GMOs in your Diet
GMOs have been hiding in your diet for years
What is a GMO?
A GMO, or Genetically Modified Organism, is a food product that artificially contains DNA from another species. For example DNA from an arctic fish can be put into the DNA of a tomato to prevent it from freezing. These mixtures of DNA can be used to help produce certain foods. A wheat seed that contains special DNA to mass produce a protein that bugs hate will greatly increase the yield of the crop. Although this can be good for producers what about the consumers? There is an extensive debate on whether these GMOs are good for your health or bad, this will be discussed in the coming sections.
Benefits of GMOs
One of the main arguments as to why Genetically Modified Foods are better is that farmers can produce more. When farmers produce more, there will be a surplus of food meaning the prices will drop. When the prices of foods drop the less privileged can afford more. Genetically modified seeds are used as a more efficient way to grow crops in a confined space. Genetically modified seeds also create a larger yield that requires less pesticides to keep the bugs away. When the DNA of a food is changed it can be tweaked so that the food has a better taste, look, and texture. One of the most important benefit is the creation of a longer shelf life. Stores don't have to worry as much about how fresh the food is that they are selling. These are just some of the many benefits of GMOs.
Risks of GMOs
GMOs are something you might not have heard of before. If you were told that your food is genetically altered would you feel safe? Genetically Modified Organisms have not been around long enough to observe the long term effects on humans or other animals. There are many risks to the consumption of these altered foods. There is a new fear of allergic reactions to these modified foods. If a substance that is not normally ingested by humans is put into a food it could cause harmful allergic reactions for some consumers. Although no cases of this have been confirmed studies show that it is a possibility. Another risk of GMOs are toxicity. Most fruits and vegetables that we eat today produce toxins at a low enough level as to not harm us. The introduction of foreign substances could cause a increase in these toxins which could have catastrophic affects on the human body. Would you rather have clean food? or food that is genetically altered?
In my opinion a food that is genetically altered should not need a label. As we grow in a technologically advanced world there will be more and more genetically altered foods. Today even most of our foods are genetically changed. As our knowledge grows on this topic we will create new ways to make safer modifications. These modifications will also benefit us in the future when it comes to feeding the less fortunate and lowering starvation statistics. To me the benefits outweigh the risks by landslide. I do believe though that threshold still be some non modified foods for people who do not wish to eat these. This way all people can be happy and farmers can easily grow more crops to make more money. GMOs are the way of the future, why stop now?
"Benefits of GM Food." Genetically Modified Foods. UC Santa Cruz, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. <https://classes.soe.ucsc.edu/cmpe080e/Spring05/projects/gmo/benefits.htm>. "Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)." PubH 5103: Exposure to Environmental Hazards. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. <http://enhs.umn.edu/current/5103/gm/harmful.html>.