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Genetically Modified Organisms

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Do you really know what is in the foods you eat? Most likely not. You probably have never heard of the words genetically modified organisms. It is time to open your eyes to this silent problem that is occurring right now. Genetically modified organisms are in the foods we eat and are ultimately making people sick. Research has shown that consuming genetically modified foods increases your risk for getting cancers and tumors. The only way to avoid it is to eat organic which is not always affordable for everyone. My solution to the problem is to encourage others to eat organic foods and spread awareness by creating an organization called Health Crusaders. With the help of Health Crusaders, we can spread the word on this epidemic so we can all stand up to the government and tell them to stop putting genetically modified organisms in our food supply.
Genetically modified organisms are organisms that have been created through science. This science takes the DNA of a plant, bacteria, or animal and transfers it to another; this makes a certain breed of animal, bacteria, and plant that does not occur in a natural setting such as nature, and these genes are created in a science laboratory. (Non-GMO Project, 2013). “The most common foods that contain these organisms include potatoes, canola, rice, corn, cotton, sugar beets and soybeans.” (Environmental Commons, n.d.). Almost everything Americans consume has one of these plants contained in it and most likely, before it was integrated into the final product it was once in a science laboratory and then planted in a farmer’s field covered in pesticides.
The general purpose of genetically modified organisms is to make a larger yield of crops in one season and use less of pesticides and other insect repellents. Although it seems as though genetically modified foods are safe for us to consume the research has not been conducted on the affects that the organisms have on the human body. That is what is so scary about these foods, we do not know if later, years down the road the affects that these genetically modified organisms will have on consumers. Scientist are just beginning to study the effects genetically modified corn has on lab rats and the results are shocking. One study has shown that after giving lab rats genetically modified corn that had small amounts of Monsanto’s pesticide residue for most of their lifetime, the rats had significant organ damage, especially to the liver as well as in the kidneys. (Adams, 2012). “In addition, 70% female rats died earlier then they should and 50% of male rats expired early.” (Adams, 2012). This should make a person think about the foods they are putting into their bodies as well as putting on the dinner table for our families.
Genetically modified organisms are also taking a toll on the environment. “The use of Roundup herbicides on genetically modified crops has rose at least 15 times since genetically modified organisms came to be.” (Non-GMO Project, 2013). Gene crops are also to blame for creating larger weeds and insects as well; therefore, the use of Roundup is also going to continue to rise as the weeds and insects are always evolving. Roundup herbicide is also to blame for the decline of the monarch butterflies and the honeybees (Potter, 2011). “Since the use of genetically modified organisms, the monarch butterfly population has declined by 40%, due to the fact that Roundup kills the monarch’s important plant, the milkweed.” (Potter, 2011). Not only is the butterfly population declining the honeybee population is declining too. The decline of the honeybee population is a big problem as honeybees are important to us. Honeybees help the environment by pollinating the vegetables and fruits; it is very importation for those crops that they do that job (Natural Resources Defense Council, 2008). Without the honeybees, our food supply will most definitely suffer. Because of the use of Roundup herbicides on genetically modified crops, our precious and important insects are becoming extinct.
It seems as though more children these days are having food allergies, most likely caused from the genetically modified crops put into most foods children consume. Whom wants to feed their children food that has been made in a science lab, planted and then sprayed with toxins; I know I don’t want to nor do I want to expose my daughter to these harmful foods. Even with milk is something I make sure it has no added growth hormones before I ever make a purchase. Since the presence of genetically altered foods children with allergies’ has rose immensely (Smith, 2007). With that alarming information, it is hard not to point the finger at genetically modified foods as to blame for this epidemic. Not only are genetically modified foods effecting our children they are also affecting us adults as well. Because of the antibiotic gene component, they put into some of genetically modified crops as well as injected into livestock, they could possibly make us resistant to the curing affects antibiotics do for us. (Smith, 2008). In my opinion, I believe the rise of genetically modified organisms is also to blame for the high rise of cancer and tumor cases. It seems as though before these foods hit the market, the word cancer was not as prevalent as it is these days, and that really can make a person think about these genetically modified organisms and what they are really doing to us. What makes it worse is that the government still stands up for these companies, such as Monsanto that produce these poisonous foods.
Now some people might say eating organic is too costly and that there is no difference between organic foods and non-organic foods. They also claim that there are the same nutrients in non-organic foods and organic foods so we are getting the same nutrition at a higher price. However, there is a difference, although we will be getting the same nutrition through both foods, non-organic foods are still made in a science lab, planted in fields and then they are sprayed in harmful pesticides. I know this is the main reason why non-organic foods are dangerous as scientist have not studied the effects these pesticides have on the human body, once again, we are being used as guinea pigs. Although the price of eating organics is a little more costly than non-organic foods, the money we would be saving by purchasing non-genetically modified foods would be used to pay for the doctor visits we will have down the road for consuming all of these bad foods that are so easily available.
All this information may sound alarming, consumers might be wondering why this is the first time they have heard about this problem. It seems as though the government may be trying to hide the facts about genetically modified foods from the public. I believe the public be made more aware of this problem and to what they are really putting into their bodies. In the state of California, which is one of the nation’s largest consumers they want to label foods that contain genetically modified organisms (McLure, 2012). California has the right idea, by making consumers more aware of what is in the foods they are purchasing. More states are deciding whether to label foods that contain these genes in them. I applaud them for this movement. This is the first step into creating awareness for this problem. If more people had healthier choices in their local grocery store, people would start making the right decisions about the food they put on the tables for their families and themselves. With my proposed organization, Health Crusaders, we will lobby in the white house to demand change to take place and follow California’s idea; Health Crusaders will demand for genetically modified food labeling.
Health Crusaders will help to encourage more people to eat organic foods by providing live videos and chats on their online web site crusaders.org as well as being active on Facebook. This will set the tone for consumers to start out on the right foot when beginning the transition from non-organic to organic foods. Organic foods are grown all naturally without any alterations and without the use of any pesticides or herbicides. In addition to fruits and vegetables, organic farmers are also producing organic meats by not injecting their livestock with hormones and antibiotics. They also do not feed them any animal byproducts. (Paul, Kemp, & Segal, 2013). More and more organic sections are showing up in our local grocery stores and it is a wise idea to take advantage of them and make healthier choices. Many local farmers markets also provide fresh organic produce that has been gown by famers in the area and are available at great low prices. With the Health Crusaders, they will help to promote healthy eating habits and eating organic foods by walking the streets in larger cities to spread more awareness about the benefits of eating organic. As well as having a foot army on the streets, Health Crusaders will hold daily seminars on YouTube as well as crusaders.org to talk about healthy choices and the newest organics on the market.
Since the government finds no need to inform the public of this matter, it is up to us, the people to take a stand on genetically modified organisms. If we do not let our voice be heard and sit here in silence, we will not achieve the changes we need. With Health Crusaders, they will make sure everyone has a voice to protest genetically modified foods. We need to bring this topic to the surface of discussions so more people can be aware of what is in our food as well. My other solution to this problem is to list the problems that genetically modified foods create as well as the benefits of steering away from processed and frozen foods. I would also like to list the foods that do not contain genetically modified organisms so people are also aware that there are other choices out there for them. These lists will be available on crusaders.org and the Health Crusaders Facebook page. These web pages will be an outlet for consumers with questions and concerns to turn to as well as to request any information needed. I believe that if we use the resources the internet provides us such as Facebook and Twitter we can reach a larger audience of people that need to hear this information, people that have no clue that this is taking place.
In conclusion, our health is on the line when you consume genetically altered foods, and with Health Crusaders, it will be possible for the people of America to demand for change to take place. Health Crusaders will be the outlet to turn to for any questions and concerns consumers have regarding organic foods and genetically modified foods; they will be the backbone to support us on our fight against genetically altered foods. Health Crusaders will be based solely on the internet until we can expand our army and reach out across America. We do not want our government treating us like guinea pigs and testing out these foods on us only to come to the realization that they are no good for anyone. We need to tell our government we do not want these altered crops in our foods. We the Americans have the voice and the power to get the changes necessary so we can all live healthy, happy lives so take a step towards healthy living and join us crusaders in the march against genetically modified foods.

References
Adams, M. (2013). Shock findings in new gmo study: rats fed a lifetime of gm corn grow horrifying tumors, 70% of females die early. Retrieved from www.naturalnews.com/037249_GMO_study_cancer_tumors_organ_damage.html
Environmental Commons. (n.d.). What you should know about genetically modified foods. Retrieved from www.environmentalcommons.org/gmo-factsheet.html
McLure, J. (2012, August 31). Genetically modified food. CQ Researcher, 22, 717-740. Retrieved from http://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/
Natural Resources Defense Council. (2008). Vanishing bees. Retrieved from www.nrdc.org/wildlife/animals/bees.asp?gclid=CICdgLujkbgCFcZAMgodsRAABQ
Non-GMO Project. (2013). Genetically modified organisms. Retrieved from www.nongmoproject.org/about-gmos-2/
Paul, M., Kemp, G., & Segal, R. (2013). Understanding organic food labels, benefits, and claims. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/life/organic_foods_pesticides_gmo.htm
Potter, N. (2011). Are monarch butterflies threatened by genetically modified crops? Retrieved from www.abcnews.go.com/Technology/monarch-butterflies-genetically-modified-gm-crops/story?id=14057436#.UdLUCvnvuFg
Smith, J. (2007). Genetically engineered foods may cause rising food allergies—genetically engineered soybeans. Retrieved from http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers/health-risks/articles-about-risks-by-jeffrey-smith/Genetically-Engineered-Foods-May-Cause-Rising-Food-Allergies-Genetically-Engineered-Soybeans-May-2007
Smith, J. (2008). Spilling the beans: unintended gmo health risks. Retrieved from http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_11361.cfm

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