Genetically Modified Foods
' There has been a great deal of controversy over genetically modified foods (GMOs). First, many individuals and organizations oppose the concept of altering the genetics of foods for any reason. And secondly, there is a hot debate as to whether or not food manufacturers should publish / label their packages as containing GMOs. This paper covers the controversies and provides several angles to the debates.
The way in which companies modify food genetically is through " ... the use of recombinant DNA biotechnological procedures that allow the genetic makeup" of the seeds to be changed materially (Schneider, et al., 2014). There are two ways GMOs can be produced through "recombination": either by moving genes from one organism to another organism; or by making changes in genes within an organism "that are already present" (Schneider, p. 1). The changes that occur after being genetically engineered result in what Schneider calls, "the expression of attributes not found in the original organism" (p. 1). Foods that have been genetically engineered include: a) "delayed-ripening tomatoes"; b) "pest-resistant crops ... " such as beetle-resistant potatoes; and c) herbicide-tolerant soybeans (Schneider, p. 1).
Who Benefits From GMOs?
In fact the big agribusinesses like Monsanto are " ... artificially remaking life by crashing through the natural barrier between species" in order to genetically manipulate certain foods and then patenting their manipulations (Sierra Club). The Sierra Club claims that genes from genetically manipulated crops can potentially be spread to crops in a nearby field, or to "wild species," which would create a "major disaster for the welfare of the planet and its inhabitants." How is the Sierra Club exerting influence on the need for labeling food packaging (so consumers know there are GMOs in their food)? The Sierra Club and other groups are supporting legislation authored by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Peter DeFazio called the "Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act" (Sierra Club, p. 1).
On the other hand, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), another interest group (that has in the past been a critic of food companies and of "artificial and unhealthy ingredients in foods") does not oppose genetically modified foods (Jalonick, 2014). The CSPI says there is no evidence that GMOs are harmful,…
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