A.P. Human Geography
“Genetic Modification to Feed the World”
From a global perspective, Genetically Modified Food is seen simply by two sides. Those that strongly oppose it and those that strongly support it. “Environmental activists, religious organizations, public interest groups, professional associations and other scientists and government officials have all raised concerns about GM foods, and criticized agribusiness for pursuing profit without concern for potential hazards, and the government for failing to exercise adequate regulatory oversight. It seems that everyone has a strong opinion about GM foods. Even the Vatican and the Prince of Wales have expressed their opinions. Most concerns about GM foods fall into three categories: environmental hazards, human health risks, and economic concerns.” - Deborah B. Whitman
Genetically Modified Food can be traced back as to the late 1800’s when Louis
Pasteur discovered that by increasing the temperatures of juices, it would kill of the bacteria that had grown on it. This process was then applied to milk production by heating milk to a certain temperature to improve food quality. Years later, Food Biotechnology has grown to include cloning plants and cattle, as well as more development in genetically modified foods. Then in 1946, scientists discovered that DNA can be mixed with other organisms. The first Genetically Modified Plant was created in 1983, using an antibiotic-resistant tobacco plant.
“In 1994, the Flavr Savr tomato, a genetically modified tomato, was the first commercially grown genetically engineered food to be granted a license for human consumption. It was produced by the Californian Company Calgene, and submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1992.” James, Clive Global Review of the Field Testing and Commercialization of Transgenic Plants: 1986 to 1995. And in 2011, the U.S produced a list of multiple countries in the production of Genetically Modified Crops, and 25 Genetically Modified Crops had received approval to be grown commercially. Currently, 85% of corn, 91% of soybeans, and 88% of cotton produced in the United States are genetically modified.
The Genetically Modified Foods issue is a fight over the use of bio engineered foods and other goods originating from Genetically Modified Crops instead of organic. The issue is between consumers, biotechnology companies, governmental regulators and scientists. The main topic of the issue related to Genetically Modified Food are whether such foods should be labeled in supermarkets nation-wide, the role of government regulators, scientific research and publication, the effects of Genetically Modified Crops on human health, the effects on pesticide resistance, the impact bio engineered crops on farmers, and the role of the crops in feeding the world. “While there is concern among the public that eating genetically modified food may be harmful, there is broad scientific consensus that food on the market derived from these crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food. No reports of ill effects have been documented in the human population from genetically modified food. Although labeling of genetically modified organism (GMO) products in the marketplace is required in many countries, it is not required in the United States or Canada and no distinction between marketed GMO and non-GMO foods is recognized by the U.S.” United States Institute of Medicine and National Research Council (2004). “Opponents of genetically modified food, such as the advocacy groups Organic Consumers Association, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Greenpeace, say risks have not been adequately identified and managed, and they have questioned the objectivity of regulatory authorities. Some groups…