Image Hi, I am Holger from Germany, and I am 27. I work in Agro-Biotechnology at the University of Cologne.

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There are a lot of questions about the safety of food deriving from genetically modified plants or animals, the so-called GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).

First of all, it is important to know that genetic modifications are natural events, and the humankind has exploited them, sometimes unknowingly, to obtain greater yields and a better quality of natural products, initially through traditional crossings among different species, then through random genetic modifications by X-ray irradiation. Nowadays, a better biological knowledge of living organisms gives us the possibility to rationally modify the genetic heritage (the ‘genome’); it is therefore possible to predict the results of the modifications and to obtain the desired change in a shorter amount of time, if compared to what required by random changes in the genome. Specific genetic modifications led to products with particular characteristics, e.g. added nutritional value and better properties.

Strict laws regulate the safety level of food derived from genetically modified organisms, their impact on the environment, and the effects on human health. According to the current law, it is not possible to release GMOs or their derivates in the environment or on the market before specific controls and tests, including a correct labelling of the final product. The preservation of the environment and human health comes first, thanks to detailed laws adopted by the European Commission and EU countries.


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