GMO's and responsibility for the consumer as well as the corporation Essay

Submitted By agravanis1
Words: 3118
Pages: 13

Avital Gravanis
Professor McGahan
English Composition II
May 16, 2014
Research Paper

Lab Rats Taking Responsibility

Corn, soybean, and McDonald’s French Fries—what do these all have in common? These foods are all some of the most genetically modified foods, or “GMOs,” sold on the market today. By obtaining the genetic information from one organism, and modifying or inserting it into another organism, scientists can make food crops grow bigger and stay fresher, and have the crops produce their own pesticides. The European Commission refers to these foods as Genetically Modified Organisms while the United States uses the term “genetic modification” for all forms of breeding, both modern, as well as genetic engineering, and conventional. (www.fda.gov) Many find this process beneficial, for it allows an increase in food production and more resilient and nutritious crops. This is because foods can be engineered to be pest-resistant, decreasing the amounts of toxic chemical pesticides that need to be applied to plants and crops. GMO advocate Jerry Geisel, a Benefits Management Editor who has covered a history of employee benefits for Business Insurance, says about his experience in relation to the GMO mechanism that “the components of a genetically modified plant that drive insects away are not harmful to human consumers.” On the other hand, opponents claim that genetically modified foods are fairly new and should not be available for human consumption until supplementary research proves, beyond a doubt, that they are “harmless.” This is one of the major concerns for most, especially since many believe there’s no scientific basis for concern. (biotech.org) There have been many disputes over genetically modified crops, representing a significant economic and political issue due to the differences in regulations between the European Union (EU) and the United States, concerning which GMOs are acceptable for human consumption. These disagreements have made U.S. exports of agricultural products to Europe more costly and time-consuming. Furthermore, the European Commission is considering regulations that could make it even harder for U.S. exporters to sell GMO foods and agricultural products in the EU. Presently in Europe, if genetically modified proteins or DNA can be detected in the product, foods need to be labeled as containing GM material, even if the GM content is so minimal, or so far removed from the final product, that it is no longer detectable. (Jank, Johannes, Spok) The American Medical Association (AMA) has adopted a different position; in recommendations issued in December 2000, the AMA argues that “there is no scientific justification for special labeling of GM foods, as a class, and…voluntary labeling is without value unless it is accompanied by focused consumer education.” (Batra, biotechnow.org) In other words, one may come to find that this labeling act is too dramatic for something that the general consumers not know about because it is a miniscule topic with no evidence. Even more so, the editors of the article “Labels for GMO Food are a Bad Idea,” from the Scientific American website, assert that “Many people argue for GMO labels in the name of increased consumer choice… On the contrary, such labels have limited people's options.” In some views, people do not want to fuss about a problem that has not even began to be a problem yet and bring upon ramifications that they did not ask for to begin with such as limiting sales of certain food obtaining GMOs. My own view is that there should be, without question, labeling of GM products. The issue here is not whether a country should allow GM foods in/out of the country because there are not prevalent justifications to the GM products and their effects. Rather the labeling of food containing GMO’s should be without question and can only benefit the companies and its consumers by consumer…