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    Genetically Modified Foods Are Not the Answer to Worlds Problems

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    Genetically modified foods and organisms are all the rage. Most people don’t even know what GM, or genetically modified, is. Just 1 in 4 people realize that a majority of the food they eat contain GMO, or genetically modified organism (Natural Revolution 2). It’s something that the FDA has no safety requirements for whatsoever (Natural Revolution 3). Something which is found in up to 70% of processed foods on grocery shelves (BioTech Foods 1). Something that 26 other countries have banned for the safety of the citizens (Organic Authority 1). And something that isn’t even labeled on the food we eat (Organic Authority 1).

    So now the question lies, what IS genetically modified foods and why is it a big deal? GMO or genetically modified organisms, is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. The big deal is that it should not be allowed because we do not fully understand the effects they have on humans, we should not be playing God by playing with genetics, and people don’t even have the right to know what they’re putting in their bodies, because it’s not labeled or mandated to do so.

    Despite the countless detriments caused by GM, some still have the audacity to say that it’s good for us and for humanity. Some arguments are that it gives the world more food, and it requires less pesticides in order to sustain. But the simple fact of the matter is that both of these arguments do not justify the use of GM. Research that supports GMO safety is voluntarily provided by companies on their own GM crops. Critics have described it as “meticulously designed to avoid finding problems.” (Natural Revolution 2) The argument that it helps in food supply is thrown out the window. With scientists in control of the plant’s genetics, yes, they could hypothetically grow more food, but the health risks are not worth having more food. Feeding people poison or harmful things is not the answer to shortage in food supply.

    Experts say that GM requires less pesticides in order to sustain and this in itself sounds like a good thing, right? This is done because scientists are able to genetically change our food and can insert more antibiotics into the plants in order to not need chemicals to sustain it. We all know we don’t want antibiotics in our meat, so who wants it in our plants now? This is not going to help humanity in any way. Added antibiotics in our system allows bacteria to grow a resistance to it and can cause more sickness. Another concern due to the antibiotics is that bacteria living in the guts of humans can pick up the antibiotic resistance gene inserted into our food (Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful? 2) Less chemicals with GM crops are not worth adding more antibiotics into our system.

    Overall, experts say GM has no guarantees as to what they say the benefits are and that the risks of GM foods to health outweigh the possible benefits (Biotech Foods 1). One of the dominating and probably biggest concern when it comes to GM is safety and health. All the tests conducted have had bad results, and yet it’s something still allowed into the marketplace. Dr Pusztai was given a grant to design long-term testing protocols for European GM food safety assessment process. Pusztai fed rats GM potatoes. They were engineered to produce a “supposedly safe” insecticide. The results were extremely alarming. All rats showed potentially pre-cancerous cell growths, smaller brains, livers and testicles, partially atrophied livers, and damage to the immune system. (Natural Revolution 1)

    In Japan, a new modified bacteria created an amino acid not naturally found in nature. The acid was used in protein drinks and caused several mental and metabolic damage to hundreds as well as several deaths. Japan banned GMO since. (Organic Authority 2) Another study was done with rats who ate genetically modified potatoes.

    The results, again, not so good. Rats showed signs of choice wasting, and female rats gave birth to stunted and sterile pups. (Organic Authority 2) More than half of the offspring of mothers that were fed GM soy died within 3 weeks. (Natural Revolution 2) An epidemic in 1980s killed about 100 people and caused 5,000- 10,000 to fall terribly ill. A company genetically modified bacteria for the supplement L- tryptophan. Due to GM, 5-6 contaminants were the cause of the disease and the epidemic.

    Despite all the dominating concerns and results of GM, FDA had no GMO safety requirements whatsoever (Natural Revolution 2) The fact that something that has no safety requirements or long term studies is put in things the population eats is absurd. At the moment, the long term effects are unknown. When trans fats were introduced, companies fought to get them onto the grocery shelves and it wasn’t until decades later was it proven to be EXTREMELY UNHEALTHY. Experts believe the same outcome will happen with GM. It is found in up to 70% of food on shelves with no knowledge of how it’ll affect our health in the long run and the studies that were done as of now have results that are exceedingly alarming.

    The detriments of GM are already a major concern for the population, and yet in the United States, no choice is given as to whether or not one is okay with consuming GM. In America, corporations aren’t required to label products that contain GMO. Someone could be eating a GM product and not even know it. Why so sneaky? (Organic Authority 2) The fact that most people have no idea they are consuming lab created DNA on a daily basis is absurd, and they should have the right to know what they’re putting in their mouths. Yet, 50 other countries have mandated that any product containing GMO be labeled. (Body-Oprah 2)

    On top of that, America is the highest leading producer of GM products, and it’s only increasing by the year. US citizens have no right in knowing what they are consuming, and even the US mainstream media has failed to share data that GM foods, may in fact, pose enormous health risks. It’s because it’s not illegal to leave products unlabeled, and because of the media’s failure in order to share information on this epidemic, is probably why Americans have so little knowledge that GMO even exists, and that they eat it on a daily basis. The fact that over 2 dozen countries (including Japan, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, and France) have banned GMO due to the health concerns and 50 countries mandated GMO labeling is alarming when you look at America’s situation.

    Bringing GM food to the market in itself is a costly process and even Monsanto (a company that produces and supports GMO) agrees that it’s genetically engineered crops are less convenient than traditional farming. (Organic Authority 2) This shows how exceedingly alarming this business is and how GMO is such a big part of American’s lives, and they don’t even know it or have a say in it.

    Some of the risks of GM have already been stated, but some more are as follows: introducing allergens and toxins to food, contamination between GM and non GM foods, antibiotic resistance, and changing the nutrient of a crop. (Biotech Foods 1) All of these risks come from the chemistry and DNA of a crop, which is essentially what GMO is in the first place. When it comes to contamination, it cannot be reversed. Once a GM food has contaminated a non GM food, there is no way to reverse it. If the world continues to spiral downhill into the pit of GM, it will in reality be impossible to get out of it, and there will possibly be no more organic and unaffected products of certain crops once they have all been affected. In essence, there is no actual benefit when it comes to GM foods.

    A GM plant could actually have lower nutritional value than of its organic counterpart by making nutrients indigestible to people. Phytoestrogen is a compound that protects against heart disease and cancer, and strains of GM soybean produced lower levels of this compound. (GMO: Harmful Effects 2) In reference to introducing allergens to food, same as how allergies work with humans, if the novel protein of a GM food originates from a source that causes allergies in humans, then that protein can cause humans allergies as well. In shorter words, people can actually form allergies if exposed to GM food. There is also concern with exotic genes in plants that are being genetically engineered.

    Most plants produce a substance that are toxic to people but at levels low enough that it’s safe to eat. With this altered gene, though, it can possibly raise the toxin levels to be dangerous to humans. (GMO: Harmful Effects 2) Health professionals are concerned by the increasing number of bacterial strains that are beginning to show antibiotic resistance as a result of GM. All GMO is altering the DNA of food but playing God with this can cause dangerous outcomes.

    In conclusion, the benefits from GM aren’t worth the risks, and the benefits aren’t even guaranteed in the first place. GM is something US citizens consume everyday without knowing and something that hasn’t even had long term testing to know just how it can affect us. The studies that have been done have generated alarming results. Changing a plant’s DNA is not natural and can have dangerous outcomes. In essence, GM is not the answer to the world’s problems, and it’s just a car spiraling out of control that’s going to be difficult and near impossible to stop once it reaches a certain point, if it hasn’t already.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Genetically Modified Foods Are Not the Answer to Worlds Problems. (2022, Nov 28). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/genetically-modified-foods-are-not-the-answer-to-worlds-problems/

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