Many people are concerned with eating GM foods. However, the FDA doesn’t require testing and labeling of these foods so you don’t know what you are eating. This conflict should be watched because people and countries could be majorly affected by GMOs. Research shows that test animals have had major side effects from GMOs, and many articles discuss the negative economic, environmental, and health effects of GMOs. GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are living organisms who have had genes added to them. GMOs can be as a result of selective breeding or genetic engineering, but for the purposes of this essay, GMOs will be as a result of genetic engineering. People should stop using GMOs because when consumed, GMOs could have a major effect on your health, GM crops hurt our environment, and GMOs have no clear economical advantage. They have even been known to hurt our economy. People consuming GMOs could have major health effects. In addition, there are many other signs that GMOs could be dangerous, although there have not been many studies done to provide information about long term health effects.
A rat feeding study found side effects linked with GM corn due to the toxicness of it, possibly from the pesticides on the corn. If the pesticides found on corn could hurt rats, imagine what could happen to us! As mentioned above, the FDA does not require labeling of GMO products. However, “The FDA… admitted in court that it had made ‘no dispositive scientific findings,’ whatsoever, about the safety of genetically engineered foods”. This means that the FDA lets us unknowingly consume possibly dangerous foods. Smith quotes the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, which states that, “‘Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified (GM) food,’ including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system”. With all these possible health effects, people really should not consume GMOs. In conclusion, due to the possible serious and unknown health risks, consumers should not use GMOs. Unfortunately, this is not the only impact of GMOs. GM crops hurt our environment in several different ways. This is important because our environment is all around us and if we hurt our environment, we will hurt where we live and where other organisms live. According to Glass, “Biodiversity, while it is critical in all ecosystems and to the sustainability of all species, is put at risk by GMOs”. This is because there is little diversity in the seeds planted and because of the toxins in the GM plants and their effects, which reduce the amount of diverse organisms in the environment. It will be bad for the environment if there are fewer unique organisms and more toxins in it. Hammer states that another problem with GM crops is that they might create superweeds, which are resistant to pesticides or herbicides.
Superweeds can be formed if genes that are resistant to pesticides or herbicides move from GM crops to weeds which are close relatives of it. If this happens, we’ll need different pesticides to get rid of them, and using even more types of pesticides will hurt our environment even more. The article “The Environmental Impact of GMOs” states that GMOs’ DNA could be transferred from the crops to its surrounding environment. If the crops’ DNA is transferred to the environment, the environment will never be the same again. Besides affecting our health, GMOs can affect other organisms in our environment by releasing toxins, creating mutant weeds, and tainting everything around with their DNA. GMOs will not only damage our Earth, but also our economy. Finally, GMOs have no clear economical advantage, even hurting our economy.
Although the effects of GMOs may not be noticable, the effects of GMOs on small farms and developing countries are very real. Using GM seeds could prevent developing countries from becoming developed and small farms from growing. According to Murnaghan, “Consumer groups worry that by placing a patent on a new kind of GM plant, the price of the seeds can be raised to such an extent that small-scale farm operations and farmers in developing countries will not be able to afford these GM varieties of crops”. This means that large companies will dominate the GM market and smaller companies might struggle to keep their head above the water. In addition, GM plants are supposed to yield much more than unmodified plants, but research has shown that their yield is the same as or less than plants that are unchanged. Why would you pay more for plants that produce the same amount of or fewer crops? “Some of the farmers who have grown GM products from companies such as Monsanto have cited that they did not do so by choice… Biotechnology companies can insert a 'suicide gene' into the modified plant.… The end result is that farmers would be forced to purchase new seeds each year. Yet, if you consider the economic challenges of third world countries and developing nations, this would be an economic disaster. They would be unable to afford the seeds every year”. If developing countries buy GM seeds with a “suicide gene,” they will not have enough money to grow and be successful. Even though a suicide gene helps protect the companies’ design, it hurts small companies and growing countries. If GM seeds cost more than normal seeds, you would expect them to be better, right? However this is not actually the case. These plants yield the same as or less than normal plants and you have to buy some seeds every year, unlike unmodified seeds.
In conclusion, people shouldn’t consume GMOs because of the possible side effects and uncertainty. In addition, GMOs could hurt the Earth from their DNA, genes, toxins, and less diversity in seeds. Finally, GMOs won’t help our and other countries’ economies and even hurt them because they cost more without producing more and sometimes require you to buy seeds every year.
The risks involved with GMOs are high. You should also carefully watch what you eat as GMOs are not required to be labeled. Finally, GMOs can negatively affect our environment, possibly forever. GMOs could have major health effects, GM crops hurt our environment, and GMOs have no clear economical advantage, even hurting our economy which is why people should stop using GMOs.
GMOs can pose a risk to your health, of which even the FDA doesn’t know. The author describes 6 different ways GMOs could affect our health negatively and describes the reasoning behind these concerns. He or she most likely believes against using GMOs as the website is about the health risks of GMOs and is probably targeting people who are health-conscious and want to learn more about how food affects them. I believe this is a good source because it is very detailed and gives evidence to support its claim. Compared to other sources, this source has some of the same information, such as the FDA on GMOs, but also new information. One part of this source I enjoyed was interactivity of the site. However, I would have liked links to where I could find out more about this topic.