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Gmo Labeling Legislation Is Necessary Now

1444 words - 6 pages

Are genetically engineered (GE) foods or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) required to be labeled? Unfortunately, though polls consistently show a majority of Americans want to know if the food they are purchasing contains GMOs, powerful biotech corporations continue to keep this information hidden from the public (GMO Facts). Genetic engineering is the transfer of genetic material from one organism to another, including unrelated species such as plants and animals. For example, scientists may insert a gene from a fish that thrives in a icy part of the ocean into a strawberry in hope that the fruit could become frost-resistant, however, cross-reactivity could occur if those who consume the altered berry are allergic to fish. Genetically modified foods have been in existence since the early 1990s, and they are not going away any time soon. In the European Union for example, GMOs are widely either restricted or banned if the “GMO in question poses a risk to human health or the environment” (Health and Consumers). I believe that genetically modified organisms are not only bad for the global economy, but a threat to the safety and integrity of the global food supply. Therefore, I propose legislation be passed in the United States requiring corporations to label foods that contain GMOs because we deserve the right to know what we are consuming.
Consumers have the right to know what they are eating, especially since GMOs could have negative health effects on humans. Jeffery M. Smith, Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology and consumer activist about GM foods discusses that the Bt toxin, regularly engineered into many foods as a barrier between the environment, causes skin irritation, nausea, fever, and can lead to increased incidence of allergies as well as compromise the immune response (Skancke 17). If the Bt toxin, a common biological pesticide found in many GM foods can cause individuals numerous problems, consumers should be able to make an informed choice whether or not to procure and consume products containing GMOs in the future. Giuseppe Nacci, an Italian physician, published an article in the highly acclaimed Gerson Institute Newsletter, which brought to light that “genetically modified foods disrupt the body’s ability to fight disease. Recent scientific research has shown that transgenic food causes the immune system of rats to collapse.” If rats’ immune systems fail to function properly after ingesting GM foods, humans, who have been ingesting these foods for about two decades, should have the right to make informed decisions to prevent any health concerns from arising. Making these choices is challenging today due to the simple fact that the average consumer does not know what he or she may be eating. Looking at a label on a product and deciding whether to consume a GMO is currently not a consumer’s choice in 48 out of 50 states in the United States. Farmers, however, have a bigger say in whether GMOs...

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