There is a battle raging across the United States between consumers who purchase genetically modified foods and the companies that processes these foods through genetic modification. Consumers are demanding that all genetically modified foods are labeled so that they will have information about what ingredients are in these foods. The companies who sell genetically modified foods do not want to label them and are making claims that labeling these foods would raise food prices, hurt farmers, and cause genetically modified foods to gain the reputation of being harmful to humans. Consumers should ignore the claims by companies responsible for producing genetically modified foods and be unrelenting in their insistence that all genetically modified foods are labeled. They should further demand that genetically modified foods have labels that are not written in biotech language, but in terms simple enough that an elementary school age child could read and understand.
Genetically modified foods are foods produced after the DNA or natural growth processes of plants or animals have been altered by adding DNA from totally different organisms, bacteria or viruses into the plants or animals. In an article by Brittany Cordeiro, “Do GMOs Cause Cancer,” she defined genetically modified organisms as “Plants or animals created by inserting genes from one species into another. This process is known as gene splicing or genetic engineering. It is a type of biotechnology often done in a laboratory. The explanation given by biotech companies and large corporations concerning why they genetically modify food is that genetic modification makes the foods resistance to plant diseases, pest, viral resistance, herbicides, and that it improves nutrition (Cordeiro).
In an article by P. Bryme, “Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods,” it was stated that the most common genetically modified crops in the United States are soybean, corn, cotton and canola. A large amount of processed food products have soybean or corn ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup or soy protein. It is estimated that between sixty to seventy percent of all processed foods sold in supermarkets have at least one genetically engineered ingredient. The labeling of these foods will present consumers with the opportunity to make wise and healthy food choices before purchasing genetically modified foods and serving them to their families.
The current labeling regulations in the United States set forth by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires labeling of genetically modified foods if the genetically modified organisms in the food causes a vast change in nutritional property; if a new food has an allergen that consumers would not necessarily expect to be present, such as a peanut protein in a soybean product or if the food contains a toxicant beyond acceptable limits. Early in 2001, the Food and Drug Administration proposed voluntary guidelines for labeling...