Food Controversy

Topics: Genetically modified food, Genetically modified organism, Golden rice Pages: 5 (1816 words) Published: May 3, 2013
Food Controversy
In the food industry there have been many issues and processes that have brought a large amount of question to the industry overall, like the meat packing process in its early stages. I can't think of a more heated issue in the last few passing years then the controversy over Genetically modified organisms in the food industry. Some countries are for it some are against it. Many sides will argue that genetically mutated organisms (GMO) are bad for the food industry while others will argue the opposite. While genetically mutate organisms have proved to provide many positive uses on today's earth the question still remains the same are GMO's good for us, the environment, or at all. Also if they yield more negative effects why are we allowing them to be forced on us. Genetically modified foods have proved to have many positive effects on the globe. There are many examples of how GMO's have effected areas of the globe positively. For example some GMO crops are engineered to be more resistant to pests. This is great because pests can wipe out large areas of crops and possibly cause famine or a food shortage in some countries. Genetic modification has also been used to clean up pollution in some areas. A good example of this is the poplar tree. The poplar tree has been modified to help clean up heavy metal pollution from contaminated soil. (Deborah B. Whitman) Some other crops have been modified to resist colder temperatures then normal for that particular type of plant. There is one example of a GMO crop that really stands out to me, called The Golden Rice Project. (Jorge Mayer) The goal of this project is to provide poor countries with a modified rice that has a more yellowish color to it. This isn't just some yellow or “golden rice” however this rice has been modified to contain more Iron and vitamin A. The idea is that this is a cheap easy to grow crop could help solve vitamin A and anemia in poor countries all over the world. At this point you may be saying to yourself great GMO's sound amazing or GMO's can stop world hunger, cure anemia, and child blindness in poor countries cool! However others would not agree with this mentality and have good evidence to back their reasoning. While GMO's have been found to have many positive uses, there are still groups that argue that they potentially have more negative effects. Many of the positive impacts listed before also can have some side effects that are potentially unwanted and harmful. The Golden Rice Project sounds like a great idea with nothing to lose, but is it really. This particular modified strain has not been tested for stability or negative effects. (Golden Rice: A Dangerous Experiment) Pharmaceutical drugs undergo a series of animal testing which if positive continues into human testing. This is not the case with Golden Rice. Golden Rice has not been tested through animals and should not be tested on humans because we have no data showing that it is completely safe for animals. We don’t really know is this “miracle crop” has any adverse side affects towards human health, yet GMO advocates do not seem to think much of it. In fact a good number of reasons that GMO's are potentially unsafe is because they are simply not tested as much as if they were a pharmaceutical drug. Therefore to go from lab right to human mouth and stomach is just morally unsettling to me personally. The flaws of the Golden Rice Project are just one of many good examples of how GMO can potentially be harmful. There are other possible downsides to GMO foods. For example another great concern of GMO crops is the unwanted spread of modified genes to indigenous crops and other unintended targets. This could potentially wipe out a naturally occurring strain of the modified crop. Hypothetically speaking, for lack of a better examples sake, say we were to modify a specific strain of corn to grow in a climate that may not have normally supported the plant...
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