GMO Food Safety Essay

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GMO FoodsThe safety, or lack thereof, of genetically modified foods is subject to considerable debate in the public sphere. In order to render a reasonable opinion on the subject of feeding GMO foods to my children, I would want to defer to the best available science, and add a dash of reason. The first thing that would need to be established is the methodology by which one assesses the concept of safety. Clearly, there are no safety issues in the sense of GMO foods being poison (i.e. having immediate negative health effects). The question of GMO safety therefore is more a question of long-term impacts on human health.

A major study on the safety of genetically modified foods determined that, based on the traditional human food consumption patterns, there are no safety issues with the consumption of plant-based GMO foods (Konig et al, 2004). Further studies have examined the use of GMO crops as feed, with reference to the safety of meat products derived from the consumption of animals that were fed GMO crops. This study also found that there were no negative health effects related to genetic modifications (EFSA GMO Panel, 2008).

More recent papers have questioned...

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Some of the claims noted are that there are a wide range of different research methods employed, that there is inadequacy of available procedures for testing, and that there are differences in the analysis and interpretation of data. One would reasonably think that using a wide range of interpretations and research methods, and still reaching the same conclusions, would make a case in favor of GMO safety, but the critique of inadequate research methods is one worth considering. It is also worth considering that GMO foods have only been in existence for around 25 years, not long enough for longitudinal studies on the adverse impacts of these foods. To counter the longitudinal argument, studies utilizing mice or rats are conducted, extrapolating findings over the lifespan of a rodent to the lifespan of a human being. That is imprecise science, and of course testing would need to be conducted for a wide range of different outcomes.
My sense is to determine whether or not to feed my children GMO-based foods is one that contrasts the best available science, which…

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