Język angielski, Artykuły
The year is 2020. You go into the kitchen to have a snack. Your Microsoft-compatible fridge tells you what's inside: a shrimp, a chicken-flavoured beef, frogburger, and fish.
Is this all a figment of your imagination, some fantasy? Perhaps, but a future with genetically modified (GM) food is quite probable. More than you think. It only requires money, time, the knowledge how to do it and group of talented genetic engineers to 'improve' our food. There are already companies that have invested a great deal of money in Gm food science and the day when manipulating genes as easily as driving a car is not that far away.
In the next few decades the number of people on our planet will double. This mass of people will need plenty of food to keep their offsprings healthy, if not just alive. It may be that modern agriculture will not be able to feed the planet. GM food seems to be the perfect solution to the problem of food shortages. It may also be factor in the modification of life as we know it.
What is GM food? The simple answer is: GM is the food that is produced from plants or animals that have had their genes changed in the laboratory by scientists. By modifying genes, scientist can change the organism. This however is still difficult to do and very often scientists produce a new combination of genes simply by chance. In fact, in nature genetic exchanges occurs all the time. Because of this, there are a great variety of species on Earth, including humans. The controversial aspect of scientific process is that a man can modify the genetic makeup of a plant or animal to improve it within say a year whereas it takes nature generations are a testing ground to see if the improved version works or even survives in its environment.
By 2025 food supply requirements will have doubled due to the increase in word population, changes in dietary requirements and also climatic changes. Genetic engineering may cover that food shortage which is predicted to occur during that period. Supporters of GM food point out that modified products are not allowed into the food chain if there is any likelihood of harming human health. All food products are tested before they are placed on supermarket shelves. In fact, GM products are tested much more strictly than food obtained using traditional methods.
The rule that every controversial issue stirs up extreme opinions among supporters and opponents who will never reach a compromise applies very much here. The Prince of Wales suggested consumers should boycott genetically-modified food imported into Britain. In his criticism of GM food he said he would neither eat it nor give to his family or guests. Those in favour of "Frankenstein" food are perhaps not as prominently placed as Prince Charles but they are numerous - farmers and representatives of the food industry.
The vision of a modified world seems even attractive. If we can change tomatoes, why not produce a chicken that will feed a whole village? It may be delicious as food on your plate but rather dangerous alive before it is caught and roasted. But then danger always lies where you least expect it.
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