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Technically genetically modified (GM) means “any change to the heritable traits of an organism achieved by intentional manipulation” (Premanandh 37). Though when using the designation genetically modified in reference to food, it commonly refers to the transgenic modification of the organism’s genome in a laboratory for the purpose of enhancing desirable traits. These desirable traits can be increased resistance to pesticides and herbicides, improved growth under drought conditions, improved nutritional contents, and pest resistance. The first GMOs were developed for the industrial production of medicinal products in the late 1980s (Premanandh 37). By 1996 the first GMOs were grown for public consumption and today GM corn, cotton, oilseed rape (canola), and soybeans are widely available to consumers in the United States (Federici 519).
These conflicting viewpoints attribute to their children being part of the first generation of genetically modified kids, and the genetically modified foods were introduced into the food industry of the United States (Hillstrom). As the controversy continues, more studies have been conducted since the beginning of genetically modified foods showing the effects of these products. GM foods have negative or harmful effects on humans and animals as well as threaten the environment and farms. When GM products are consumed, humans and animals are at risk for many health problems. In addition to the concerns of people and animal’s well-being, the environment and farms are heavily influenced by the genetically modified foods.