The Potential Risks Of Genetically Modified Organisms Essay

The Potential Risks Of Genetically Modified Organisms Essay

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I will be examining the potential risks of Genetically Modified (GM) foods on human health and the environment, as well as addressing current issues that pertain to GM foods such as the controversy over safety testing and labeling. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are organisms, such as food crops that have altered genetic material through artificial insertion of genes from bacteria, viruses, and other animals (Environmental Commons). By manipulating the DNA of common food crops, engineers can make the crops have larger yields, produce their own insecticide, and be resistant to herbicides, such as Roundup, that are able to kill other natural- growing plants (Natural Health).
GM foods were first introduced in the United States in the mid-1990s, but have been available commercially since 1994 when the Calgene, a company in California, introduced the FlavrSavr tomato. The FlavrSavr tomato was the first genetically modified crop brought to the market, but was removed when Monsanto bought the company. The tomato was shelved due to
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controversy over Monsanto refusing to label it as GM (The New York Times). In spite of this, genetic modification has become widespread in the United States with 93 percent of soybeans, and 88 percent of corn being genetically altered (Better Nutrition). The United States is one of the largest producers of GM products, with 70 percent of foods in grocery stores containing byproducts of GMOs (Natural Health).
Genetic engineering in food is a new science; therefore the health risks are still unknown. This causes concern because high amounts of food sold in stores contain GMO ingredients, but are being regulated inadequately by the FDA, EPA and the USDA due to these agencies considering genet...


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... of what actually takes place in the lab when making the food and if it’s actually necessary to be concerned about GMOs.
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What are the issues surrounding GM food safety testing and labeling and do these foods have potential risks to human health and the environment?
I will be visiting the FDA, EPA, and USDA websites to gain information about their policies and views on GM foods, as well as other websites that favor and don’t favor GMOs in order to gain a balance. Also I will be looking at variety of newspaper articles, especially from The New York Times, magazines such as the Better Nutrition, and the library database to find journals that can explain the different types of chemicals used in genetic engineering and their possible effects on human health and the environment. I will also try to find reliable documentaries available about GMOs.

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