Professor Michael White
5 November 2014
Genetically Modified Organisms
Living in the United States, consumers will most likely come in contact with foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). A GMO is created by injecting genetic material from plants, animals, or bacteria into a crop in hopes of creating a new and beneficial trait (Blackwood). The controversy of GMOs is a growing debate with those on both sides weighing in. Geneticist David Suzuki, professor of genetics at the University of British Columbia from 1963 until his retirement in 2001, states "by slipping it into our food without our knowledge, without any indication that there are genetically modified organisms in our food, we are now unwittingly part of a massive experiment" (qtd. in Walia). Consumers should not be the unwitting participants of experiments to determine the effects that GMOs have on the human body.
The effects of GMO crops have not had enough independent research to determine the long-term effects on humans and the environment.
In recent years, GMOs are becoming a significant presence on grocery store shelves. Unless an item is certified organic, when it comes to processed foods 80 percent will contain some type of ingredient that has been made from GMOs (Blackwood). When it comes to the safety of food containing GMOs Suzuki cautioned,
The FDA has said that genetically modified organisms are not much different from regular food, so they'll be treated in the same way. The problem is this, geneticists follow the inheritance of genes, what biotechnology allows us to do is to take this organism, and move it horizontally into a totally unrelated species. What biotechnology allows us to do is to switch genes from one to the other without regard to the biological constraints. It's very...