Genetically Modified Organisms And How They Have Changed Food In America

2098 words - 9 pages

Modified America
Food is an essential part of everyday life without it one could not survive. Every day we make choices on what we put in to our bodies. There are countless varieties of food to choose from to meet the diverse tastes of the increasing population. Almost all food requires a label explaining the ingredients and the nutritional value allowing consumers to make informed decisions on what they are consuming. However, many may not be considering where that food is coming from or how it has been produced. Unfortunately, there is more to food than meets the eye. Since 1992, “ the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruled, based on woefully limited data, that genetically modified foods were ‘substantially equivalent’ to their non-GM counterparts” (Why to Support Labeling). GM food advocates have promised to create more nutritious food that will be able to grow in harsh climate conditions and eventually put an end to world hunger in anticipation of the growing population. There is very little evidence to support these claims and study after study has proven just the opposite. GM crops are not only unsafe to consume, but their growing practices are harmful to the environment, and multinational corporations are putting farmers out of business. A GMO is a plant or animal that has been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses, or other plants and animals. Most of the combinations which are used could not possibly occur in nature on its own. The intention of the process is to create a new beneficial trait such as creating its own pesticide or make it immune to herbicides. This would allow the crop such as Bt corn, which has been altered to create its own pesticide, to fend for itself without having to spray additional insecticides. This also allows farmers to spray as much herbicides as necessary without damaging the crop that has been altered. Experimental technology is also creating foods that are nutritionally enhanced or have nutrients that a conventional plant would not normally have without being genetically modified. All of these advancements seem like a great idea but there are some problems. GMOs have not had extensive long term testing that is needed to ensure the safety of those who are consuming them. Most of the testing that has been performed has been done so by the corporations that produces them and has the most to gain from their success (Antoniou, 34). Companies such as Monsanto are at the forefront of GM technology and seed production.
Monsanto is a multinational chemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation that was founded in 1901. It has become the largest seed company owning 27 percent of the worldwide seed market. 80 percent of the corn and 90 percent of the soy beans produced contain traits that have been patented by Monsanto (Wohlers 76). Monsanto soy has become the most widely used because it...

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