The average American can consume up to 1,996 pounds of food in one year. The initial intent of GMOs was to increase crop yields to meet the demand for the ever growing population. GMO’s or (genetically modified organisms) are the results of an organism with the DNA of another organism. So it’s one organism with the DNA of another or many organisms. This does not occur naturally. GMOs are actually illegal in many countries, because they are not considered safe. GMO’s have done nothing but increase crop yields. Since being used they have caused some people to develop allergies and have allergic reactions to the foods they are used in because we have not labeled the foods with GMO’s.
One of the big debates going on right now is should Genetically Modified Organisms be labeled? A total of three states have passed a law to require GMOs to be labeled. Vermont, connecticut, and Maine were the first of the three states to pass a law requiring GMOs to be labeled. The reason GMOs should be labeled is because many people are allergic to them, and, if they are not labeled, then how can you tell. This could result in severe allergic reactions, some of which could result in death. There are many things that you can do such as scanning the product to find out if it is a GMO, but who wants to spend all evening in the store waiting on your phone to work, and reading to find out when the product could be labeled. Several countries such as China, Australia, and European Union require GMOs to be labeled, currently the united states does not require labeling. Some companies like Campbell’s, ConAgra, General Mills and many others have already started labeling their products according to Vermont’s law.Â According toÂ “The reason GMO food should be voluntarily labeled by the food industry is that it is clear some consumers want to know what they are eating and they have a right to know what is in their food.” -(What is GMO?) GMO’s should be labeled because we shouldn’t have to guess what is in our food. We should be able to read the label and know what is in the food we are eating.
Â Another big question is are GMO’s healthy for the environment? GMO’s are made with a bunch of chemicals, because they are suppose to be able to resist pests and weather, but when it rains and washes the chemicals off where do they go? They wash off into rivers and lakes and soak into the ground potentially damaging our water supply.. According to “Pros and Cons of Genetically Modified Foods”, “By growing plants or raising livestock in environmental conditions that normally wouldn’t support them, there is the potential of irrevocably damaging that environment. This is often seen through GMO crossbreeding.” So when experimenting with GMO’s such as cross breeding you basically create the need for more GMO’s because you contain the environment and only you can plant GMO’S there now.Â GMOs are unhealthy for the environment and don’t occur naturally in nature. The foods at high risk for having GMOs in them are, alfalfa, corn, cotton, papaya, soy, sugar beet, yellow summer squash / and zucchini. Glyphosate a chemical found in herbicides that are sprayed on GMOs, is a dangerous chemical that has been linked to a blood cancer, farmers who use these chemicals are at twice the risk. Imagine what these chemicals can do to us as consumers who eat them.
Are GMO’s even safe for human consumption? A common question usually asked. GMO’s can provoke an allergic reaction. According to “What Are GMOs? How Are They Affecting Us? [opinion].” “The mixing of different types of proteins in food create health hazards and allergic reactions for people eating the foods” (What Are GMOs? How Are They Affecting Us?). If we label the foods we would not have to worry about people having allergic reactions because they would not buy or eat the food. Kinda like products made with peanut oil or in a peanut factory we let them know that these foods are made there and have these ingredients. “Time and time again, studies have shown that the consumption of GMO foods increase the risks of food-based allergies in people.” -(Pros and Cons of Genetically Modified Foods). Not only could people be allergic to GMO’s but they could possibly develop an allergy to GMO’s.Â “If someone develops an allergy to soy because of GMO efforts, then if livestock eats that GMO soy as well, that person would have a high probability of an allergic reaction from eating the animal meat.”-(Pros and Cons of Genetically Modified Foods) So once people develop an allergy to something,Â and they eat something from an animal that consumed the same thing they are allergic to, they have a chance of having an allergic reaction to it. If we labeled the food with GMO’s people would not have to worry about having a allergic reaction, because they would not eat that item.
One last question is what is the long term effects of GMO’s on the environment. GMO’s can contaminate forever. “GMOs cross pollinate and their seeds can travel. It is impossible to fully clean up our contaminated gene pool. Self-propagating GMO pollution will outlast the effects of global warming and nuclear waste.”(10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs). Once you plant GMO’s on a piece of land you can not go and then plant a non GMO because it does not just go away the chemicals stay there.Â “The potential impact is huge, threatening the health of future generations. GMO contamination has also caused economic losses for organic and non-GMO farmers who often struggle to keep their crops pure.” (10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs). GMO seeds travel so not only is it affecting the environment it is affecting the farmers who are non GMO farmers. You can not fully clean up a contaminated gene pool meaning you can not clean this stuff up once it affects another farm.
If we would not use genetically modified organisms, we would not have to worry about people developing an allergic reaction or having one, we would not have to worry about contaminating the environment, or worrying about ruining other farms who are non GMO. There is no economic value for GMO’s. Therefore if we do use them they should be labeled.
Ewg. “Are GMOs Bad for the Environment?” EWG, Emily Cassidy , www.ewg.org/agmag/2016/03/are-gmos-bad-environment.
Smith, Jeffrey. “10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs.” Institute for Responsible Technology, Institute for Responsible Technology, 15 Jan. 2017, responsibletechnology.org/10-reasons-to-avoid-gmos/.
“What Are GMOs? How Are They Affecting Us?[opinion].” All Africa, 18 Aug. 2016. General OneFile, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=ITOF&sw=w&u=j020902&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA466325870&it=r&asid=aece6b4fa048ceb72e318aa7c76652a8. Accessed 7 Feb. 2017.
“What Is GMO?” The NonGMO Project, The NonGMO Project, www.nongmoproject.org/gmo-facts/what-is-gmo/.
Wpadmin. “Pros and Cons of Genetically Modified Foods.” HRFnd, HealthReseachFunding.org, 28 Feb. 2016, healthresearchfunding.org/pros-cons-genetically-modified-foods/.