GMOs are BIG NO-NOs!

The Negatives and Potential Threats to GMOs by Mayuri Raja

Health Threats

  • may unintentionally introduce new allergens
  • bacteria in our bodies could pick up antibiotic resistance genes found in GMOs, which could strengthen the medicine-resisting bacteria that are increasing in numbers

Farmers' Threats

  • patenting genetically modified crops could trap small farms into working for big firms
  • big firms that patent GMOs can sue small farms and ruin them
  • GMOs too expensive for poor farmers, widen gap between rich and poor
  • could allow all crops to be grown everywhere, which would ruin farms in parts of the world that only receive income off of exporting one or two crops to places that traditionally could not grow those crops
  • could destroy small farms that grow varieties of plants, thereby reducing insurance against drought, disease, or insects
  • could increase small farms' reliance on such crops to the point that pests that can resist the crops damage the farms significantly

Environmental Threats

  • uncontrolled experiment with unknown consequences for ecosystems (such as DDT, PCBs)
  • could harm other wildlife (such as monarch butterflies)
  • might bring about insects that are resistant to genetically modified plants' pesticides
  • could produce a new species of weeds that resists herbicides of GMOs
  • GMOs themselves could become weeds
  • plant viruses could snag genes from GMOs and use them to hurt other plants

Natural Threats

  • natural evolution and genetic changes take millions of years-- unnatural for it to take a day by human hands
  • mixing genes is unnatural, "playing God"
  • immoral, violates human-nature relationship and religious beliefs

Population Threats

  • biotech companies want to secure patents and reap profits of GMOs
  • over-promote benefits of GMOs and underestimate the hazards
  • not concentrating research on crops that can help poor countries but in high-volume crops
  • power to produce and distribute food might eventually be only in hands of these biotech firms

Safety Risks

  • too lax in scrutiny of GMOs
  • FDA states that GMOs are not subject to FDA regulations, regulated less than food additives
  • GMOs do not have to be labeled in the U.S., so consumers do not know what they are eating