In the U.S., GM foods have received little public opposition; this is largely due to the fact that food manufacturers are not required to label their products as containing genetically modified ingredients for fear of confusing consumers. Due to the lack of evidence that genetically altered foods are harmful, the Food and Drug Administration considers GM foods to be “generally regarded as safe” (known as GRAS) and no special labeling is required (Falkner 103). In the U.S., genetically modified crops are monitored by t...
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.
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.
A non-GMO label doesn’t necessarily mean “healthy”. White sugar, flour, and processed ingredients if not genetically modified are considered non GMO. Recently Cheerios made their ingredients GMO free. This label made Cheerios seems as a “healthy conscience choice” when in fact they are not healthy at all. The truth is that this breakfast cereal is highly processed and is best to be avoided despite the “healthy halo” of being approved by the National Heart Association and GMO free. The truth appears on the nutrition label and the ingredients (Wartman). “If you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it” The voluntary labeling places a burden on the consumer. The average Americans are forced to navigate confusing and cluttered food landscape” (Wartman). A mandatory labeling law is vital to give clear and concise information to citizens.
According to the Department of Agriculture, cotton, corn and soybeans are the most common GM crops in the U.S. In 2012, GM cotton accounted for 94 percent of all cotton planted, GM soybeans accounted for 93 percent of soybeans planted, and GM corn accounted for 88 percent of corn planted (add in text citation). This suggests that a large percentage of processed foods sold by supermarkets in the U.S. contain some ingredients derived from GM crops, primarily corn, soy, and canola. Yet, most Americans may not know that the products they consume contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Genetically Modified Food under Reasonable Government Regulation, is necessary for the continued and further success of the food supply chain.
A very valid point brought up by Clause (Say ‘no’), Hemphill, and Banerjee (both G.M.O. and the U.S.), is that consumers already have an easy and effective option to steer clear from GMOs: buying organic products. Through Hemphill’s and Banerjee’s article, we are informed that United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) “presently offers an organic certification for crops and processed food products, which by definition prohibits the use of GMO ingredients” (Page 455-466). This is certainly a label that has the ability to help concerned customers know exactly what they are eating. The co-authors call this solution the “Voluntary Labeling Strategy.” There is, however, one issue with this: not all products that don't contain GMOs qualify as organic. The resolution lies in an upcoming proposal from the U.S. Food and Drug administration (FDA). It's called “Voluntary Guidelines” and it allows, but doesn't force, GMO-free products to display a label of their own. I believe that this is a much smarter option than labeling every item containing GMOs because it is not binding by law, which would provide consumers with all of the benefits they need to choose the right foods for their preferences, while saving on all of the unnecessary extra costs discussed
Until the government creates mandates for issuing labels on foods that contain genetically modified ingredients, there are measures that can be taken by common citizens and supporters of GMO labeling in order to keep Americans safe in the meantime. Since “study after study points to potential health risks” (“Whole Foods Market”), supporters need to raise awareness amongst the rest of society in order to generate a large group that can begin to press the government to create a law to handle the issue. It is in “the state’s interest [to] protect consumers from false or potentially misleading communication or prevent consumers from suffering unwitting harms” (Adler). Moreover, the government must be the one to put an official end to the lack of
To sum up, GMO’s are genetically modified organism, this means they are “Frankenfood.” Many people do not consume GMO’s because scientist do not know for sure that GMO’s are safe to eat. Even restaurants believe that GMO’s are bad, so they do not serve them. GMO’s should be labeled on all foods because it is good knowledge to know what one is
Many food companies refrain from labeling because consumers have expressed distaste for GM products and state that they would not buy such products, even if they are already buying them now, unlabeled (ABC News). This opinion puts producers in a bind because by giving the consumer what they want, the company could lose profit. This is not a valid reason to forgo labeling; instead companies should make the buyer feel safe buying a GM product that IS labeled. Also, scientists along with the FDA publicize that labeling is not necessary because there is no evidence of genetic engineering changing food’s quality, safety, “or any other attribute.” (ABC News) Yet cigarettes and other tobacco products have been identified as containing tobacco even before any research had been done on the health
GMO labeling is important because there is uncertainty in the safety of GMOs, which indicates a need for long term monitoring, therefore labels are needed to facilitate monitoring by the scientific community and diagnosis by healthcare professionals. The point being made here is that, while the technology of GMO appears to be safe and has been in use commercially for nearly 20 years, it is nonetheless prudent to watch for problems (Dahl). In their scholarly article titled “’Does Contain’ vs. ‘Does Not Contain’; Does it Matter which GMO Label is Used?”, John Crespi and Stephan Marette quote statistics showing that “…21% of Americans feel that GM foods pose ‘serious safety risks’…”, and that the percentages for European nations range from 30%
As heated debates continue about the labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms, little does the general US population know that they eat GMOs every day. Over thirty thousand different products on grocery store shelves are GMOs, including daily products such as milk, corn, and soy (Chien). While the illustration of a butterfly sitting on a blade of grass shaped like a check mark could subconsciously reassure people that a genetically modified food product is "safe," such labeling is not needed as GMOs are not only healthy to eat and economically advantageous, rather they may be a sustainable solution to world hunger.
GMOs are genetically modified organisms. To make a GMO we take one piece of DNA from one species and move it to another. In the past we use selective breeding which took a long time to get the product we wanted where as GMOs don't take very long at all. We should not be messing around with the nature by using GMOs because GMOs can have some health problems, Environmental damage, and some GM animals are in terrible condition.
Scientists have been changing genomes of plants and animals by integrating new genes from a different species through genetic engineering, creating a genetically modified organism (GMO). Consumers in America have been eating GMOs since 1996, when they went on the market. There are benefits to genetically modifying crop plants, as it improves the crop quality and increases yield, affecting the economy and developing countries. But there are also negative effects from GMOs. Consumption of GMOs has various health effects on both body systems of animals and humans. GMOs also affect the environment, ecosystems and other animal species. The cons outweigh the pros in the case of GMOs.
The labeling of food made with genetically modified plants and produced from animals fed with genially modified food is completely voluntary. So basically the American consumer has no way to make informed choices. If by any chance any of these products cause adverse side effects in the future Americans are completely at the mercy of the retailers. The public has no way to make informed decisions of whether they want to eat genetically modified food or not. Upon further research I found out that there are over 40 plants varieties that have completed the federal requirement for commercialization. These approvals include foods with drugs in them, fish, fruits and nuts that mature faster, and plants that produce plastics. (NERC 2005)
“Genetically modified foods are a "Pandora's box" of known and unknown risks to humans and the environment. They have been forced onto the American public by multinational biotech and agribusiness corporations without adequate oversight and regulation by the United States government (Driscoll, SallyMorley, David C).”Genetically Modified Food is food which has been chemically altered by scientists during the production process to give the food more nutrients, better appearance, and a longer shelf-life (Rich, Alex K.Warhol, Tom). The importance of this issue is that these GMO’s can actually have a negative effect in our society in general. It could mutate in a negative way and cause cancer or other diseases. Genetically modified food should be strictly controlled due to its various detrimental effects on the environment, human health, and potentially insect/animal effects.