Genetically Modified Food Might Be The Death of Us

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Think back to your last meal. Was it cooked over your stove made with fresh ingredients and loving hands, or ordered through a phone screen with urgency in your voice and a hunger in your stomach? Could every ingredient be reiterated like your ancestors did with a pen and paper in hand to guarantee that whatever was in your food really is what’s inside your food, or was the genetically engineered in a laboratory that have tampered with the food adding no nutritional value to them? Many foods today sold in supermarkets and groceries stores do not have the correct labeling depicting the ingredients and actual methods used for production behind them.

Denying the right to know what is in the food you purchase is an infringement of your human rights. You could assume that labeling foods with the appropriate label defining whether it is genetically modified would be on the list of highest priority, but food corporations don’t believe it is. People should have the right to know what they are putting into their bodies. Traditional foods are what people expect as the normality, anything different from the norm should be properly labeled. It is necessary to mark foods that contain genetically modified organisms with the proper label because our diet intake is the number one factor of our health, it can also be used as a tracking tool in the medical science field, and can reduce the overwhelming influence large corporations have on farming practices.

Although many people do not have any actual knowledge in what Genetically Modified Organism and how it’s related to foods, and do not care for the labeling of the product, many believe that the all-around cost of food will significantly rise in labeling foods that are genetically modified. The truth is that with the labeling of food containing genetically modified organisms, greater standards would be ensured in food regulations and with that a greater quality of living as well.

As we move forward in to the future the topic of genetically modified food arises. One of the most prevalent issues about the surge in use of genetically modified foods in our society is the increasing concern we have are weather these types of gene spliced foods are safe for human consumption. There are many health risks regarding genetically modified foods. One of these risks is how these transgenic foods cause us to have major allergic reactions. There is also a risk of new genetically modified products producing new allergens. Alexandra Pricop, Gheorghe Orzan, and Madalina Mihalach, professors with a PhD and knowledgeable in economics and food related issues, state in their article, “GMO’S – The Trade-Offs Between Economic Benefits And Perceived Health Risks,” that “Certain proteins in milk, wheat, eggs, fish, peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish cause over 90% of total food allergies” (par. 16).

Most of these products listed by Mihalach, Orzan, and Pricop are some of our main source of protein we must intake. We as consumers may indeed suffer life-threating allergic reactions with the ingress of and new genes that may potentially turn foods into serious threats to our health. The more genetically modified products become present on the market with out proper labeling, the more people will be in taking foreign proteins new to the human diet. There are no known tests to prove ahead of time that genetically modified foods are safe from causing allergies. This is because people are not usually allergic to foods until it has been consumed several times, so the only way of truly knowing is by human consumption by affected people. In addition to allergenic risks, the high levels of herbicide residue in genetically modified foods also cause other health problems.

Gilles- Eric Seralini’s et al., a graduate from University of Caen and an anti GMO activist, states in his article, “Republished study: long-term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize” that, “Our data show that the signs of liver and kidney toxicity seen at 90 days from the consumption of NK603 GM maize do indeed escalate into severe disease over an extended period” (par. 25). The study that Seralini mentions in his article was done on rats. The study tells us that rats fed this pesticide, NK603 GM, found in maize at the same level that we receive through out our foods is connected to the rise of liver and kidney damage found in humans. Damaged done by these pesticides to the liver and kidneys are directly correlated to diabetes, heart disease and strokes. These are chronic diet related diseases have been plaguing us since the introduction of genetically modified foods in our society.

Furthermore In Megan Norris’s, a biologist with a PhD and an expert in genetics, states in her article, “Will GMOs Hurt My Body? The Public’s Concerns and How Scientists Have Addressed Them,” “Mutations in DNA are closely tied to cancer and other diseases, and thus mutagenic substances can have dire effects on human health” (par. 11). Many experts in transgenic foods are linking the use of pesticides such as Round Up, containing high levels of cadaverine, used by Monsanto, an agricultural company, to cancer. Many communities living near agricultural farms using pesticides like Monsanto’s Round Up are experiencing an increasing rate of cancer within its population. Many people who were actually exposed to Round Up first hand are now afflicted with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Although some transgenic foods do have some beneficiary values in our health such as fighting off diseases and preventing cancers, the truth is that such foods actually can cause cancer, diseases and allergies that can potentially be life threating. These health risks in relation to our diet can be easily avoided by pushing the concept of properly labeling all genetically modified foods sold to us as consumers.

Aside from the risks genetically modified foods impose on the human health, labeling genetically modified foods would be of great benefit us in the fields of medical sciences acting as a tracking tool in the food supply chain. Furthermore, it grants us the ability to closely supervise the possible consequences it may have on the environment and our health. Thus allowing us to be able to identify any product that may pose a threat to our health or the environment and ceasing its productions along with removing it form the shelves of supermarkets to prevent any further damage. Gema Albujar’s and Bernd van der Meulen’s, both affiliated with the European Institute for Food Law, state in their article, “The EU’s GMO Concept: Analysis of the GMO Definition in EU Law in the Light of New Breeding Techniques (NBTs)”,“It is often impossible to detect in the organism whether the modification was natural or triggered by a new breeding technique” (par. 17).

It is extremely difficult for scientist to detect and differentiate certain alterations in organisms done through natural process or new reproduction process. This would prove even more difficult to doctors in the medical field when studying patients. If genetically modified foods were properly labeled, doctors trying to determine what are the causes of a patient’s illness would be effortless. By being able to track certain foods in a persons diet they can determine the main cause of their illnesses, and therefor removing such foods from their diets that are doing harm to them. Doctors would be able to alleviate patients of their symptoms and illness through a more rapid and less complicated process. In turn patients would benefits from fewer medication errors and the risk of taking the wrong medication.

In Vlericks Business School’s Article, “The Growing Importance Of Traceability In The Health Care Sector,” it states, “On the one hand, better traceability can increase the quality of both products and services for the customer/patient” (par. 4) In the United State the food supply is one of the better maintained in the world. However, cross contamination is still an issue within the distribution and handling of foods. Some foods in the handling process may come in contact with foreign objects they aren’t supposed to touch. As a result harmful bacteria is transferred from food to food. Certain disease-causing pathogens can contaminate foods in the process, affecting many humans throughout the United States and giving them food poisoning. By marking foods with the right label, food corporations will have in increase in better product quality and consumers will be at a lesser risk from cross contaminated food products. Dr. Amarinder Bawa, a scientist and a member of the Association of Food Scientist and Technologist, State in his article, “Genetically modified foods: safety, risks and public concerns-a review,” that, “These new legislations would also impose labeling and a traceability system based on documentation throughout the food and feed manufacture system” (par. 50).

Aside from the benefits in health care and the greater quality in foods that would come from labeling genetically enhanced foods, passing laws in favor of properly labeling foods would improve the logistics of food corporations. The implementation of these laws requiring food corporations to label such foods would result in improved stock and data management. These corporations and businesses will also greatly benefits from these demands of labeling transgenic foods by receiving fewer complaints from the consumers and thus providing quality customer service. As a result of these actions the relationship between consumers and sellers will develop and eventually build a foundation of trust between the two, something that is currently lacking in todays society.

Although many advocates against labeling genetically modified foods say that labeling these products would increase the prices of these foods because they would also have to label non-genetically modified foods as well. The truth is that there is no substantial evidence arguing that the cost of foods will rise by labeling foods properly. Food companies have to change their labels all the time to comply with regulation demands constantly. By labeling transgenic foods properly the quality of health care and patient treatment would be greatly enhanced. On the logistic side of it food corporations it would entice greater data and product management, resulting in more thoroughly safety requirements and regulations of transgenic foods.

The reduction of control that giant corporations and businesses have over farmer and farming practices is yet another beneficiary aspect of labeling genetically enhanced food products, aside from the improvement of human health and using the labels as a tracking device in the food chain supply. For many years now Corporations like Monsanto have been buying out land and farms all throughout the world. With the collection of all these farm under a very few corporations, resulted in them controlling farmers and their farming techniques, leaving farmers with no say in the unethical practices forced upon them by these corporations. Boyce Upholt’s, a journalist versed in economics, states in his article, “A Killer Season” that, “The technological break through led to a fundamental shift in American farming practices” (par. 16). With the creation of Monsanto’s herbicide, Round Up, came many complications.

This pesticide that Monsanto sold to farmers to use on their crops had an atrocious affect on their crops. When framers started using this product on their farms it ended up killing most of all of their crops except for the crops seeded sold from Monsanto. It also made it harder for the next yield to grow requiring farmers to buy and use more of Monsanto’s Round Up. As a result it left farmers with no choice other than to continue to buy products from Monsanto in order to keep farming and not lose their jobs. Rebecca Schewe and Diana Stuart, both activists in environment sustainability, state in their article “Why Don’t They Just Change? Contract Farming, Informational Influence, and Barriers to Agricultural Climate Change Mitigation” that “Seed-corn farmers enter into annual production contracts with seed companies, agreeing to grow whichever variety of corn the company assigns to them and to sell that corn back exclusively to said company” (par. 5).

Upon farmers entering these contracts with large agricultural companies, farmers are forced to grow whatever the likings of these businesses. Once these companies receive these products, farmers are not paid for the quantity of yield but rather receive a fixed payment. If these farmer don’t meet the quota set by these businesses they are penalized, which will affect their future contract risking the possibility of continuing farming. In addition, in an article named “Corporate Control in Agriculture” found in Farmaid states, “Despite the concept of cheap food and “feeding the world” that the industrial food system promises, their extreme market power means corporations can push down the prices paid to farmers without passing on their savings to consumers” (par. 7).

Farmer bank on both sides, the sellers and buyers, to maintain their business. The tight market squeezes money out of their pockets at both ends of the spectrum. With a very thin margin in profits and the high cost of maintaining their farms, farmers are forced to sell their land or merge into mega businesses if they do not make ends meet. Although many experts say that big businesses having a substantial amount of influence on farming practices is ideal because the production of certain foods is more structured and organized, allowing these businesses to work more productively. The truth is that the influence that businesses have over farmers is affecting the practices used in farming. Farmers are left to use unethical methods to achieve yields. By labeling transgenic foods properly it would limit the amount of power over farmers and their techniques in farming, preventing unethical practices in farming.

All in all, labeling foods that contain ingredients such as genetically modified organism has been a dubious topic in society today. Labeling genetically modified foods with the right label would greatly benefit everyone, including farmers, businesses, and the consumers in many different aspects. The health risks we face from transgenic foods would be lower substantially due to the fact that we will be able to acknowledge what we are ingesting. In addition the medical care system would greatly improve in helping patients get to the bottom of their illness and treating them responsibly. And lastly, but equally as important farmers are less likely to use un ethical farming practices with lesser influences that corporations have on them allowing them to farm responsibly.

Although our population is expected to grow an exponential amount in the future creating more mouths to feed, and the use of genetically modified foods helping feed these mouths by using less land and yield more crops. The truth is that farming genetically engineered crops is very harmful to the environment and most importantly ones health. We must still label these foods properly so that people may know what they are eating. People must come together and help reform laws that facilitate the labeling of genetically modified foods. If we do not try to promote the proper labeling of foods the result of this will pose great threats to the environment, our health, and our well-being.


Cite this paper

Genetically Modified Food Might Be The Death of Us. (2021, Oct 25). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/genetically-modified-food-might-be-the-death-of-us/

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