Should people be worried about genetically engineered/ modified food? Many people are starting to question what it is exactly that they are eating and how it could possibly harm them. Specifically, the harm that could befall them from GM food. A genetically modified organism is something that received one or more genes from another organism. There are three arguments that the people worried about GM food put on the table; those arguments being: GM food should be labeled, GM foods are not safe to eat, and GM crops won’t end world hunger and feed the whole world.
So proponents argue that engineered food is an altogether under-experimented and risky product while opponents believe it to be completely safe and the future of the food market. It is unnecessary to label genetically engineered food because there is no solid proof that it is different. As of now, the US Food and Drug administration is debating on whether or not to let genetically modified salmon made by a biotech company in Massachusetts be marketed. Many consumers are demanding that if it be approved it must be labelled.
However, scientific studies show how there is no noticeable difference between the genetically engineered salmon and the wild salmon, yet labelling it may imply otherwise to the consumers, therefore it would only scare away buyers. “The FDA’s own rules say that once it is determined that a genetically modified food is not ‘ materially significant’ from naturally derived products, there is no reason to label it differently. Products from genetically modified crops long permitted, do not carry special labels, nor does milk from cows given a growth hormone to produce more milk. The FDA has announced that if they do authorize it to be marketed, it is only because they deemed it safe to eat and unharmful to the environment based on strong evidence and studies. Whether or not to label it though has not been decided. So while labeling it may seem only natural to some, it really has no significant purpose other than to lower the potential sales. If the Law is being followed then there should be no problem in the first place (“Labels for Genetically Engineered Foods Are Not Necessary’). It is the right of the consumer to know what they are being fed.
It is believed that genetically engineered food can lower our bodies ability to fight disease. An example is MRSA, a mutated organism that can’t be killed by most antibiotics. In 2005 the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 18,650 deaths associated with MRSA, however, in more recent years over 90,000 Americans die a year. Another reason it needs to be labeled is because it can take many years before the health risks are noticed. An example of this is Dichloro-DiphenylTrichloroethane, DDT, where it took the government nearly 60 years to notice the dangers of it and ban it from being used.
It is out of fear of something like this occurring again that “According to a 2001 US Food and Drug Administration report, virtually all participants surveyed in a focus group want GM foods to be labeled. ” Labeling GM food is only natural, especially since it is the consumer’s right to know what they are being fed (“Genetically Engineered Foods Should Be Labeled“). Genetically modified foods are safe to eat. Again, a genetically modified organism is something that received one or more genes from another organism.
Often this is done so that the organism will grow faster, resist certain insects, or even withstand undesirable weather conditions. The people that tell whether the genetically modified food is safe to eat or not are independent scientists or the companies that develop the food itself. “… seeds with GM traits have been tested more than any other crops in the history of agriculture… “. There are even a few benefits to genetically modified foods. Not only are some GM foods more nutritious, but they even make the yields easier to manage for the farmer himself.
So if a scientist himself is stating how GM foods are safe to eat, then a person with no degree in biology, or any science for that matter, shouldn’t get so uppity about something. They’re being no different from a toddler arguing politics with the President of the USA (“Genetically Modified Foods Are Safe to Eat”). GM foods are not safe because there hasn’t been enough research to prove so. There is a man named Thierry Vrain who worked as a biotech research scientist. One of his jobs was to assure people that genetically engineered food was safe. However, Vrain quit his job and now publicly speaks against genetically modified foods.
Why the sudden change? Because it was revealed that the 70 year old hypothesis that genetic engineering is based on is wrong. The theory that genetic engineering was based on was how each gene codes for a single protein. However, even with this theory being proven wrong, people still speak out saying that they are safe. “… genetic engineering is based on an extremely oversimplified model that suggests that by taking out or adding one or several genes, you can create a particular effect or result. But this premise, which GMO expert Dr. Philip Bereano calls ‘the Lego model,’ is not correct. . The worst part is that we were warned. The American Academy for Environmental Medicine in 2009 stated how tests with animals that were fed GE food were catastrophic. Those said animals showed immune system issues, changes in major organs, and even infertility. Another thing, the scientist that, on record, announces whether the GM food is safe to eat or not is often the scientist that works for the company making that GM food. This means that he could possibly be lying or just plainly be biased towards his workplace (“Genetically Modified Foods Are Not Safe to Eat”).
GM food is necessary in order to end world hunger and feed the entire population of earth in the future. The population of the entire world is expected to grow to a staggering nine billion. To be able to feed all of the people in the future, GM foods are going to be a necessity. One of the goals of GM foods is that they make the best out of the least and most undesirable conditions; for example, being able to take dirty water out of a lake and use it to water a CM crop that is in dry and salty soil. However, because they are genetically modified, the government regulates them very strictly. A 2010 report recently published by the European Union on GMO safety research over the past 10 years concluded that GMO crops are not different from crops modified by other techniques. Yet GMO crops are the only ones regulated by governments. ” So even though they are said to be safe by certified scientists, the Government still decides to limit and regulate GM food very strictly. Why do they do this? To just look better in the public eye (“Genetically Engineered Foods Are Needed To Feed The World”). Genetically engineered foods aren’t going to help feed the world.
Some scientists believe that genetically modified crops will help feed the world. However, that isn’t the case. So far, genetically engineered crops haven’t made higher crop yields like they had intended. In fact, it has been proven that organic crops produce more yields than that of GM crops. Another reason they won’t help feed the world is drought. “And so far, the biotech industry has failed to develop high-yield or droughttolerant GE crops. ” Genetically engineered crops were meant to help feed the world by being able to withstand drought, yet scientists still do not fully understand how to make the GM crops able to do so.
What’s even more absurd is that genetically modified seeds for the crops are nearly twice the amount of regular seeds, forcing the farmers to pay a hefty amount. That, combined with the amount of pesticides the GM crops require due to their advanced resistance compared to organic food, leads to financial troubles. So while the whole GM food was based on good intentions like solving world hunger, it has thus far been unfavorable and hasn’t born any fruit (“Genetically Engineered Crops Will Not Feed The World”).
So in the end, proponents argue that engineered food is an under-experimented and risky product while opponents believe it to be safe and the end of world hunger. The arguments that were proposed include: GM food should be labeled, GM food isn’t researched enough, and GM food won’t end world hunger. Both sides make good points and good counter arguments, but in the end it is up to each individual to decide on whether GM food is worth it or not. All-in-all there will always be opposing viewpoints on a range of topics and issues in the world.