Essay About Genetically Modified Organisms
Are changes in genes such a bad thing? They happen in nature all the time. Things now are very different than they were thousands of years ago. A genetically modified organism or GMO is defined as “a plant, animal, microorganism or other organisms whose genetic makeup has been modified in a laboratory using genetic engineering or transgenic technology” (2016). Many of the foods we eat contain GMO-derived ingredients, and you should decide how comfortable you are to eat them.
Consumers have the right to know what foods they want to eat. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledges that many consumers are interested in whether food ingredients are derived from genetically engineered crops and has provided guidelines to manufacturers who want to voluntarily mark their products as containing these ingredients or not (Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition). Evidence has shown that genetically modified (GM) plant foods sold to date are as safe as comparable non-GM foods. Genetically altered or not it is the FDA’s job to make sure that all food is safe to eat. FDA enforces the U.S. food safety laws that prohibit unsafe food. GM plants must meet the same legal requirements that apply to all food. To help ensure that firms are meeting their obligation to market only safe and lawful foods, FDA encourages developers of GM plants to consult with the agency before marketing their products. (Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition)
GMO crops may actually allow farmers to use fewer pesticides on their fields, contrary to what some claim. This is because it is possible to modify GM crops to allow more selective use of herbicides and pesticides, provide more intrinsic resistance to pests, and allow GM plants to compete more effectively against weeds. GM food products need to be tested rigorously before they can be sold in the United States, far more so than conventionally grown crops. The testing process may take 7-10 years, including assessments of potential risks to humans and animals, as well as potential risks to wildlife and the environment (Five good reasons to support GMOs 2019).
There are ways people can avoid GMO foods. A few years ago, it was uncommon for companies to label their products as non- GMO but it is becoming a lot more popular now. People can choose foods that have an organic seal that states “USDA ORGANIC” or “NON-GMO Project verified” to certify that GMOs were not used in manufacturing. People can also research websites that list companies and foods that do not use genetically modified foods.
Foods are often genetically modified to make them more disease resistant, to increase their nutritional value, or to enhance their ability to grow under different climatic conditions. Many of the foods we eat contain GMO-derived ingredients, and you should decide how comfortable you are consuming them.