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GM food stuffs.

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Introduction

We know if our meat is kosher, if our tuna is "dolphin free", whether or not our chickens are "free range" and if our vegetables are organic. We know whether the food is grown in the United States. We know if the food we eat contains Nutra Sweet, if it is low fat, low cholesterol, or MSG free. With all of this information, people would think that they would be getting all they need to know. However most people do not know that our food today is being genetically modified or engineered and has been for the last decade. In fact, 80% of the food we consume contains at least one genetically engineered ingredient, which means that we are certainly eating these foods on a very regular basis. We are consuming this manipulated food without our knowledge and without our consent. There is, as of today, no law requiring biotech companies to label their food as "genetically engineered" or containing genetically engineered ingredients. The companies have done very little research into the long-term effects of the genetically engineered products. They insist labeling their products would hurt their business, their profits, and therefore their personal wallets. ...read more.

Middle

While many Biotech companies insist that there has been sufficient testing, little is known about the effects of genetically engineered foods and our health. The testing that has been done has been by the biotech companies themselves, on rats or other animals, without review by independent scientists. Such testing is considered preliminary with, for example, additives and pharmaceutical drugs. The biotech companies are rushing into the market too quickly, for huge returns, without adequate testing to ensure public safety, and the Food and Drug Administration does nothing. Scientists say that these genetically engineered foods may produce new toxins, with potentially disastrous results. "In 1989, a genetically engineered version of tryptophan, a dietary supplement, produced toxic contaminants. Before the Food and Drug Administration recalled it, the mutated tryptophan wreaked havoc. Thirty-seven Americans died, 1,500 were permanently disabled, and 5,000 became ill with a blood disorder, eosinophila myaligia syndrome" (The Campaign). Genetic engineers are also using antibiotic "markers" in almost every genetically modified organism, scientists believe they could contribute to the decreasing effectiveness of antibiotics against diseases. Very few studies are being done to try to determine the effects that the genetically modified organisms will have on our health. There are potentially devastating effects that our environment might endure. ...read more.

Conclusion

If genes of a particular kind of nut are inserted in a vegetable, for example, a consumer who is allergic could be at risk. Labeling would give people an option of whether or not to support the genetic engineering industry. Due to the health, environment, and ethical questions revolving around genetically engineered foods, many people would prefer not to support the genetic engineering industry. The only option so far is to buy all organic food or grow their own food. People want the right to choose what they eat. "Public opinion polls consistently show that 80 to 95 percent of Americans want genetically engineered foods to be labeled" (The campaign). Labeling is necessary not just for foods containing substantial amounts but also for any amount of genetically engineered ingredients. There are for too many potential dangerous effects on the environment and people for these products to be distributed without being labeled. If the Biotech companies would let other independent scientists test and publish their findings, people would feel safer about consuming genetically modified foods. Until people feel that these products are safe and are without repercussions, they should be given adequate information so that they can make informed choices. Genetically engineered food companies should be regulated and mandated to label their products so that consumers can make conversant decisions on what they consume. ...read more.

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