Genetically Engineered Foods Essay example

Submitted By CaitlinAnn
Words: 835
Pages: 4

Scientists have begun building genetically engineered food to change the DNA structure in plants. For example, tomatoes are sensitive to frost, which shortens their growth season. Fish, on the other hand, live in very cold water. Scientists identified and isolated the specific gene that enables a flounder to resist cold and used the technology of genetic engineering to insert this ‘anti-freeze’ gene into tomatoes. This makes it possible to extend the growing season. At first glance, this might seem exciting, but deeper consideration reveals serious dangers. Genetically engineered foods are not a safe option because they pose severe health hazards, cause environmental strain, and continue to hurt the current economic situation.
To begin with, genetically modifying foods is an imprecise experiment with widespread repercussions that is harmful to everyone involved (Bailey 13). This relatively modern technology gives scientists the ability to change and swap the DNA make-up of any species. While this may seem like a breakthrough, it causes many problems for people who eat the modified food, for the plants that are changed, for the farmers who typically grow the original plants, and for the environment (Bailey). Another reason to should stop altering food is that no long-term tests have been done to see what side affects could occur. Big corporations are too busy making money to care if this will change the world forever. Companies such as StarLink are too busy trying to make are ignoring the fact that changing their DNA could cause cancer, and/or drive wildlife away (Teitel, Wilson 41).
In addition, because genetically modified crops are harmful to humans and the environment, some people have decided to buy organically grown food. Consumers believe that the organic system can be economically practical. This system also provides a wide range of environmental and social benefits, and most importantly, it enables consumers to make a choice about the food they eat. Unfortunately, at a time when sales of organic food are soaring, a development in agriculture is removing an essential choice about the food eaten and raising important questions about the future of food and environment. Genetically modified crops are proven through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to simply be an extension of traditional methods of plant breeding (Charlebois 2).
Similarly, many genetically modified foods are approved by the government to be safe, but have many effects that need consideration. For example, many of these new crops cause people’s current allergies to be worse. “The foods have also proved to have substantial effects including weakened immune systems and changes in the developments of the heart, liver, kidneys, and brains” (Charlebois 10). Pesticide chemicals have been shown to be linked to cancer. Genetic engineers use antibiotic-resistance genes to mark engineered cells. “These genes may be picked up by bacteria which may infect the consumer. [As a result,] thirty-seven people died, one thousand-five hundred were partially paralyzed, and five thousand more were temporarily disabled by a syndrome that was finally linked to tryptophan made by genetically engineered bacteria” (Charlebois).
Furthermore, the outcome of these new manufactured goods harms the environment. Plants that are genetically engineered will greatly increase the amount of herbicide use. More pesticides and herbicides on crops will put more