Genetic modification (GM) is defined as the mutation, insertion, or erasing of genes.
While almost anything can be modified genetically, the modification of agricultural crops in laboratory settings which are then patented by big agricultural corporations are what raises the most concern for food sovereignty.
Genetically modified crops are plants used in farming, that have had their DNA modified by genetic engineering techniques. This is often done with the aim of adding a trait to a plant that it does not naturally exhibit. Plants can be engineered to have resistance to some pests, diseases, or environmental conditions, and others with resistance to chemical treatments (for example, resistance to the herbicide Roundup), or changing the nutrient content of the crop.
Modifying crops by genetic engineering is meant to increase yields and improve nutrition, but proof that GM crops do that are ambiguous and some research suggest that farming GM crops with its associated high chemical input is harmful to the environment and that the consumption of GM crops could be carcinogenic to humans.
On the issue of GMOs and their impact on people, animals and the environment more broadly, AFSA therefore advocates the precautionary principle.
AFSA supports thorough and transparent labelling of products containing or deriving from GMOs. We maintain that people have a right to choose or not to choose to consume GM food or other products relying on a GM source.
Violating the concepts of food sovereignty, the application of genetic modification technology has been appropriated in the interest of corporate profit and creates further dependencies for farmers. GM crops have generally failed to deliver on promises of increased yields, and has instead delivered super-pests and super-weeds. AFSA also asserts the need to protect non-GM farms from GM contamination.