The Risks of Genetically Modified Organisms

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What are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)? A Genetically Modified Organism is an organism that has had its genetic material changed through the insertion of a foreign gene into it. Although GMOs have only been in use in the past twenty years, they constitute the majority of the American food supply. What is even more shocking is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently does not require safety testing for GMOs. In 1992, according to Mae-Wan Ho, director of the Institute of Science in Society and Science Advisor to the Third World Network, and Lim Li Ching, a researcher at the Institute of Science in Society and the deputy-editor of Science in Society magazine, the FDA decided that safety assessments for GMOs were unnecessary because they are an extension of conventional breeding (18). Instead there is a voluntary consultation process that the company producing a GMO can go through if they wish. Essentially, this means that the FDA has to show that there is something wrong with the GMO rather than the company proving that the GMO is safe before it can begin selling its product on the market. Genetically Modified Organisms present a possible health risk to people, have a potentially adverse effect on the environment, and their effects are not fully understood; therefore they should be put under strict regulation, testing, and supervision. Genetically Modified Organisms have been shown to pose a health risk by being able to cause potential allergic reactions and also running the risk of toxically affecting the organs and systems of the human body. Jonathon Bernstein is an Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati in the Department of Internal Medicine, Immunology, and Allergy. He explores the potential al... ... middle of paper ... ... Benefits and Risks.” Fish & Fisheries 1.2 (June 2000): 146-72. EBSCOhost. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. Neuman, William, and Andrew Pollack. “Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds.” New York Times. New York Times, 3 May 2010. Web. 11 Dec. 2013 Pilson, Diana, and Holly R. Prendeville. “Ecological Effects of Transgenic Crops and the Escape of Transgenes Into Wild Populations.” Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics Vol. 35. Palo Alto: Annual Reviews, 2004: 149-74. JSTOR. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. Snow, A. A., et al. “Genetically Engineered Organisms and the Environment: Current Status and Recommendations.” Ecological Applications 15.2. Ithaca: Ecological Society of America, 2005: 377-404. JSTOR. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. Thomson, Jennifer A. GM Crops: The Impact and Potential. Collingwood: CSIRO, 2006. EBSCOhost. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.
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