Genetically Modified Food

By: Alexa DiPietro

What is it?

A genetically modified food is an organism in which DNA is altered in an unnatural way. A gene is extracted from one organism and placed into a food that will help mutate the food in a beneficial way.

Usage

GMOs are commonly used in many processed foods. This is because staple crops; corn and soybean, are in almost all foods and are modified. According to studies, 85% of corn and soybean are modified. The base of most if not all boxed or processed foods you can find at the supermarket, is corn or soybean. Common examples of genetically modified foods are any corn product, soybeans, canola oil, alfalfa, and sugar beets

Benefits of GMOs

GMOs created a sustainable way to feed the world. They provide foods with longer shelf lives, meaning the food won't go bad as quick as the non GMO version. It also gives food better flavor and nutritional value. Farmers benefit from them too. Crops are now more resistant to weeds, allowing them to use less pesticides on the crops, saving them money. As example, GMOs allow apples to stay fresh longer and not brown, giving off two benefits; the apples will look more appealing to consumers, benefiting the stores, and less food will go to waste in households.

Risks of GMOs

Many critics argue that GMOs cause many problems to us humans. The genes that are put into foods come from all different organisms, such as bacteria and viruses. this can lead to allergic reactions because no one will know what exact gene was put into the food you are consuming.

Affects on Organisms

GMOs affect organisms physically. For humans, the digestive system can potentially be messed up big time. The human body is unable to tell the difference between GMO food and natural food. According to studies, the DNA from the plant in the modified food goes straight to the gut and reproduces uncontrollably; putting extra bacteria in your track. Humans are not the only organisms affected. Roundup, a chemical, is found in many waterways, soils, and other environmental places. it's a very dangerous chemical that can effect any organism living in bodies of water, or plants growing in soils.

Economic Affect

GMOs have a mixed effect on economics. In some cases, prices will be higher, and in some lower. Increased modified foods are usually organic and grown local, causing the price to be more than usual. Lower priced modified foods are not organic and are made in a mass production, decreasing the value. It all depends what the farmer sells their crops for. The government is trying to control that aspect but has not been able to put patents on prices yet.

Environmental Affect

Humans are not the only thing affected by genetically modified foods. The environment is at risk. If wild animals get a hold of any of the genetically modified crops, it could shock their bodies, and potentially die from it. This would be because they arent used to this kind of food. Also, there will be an increased use of chemicals in agriculture. This will kill any bugs near by the fields. Wild animals and insects are in danger from GMOs if they get near the foods.

Social World Affect

Genetically modified foods have greatly affected the social aspect in the world, being both positive and negative. The biggest debate is there is no law that companies have to label foods containing GMOs. People dont feel comfotable about this, because they dont really know what there eating. Basically, if you see something not labeled GMO free, then it probably contains GMOs, but a consumer would never actually know. That is why the people are protesting to make laws on labeling GMO foods. The only positive argument is GMOs provide food with more beneficial nutrients, but most fail to recognize this beacause of all the bad things GMOs can do to the body.

Future Affect

There is noproper predicition as to how genetically modified foods will affect the future. This is because scientist do not know the lasting effects of GMOs becuase they have only been around since 1996, and we wont find out until it is the future. In reality, all we as people can do is to wait and see if this unfolds as a disaster, or ends up to benefit us.