Taking a Look at Genetically Modified Organisms

1564 Words7 Pages
November 6, 2013: “Voters Reject Labels for Genetically Engineered Food in Washington State Today” - The New York Times. June 4, 2013: “Monsanto Sued Over Genetically Modified Wheat” - USA Today. November 4, 2013: “Washington Voters Weigh The Ethics of Genetically Modified Foods” - The Washington Post. If you read the paper or watch the news, you’re undoubtedly aware of the debate raging over genetically modified food. Is it bad or is it good? Between the feuding sides, you might find yourself a little lost and wondering which side is right. Answers to seemingly simple questions have been blurred or exaggerated by both sides. On one side genetically modified food is more sustainable, safe, cheaper, easier to grow and has the potential of creating disease-fighting foods. Although this is positive and good intentioned, there may be unintended consequences that we have been quick to overlook. Those opposing genetically modified food clam that it is dangerous, harms the environment, increases health risks, and causes infertility and weight gain. Even things like the declining bee population may have closer ties to modified food than previously thought. We must look to science for answers. By studying genetically modified organisms (GMOs) we can guide our decision about whether we want to be consuming them. GMOs are created by inserting DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals into a "target species" to create desirable traits. Most food today is modified to be resilient against pesticides and/or herbicides like Roundup. The first and only genetically modified food approved by the FDA for human consumption was the Flavr Savr tomato, which was slipped on grocery store shelves in 1994. Scientists at Calgene Inc. altered... ... middle of paper ... ...’re eating. Whether we should embrace or reject GMOs is a debate that will very likely always be two sided. Their will always be companies that benefit from GMO production, and even if products are labeled people will undoubtedly still eat them. Whether you are for or against GMOs, it’s our right as consumers to know what we’re buying. People have the right to reject being GMO guinea pigs. Jeffery Smith, executive director from The Institute for Responsible Technology and author of Seeds of Deception said, “We think the single most common result of genetic engineering is surprise side effects. Therefore we say it’s not responsible to feed the products of this infant science to the entire population or release them into the environment where they can never be recalled. Someday, we may be able to safely and predictably manipulate the DNA but it’s not today.”
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