The Safety of GMO Research Paper

Ron Garner, a well-known health researcher, educator and author of the book Conscious Health: A Complete Guide to Wellness Through Natural Means, writes, “Since the body becomes what we feed it, genetically modified foods and produce will have a negative influence on one’s cellular structure”. In fact, the issue about GMOs or genetically modified foods has been widely discussed in the academic literature, encouraging debate about the effects of GMOs on human health. GMOs are novel organisms produced in a laboratory by means of new genetic modification/engineering techniques. Genetic engineering stands for the process that provides certain modifications of the DNA of different crops, such as corn, soy, cotton, or moving genes between the organisms. Undoubtedly, the safety of GMOs is the subject of a passionate debate. On one hand, anti-GMO advocates claim the process poses risks to human health and ecosystems, but some figures in the food industry dismiss those claims. Many scientists, consumers and the representatives of environmental groups highlight the significance of the existing health and environmental risks associated with food containing GMO. As a result, many people across the world demand “non-GMO” foods and criticize the quality of GMOs.  Thesis statement: There is no scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs because of the large number of negative effects on human health caused by these organisms, but much effort has already been made to address current and future concerns about GMOs.

Experts in the field of food safety have made decisions about the safety of GMO foods, providing enough scientific evidence regarding the quality of GMO foods. It is necessary to provide comments on regulation for the use of GMOs and relevant scientific information to receive public approval and marketing. There is much evidence that genetically modified crops are widely grown in America. According to researchers, “although the technology was only developed in the 1980s, more than three-quarters of the nation’s corn, soy and sugar beets are now genetically altered” (Rosenthal, 2010, p. 1). It is necessary to take into consideration the fact that genetically engineered crops are specially developed in the laboratories to ensure a commercial advantage for farmers, such as resistance to insects and the ability to ripen rather slowly in  order to extend the period of selling in supermarkets. These facts mean that farmers do not consider the negative effects of GMOs on other genes, which may lead to the production of novel proteins and a large amount of toxins and allergens in GMO foods.

In addition, the safety of GMOs has been criticized by environmental groups and consumers from all over the world because of the negative effects of GMOs on organic foods. GMOs may cause harm to other organisms. For example, in the case of growing sugar beets, there is much evidence from recent studies “the gene could contaminate the crops of organic farmers nearby” (Rosenthal, 2010, p. 2). Certainly, this fact means that farmers and consumers will have no opportunity to grow and consume non-genetically engineered foods, if there are no specific restrictions or regulations directed to the production or growth of GMO foods. The United States is considered to be the biggest GMO crop producer in the world, but American environmental groups and consumers continue to criticize the increased use of GMOs.

Note: The data of the World’s Biggest GMO Lovers: top GMO growing countries (2012) is adapted from “CHARTS: World’s GMO Crop Fields Could Cover the US 1.5 Times Over” by Jaeah Lee Feb. 26, 2013.  Retrieved from:< http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/02/gmo-farming-crops-more-popular-than-ever-world-charts>

            Moreover, most of GMO foods are considered to be dangerous for human health because of the radical changes they made in food. Many consumers in the United States avoid the use of GM ingredients and are focused on preventing the major American food companies to use GMOs in food production. When Dr. Pusztai, one of the well-known researchers in the field of food safety, designed long-term testing protocols in order to provide the official European GM food safety assessment process, he realized that the issue of GMO safety requires thorough investigation. He fed rats with GMO foods and found that “they developed potentially pre-cancerous cell growth, smaller brains, livers and testicles, partially atrophied livers, and a damaged immune system” (Smith, 2010, p. 1). Besides, the results of the research showed that the major cause of the concerns regarding GMO safety can be explained by the unpredictable side effects of GMOs that arise from the genetic engineering process. The researcher suggested that the GMOs may create negative effects caused by the genetic engineering process.

            Nevertheless, there are some experts who point out to the need for the increased production and consumption of GMO foods. According to researchers, “without the benefits of the newer molecular techniques of genetic engineering, the nation’s wheat industry will continue to struggle against other commodities that have adopted biotechnology, and against the drought conditions out West” (Lusk & Millerfeb, 2014). In fact, GMO farming can considerably reduce the use of pesticides and the level of carbon dioxide emissions, providing benefits to the farmers from both developed and developing countries. The following GMO crops are produced in the USA and other countries: corn, soybeans, cotton, sugar beets and other crops. Today more than 90 percent of the nation’s corn and soybean acres are planted with GMO seeds to address commercial needs (Lusk & Millerfeb, 2014). Undoubtedly, this statement might be true, but it is necessary to consider that negative effects of GMO foods on human health. Although many countries are aimed at promoting genetic engineering, there are some countries, like China, Brazil and Indonesia that are concerned about the security of their foods and provided limited opportunities for the growth of GMOs in domestic production.

Thus, it is necessary to conclude that GMOs may have negative impact on human health if there are no specific restrictions and regulation on the production and consumption of GMO foods. Recent research findings show that there are certain health dangers from GMO foods. There is a need for inclusion of short-term and long-term assessments of GMOs in order to address hazards caused by GMO foods. Although this issue remains the subject of a continuous debate, it is necessary to consider the views of both anti-GMO advocates, who suggest that the process of genetic engineering poses serious risk to human health and ecosystems, as well as the views of GMO advocates, who place emphasis on the benefits of GMOs in the food industry. The fears about the safety of GMO foods are not sufficiently justified, although the effects of GMOs raise concerns among consumers, environmental groups and scientists. So, what should be done to minimize the risks posed by GMOs? Surprisingly enough, it is easy to find solution to this problem. There is a need for the strict regulation and supervision of the production of organic foods and GMO foods. Our people should be aware of the posed dangers of GMOs. Educational programs can help to increase public awareness of the significance of minimizing the consumption of GMO foods. Hence, our people should be well-educated on the quality of food and its effects on the cellular structure.

References

            Lusk, J. & Millerfeb, H. I. (2014). We Need G.M.O. Wheat. The New York Times. Retrieved from:< http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/03/opinion/we-need-gmo-wheat.html>

            Rosenthal, E. (2010). A Belated Debate on Modified Beets. The New York Times. Retrieved from:< http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/10/genetically-modified-beets-stir-belated-debate/?_r=0>

Smith, J. M. (2010). Healthy Eating Means No GMOs.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

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"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

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"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: August 11, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: August 11, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

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