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Genetically Modified Organisms And Why They Should Be Banned

1850 words - 8 pages

Genetically Modified Organisms and
Why They Should Be Banned
Ana Bosio
Montclair State University

Genetically Modified Organisms and
Why They Should Be Banned
Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs for short, are defined as plants, animals, or microorganisms that have had their genes altered through genetic engineering using the application of recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (rDNA) technology. This kind of genetic engineering began in the early 1970s when DNA was isolated from a bacterium, duplicated, and inserted into another bacterium. The resulting DNA, known as rDNA, allows researchers to transfer genetic material from one organism to another. Researchers can now identify the genes that are responsible for a desired trait and reorganize or insert them from the cells of one bacterium, a plant, or animal into the cells of other bacteria, plants, or animals. What this process is trying to achieve is to produce a new species or an improved version of ones that already exist (Brown, 2011).
Commercial planting of genetically modified seeds in the United States began in 1996, and quite soon after this, food products containing GMOs began appearing on grocery store shelves, and mostly without peoples’ knowledge. By the year 2011, 94 percent of all soybeans and 88 percent of all corn grown within the U.S. was genetically modified. Soy and corn, along with other common GM foods such as canola oil, cottonseed oil, and sugar from sugar beets, are used as ingredients in numerous other products, so most people have been eating GM foods without even realizing it (Smith, 2012).
Genetic engineering is an invasion of nature’s domain. These new organisms are created in laboratories and would never occur in nature. Biotech companies do this to increase the food’s resistance to pests, disease, severe growing conditions, transportation damage, and spoilage. The FDA's scientists actually warned the government that these new foods could possibly create new toxins and new allergens. These foods needed to be more thoroughly tested, but their concerns were greatly ignored.
Instead of providing further testing of these foods, the US government took the official position that genetically modified foods were substantially equivalent to conventional foods and didn't require safety testing or labeling (Smith, 2012). 50 other countries, however, require that these kinds of foods be clearly labeled. In Europe, Austria, France, Germany, Greece, and Hungary actually set forth bans on the cultivation and import of genetically modified products. Foods that are genetically modified should be labeled because the safety of these foods is unknown due to insufficient testing and consumers have the right to know what is in their food (Dahl, 2012).
There are many concerns about food biotechnology. The concern most commonly expressed to the Food and Drug Administration by consumers was the possibility that the proteins produced by these new...

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