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GM Foods and Their Effect

Loreta Doga

(November 2, 2013)

LANG 102: Teacher

Humber College


GM foods and their effect

Not long ago, children used to run freely from fruit trees to their grandparents field and
collect fresh vegetables for that evenings dinner. It was more like a game than a chore, but the
hard work that grandparents had put in to growing those foods was appreciated. And the food
tasted delicious. These days, the younger generation does not know what an apple or a tomato
smells like; they look different, but theres no smell to distinguish one fruit from another. That is
because many foods are genetically modified. GM foods are produced from genetically modified
organisms - a genetically modified or crossed gene seed. Whatever grows out of those seeds
becomes the food we consume everyday. Many of those GM products are hidden under the fine
term of healthy foods, which are regulated and approved by Canada Health under laboratory
testing. Yet, there have been not enough studies done to determine if GM foods have an impact
on humans holistically and what their impact will be on our health in a long run. As a result, GM
foods should be banned until further studies show that theres no risk whatsoever in consuming
such foods.
The term genetic modification refers to the use of recombinant DNA techniques to transfer
genetic material between organisms in a way that would not take place naturally, bringing about
alterations in genetic makeup and properties. Uncontrolled mutations are unexpected, yet they
happen during the GM process. The insertion of a single different gene in an organism will cause
various changes, in different levels in that organism, which will result in production of different
crops. Those crops will not have the same nutritional components any longer, for the simple fact


that the entire organism will go through changes. As a result, many of the crops that were good to
consume before the modification, will not have the same effect. Human body may suddenly
show signs of allergic reactions toward the same products, which will interact with its function.
Foods that once were used by our body as fuel will be treated as dangerous. When our body
identifies danger, it will react in a protective way, very differently as when the food was just a
fuel deposit. The diversity and complexity of the effects, as well as their unpredictable nature,
creates a situation where even a detailed safety assessment could miss important harmful
effects. (Antoniou at al., 2012) For these simple reasons, GM foods should not be produced.
Many foods such canola, corn, lentils, potatoes, rice, soybeans, squash, tomatoes, and wheat
(to mention only a few) have been genetically modified. In Canada, 97.5 per cent of the 2012
canola crop was genetically modified, the CBC News reports. Corn can be used as an ingredient
in many other foods like cereal, yogurt, frozen entrees and canned soup. These practices are
under Canadas Health regulations and approval; yet, there are uncertainties in the populations
health outcome. Testing of long -term consumption of GM foods and their effect in humans
should be done before the marketing and that would benefit the government also. The benefit
would be the prevention of unexpected illnesses. Statistics have clearly shown that prevention of
a disease is always cheaper than the cure. In Canada, it would be beneficial for everyone to take
stricter actions against genetically modified foods and avoid long-term care down the road for
people who would be affected by the consumption of those foods.
People should be able to grow non-genetically modified crops, as well as choose a variety of
seeds. Some crops are genetically modified to be more durable than a regular crop, (Dieticians
of Canada, 2013) which, farmers will be forced to choose to use more of as a result of the
worlds market growing demands. Also, as some biologists say, the variety of foods that the


world produces may be lowered due to GM crops. This is because farmers may choose to plant
only a few types of GM crops since they may produce larger amounts of food, which is easier for
meeting those demands. Based on those facts, there is a high risk for seed extinction; about one
third of the worlds plants are headed toward it. Knowing that plants are a huge source of food,
seed extinction should be a concern for all of us.
The GM food industry insists on benefits of these foods. They insist on the increased
nutritional values of these foods. Yet, there is no proof that human body absorbs those added
nutrients, since they are produced artificially. Human body was created to adapt and process
nutrients from naturally grown foods and does not need extra artificial lab created nutrients.
Bodys reaction toward different nutrients is different. The GM industry also states that there is
not much difference between genetically modified and non- genetically modified food. That is
absolutely false. By genetically modifying one or two genes, does not result in creating only one
or two desired traits. New organisms that are created do have different nutritional values.
Certainly, there would be no need to modify organisms and create new ones, if there was no
difference. Just a single change at the level of the DNA can cause multiple changes within the
organism. These changes are in fact known as pleiotropic effects. (Antoniou at al., 2012) Those
changes occur because genes interact with one another, which interfere with the structures and
their functionality at the organism level. That means that, by changing the intake formula, the
outcome will also be different.
The human body was only meant to eat the non-GM foods that earth provides. Naturally
grown plants are filled with vitamins and minerals that are essential to human growth and
development. By genetically modifying our foods, we are modifying their effect in our body and,
as a result, our entire bodys anatomy and physiology. We very well know that, different


structures of our body have different functions and effective changes in one of them will result in
the dependants changes. The human body grows and functions based on the nutrients it absorbs.
By consuming GM foods, which are different in structure and function from the natural ones, the
human body would have to modify itself in shape and function in order to adapt to those
changes. In the decades to come, it will be very interesting to see how the use of GM foods plays
itself out without acknowledging the most basic and simplest theory: we are what we eat.



Michael Antoniou. Claire Robinson. John Fagan. (June 2012). Non GMO Project. Retrieved
The EatRight Ontario Dieticians. (2013). Eat Right Ontario. Retrieved October 21, 2013 from
CBC News. Technology and Science. (Apr 11, 2013). Genetically Modified Foods. Retrieved
October 22, 2013 from