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Just Say NO to GMO s

GMO trash.jpg
By: Brittany Moreno

Genetically modified foods are organisms


that are genetically engineered to have
specific traits such as an extended ripening
period. Genetically engineered organisms
have gained a growing amount of criticism
for a number of reasons, including, health
hazards to the human body, their negative
impact on the environment, and possible
contamination of their native counterparts.
France, Italy, Japan along with several other
countries have already banned anything
genetically altered. A ban needs to be taken
up in the U.S. in light of these growing
concerns.
The way genetically modified organisms are
affecting us may have long term health
effects. Genetically modified foods are
relatively new and have simply not been
around long enough to determine the
possible long term health effects. According
to Cummings (1999) genetic manipulation
can increase the levels of natural plant
toxins in foods (or create entirely new
toxins) in unexpected ways by switching on
genes that produce poisons. (para.8) These
manipulated organisms can also increase the
risks for cancer. A growth factor that is
injected into cows holds great risks for
breast, prostate, and colon cancer. This
growth factor, Bovine Growth Hormone
(rBGH), is currently being injected to 4-5%
of the U.S. dairy cows while Canada and the
European Union has banned it s use all
together due to its hazards against human
health. Why do we subject ourselves to be
one of the countries lagging behind in this
ban of even one genetically engineered
organism?
A more controversial question is should we
or do we even have the rights to be playing
God by altering genes of any organisms?
Nature is all life on Earth, our time is
borrowed here. At the rate that we are
manipulating nature with our science, mass
production, and technology, who is to say
there will be no consequences? What right
do we have as human beings over any other
species to go around altering the very
genetic makeup of any part of nature that we
can get our hands on? It has to stop. As a
leading technological country we should be
setting an example for the rest of the world
to follow, not endorsing the destruction of
our environment. We cannot let big business
dictate the fact that we are going to ruin our
planet all so they can reap financial benefits.
That is wrong.
Another concern is that genetically modified
organisms could eventually contaminate
native food crops with their engineered
traits. Plant pollination along with other
factors of nature (rain, insects, wind, and
birds) are contributing to this contamination.
There is no way to 100% isolate genetically
modified crops from encountering native
crops and eventually transferring their
modified genes to other plants. It is a
definite possibility that if we continue to
allow GM crops to remain part of
agriculture, eventually all crops will attain
DNA that has been tampered with. Is that
really something we want to live with?
Knowing that we ruined the authenticity and
original makeup of the life nature intended?
I would hope not. That is why we need
forbid these foods from being grown here in
our own country, at least as a start.
Genetically modified organisms are also
taking a role in the demise of our
environment. For example, toxins found in
genetically modified corn pollen have been
linked to high mortality rates in the monarch
butterfly caterpillar. As stated by the World
Health Organization (2010) some of the
most concerned issues dealing with the
environment and GM organisms are the
capability of the GMO to escape and
potentially introduce the engineered genes
into wild populations; the susceptibility of
non-target organisms (e.g. insects which are
not pests) to the gene product; the
reduction in the spectrum of other plants
including loss of biodiversity . (para.19).
These effects are well more than likely to
increase in commonality if genetically
modified production is not restricted and
shut down.
There are alternate choices to the 70% of
processed foods in the U.S. stemming from
GM crops. (Komat,2008) Organic foods are
a sufficient choice for an alternative.
Organic foods use no pesticides and have
nothing genetically modified about them.
Studies have also shown that organic foods
posses more nutritional content than GM
foods. In reference to Biologist Slovenian
Biologist Anton Komat lecture (2008),
80% of all diseases are based on poor-
quality food and/or water , therefore it is
essential that we provide ourselves with the
highest nutritional quality food possible and
reject these genetically altered economically
benefiting foods. Komat (2008) believes that
in order to protect our environment from
further destruction, The transition to
organically grown food is necessary, as well
as the ban of gene-manipulated organisms.
A ban on genetically modified organisms
would benefit humans, plants, insects,
animals, and the environment health. As one
of the leading countries in the today s world,
the U.S. needs to take a stand against these
frankenfoods and not be one of the last
countries to put a ban against them. It is
essential in recognizing the potential
severity of GM organism s effects now
before human health risks become a
commonality and/or plants and animals
DNA are forever altered by these organisms.
References

Cummings, R. (1999, August 29). Hazards of Genetically Engineered Foods and Crop
s: Why
We Need A Global Moratorium. In In Motion Magazine Section and Website Missouri
Rural
Crisis Center. Retrieved
from In Motion Magazine website: http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/
geff4.html#Anchor-Increased-58464

Komat, A. (Speaker). (2008, November). 4 Images of the Global Crisis [Audio podc
ast].
Retrieved from
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKkd3-AHrv4

Whitman, D. B. (2000, April). Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful? In


ProQuest.
Retrieved
from http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/gmfood/overview.php

20 Questions on Genetically Modified (GM) foods. (2010). World Health Organizati


on.
Retrieved from
http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/