoxic substances.
Italian scientists have analyzed the results of six thousand different studies that have been conducted regularly since 1996. A so-called meta-analysis was carried out, which is a cumulative assessment of all the results of the work, obtained during comparisons. Of course, all the studies carried out were devoted to solving the same problem.
The analysis only confirmed: genetically modified corn is absolutely safe for human health. Moreover, the benefits of the product became obvious. Many experts are already openly talking about the meta-analysis carried out as a "final" chapter in the ongoing disputes over genetically modified products.
Among other things, the obtained data will help prove to farmers: growing genetically modified crops allows not only to increase their yield, but also to avoid many problems with human health.
The results of the project are published in full in the Scientific Reports edition, and are also available at www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-21284-2
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