Robert M. Hutchins, known for his contributions to philosophy, said that, “A civilization in which there is not a continuous controversy about important issues is on the way to totalitarianism and death.” While I do not necessarily agree with the former, or the latter, for that matter (no rhyme intended), it is imperative for us, as people, regardless of nationality, to ask questions. On the topic of important issues are genetically modified foods. The specific tangent on genetically modified foods is the question of whether or not genetically modified foods should have mandatory labeling. Instead of being a staunch absolutist and deciding so hastily on the matter of GMOs, the merits and drawbacks of this issue need to be discussed.
In recent discussions of health and wellness, the topic of genetically modified organisms in food has become very prevalent. A genetically modified organism or GMO is any living thing that has had its genes microscopically modified to pick up a trait it would originally lack. Almost every American has heard the term “GMO” however many do not know what they are and what benefits they hold. Thousands of people are beginning to eat “organic” foods free from GMOs because they believe the modifications to the food will cause health complications for those who consume them. On the other hand, the majority of Americans eat some kind of GMO in just about every meal. Research shows they are found in 80% of all processed foods in America today (Scipioni).
Food is an essential part of everyday life without it one could not survive. Every day we make choices on what we put in to our bodies. There are countless varieties of food to choose from to meet the diverse tastes of the increasing population. Almost all food requires a label explaining the ingredients and the nutritional value allowing consumers to make informed decisions on what they are consuming. However, many may not be considering where that food is coming from or how it has been produced. Unfortunately, there is more to food than meets the eye. Since 1992, “ the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruled, based on woefully limited data, that genetically modified foods were ‘substantially equivalent’ to their non-GM counterparts” (Why to Support Labeling). GM food advocates have promised to create more nutritious food that will be able to grow in harsh climate conditions and eventually put an end to world hunger in anticipation of the growing population. There is very little evidence to support these claims and study after study has proven just the opposite. GM crops are not only unsafe to consume, but their growing practices are harmful to the environment, and multinational corporations are putting farmers out of business.
Did you know, the “‘Monsanto Protection Act’ effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning GMOs in the future” (“5 Appalling Facts”)? Genetic engineering allows genetic material to be transferred between any organism, including between plants and animals. Genetically modified foods have been in existence since the early 1990s and they are not going away any time soon. In the European Union, “Member States may provisionally restrict or prohibit the use and/or sale of the GM product on its territory.” However, the Member State must have a justifiable reason to consider that the GMO in question poses a risk to human health or the environment (Health and Consumers). I believe that genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are not only bad for the global economy, but a threat to the safety and integrity of the global food supply, therefore, I propose that legislation should be passed requiring corporations to label foods that contain GMO’s because people deserve the right to know what they are consuming.
There is a battle raging across the United States between consumers who purchase genetically modified foods and the companies that processes these foods through genetic modification. Consumers are demanding that all genetically modified foods are labeled so that they will have information about what ingredients are in these foods. The companies who sell genetically modified foods do not want to label them and are making claims that labeling these foods would raise food prices, hurt farmers, and cause genetically modified foods to gain the reputation of being harmful to humans. Consumers should ignore the claims by companies responsible for producing genetically modified foods and be unrelenting in their insistence that all genetically modified foods are labeled. They should further demand that genetically modified foods have labels that are not written in biotech language, but in terms simple enough that an elementary school age child could read and understand.
How well do we know the food we are eating? Ever wondered whether these foods are safe? In the recent years, people have become more aware of how genetically modified foods have substituted our diets with altered foods -- to which little we know about the long term effects on humans. These food being fed to us is called Genetic Modified Organism or GMOs. Just in 2012, prop 37 was proposed in California, which would have required labeling of genetically engineered (GE) food, with some exceptions. Although this prop did not pass, it did however raise the awareness. When one thinks about GMOs, it does not seem like a hot issue, but it still deserves some attention because it has to do with people’s health and people deserve to know what they are eating. Consequently, the Government should regulate GMOs by requiring labeling of such foods.
Ever since their entrance onto the consumer market in the last two decades of the twentieth century, genetically modified organisms (often referred to as GMOs) have been getting mixed reviews from the public. Genetically modified consumer products (primarily food) have pushed the barriers of some people's comfort levels. Born out of either a lack of knowledge or a sincere concern for public health or the environment, a consumer rights movement has been planted around the world pushing for labeling of genetically modified food products. This movement has matured in many places to a degree where interest groups have successfully lobbied governments into adopting criteria for labeling transgenic food products. In other parts of the world strong agriculture interests have clashed with the aforementioned movements. A simple label on a can of beans would seem to easily solve this problem; however, governments have found that GMO product labeling is more complex than that. Considerations such as costs, international markets and cultures must also be taken into consideration, not to mention the public's perception and their level of trust in this relatively new product.
A recent upsurge of opposition to the production of genetically modified crops has farmers all over America asking themselves one question: To modify or not to modify? Genetically modified (GM) crops allow farmers to use fewer pesticides while still achieving the same yields. American farmers have planted GM crops since 1995 and, at least for the first few years, had no problems selling these products to the public. Recently, however, there has been a movement by several activist groups, some of which have the support of accredited scientists, to make a distinction on grocery store shelves between GM foods and those that were produced normally. This process, called labeling, strikes fear in the hearts of most farmers who are afraid that an uninformed American public will steer clear of the GM crops “just to be on the safe side.” The fact of the matter is that Americans have been eating these altered crops since 1995 and no one has been harmed. This simple albeit somehow debatable fact did not stop one interest group from taking out several full-page ads in the New York Times warning of the dangers of these newfangled foods (Isserman, 2001). This, like many technological advances has met much resistance, but it will ultimately be accepted and change the face of agriculture.
The issue of genetically modified food affects every one regardless of age, race or geographical location. You are what you eat. What a person puts into his or her body essentially impacts their health as a whole. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are found in almost every food except for whole, organic foods labeled as GMO free. Genetically altered foods have benefits and disadvantages. The choice of being an opponent or a proponent to genetically enhanced foods is ultimately up to the consumer. Seed producing companies such as Monsanto have a monopoly over how our food is produced and what is acceptable and safe for human and animal consumption. The lack of labeling of foods that contain GMOs sparks controversy with people who believe they have a right to know exactly what they’re eating and if it is safe for their health. This is an issue that affects any person eating food so it is important for one to know the pros and cons of GMOs. I will highlight the supporting arguments for genetically modified food and in contrast I will describe the risks associated with GMO consumption.
Some people fear consuming genetically modified foods because they are not sure about what is inside of the product. According to Harmon and Pollack, people who are pro labeling believe they have the right to know if the produce they are buying was or not modified and if yes, what is inside of it. They also argue that genetically modified food “is fundamentally different from the selective breeding process” (1). – According to The Hutchi...