GMO/GMF- Are They Worth It?

Gabby Gracia

What GMOs Actually Are:

The term, "GMO" stands for "genetically modified organism", which is an organism whose DNA has been genetically altered by genetic engineering so that its DNA contains one or more genes that are not normally found there. Ex. Arctic fish genes being genetically placed in produce to prevent them from freezing and dying in the colder months, therefore increasing their harvest season.

Benefits of GMOs/GMFs

-plants are becoming more resistant to weeds, pests, and diseases

-edible vaccinations. Plants can be modified to hold an immunization to diseases like cholera and aids, and when ingested by humans can provide the same effects as a shot at the doctor would

-foods containing more of certain nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals that certain areas in the world are difficient of and severely lacking. Vitamin A has been put in certain food products in hopes that when countries with citizens who have vitamin deficiencies eat the food, they will become healthier and have less of a deficiency.

Harmful Effects of GMOs and GMFs

-allergies to the chemicals being used in the food products, which the consumer is unaware of and then thinks they are allergic to that specific food, when really it's an allergy to what's been modified inside it

-exotic genes implanted in plants have to potential to produce toxins that are harmful to humans, rather than their normal genes that produce a balanced amount of toxins that do not have a harmful effect on humans due the amount of toxins produced is much lower.

-seeds or pollen from genetically modified plants can/are/will continue to spread to nearby fields and other crops where their modified genes are integrating themselves into wild plants, which wild animals that are not supposed to be eating those specific modified versions actually are. The modified plants are becoming a natural occurrence in the wild as opposed to strictly being plants of human consumption.

What I Think

Personally, I think any food product with an ingredient that has been genetically modified should be required to have a decently sized label on it stating that that product contains a GMO of some sort, and on the back of the package there needs to be a list of what exactly in it was modified and how. Some people are okay with eating genetically modified food products but may have an allergy to something specific, or they are a vegetarian and don't feel comfortable eating genes in a plant that may have actually been from an animal. Although I would love for all genetically modified food to completely stop being produced, and continue on with organically grown, non GMO, 100% SAFE food products, it's sadly not very realistic in the world of technology we live in today. Bottom line, I strongly believe that GMOs and GMFs should simply be non-existent, but the second best thing would to be to do everything in human power to contain the genetically modified crops to the land they are specifically grown in, in hopes that other organic crops and wild animals are not "infected" with them. Also, a fairly large label should be required on everything specifying exactly if it contains any GMOs, pesticides, and if not, how organic it is. (And quite frankly, to go along with the labels, there should be labels for how cruelty free food products are too, because dairy farms, egg farms, pig pens, chicken cages, ect. are absolutely horrible and should be as actively discussed as the GMO/GMF dilemma is.)

Works Cited:

Batalion, Nathan, Nd. “50 Harmful Effects of Genetically Modified (GM) Foods.” Raw Wisdom. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015. <http://www.raw-wisdom.com/50harmful.>.

Edwards, Terrell, et al. “Benefits of GM Food.” Genetically Modified Food. UC Santa Cruz, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015. <https://classes.soe.ucsc.edu/cmpe080e/Spring05/projects/gmo/benefits.htm>.