GMO Food Labeling
Genetically modified organisms, also known as GMO, are organisms that have been genetically altered to have a specific characteristic or trait. GMOs were first introduced in 1994 and no one knew about the potential health problems that could come. Nowadays more Americans worry about where their food comes from. Even though GMOs can help starvation and save labor costs, GMOs should be labeled because we don’t know the long-term health effects, and GM foods can cause a numerous amount of human health problems.
Eating GMOs can pose a real threat to our body, as GM plants and animals are inserted with viruses and bacteria to alter its DNA. In 1992 the FDA stated that there was no difference in GMO than any other foods, but internal memos revealed that their statement was staged under the White House and that they were promoting GMOs. In an article written by Jeffrey M. Smith, it says industry-funded GMO safety studies are too superficial to find most of the potential dangers, and their voluntary consultations with the FDA are widely criticized as a meaningless facade. When Plants or animals are altered, it creates mutation in the DNA which can lead to casualties. As a result, companies who choose to hide foods with GMO leaves us with a higher possibility of getting allergies or even diseases.
For the past 20 years, allergies have increased by fifty percent in the US, and most of those allergies are happening to children. It’s hard for children to choose what they eat, so it’s up to the parents to learn more about GMOs, and to seek foods that are not labeled with GMOs. Ever since GMOs were introduced, soy allergies have increased in the UK as well. In the same article, it said Soy allergies skyrocketed by 50% in the UK, soon after GM soy was introduced. (Jeffrey M. Smith) This is showing that without GMO labels, the US is buying foods without knowing that it contains GMO, and are facing high increases in allergies. Also eating foods that has been genetically modified can give you the chance of becoming allergic to organic foods.
Another reason on why GMOs should be labeled is that they have cause an increase in chronic health problems. In the United States, chronic health problems have increased by twenty five percent, this includes asthma, obesity, and learning capabilities. On the other hand, others may argue that these problems come from poor eating habits, and the overflowing options of unhealthy foods in the US.
On the contrary, GMOs around the world can help those who don’t have enough money to purchase organic products. Foods that have been genetically modified can have a longer shelf life, and their cost to produce is cheaper. For this reason, those who are financially unstable don’t give that much attention to the labels on food. It will benefit them in the end because the product is cheaper, and it would take longer to expire. In other words, why would we need to label products that contain GMO if they could help solve world starvation.
Even though GMOs can help world hunger, GM has been traced to cause cancer. When Farmers spray their crops with Roundup, it can cause cancer to animals or humans, and it also causes mutations in the DNA. A study has shown that where ever they have sprayed Roundup (Chemical that contain GMOs), there are higher rates of cancer. In an article written by Jeffrey M. Smith, it says Several cancer rates in the US are rising in parallel with increased use of glyphosate on GMO soy and corn fields. These include leukemia and cancers of the liver, kidney, bladder, thyroid, and breast. With the rates of cancer increasing, companies should stop being selfish about their money and start to add labels on all GM products before it’s too late.
For instance, biotech companies who produce their foods with GMO deliberately hide GM ingredients in their products. They do this because when their customers see a product with a label saying there are GMOs in this product, they refuse to buy it and select a safer option. It is a devious method that large companies are doing these days. A recent poll made by MSNBC said that more than ninety percent of Americans want to know if their foods contain GMOs. Large companies should know by now the health risks there putting their consumers in, but instead companies are given the option to display GMO information in the barcodes of products, by using a smartphone. That takes a lot of effort just to know what is in your food, the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania made a survey to see who used their smart phones in a grocery store, only fifteen percent scanned the barcode.
However, some may argue that using GMOs is like a shortcut for farmers. When Using GMOs, Farmers can yield more crops, and it makes it easier to produce. There are around seven billion people in the world, and the demand for food is like never before. As a result, farmers are having to use these GMO to meet the high demand for food. As I mentioned, it makes it easier to produce because GMOs can help grow plants in harsh environments. Crops can be made to have a good resistance to insect, and it can also help with herbicides. In an article written by Amanda Z. Farmer, she says Herbicide-Resistant crops have made weed control much easier, with a safer product. We also use less herbicide on our crops because the herbicides are effective the first time around. Others may argue that since GMOs can last longer, it can be shipped to parts of the world where regular foods cannot reach. They will still stay fresh and feed those who are the hungriest. GMOs can also give more nutritional value, such as proteins, and calcium. Which for those who don’t have food every day, it can be a life saver.
To conclude, Labeling products that contain GMOs can help us make smarter choices. When Americans go to the grocery store they don’t want to scan the barcode with their smartphones. They want to be able to just read the back of the product and see if what they’re eating is in reality what they want to be eating. Because of the high demand in food, and more concerned Americans. GMOs should be labeled as they present horrible health risks, allergies, diseases, and the increasing rates of cancer. I cannot stress the importance of knowing where your food comes from, so I suggest using your voice to let all the major companies know that labeling foods, is what all of us want.