Stop Genetically Modified Food

by Martha Vertti (Furnish-7)

What are Genetically Modified Foods?

Genetically modified foods are foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or more specifically, genetically modified crops.GMOs have had specific changes introduced into their DNA through the use of genetic engineering techniques.

GM technology will hurt small farmers.

GM crops favor farmers in MDCs and neglect farmers living in developing countries. This makes the gap between rich and poor countries wider.

GM technology is bad for the environment.

Many of the earth's organisms are especially sensitive to the chemicals uses to enrich the GMOs, such as PCBs and dioxin. In addition, the use of these chemicals could possibly breed 'superbugs' and 'superweeds', which are organisms resistant to the checmicals. These superorganisms could prove to be disasterous for both the economy and the environment.

Biotech companies are greedy

These supposedly ecological companies are only profit-driven organizations that do not care about the well-being of the nature and human beings. They run on a 'green-not-need' ethic. Can you really trust them engineer the best crops when their only motive is money?

GM foods are badly regulated

Many biotech firms have been deploying GM crops too quickly on a broad scale, without proper testing. The FDA, the Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency are very laid-back on their policies for GM foods. Biotech companies are not required to consult with the FDA on new GM foods, and even those that voluntarily do so do not have to follow the FDA's recommendations. In the United States, food companies are not required to label foods that are genetically modified. People purchasing food have no idea what they are actually eating, and people lack the option to choose non-GM foods. If a consumer becomes ill because of eating a food with GM ingredients, the consumer does not have the resources to trace the illness back to its source. This is truly alarming.

Genetically altered animals suffer when farmed

Many animals are kept in horrid conditions because they are essentially farmed purely for the number of animals sent to factories to be slaughtered. Many of these animals develop side-effects from the antibiotics they were given by the farmers, such as weak bones and other birth defects. Many of these animals die simply because they are neglected.

Quotes from the experts

  • "Today...foods in supermarkets contain genetically modified substances whose effects on our health are unknown... Manufacturers of genetically altered foods are exposing us to one of the largest uncontrolled experiments in modern history...such conduct is illegal and unethical."--Dr. Martha R. Herbert, pediatric neurologist
  • "Virtually the entire population could be exposed to GMOs, and yet we have only a handful of studies...addressing their safety...Do we assume the technology is safe, or do we prove it? The scientist in me needs it's safe." -Dr. Margaret Mellon, director of the agricultural and biotechnology program, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • "With genetic engineering, familiar foods could become metabolically dangerous or even toxic. It could upset complex biochemical networks. Properties in proteins may change in a new chemical environment." --from The Need for Greater Regulation and Control of Genetic Engineering: A Statement by Scientists Concerned About Trends in the New Biotechnology