Ethics Of Genetically Modified Food

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Bioengineering of food, which is the process of producing genetically modified food (GMO) has always been an controversial issue since the first GMO, humulin, was approved by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1982 (Woolsey, 2012). The process involves the introduction of one or multiple genes of an organism into the DNA of another through the method of genetic engineering in order to obtain new and beneficial characteristics. GMO is not only known as genetically modified food, but it is also called biotech crops or transgenic organisms. There are reasons as to why it is such a controversial issue but let me first explain the objective of producing genetically modified food.

The first GMO approved by FDA, humulin (an insulin made by
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People are concerned about whether GMO is safe to be consumed as anti-GMO activists claimed that eating them over the long run may pose a threat to public health. The revolt against GMO started when Dr. Pusztai, a nutritionist and biochemist who worked with Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland for 36 years publicized the result of his research on genetically modified potatoes. His research showed that rats were showing growth of cancerous cells, stunted growth and immune system damage after they were fed with genetically modified potatoes which were supposed to produce safe insecticide called the GNA lectin. The aftermath of this case that happened in 1998 was that people are becoming aware of the risks associated with eating …show more content…
Recently this year, there are 19 European countries which forbid the growing of genetically engineered crops on their lands. While many countries are imposing restrictions and bans on genetically modified food, the United States, however, is one of the biggest producers of genetically modified crops. According to statistics, 88% of corns that are grown in the US are genetically engineered, the same goes to 94% of soy, 95% of sugar beets, 90% of canola oil, 90% of cotton, and about 80% of Hawaiian papaya. Even though it is the major producer of GM crops, the United States does not require labeling of genetically engineered food. This obviously causes dissatisfaction among American consumers. Based on the poll conducted for, it is shown that 93% of the participants think that GMO should be labeled so that people know what they are eating. This shows that people in the United States are actually aware of the pros and cons of consuming GMO

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