Health Risks of Genetically-Modified Foods

Topics: Genetically modified food, Maize, Bacillus thuringiensis Pages: 2 (497 words) Published: January 31, 2012
Health Risks of Genetically Modified Foods
Genetically modified (GM) foods, introduced to the American Public in 1996, involves taking the genes of the DNA of one plant or animal and transferring them to another species creating a new organism. Justification for this scientific manipulation revealed promises to eliminate world hunger, make plants resistant to pests and disease, and produce healthier foods. Agribusiness giants, like Monsanto, Bayer, and Syngenta include some of the companies first to bring products to the market. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) took the stance, that it is the food producer responsible for assuring food safety. Companies producing GM foods ultimately regulate themselves. These companies kept their research secret and not available for public scrutiny. Insufficient data illustrate the need for ongoing exploration by independent scientists to deem the products safe for human consumption. Jeffrey M. Smith discussed these issues in his book, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Geneically Engineered Foods.

GM of certain crops cause them to produce their own insecticide. A research study not performed by the manufacturer, involved GM potatoes fed to rats. "They developed potentially precancerous cell growth in the digestive tract, inhibited development of their brains, livers, and testicles, partial atrophy of the liver, enlarged pancreases and intestines, and immune system damage" (Smith 22). Additional information is warranted clarifying the exact cause. Another study revealed Monsanto's MON 863 Bt corn fed to rats produced "significant changes in their blood cells, livers, and kidneys which might indicate disease" (Smith 26). Monsanto defends their GM corn as safe and deems it unnecessary to pursue further testing. No research conducted to date and the corn gained approval. Government and big industries continue with the development, endorsement and marketing of GM foods despite the potential health warnings....
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