Genetically Modified Food

Topics: Genetically modified food, Genetic engineering, Genetically modified organism Pages: 5 (1825 words) Published: June 5, 2013
Negative Effects of Genetically Engineered Food

Corrine

English 103

December 2012

Negative Effects of Genetically Engineered Food
Genetically engineered food is an epidemic all around the world. There are factors that make these types of foods undesirable for many reasons. Public opinions on how genetically engineered foods will effect the consumer market and farmers cannot afford the new seeds that are genetically altered. There are many cons of genetically engineered food that have long term and short term risks. Some risks have been found by scientists while other risks are still unknown and will remain so unless a researcher tests for them. These foods have become very common in America as well as other countries. Almost every grocery store in the United States carries a wide array of food that has been genetically modified. Most of the genetically engineered foods in markets are not labeled to tell consumers they were altered in any way. Environmental risks are also a concern for genetically engineered food. Different animals, including farm animals or insects can be harmed from genetically engineered food. Genetically engineered food has negative effects on the human population.

Genetically engineered food was first introduced into society in the early 1990’s. Many people today do not know what kind of extensive research and development goes into making these types of foods. Sharon Palmer, a reporter, writes that genetic engineering is either “Doomsday tech” or “biotechnology for the future” (Palmer 1). The process of altering an organism completely changes the original organism and transforms it into something new. This new way of altering an organism’s genetic makeup bypasses common breeding methods used by scientists (Genetically Modified Foods 1). The process of creating genetically altered food usually involves “identifying the genes governing a desirable characteristic in one organism, and inserting them into another in the expectation that the trait will be transferred” (Genetically Modified Foods 1). Sometimes the process of creating these organisms does not work so scientists have to do the process over again until they get a transformed organism. In 1973 scientists were able to achieve using another organism as a vector which essentially was the beginning of the development of genetically engineered foods. Although genetically engineered foods were not fully introduced until the early 1990s, they were in the process of becoming what society knows today. Newer techniques have been introduced that make it easier for gene insertion. This new method is the use of DNA bullets where “microscopic metal beads can be coated with DNA fragments, and then “fired” from a miniature gun into the host cell, where DNA may integrate into the genome” (Genetically Modified Foods 1). A few of the genetically engineered foods are soybeans, corn, canola, cotton, squash and papaya (Palmer 1). There are many other foods that people see on the shelves in grocery stores that may be genetically altered but these are some main ones. Statistics show that “an estimated 70 to 75 percent of all processed foods in U.S. grocery stores probably contain ingredients from GE plants” (Palmer 6). Many foods have been genetically altered to make them “better” or resistant to herbicides. Despite the fact that scientists consider these foods to be revolutionary there are hidden consequences to the development of such organisms. The public opinion on genetically engineered food is that it is not a good improvement. Many citizens believe that the introduction of altered foods is going to have negative side effects on everything. People feel that genetically engineered foods should not be put on the market until they have had adequate testing (Current Issues 3). Many of the alterations done to food have not had extensive research conducted to find harmful effects that they might have on humans and animals. Any research that had been...

Cited: “Genetically Modified Food.” Current Issues: Macmillian Social Science Library. Detroit: Gale,
2010
Palmer, Sharon, and Chris McCullum-Gomez. “Genetically Engineered Foods Update.. (Cover
Story).” Environmental Nutrition 33.7 (2010): I-6
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