I wish I had been genetically modified. A bit of Claudia Schiffer here and a bit of Jennifer Lopez there would be ideal.

Vain perhaps, but it's only natural to want a perfect body and it's only human to want to eat perfect food such as potatoes with built-in insect repellents, straw-berries with more flavour, faster-growing salmon and leaner pigs.

So, what's the big deal about genetically-modified foods?

Genetic modification involves the transfer of genetic material within species or from one species to another (e.g. fish to plant, bacteria to pig, or human to sheep).

Those who oppose it argue that the natural process of evolution is bypassed and the consequences irreversible.

By inserting foreign genes at random, we may alter the host's expression of its own genes with unpredictable, possibly disastrous results.

Some GM crops have built-in pesticides which either kill pests or force them to develop stronger resistance, giving rise to "superbugs".

Biologists worry that lady-birds, birds and bees could be adversely affected.

Crops are genetically engineered to tolerate weed-killers and could breed with wild relatives to create superweeds therefore, more pesticides would subsequently be needed to control them.

GM foods are thought to suppress our immune system.

Genetically-modified soya milk, for instance, may trigger herpes-related viruses in humans.

Some strains of GM maize contain an antibiotic resistance gene but, if disease-causing bacteria pick it up, antibiotics become completely ineffective.

Various engineered foods are known to trigger allergic reactions and, for those with allergies, mealtimes become a hazardous game of Russian roulette.

One suspects that our bodies are just a tad confused when confronted with the new "Frankenfoods". Is it a tomato or is it a frog? Or neither of the above?

Nobody has any idea whether GM products are safe, so why not stick to food as nature intended what is so wrong with non-GM food?

Unlike organic products, there is no consumer demand for GM food, at least I haven't seen any signs at ASDA saying Genetically Modified please walk this way.

Proponents of GM food accuse the media of inciting mass hysteria and that GM crops are needed to increase productivity in developing countries.

But haven't they forgot-ten? Our track record of foisting our dietary habits on to the Third World hasn'talways been all that favourable.

And although we have the knowledge to meddle with DNA, it is debatable whether we have the wisdom to use it.

Who is going to give us the bigger picture? The politicians haven't a clue and the British Medical Association is rather laid-back, saying we should wait and see whether GM food is safe or not.

As an estimated 70 per cent of processed food may now contain GM ingredients, the BMA may not have to wait long. Meanwhile, read food labels and buy organic, non-processed food if you are unwilling to take any risks.