The Benefits and Risks of Genetically Modified Foods

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INTRODUCTION This report explains genetically modified food (GMOs) and discusses the benefits and risks associated with the consumptions of GMOs. Genetically modified foods (GMOs) are foods that have been genetically altered using engineering techniques. The most common technique used today is called recombinant DNA technology; this technology combines different molecules from different plant species to create a plant with a new set of genes, a hybrid plant. Another recombinant DNA technology being used is recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) an artificial growth hormone; this hormone is being fed or injected into cows to improve milk production. (ThefreeDictionary) PURPOSE OF GMOs Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are a cause of continuous debate. What would be the purpose of producing genetically altered food? Many argue that GMOs could prove to be very beneficial, the use of GMOs could lead to advances in medicine, and agriculture, and they could also prevent famine in poor underdeveloped countries. Genetic modification offers many benefits: pest control, disease resistant crops, drought resistant crops, no use of insecticides, nutritional beneficial foods, and less contamination. This is only a short list of the many benefits offered by the used of GMOs. With so many benefits why are we opposed to such a miracle? (NERC 2005) ARE GMOs SAFE? As I have said before, hoping not to sound too redundant, everything in life has its benefits and its drawbacks; I don’t expect GMOs to be any different. Recombinant DNA technology has presently only been used on a handful of plant, these plants include: corn, cotton, canola and soy. However, these plants are the bases of almost all the food consumed in the US, derivatives ... ... middle of paper ... ...and to resist disease and pest include but are not limited to: tomatoes, potatoes, papaya, peas, and squash. (NERC 2005) CONCLUSION 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)
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