Genetically Modified Foods

Walking through a grocery store, you see all kinds of food but do you ever wonder if that food is genetically modified? Most Americans don’t.

Genetically modified food is filled with hormones to fight off diseases in order to produce a larger product on a larger scale. This often helps places with large population and poorer economy but the health effects aren’t worth it. Genetically modified foods are everywhere and can be harmful to you, yet the US doesn’t require them to be labeled. Other places like Europe label GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms), so why doesn’t the US? The big question remaining concerning genetically engineered food is if it’s okay for your health. Most Americans have no opinion on genetically engineered food because they don’t know what it is (Windley). The hormones make the plants resistant to bacteria but since the DNA structure is altered, the healthy qualities of the food are gone; so, does it even still make it the same plant? Well, technically it is not the same because the characteristics are different.

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So, if it’s not the same plant, what are you eating? In actuality, the “mysterious plant” negatively affects your immune system. 65-75% of foods sold contain genetically engineered components or byproducts in the form of new proteins (Bailey). People don’t realize how much of the food that they intake is modified. In America, the genetically modified crops are often for emergency aid in the world’s starving and highly populated countries. In those nations across the world, they depend on the genetically modified food. It’s their only choice.

The populations are so large, so they need a large intake of food. More research is being done on the quality of food they are eating; however, the research poses a serious problem. GMOs aren’t a replacement of conventional breeding while many farmers see it as that (Borlaug). In grocery stores now, GMO food isn’t labeled yet foods containing more than .9% GMO must be.

87% of people who know about GMOs want them to be addressed (Bittman). Currently, the FDA and USDA don’t require the products to be labeled because they don’t want to imply that the food is different. Yet, the FDA is testing the side effects of genetically modified salmon so they partially know it’s harmful. GMOs should be labeled because people deserve to know what they’re eating. When you’re grocery shopping, you should be warned whether foods containing GMOs or not.

Companies label foods with “Sugar Free,” “Diet,” or “100 Calories,” but never “Contains GMOs” or “GMO Free.” However, one reason that America has kept GMOs legal and not labeled is that they provide aid in the form of food to those in countries of starvation. The technology in the US creates a low-yielding and high production technology that may be nearly the only option there because it is cheaper (Borlaug). This is also a main reason that the FDA has kept it around yet, if this is the food they intake, it poses even more health problems on them. Humans become more resistant to antibiotics and more open to diseases.

Also, because of all the hormones injected, men are getting taller and women are producing larger breasts as well as having more problems with fertility. Many people do not know much about genetically modified food yet it could be crucial to their health to know. Genetically modified food farm acreage worldwide has increased largely in the past century. Other countries participate in this act and they label their foods but the US does not. Americans need to be more concerned about their food intake and what effect it has on you because with genetically modified foods, you don’t know exactly what you’re eating.