Ethics Of Genetically Modified Foods

817 Words 4 Pages
The debate of genetically modified foods has existed as long as genetically modified foods have existed. Since there is allegedly no scientific evidence suggesting there may be health complications associated with eating genetically modified foods, there is ample room for controversy and doubt. As much speculation there is regarding genetically modified foods, it is important for the consumer to consider the cost, ethics, and scientific facts when deciding whether to purchase genetically modified or organic foods. Big industries and supporters thereof have time and time again defended the use of genetically modified products with the notion that there is no scientific evidence of health complications derived from consuming genetically modified …show more content…
One such company is Monsanto, one of the leading companies in genetically modified products. Monsanto has an extensive past of manufacturing harmful chemicals, resulting in areas still polluted long after they closed their factories. According to Barrett and Steele, one of their plants that operated in Nitro, North Carolina from 1929 to 1995 manufactured an herbicide whose byproduct was dioxin, a known human carcinogen. This waste was allowed to run into streams, into the air when the waste was burned, and into landfills. The Nitro plant stopped producing dioxin in 1969, but studies show that there are still elevated levels of this toxic chemical in nearby rivers and fish (Barrett and Steele, 2013, p. 827 – 829). Another town mentioned by Barrett and Steele which Monsanto has polluted is Anniston, Alabama, where the company produced PCBs, a chemical linked to neurological, immune, endocrine, and reproductive system damage as well as liver damage. Similarly to Nitro, Monsanto’s Anniston plant failed to dispose of this waste properly; it was dumped in open-pit landfills, allowed to flow off the property with storm water, and poured directly into streams. Therefore, Anniston remains polluted 37 years after the plant ceased production of PCBs, with elevated levels of PCBs in houses, …show more content…
However, organic food is much more expensive and less available than genetically modified foods. It is therefore up to the consumer whether to spend more money on organic foods due to speculation over genetically modified foods or to trust the industry when they say that there is no scientific evidence against genetically modified foods. In the end, the most informed consumer is the most prepared consumer when deciding between organic and genetically modified

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