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Genetically Modified Food Essay

According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, also known as USDA, in the United States more than 90% of soybeans, cotton, corn, and certain other crops are genetically engineered. GMOs are organisms that are introduced into plants or meat to alter their DNA. Their main purpose is to create food that can withstand many different environments and climates. The problem with GMO’s is that they have been shown to create health problems. For example, some substances have been shown to increase allergies and the risk of cancer. This is a huge problem for our country right now but what is being done? Do people really know that GMO’s are in their food? The US government should impose stricter regulations on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) because GMOs have not been properly investigated. They pose numerous health risks to the consumers and large GMO corporations care only about the bottom line—profits—and do not have the consumer’s best interest in mind.

Regulations of GMOs have always been an issue from the very beginning. Since the Regan days, federal regulatory efforts have governed by what is known as the Coordinated Framework for regulation of Biotechnology. The Coordinated Framework of Biotech believes in the idea that overseeing GMOs requires no new laws. An example of poor regulation method is the new genetically modified (GM) type of Kentucky bluegrass that will be able to withstand the Roundup herbicide. The Approval was admitted by the US Department of Agriculture. The Plant Pest Act is the only regulation available to control GM crops. Which means that the USDA has no obligation to regulate GM Crops, the courts have no way of intervening an the biotech industry can do whatever it wants with absolutely no oversight at all. “According to Doug Gurian-Sherman, senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Food and Environment Program, the documents released by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) along with the announcement portend a major change in how the feds will deal with genetically modified crops.” (Philpott,Tom)

Even though a percentage of consumers believe that there should be stronger regulations on GMOs food the other half believes that genetically modified food should not be banned but closely monitored.(Meade, Conner) Conor Meade an Ecology professor at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth believes that the assessment of the ecological risk posed by GM is a bad idea. With environmental and health concerns over GM Food, there has not been any scientific evidence that has determined that they are not safe. This is the counter argument for why there should be continuing research on GM foods in the United States. We should not ban GM research but continue to investigate the health risk factors that GMO foods pose to the consumers.

There is an argument that states that Genetically Engineered Crops will feed the world, Jeffrey Scott. Believes Genetic Engineering Is Natural and Should Be persuade. Coker further states In the United States and elsewhere, more than 90% of soybeans, cotton, corn, and certain other crops are Already genetically engineered, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Another example is “Bt” technology, which involves plants producing a protein from Bacillus thuringiensis, a bacterium that is toxic to most insects. In Hawaii, for example, genetically engineered papaya trees have rescued the entire papaya industry. Researchers at the University of California-Riverside and the International Rice Research Institute have created varieties of rice that can withstand being submerged underwater for almost two weeks, which can save crops during years of flooding. Genetic engineering will allow crops of the future to be better tasting, more nutritious, more tolerant of environmental stresses, and less allergenic. Foods will also last longer before spoiling, allowing food to be distributed more easily.

Biotech industries claim that genetically engineered (GE) crops will help agriculture become mores sustainable and help stop world hunger. In reality, most GE crops are designed to allow more herbicides, such as Monsabto’s Roundup, which causes local farmers to use more toxic herbicides, not less. “A 2010 Chemical Research in Toxicology study found that glyphosate-based herbicides caused highly abnormal deformities and neurological problems in vertebrates. Another study found that glyphosate caused DNA damage to human cells even at lower exposure levels than recommended by the herbicide’s manufacturer.”( Debra A. Miller) By 2009, nearly all (93 percent) U.S. soybeans and four-fifths (80 percent) of corn cultivated were grown from seeds covered by Monsanto patents. Biotech corn seed prices increased 9 percent annually between 2002 and 2008; soybean seed prices rose 7 percent annually. By 2009, Roundup Ready soybean seeds cost twice as much as conventional seeds. Which makes you think how will developing countries afford the seeds or even consider GM seeds because of the health risk. Biotech companies also sued farmers that allegedly violated their patents. By 2007, Monsanto had filed 112 lawsuits against U.S. farmers for patent infringement, recovering between $85.7 and $160.6 million. Biotech companies are not solving the problem but inly making it worse. (Ed. Debra A. Miller)

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