Myths And Truths: The Use Of Genetically Modified Food

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Genetically Modified Organisms
In recent years there has been a growing debate about the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food supply. A GMO is created by injecting genetic material from plants, animals, or bacteria into a crop in hopes of creating a new and beneficial trait (Blackwood). The use of GMOs is typically touted as a way to enhance or create a specific trait, such as pest and disease resistance or to increase the nutritional content of a crop. Those on both sides of the issue continue to fiercely debate. Researcher Claire Robinson one of the authors of the report GMO Myths and Truths states: “Claims for the safety and efficacy of GM crops are often based on dubious evidence or no evidence at all. The GMO industry
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Facing an increasing world population and third-world hunger, where it is estimated that a child will die every two seconds from malnutrition (Edwards, et.al. 4). The pro-GMO claim the nutrition derived from genetically enriched food, such as Gold rice, has been used to feed those in third-world countries. For those living in underdeveloped third-world countries who cannot afford meats, fruits, and vegetables, the nutritional benefits of GMO crops like Gold rice have made it possible to get the vitamins and minerals needed. Despite over a decade of hype surrounding Gold rice, this miracle crop is still not available in the marketplace. Delays in commercialization of Gold rice have been blamed on the anti-GMO movement. The real reason for the delay in deploying Gold rice are basic research and development problems (Fagan, Antoniou, and Robinson 3.11). The first variety of Gold rice was found to have insufficient beta-carotene content. Beta-carotene is needed especially in those third-world countries where vitamin A deficiency causes blindness, illness, and deaths. A new genetically modified rice will need to be developed with a higher beta-carotene content, to meet the needs of those malnourished. The development of a new GM Gold rice with higher beta-carotene will take years. Gold rice has not been subjected to any toxicology test on animals as required by the European regulatory system. …show more content…
GMOs have only been around the last twenty years, there is no possible way that health authorities can test all possible combinations on a large enough population, over a long enough period of time to be able to say with absolute certainty that they are harmless (Walia). Consumers should not be the unwitting participants of experiments to determine the effects that GMOs have on the human body. Geneticist David Suzuki, professor of genetics at the University of British Columbia from 1963 until his retirement in 2001, states: “by slipping it into our food without our knowledge, without any indication that there are genetically modified organisms in our food, we are now unwittingly part of a massive experiment” (qtd. in Walia). The pro-GMO believe that the safety and long-term effects of GMOs have been extensively studied. Research projects like the projects the European Commission has funded, include 130 research projects, carried out by more than 500 independent teams, on the safety of genetically modified crops (Freedman 3). The results of these studies they suggest, found that there were no special risks resulting from GMO crops. None of these research projects, however focused on the long-term effects. The Séralini study in 2012 by the University of Caen, France was the first study to determine the effects of GMOs long-term. The results of the Séralini study found that, Monsanto GM

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