Genetically Modified Organisms

Topics: Genetically modified food, Genetically modified organism, Genetic engineering Pages: 5 (1670 words) Published: February 27, 2011
Food products in our community are being genetically modified or being grown next to or transported with none genetically modified food. The United States doesn’t require the distributers to put labels on their food product that contain genetically modified organisms. Also the foods originally grown without genetic modification are still being contaminated by GMOs during transportation and production. This is a problem because GMOs have been proven to increase the risk of cancer and can cause other unknown medical problems. As big as this controversy is becoming many people are completely clueless of the topic. They are simply uneducated. Many people do not know the risks involved, what they are in, or how they’re used. It is unethical to not inform consumers about what they are eating. But how are people suppose to stand up for this if they don’t even know about it.

Alex Rich defines genetically modified food as, “food in which, at some point during the production process, molecules and proteins are chemically altered to give the food more nutrients, a better appearance, or a longer shelf-life.” However in an article called “What Does ‘GMO-Free’ on Food Labels Really Mean?,” genetic modification literally means “changing hereditary traits by altering the genetic material of a plant or living thing.” This could include traditional plant breeding but instead it mostly refers to foods with genes altered by biotechnology.

Genetically altering plants is done for a reason though. Cost can be reduced and flavor and nutrition can be increased. In fact a recent study done by the National Center for Food and Agriculture has found that “farmers in the United States investing in biotech products harvested 5.3 billion additional pounds of crops and realized $22 billion in increase income.” (Rich). “It also makes it possible to use less water, which means that the crops have a higher resistance to drought and it actually uses less land. (Coleman)

“ GMOs are a way to produce higher yields of crops. It’s also believed that GMO plants can produce higher yields in hungry countries such as Africa where the climate is harsh.” (Hedges). As someone starves to death every 3.6 seconds, Coleman argues that “the real problems causing hunger… are poverty, lack of education and training, unequal land distribution and lack of access to markets…distribution, not production, is the key to solving hunger.”

One thing you can find frequently on a food product is a label that simply states “GMO Free”. This really has no meaning what so ever. Distributers are not required to put these uncertified labels on their products. Studies have actually proven that the supposedly GMO fee products are still containing small amounts of genetically modified material. This happens by seeds from a genetically modified plant being carried through the air by wind. This also happens when the two are stored and transported together. “This is even true for “Certified Organic” products that must contain no GMOs.” (Rich) My solution to this problem is that first, we need to educate people about GMOs most people don’t even know what they are much less what harm they can cause. One way this could be done is stores could put a pamphlet stand that has brochures giving off information about GMOs. Letting people know what they are, what harm they can cause, and how they can contaminate other foods. The pamphlets shouldn’t just contain the information that would upset the consumer though. How they can help and the good things they do should be included in their as well. Info on GMOs also needs to be broadcasted on the news or in newspapers giving the same information that the brochures do. Food products that are genetically modified need to have warning labels. Just like cigarettes have a warning label for cancer, GMOs should too. Other food products that are specifically made with GMOs still need to have warning label stating that they could possibly be...
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