What Are GMO's and How Are They Affecting Consumers?

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The use of genetically modified organisms in food production has come to be a subject that seemingly everyone knows about. The unfortunate truth is that while the topic itself is a popular one, very few people appear to be truly educated on what genetically modified organisms are, or how the use of them in food production is affecting consumers. This issue is often pushed to the side because its consequences are not as obvious or immediate as other modern-day issues. However, education and alternatives regarding genetically modified organisms in food products are crucial to the health of consumers everywhere. In the following sections, I will discuss what a genetically modified organism is, some general viewpoints on the subject, how the use of these in food affects agriculture and consumer health, try to explain why so much of the information on these organisms has not been publicized, and then propose an idea to aid in the solution of this problem. The most obvious question to address first is “what is a genetically modified organism?” According to S.J. Khan and fellow authors of “Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs): Food Security or Threat to Food Safety”, a “genetically modified organism (GMO) is a living organism (bacteria, plant, animal) whose genetic composition has been altered by means of gene technology” (Khan 6). Taking pieces of DNA from things like viruses or bacteria, and inserting them into the genome of the organism that they want to modify create these organisms. The use of genetically modified material in food production is a relatively new concept; the first successful product of genetic engineering was reported in 1983, which caused the research and development of these organisms to expand drastically. In 1... ... middle of paper ... ... of resources, I think that a good way to aid in the overall solution of this problem is to educate those most affected by the problem, and show them a do-able way to resist it. Typically, the people that are most affected by food-related health problems are those in socio-economically deprived areas who make very little income, because the foods that contain these “ingredients” are available at a lower cost. I have first hand experience with this because my hometown is one of those places. Something I believe that could help is to team up with a local county’s agricultural extension agents and educate the general population, not only on the dangers of these types of foods, but also on how to successfully grow some of their own fruits and vegetables, and show them options of places to buy fresh meat and produce that is not as expensive as the organic food available.
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