GMOs Need to G-O

May 2, 2017
By BrookeL SILVER, Austin, Texas
BrookeL SILVER, Austin, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

In 1994 when “gm” foods first hit the grocery store, our world was exposed to something new. When I first heard the term “genetically modified,” I pictured unnatural hazardous chemicals being pumped into crops, which is exactly what it is. But many people don’t realize why scientists are doing this and their reasoning behind it. I personally believe that eating “gm” foods are unnatural and causes your body to digest unnatural supplements.
Some pro’s of modifying the genes of a plant are higher production of crops, but by doing this you are changing the natural growth development. Another is it will improve food quality, creating plants that will stay fresh longer and overall be “larger.” Plants could also be injected with nutrients needed on a daily basis, which we have already seen happen in India. Rice was injected with Vitamin A and given to a community that was suffering with blindness due to vitamin deficiency. This poverty-stricken community received overwhelming results within all the individuals there, saving them from going blind. Although this genetically modified Indian rice saved thousands, gmo’s can be detrimental to our health. “Genetically modified organisms” are still unknown territory, affecting our health in ways still uncertain. The cross contamination of  “foreign genes” into staple crops can create new allergies. The first death proven to be caused by a gmo was January 18, 2015 when a man ate a tomato infected with an unknown allergen. The doctors blamed it on the scientists; an unrecognizable set of genes in the tomato killed the man. This death was completely unpredictable. Modifying a crop’s gene creates a high risk of creating a new allergen when genes are crossed through different species. Since gene trading is still a highly unknown territory, there are many unpredictable reactions and allergens that may form. Changing the crop native to its area may cause an environmental change. Also this crop change may affect an organism dependent of it. Pollen carrying the herbicide resistant gene is spread onto weeds and insects, creating “superweeds” and new insects that are not harmed by herbicides, defeating the whole purpose.

Many people also argue that by creating gmo’s, the use of pesticides is reduced. A 2009 survey by USDA claimed that "GE [genetically engineered] crops have increased overall pesticide use by 318.4 million pounds over the first 13 years of commercial use, compared to the amount of pesticide likely to have been applied in the absence of HT and Bt seeds." Injecting crops with pest-resistant genes is beneficial to farmers growing the crops, but are unnatural for our human bodies. Whatever is injected or bred into the crops, is consumed and digested in whoever eats those crops. Studies show that animals which have been fed genetically modified feed have experienced health changes, like weight loss, weight gain, tumors, and high levels of toxicity. Some gmo foods have had antibiotic features built into them to make them immune to diseases or viruses. When you eat them, these antibiotic markers persist in your body and can make actual antibiotic medications less effective. About a dozen studies have shown decrease in the function of the liver, heart, and other organs in animals that eat gmo’s.

Although it seems that we should have the right to know what is being put into our foods, the government still doesn’t require food to be labeled “genetically modified,” so be careful. The easiest way to know if something is completely natural is if it is “100% organic.” Don’t buy “fake.” Buy organic!

The author's comments:

If you are what you eat, I guess we are all just genetically modified organisms. How do you feel about that?

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