Week 5 Essay GMO

Submitted By SUT1023
Words: 1597
Pages: 7


Professor X

ENGL 102

4 January, 2013

Future Generations and Our Decisions Regarding GMO’s

There have been many articles and interviews regarding the rationale for utilizing GMO products recently. Are GMO products beneficial, are they contributing to serious health issues, or simply both of these things? GMO’s are organisms that have been changed at the genetic level to alter something within the construct to allow a desired result. Regardless of the debate surrounding genetically modified organisms, three options are open to evaluation; GMO's are good, bad, or both for the future of humanity. The evidence shows that there are still too many questions unanswered and thus humanity should be in favor of banning or limiting GMO products like many nations in the European Union have done without further scientific examination. The debate regarding Genetically Modified Organisms “GMO” has been going on for over two decades when in 1998, an issue arose with the product StarLink. This product was a genetically engineered corn that contained the Cry9C protein, which had unknown effects with human allergies. As a precaution that year it was limited to animal feed only by the EPA (Taylor). Unfortunately within two years this corn product was found in the main food supply in Taco Bell corn tortillas sold at grocery stores throughout the United States. This led to a ban on the sale of StarLink and recall of all seeds in circulation because of the unknown consequences to this protein. The product StarLink still has not been proven to have a conclusive negative effect on humans and no lawsuits arose from medical issues related to an allergy to Cry9C protein. Confirmation in the negative effects of GMO products on humans are difficult to fully describe due to the unknown secondary and tertiary results of generations of humans eating them. The current studies are showing that the side effects of the genetic modifications could be food allergies, increased toxicity, decreased nutritional value, and antibiotic resistance (Alexander). One specific case is the lack of nutrients in a genetically modified strain of soybean and its lower levels of phytoestrogen compounds that enable the body to fight heart disease and cancer (Goldbas). This obvious change in the plant that is consumed in multiple forms, by half the population of the planet could have far reaching affects. A significant change is needed to ensure the safety of humanity and the next generations. As a result of public attention and politicians needing to appease their constituents, laws have been passed in various countries particularly in Europe restricting or limiting GMO products. In this article the discussion continues; “While clearly not being able to bring about a scientific consensus, this monograph will hopefully contribute to the discussion by highlighting shortcomings in the practice of GMO risk assessment, identifying open questions and providing suggestions for further improving and standardizing of risk assessment in the highly contested area of genetically modified plants and food" (Spök). The need for proper scientific evaluation is a necessary end state for the protection of the entire ecosystem of the planet. Current methods of estimation for secondary effects of complications from GMO’s are still beyond the scope of scientists. This lack of knowledge shows a large gap in how people can view GMO products with all the facts and be given a choice to eat something that is not harmful for them and their families. The opposing characteristic to this debate can be seen in Korea where scientists are working on solutions to the some of nature’s most difficult problems such as climate change. Two of the concepts being developed by them are the prevention of further global warming and realistic solutions for food shortage (Lee). The need to develop genetically modified “GM” plants that can survive in harsh weather or thrive in polluted