GMO Labels

A major issue in the food business is the labeling of GMO products. GMO is an acronym for Genetically Modified Organism.  Genetic Modification is used to upgrade a specific trait.  Scientists combine the DNA of one or more organisms or some specific genetic feature. This entails engineering plants with toxic bacteria that kills bugs off of plants or making apples that resist browning.  One of the faults that came to light in 1999 was by a scientist, “in which he claimed that GM potatoes fed to rats produced harmful effects (Lewison).”  GMO’s in food is poisoning humans and after research by scientists is proven to lead to cancer.  The rats that were fed the genetically modified food grew tumors and developed diseases.  These are the same foods we buy in our grocery stores.  These are the same foods we are feeding our children.  Scientists created these genetically modified foods to help feed more people with using less land as our population increases.  Scientists have also argued that genetically modified foods are more environmentally friendly due to the fact that less pesticides, herbicide and fertilizer will be needed.

The fight people have stirred up is the fact that we should be able to know what we are eating.  Foods should begin to be labeled if they are genetically modified.  Although, people are in “support of labeling in the USA [this] does not necessarily have any clear connection to opinions about GM food, positive or negative: a much lower percentage, approximately 51%, were opposed to GM food as such (Klintman).”  Sickness and obesity in people has become more popular and people are not paying attention to what they are eating.  The GMO foods are slowly making people sick over time. Some countries have banned GMO foods and or require foods to be labeled.  Some tests have been shown that the eating of GMO foods leads to infertility and autism. Consumers want the choice of knowing due to health risks. A lot of people just do not fully understand or have not taken the time to become fully educated about genetically modified food.

One of the arguments was that of the increase of food costs for labeling foods.  This has proven to true according to a recent article in Huffington Post, “Segregation of a GM crop from a non-GM crop adds considerably to the cost of food. Separate facilities would be required to be built from farm to the supermarket to accomplish that end (Entine).”  These companies will have to be sure to come up labels for their food and will obviously cost businesses and consumers.  The issue with labeling is also the amount or limit of the percentage of genetically modified organisms in each food item.  Foods will contain GMO’s but they will not need to labeled if it is under a certain amount. Either way the majority of foods contain GMO’s so it is hard to avoid these items all together even if they stick to organic foods.  Which is why people are starting to become aware of GMO foods.

 

Lewison, Grant. “The reporting of the risks from genetically modified organisms in the mass media, 2002–2004.” Scientometrics 72.3 (2007): 439-458. 24 August 2017.

Klintman, Mikael. “The genetically modified (GM) food labelling controversy: Ideological and epistemic crossovers.” Social studies of science 32.1 (2002): 71-91. 24 August 2017.

Entine, Jon. huffingtonpost.com. 23 December 2016. “The Real Cost Of Mandatory GMO Labeling”.  24 August 2017.

 

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