Genetic engineering - what is it anyway?
Genetic engineering manages to isolate genes, combine them across species and insert them into recipient organisms. This makes it possible for genes and the corresponding products to appear in our food that we did not have in our food before.
Why is genetically modified food so critically?
Health risks play a major role in the public discussion. For example, some scientists say that genetically modified food is (partly) responsible for the emergence of new allergies and further antibiotic resistances.
The newly introduced genetic information in various crops produces proteins that are known to be potential allergy triggers. In addition, the genetic manipulation can lead to unexpected changes in the metabolism of the plants. What this means for the safety and quality of the food produced from them, is not clear yet. Another problem is the large number of built-in antibiotic resistance genes that act as markers to determine whether the genetic manipulation was successful. However, these resistance genes can also be transferred to bacteria in the human intestine, increasing the risk that antibiotic drugs will become ineffective.
In addition to these risks, there are many others. If you would like to learn more about this, the BUND will inform you on this page.
How does the Studierendenwerk deal with this uncertainty?
We have decided not to use any products for our meals that, according to the manufacturer, are genetically modified themselves or contain genetically modified ingredients. We can recognise these by the corresponding product labelling, which is obligatory for manufacturers throughout Europe. Another way to avoid genetically modified food is to use the national logo "ohne Gentechnik" (without genetic engineering).
Our attitude and approach in this regard also corresponds to the purchasing guidelines of our umbrella organisation, the German Student Union.