Genetically Modified Foods

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12 Δεκ 2012 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 11 μήνες)

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Celeste Arango

Sandra Howland

English 102

4/18
/12

Genetically Mod
ified Foods

Americans, in particular, go to the grocery store, and pick up a pound of potatoes, a bag
of tomatoes, some other vegetables in the produce section, and then zig
-
zag

down each isle of the
huge grocery store, to make sure that they got their dried packaged foods and their frozen foods
too. When they pick up their foods, they usually do not care where it came from. The food is
piled up in their cart, and brought home fo
r consumption. What are they missing? And do they
know exactly what they are eating? What they are most likely eating is food that was genetically
tampered with, the proper phrase: GMO’s.
The
words, genetically modified foods, are

a phrase
that the world i
s starting to hear more and more, in regards to food.
Genetically modified food
products are plants that have had their gen
etic characteristics altered, so it is easier to put on the
market for human consumption. One question that is frequently asked is,
are genetically
modified foods bad for humans? Some may argue and say that it is a great new invention that can
help the world, but the real answer to the question is genetically modified foods are not only bad
for humans, but they are also bad for the wor
ld’s environment too. So, what makes the
controversial “GMO” bad for the world?

Even though GMO’s are on the market,
genetically

engineered foods have not been proven to be
safe;

GMOs require massive amounts of pesticides,
herbicides and fungicides that ca
n be very harmful to the human body to consume. In the long
run, the creation of GMO’s can create total havoc in the natural cycle of Earth’s organisms
, this
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is not good because humans have a role in Earth’s cycle, and can be largely effected by any
disast
er created by the GMO
.
Some might argue that the invention of the GMO is the answer to
global food security, but the real answer is what we have been doing for centuries upon
centuries.
All of these things can create a problematic
situation that

humans mig
ht not be able to
rewind. The truth about genetically modified foods must be shared with the world, and the
people must come together to help the world in other ways, for the future.

The common saying “what you don’t know, can’t hurt you” is something tha
t Americans
have really taken for granted. All throughout American grocery stores, there is large abundance
of foods that is genetically modified. These foods that have been genetically altered have

not

yet

been proven to be safe for the body.

So, is it the saying true? What is unknown cannot hurt? If
there has not yet been strong evidence of risks for GMO’s, then
does that make it okay to go
ahead and use GMO’s?
Some tests were done on GMO’s
, but not enough tests have been made
to actually kno
w whether or not the GMO’s are safe. When they do test genetically modified
foods, the tests are done on various small animals in test laboratories. One lab test came out with
information
noting

that “the organs of rats who ate genetically modified potatoe
s showed signs
of chronic wasting, and female rats fed a diet of herbicide
-
resistant soybeans gave birth to
stunted and sterile pups
” (Urban
),
this shows that the GMO’s that were fed to those lab rats were
harmful to them, and are potentially harmful to hu
mans. If the rats are harmed by these unnatural
foods, then these foods can harm the people who eat them. Granted
, human organs

are bigger
and different in comparison to the rats’ organs, but over time, a continual consumption of these
same organisms can l
ead to a very similar destruction of the human organs.

GMO’s were
partially developed to cut down the amount of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides being used in
the farms, and to help creat
e more of an abundance of food. America has planted these GMO’s
in
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their large fields to achieve this new theory, but years after they were planted, “genetically
engineered crops have shown no increase in yield and no decrease in pesticide use” (Urban).
Actually, what is now happening, is GMO’s still require large amou
nts of pesticides, herbicides
and fungicides, and these chemicals are very poisonous for humans to consume, and should not
be run off into
the water supply.


One of the reasons why GMO’s were created was because farmers wanted to create a
desired product.

It may be argued that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been around
as long as humans have been successfully breeding different plants and animals to achieve a
desired result. Farmers from many years ago would combine two crops in an attempt to c
reate a
more desirable crop, this was considered a genius idea because they were able to help create a
new fruit that grew bigger and had
smaller or
less seeds. This idea of creating your own food
grew rapidly, and more and more farmers thought of
all sort
s of different way to genetically
modify a food to make it do exactly what you want it to. People though this idea of creating food
was genius, and so they continued to modify anything that they wanted to.
This way of
modifying foods was a safer process fo
r farmers, because they could only crossbreed plants if the
plants were related to one another
. T
here is a natural barrier in Earths cycle that prevents certain
species from breeding
, that is why mammals and reptiles cannot reproduce, and fruits and
vegetables cannot either. Then the scientists brought the seeds into bio
-
chemistry laboratories,
and decided to cross Earths natural barrier, by splicing seed cells and inserting unrelated

genes
into those cells. Jeremy Rifkin, a social activist who wrote
the essay
Biotech Century: Playing
Roulette with Mother Nature’s Designs,
found out that
“Scientists have inserted “anti
-
freeze”
protein genes from flounder into the genetic code of tomato
es to protect the fruit from frost
damage. Chicken genes have been inserted into potatoes to increase disease resistance… Chinese
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hamster genes have been inserted into the genome of tobacco plants to increase sterol
production” (Rifkin).
This type of genet
ic engineering is brand new to Earth’s environment, and
these GMO’s are Frankenstein crops that do not belong in the Earth’s cycle. Because these
genetically engineered crops have no role in Earth’s natural cycle, the GMO will eventually
create a role, and

this can potentially
mess
-
up the cycle. “Genetically modified organisms
contaminate existing seeds with their altered material, passing on modified traits to non
-
target
species” (Ramón), and even the non
-
genetically engineered species can become contamina
ted,
and the heirloom crops will never be the same. Risks for GMO’s are widely unknown, yet
America still plants fields of these GMO’s, not looking at the greatest risk of all, global
contamination. Once the risks are discovered, it might be too late to re
verse the contamination,
and the world might be left with only foods that are harmful to eat.

Those who create GMO’s
claim that it will bring many benefits to the world today, such
as “higher productivity and lower pesticide costs for producers; less envi
ronmental pollution
from pesticides and herbicides, and new crop varieties to ameliorate hunger in developing
countries” (Gaskell). In India, because the population is so grand and there is a high malnutrition
rate, scientists
put

together a GMO called “go
lden rice”, which had
vitamin A and other nutrients

fortified into it, so the
malnourished can get the nutrition they need to survive. The best way to
stay healthy

is to keep

a varied diet, rich in vegetables, fruits and animal products
, not fortified
rich

foods
.

The “golden rice” project claims that a good approach to help those who cannot
afford a varied diet, is by way of nutrient
-
dense staple crops. These staple crops will be fortified
with various nutrients through genetic modification, and large amoun
ts of people will be eating
these crops on a regular daily basis. The problem is, there were studies
such as t
oxicity studies
performed with genetically modified food crops

and performance studies on animals fed
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genetically modified crops, and both of the
results did not look so pleasant. With the toxicity
studies, GMO’s were fed to several animals for only a few days

(starting at 14 days)
, showed
several signs of histopathology of intestines, and other organs. In the performance studies
,
GMO’s were fed to
other various types of animals, the results were, on only a few days (starting
at 5 days) the animals gained weight and there was an increase in feed consumption

(Kuiper)
.
Both of these studies show a dramatic change in the animal

s natural system, and cou
ld
potentially do the same for humans.
If, say India decided to plant large crops of the golden rice,
and a huge portion of their society lived off of the GMO planted for several days, drastic changes
could be made to those people, and large groups of soci
ety could be easily wiped out from
intestinal damage. These are serious things to take into consideration, yet the “golden rice”
project
focuses

o
n the
short term benefits only. So, it is true, that what is unknown cannot hurt,
but in the long run, when so
cieties are being dramatically impacted by this man
-
made substance,
then it will hurt. Although there still is a global problem of malnutrition, GMO’s are not the
answer. The answer is to create a way for people to grow their own natural foods because it
c
reates a variety in the diet, and not force feed them one type of food that
is genetically modified
and
could seriously

damage human’s insides.


Although there is no direct evidence of GMO’s directly hurting humans, there are studies
and evidence to help
prove that GMO’s can directly hurt humans in the long run

and large
societies can easily be massacred
. The “golden rice” project and others who believe that GMO’s
can save worldwide hunger only are trying to solve a present problem, but are not focusing on

what it might do to the planet Earth. Once planted, GMO’s can never be stopped from spreading,
and

this can create havoc in the Earth’s natural cycle. And if it ruins the Earth’s natural cycle,
which also means that it can damage human life forever. The m
ain issue is, that genetically
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modified foods are not a wise alternative for the organic foods that Mother Nature provided, and
if humans do have to resort to creating man
-
made foods, they should test and question the
substance from various angles to make
sure that it is completely safe and harmless to the Earth’s
cycle (including humans)
. It is not a good decision to spread a genetically modified food gene
around so rapidly, when there are so many flaws to the design of the product. Now, if only the
world
does not follow through with the plan of destruction by GMO’s, maybe the world can find
an alternative to fix its issues.













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Works Cited

Gaskell, G., N. Allum, W. Wagner, N. Kronberger, H. Torgersen, J. Hampel, and J. Bardes. "GM Foods
and the
Misperception of Risk Perception." 2004. Web.
<http://www.oeaw.ac.at/ita/ebene5/HT_1242.pdf>.


Kuiper, Harry A., Gijs A. Kleter, Hub P. J. M. Noteborn, and Esther J. Kok. "Assessment of the Food
Safety Issues Related to Genetically Modified Foods."

Kuiper
.

John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 23 Dec.
2001. Web. Apr. 2012. <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1365
-
313X.2001.01119.x/full>.


Ramón, Daniel. "Genetically Modified Foods: A Case of Information or Misinformation?" Springer
-
Verlag Ibérica, 2000. Web.
<
http://revistes.iec.cat/index.php/IM/article/viewFile/4c457c0c494dd.002/9232>.

Rifkin, Jeremy. "Biotech Century: Playing Roulette with Mother Nature’s Designs."

The Presence of
Others: Voices and Images That Call for Response
. By Andrea A. Lunsford and Joh
n J.
Ruszkiewicz. 5th ed. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2008. 311
-
19. Print.

Urban, Shilo. "8 Reasons Genetically Modified Organisms Are Bad for You."

Organic Food, Organic
Living
. OrganicAuthority. Web. <http://www.organicauthority.com/foodie
-
buzz/eig
ht
-
reasons
-
gmos
-
are
-
bad
-
for
-
you.html>.