How Are GMOs Becoming More Harmful?

Bailey Warren

What is it?

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals, or even humans (GMO Ed. - Institute for Responsible Tech.).

Are GMOs harming us currently, why and how?

Most likely, but slowly. The types of potential hazards posed by GMOs vary according to the type of organism being modified and its intended application. Yet the only types of products that have been approved for human consumption in the United States are GMOs. There are several types of potential health effects that could result from the insertion of a novel gene into an organism. One of those is antibiotic resistance, in recent years health professionals have become alarmed by the increasing number of bacterial strains that are showing resistance to antibiotics (GMO Harmful Effects). There is concern that bacteria living in the guts of humans and animals could pick up an antibiotic resistance gene from a GM plant before the DNA becomes completely digested (GMO Harmful Effects). Increased toxicity is another health effect concern, there is concern that inserting an exotic gene into a plant could cause it to produce toxins at higher levels that could be dangerous to humans (GMO Harmful Effects). A third health effect concern is food allergies, if the novel protein in a GM food comes from a source that is known to cause allergies in humans or a source that has never been consumed as human food, he concern that the protein could elicit an immune response in humans increases (GMO Harmful Effects). Also, decreased nutritional value is a health effect concern. Theoretically, a genetically modified plant could have lower nutritional quality than its normal counterpart. Inserting a gene could cause a plant to produce higher levels of phytate. Phytate is a compound that is common in seeds and grains.

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Genetically engineered corn seed coated in chemical pesticices (L) and conventional corn seed (R).

"Oregon Scientist at Forefront of GE Seed, Crop Debate." Oregon Scientist at Forefront of GE Seed Crop Debate / Public News Service. Public News Service, 10 Oct. 2014. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.

Are GMOs safe right now?

The only reason we’re not all dead is because GM foods are not the only thing that we eat. If 100% of all our food were genetically modified, then our overall health as a nation would be even worse than it already is (NaturalNews). The United States as a nation is in very poor health and GM foods are a main part of the problem. Rats mainly eat junk food and garbage and they survive off of that, but scientific tests and experiments have shown that when you feed rats a diet of GM foods they have a plethora of health problems. Rats that were fed a diet of GM soy and GM corn for 1-3 months ended up dead and unhealthy. That study, led by Dr. Oraby, showed a wide range of toxic effects. Like, DNA damage, abnormal sperm, blood change, and damage to the liver, kidneys, and testes. GM crops show no better news, they have shown to have poor disease resistance. GM crops engineered to contain BT toxins kill beneficial insects like bees, lacewings, swallowtails, and monarch butterflies. Also, glufosinate causes birth defects in mammals and has been linked to cancer. GMOs violate human rights and basic human dignity - the right to know and control what we put into our bodies is a basic and fundamental human right (NaturalNews).
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Above is the percentage of how much of each ingredient is genetically modified.

Frazier, Karen. "GMO Statistics." LoveToKnow. LoveToKnow Corp., 2006-2016. Web. 28 Apr. 2016.

Are GMOs supposed to be "better" than organic foods?

In 2003, Allison Byrum of the American Chemical Society reported that organic vegetables and fruit contain or antioxidants than food that is genetically engineered or treated with chemicals (Genetically Modified Food). The Organic Foods Production Act required the United States Department of Agriculture to set certain standards for food before it can be certified as organic. The act requires organic farmers and food processors to keep records of the fertilizers and other materials they use and their methods of storage, cleaning, and waste disposal. Organic food must be grown without pesticides, artificial fertilizers, and genetically modified material. Before food products can be labeled as organic they must contain 95% certified organic material, the other 5% must be natural substances that don’t occur in organic form, such as minerals. According to scientists at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom and the Danish Institute, rats fed organic foods are slimmer, sleep better, and have stronger immune systems that those fed conventionally grown produce (Genetically Modified Food). Groups of organic-food growers and advocates worldwide state that organic food is safer, more nutritious, better tasting than food made from crops treated with artificial chemicals or form genetically engineered plants (Genetically Modified Food). They also claim that organic foods can prevent or alleviate illnesses.
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Modified vs. Organic

C., Sherry. "What You Should Know About GMO." The AD Plan RSS. N.p., 9 Jan. 2013. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.

What are the negative effects of eating GMOs?

Genetically modified foods are particularly dangerous for pregnant moms and children. Testing was done on rats and mice to show evidence:

  • After GM soy was fed to female rats most of their babies died.

  • GM-fed babies were significantly smaller and even sometimes infertile.

  • Tesiticles of rats fed GM soy changed from the normal pink to dark blue.

  • Mice fed GM soy had altered young sperm.

  • Embryos of GM soy-fed parent mice has changed DNA.

  • Mice fed Gm corn has fewer and less babies.

(Doctors Warn: Avoid Genetically Modified Food)

The possible worst finding is that GMOs remain inside of you. Even after you stop eating GMOs, harmful GM proteins may be produced continuously inside of you. Genes inserted into GM soy transfer bacteria inside your intestines and continue to function (Doctors Warn: Avoid Genetically Modified Food). A lawsuit’s released documents showed that scientists at the FDA warned that GM foods might create allergies, poisons, new diseases, and nutritional problems. GM soy and corn contain new proteins with allergenic properties. GM soy has up to seven times more of a known soy allergen (Doctors Warn: Avoid Genetically Modified Food). GM corn and cotton are engineered to produce a built-in pesticide called a Bt-toxin. Bt-toxins (Bacillus thuringiensis) are a soil-dwelling bacterium commonly used as a biological pesticide. Organic farmers and others use natural Bt spray for insect control, so biotech companies claim that Bt-toxin must be safe (Doctors Warn: Avoid Genetically Modified Food).

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The larger rat is 19 days old and is from a control group. The smaller rat is 20 days old and from GM soy group.

Lean, Geoffrey. "Say No To GMOs! - October 2005." Say No To GMOs! - October 2005. The Independent, 9 Oct. 2005. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.