Should Our Food Be Labeled?
Did you know that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require Genetically Modified (GM) food to be labeled as such in the U.S? Genetically modifying food is the process of crossing the DNA of one plant or animal with the DNA of a different plant or animal. Some crops, such as tobacco and potatoes, are crossed with arctic fish so they can survive through mild frosts. 54% of all GM foods are crossed with a pesticide or herbicide to keep it from being eaten by a bug or killed by a weed. In a sense, we are creating a super plant that can live through most anything with proper genetic mutation. There are some benefits, but there are definitely some problems as well.
A problem that is pertinent in many people across the U.S is the rise of allergies in children, teens and adults. A person might not be allergic to a non-GM strawberry, but when crossed with the DNA of a watermelon, it can cause a mild to severe allergic reaction. Also the FDA and the people that create GM foods don’t really know how GM foods affect human bodies, so for all we know, we could be eating some thing harmful to our bodies. On the other hand, with the help of GM foods we have vegetables and fruits all year long, with no worn holes or bugs. Although, would it hurt anyone to label the packaging on GM foods? For me I think the FDA should label GM foods because I recently became allergic to many foods, and with lots of research I found out almost all of the food I am allergic is high on the GM list.
If they had been labeled I might have come to the realization sooner that I can eat non-GM food, and I would have been better off. Can you imagine a world where half of food allergies were gone? That’s what would happen if people avoided GM foods. Does it sound logical to combine the toxic chemicals in pesticides with a harmless vegetable, that with proper tending you don’t need pesticides to keeps bugs out, let alone crossing DNA with them? Fruits, vegetables, and even canned food possibly have been genetically modified. What would happen if more people didn’t need epi-pens? Many people would be very gracious; that they didn’t have to worry about what they eat! The FDA should make companies label the food GM or non-GM and even a have a General Surgeons warning saying it hasn’t been determined if GM foods are harmful or not. Did you know that the genetically modified genes from a GM food can be passed on through a pregnant woman and on to her baby and the gene stays in the umbilical cord blood, even though it should have been digested and passed through the bowel? Also, the food industry that produces GM food would only be minorly affected, because as of 2006 only about 50% of people would say they wouldn’t buy GM foods, even if the food was labeled.
In Australia, Japan, and all the countries in the European Union have restrictions and bans on GM food, until we know more about GM foods and the effects it has on us. At least those countries have the common sense to not allow their people to have a food that they don’t know that much about. Couldn’t we at least tell people if they’re eating something GM or non-GM? I believe until we know more about GM foods or if its harmful or not, we have the right to know.