Dr. Lisa Kirby
27 November 2012
The Great Deception: GMOs in America America is a country built on the individual’s right to choose. Unfortunately, this right of choice no longer applies when it comes to the food we eat. America’s food supply has been clandestinely contaminated with ingredients that contain genetically modified organisms or GMOs. Genetically modified foods are made by inserting genes from another species into a food's DNA. The public is generally unaware when they purchase genetically modified foods since food manufacturers are not currently required to label products as containing GMOs. While chemical companies and food manufactures claim GMOs present no danger, there are still unresolved concerns regarding the risks GMOs present to human health, the environment, and agricultural economics. Therefore, all foods that contain genetically modified organisms should be clearly marked with a label so consumers can make an informed decision regarding the risks for themselves and their families. The use of genetically modified plants for human consumption was approved in the mid-1990s. Melissa Smith, an investigative health journalist and holistic nutritionist explains, “commercial planting of genetically modified seeds in the United States began in 1996, and soon after, food products containing GMOs began appearing on store shelves, mostly without our knowledge. By 2011, 94 percent of all soybeans and 88 percent of all corn grown in the United States was genetically modified. Soy and corn, along with other common GM foods (including canola oil, cottonseed oil, and sugar from sugar beets), are used as ingredients in countless other products, so many Americans, including health food shoppers, likely have been eating GM foods without realizing it” (39). The clandestineness, speed, and scope of the contamination of America’s food supply with genetically modified products, leave many Americans, hearing about this issue for the first time, feeling shocked and deceived. Opponents of GMO labeling would quickly dismiss the implication of an attempt to deceive the American public regarding GMOs. However, the number of people that still believe they have never eaten food containing GMOs would make deception a plausible assumption. In an article for the Brooklyn International Journal of Law, attorney Valery Federici explains, “a 2005 consumer opinion survey found that only 25 percent of respondents believed they had ever eaten genetically modified foods” (521-22). Unfortunately, by 2005 the volume of GMOs in America’s food supply would have made it virtually impossible for 75 percent of the population to avoided consuming them for almost 10 years. In a more recent CBS poll, published in a 2011 Newsmax Health article, results showed that 53 percent of Americans said they would not buy food they knew had been genetically modified, while 70 percent of products on grocery store shelves contain at least one genetically engineered element (Hubbard). When the gap between what consumers understand and fact is so vast, it is easy to ascertain that the American consumer is, in fact, being deceived (Hubbard). The government, chemical companies, and food manufacturers are deceiving Americans, not by providing false information, but by providing no information.
The rapid, and virtually invisible, GMO contamination of the American food supply has occurred, in part, due to the number of food additives created from genetically modified grain. The article “Hidden GMO Ingredients to Know,” published in a 2011 edition of Delicious Living, describes the three most commonly used food additives made from genetically modified grain. The first is Glucose, a simple sugar made from corn that can be found in a variety of foods including sports drinks, baked goods, and sweets. The second, Lecithin, is an emulsion derived from soy that can be found in chocolates, ice creams, and other deserts. The third is