Labels on GMFs

By Ahjeetha Shankar 6A

What is a GMF?

Before GMFs are studied in depth, what are they exactly? Well, GMFs (which stand for Genetically Modified Foods) are foods that are produced from organisms that have had their genes engineered to introduce traits that have not been created through natural selection.

Risks and Benefits of GMFs

Risks:


  • Modified foods may have genetic changes that are unexpected and harmful. For example, some humans may become poisonous to humans due to the introducing of new genes to the food.
  • The new modified food plants may interbreed with the natural food plants and out-compete them, leading to extinction of the original, naturally grown food plant or to other unpredictable environmental effects.
  • Pests can become resistant to the genes in the GMFs so that they no longer die. This results in farmers spraying more pesticide on food that is already genetically engineered which is not what consumers want to eat.
  • GMFs can cause allergic reactions. If you have a peanut allergy, for example, what if a scientist puts peanut genes in a bell pepper to improve it. How would you know even know that it's there and to avoid it?
  • Eating GMFs can cause major health risks like infertility, immune system problems, accelerated aging, and organ changes, just to name a few.


Benefits:

  • More nutritious food
  • Tastier food
  • Disease- and drought-resistant plants that require fewer environmental resources (water, fertilizer, etc.)
  • Decreased use of pesticides
  • Increased supply of food with reduced cost and longer shelf life
  • Faster growing food
  • Food with more desirable traits, such as potatoes that absorb less fat when fried
  • Medicinal foods that could be used as vaccines or other medications


All these benefits are possible because different genes can be added to the food to suit all your different needs and purposes.

My Opinion on Labelling GMFs

In my opinion, GMFs need to be labelled. Yes, they can be more tasty and nutritious than organic food, but there are way too many risks. Some of these risks are infertility, organ changes, dangerous allergic reactions, and more occurring in humans and many more affecting the environment like pests becoming resistant to the genes in the genetically modified food. This can cause them to be able to easily eat other types of plants which greatly throws off the ecosystem. All we need to do is put a label on the foods that have been genetically modified, that's it. Almost all of the other countries like Europe do it and so should we. If we label all GMFs, then many people will be able to make better choices with what they are eating. If the GMFs are labelled and a person wants to eat it, then that should be their decision. Labelling GMFs will save lives from many things like anaphylaxis and not only will we be thankful, but our environment will be thankful as well, for these reasons.

Works Consulted

Heit, Jeffrey. “Genetically Engineered Foods.” MedlinePlus. ADAM, 2 Mar. 2015. Web. 10 Mar.


2015. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002432.htm>.


Kiger, Patrick J. “10 Misconceptions about GMOs.” howstuffworks. InfoSpace, 2015. Web. 10


Mar. 2015. <http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/genetic/10-misconceptions-


gmos.htm#page=4>.


PureHealthMD. “Genetically Modified Foods.” howstuffworks. InfoSpace, 2015. Web. 9 Mar.


2015. <http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/facts/genetically-


modified-foods.htm>.