[Note from the instructor: “With GMOs in the news, and a big topic for Hawaii especially, I have my class writing a couple of essays and research papers on whether labeling GMO products should be required. The first essay is on ‘reasons for requiring labeling of foods with GMO ingredients.’ The final submissions are students’ research papers examining what research appears to show about GMOs and proposals for labeling foods with GMO ingredients.” -Danny Wyatt]
Food. Today, Americas big corporation food industries like Monsanto, succeeded s and makes millions of dollars because of one amazing scientific discover, GMOs. GMO stands for genetically modified organisms and according to Treehugger’s Internet article “What Are GMOs & How Many US Foods Contain Them? (Infographic)”, GMOs are the main ingredient in 80% of America’s packaged foods. People need food to survive, but what America is trying to figure out is if the food they eat is more healing or harmful to their health. So why is GMO so important to this crucial studies? GMO foods are categorized as Americas safest, natural, most sustainable foods known to man according to the Monsanto website. Rumors are constantly being circulated in America that not labeling GMO foods is saving America tons of money and that GMOs are the answer to world hungry. Farmers all around America maybe using GMOs to solve hungry and this is possible true but what is the point of feeding the world when eventually all the people in it would of died, gain allergies, or develop fetal illnesses because of these foods. There are so many reasons why food should be GMO free but the three most important reasons are because it is harmful to peoples health, harmful to the environment, and it is an unreliable food source.
There is a list of illnesses that are linked to GMO foods. GI tract problems is one of the biggest illnesses that is directly linked to GMO foods. According to “Genetic Roulette” almost all illnesses are caused from what people eat. There have been studies linking children with autism to intestinal problems due to poor diets. Unfortunately, parents with autistic children that devote their life in providing the healthiest food for their child still found these diets ineffective. In all these cases there was one specific commonality and it was GMO foods. Although, parents thought they had been doing all they could to provide the best diet for their child, no child showed any change in behavior. Parents found that they were really contributing to their child’s sickness. When finding out that GMO food could have been making their child’s health worst they immediately put their children on an organic diets and saw instant changes.
Also, there have been cases with children especially having allergies because of trying GMO foods for the first time. Parents think just because it looks like typical healthy foods, like vegetables, they and their child could manage to stay out of the doctor’s office. In reality hospital visits consist of more children allergy patients since GMO foods have been introduce. Americans are experiencing allergic reactions to food that they never had allergies to. Almost all sicknesses are link to the stomach and what people eat and with Americans eating these products by the plateful the country’s medical problems are shooting to the sky. In “Genetic Roulette” people uncover the medical diagnoses of these allergies. With most GMO foods like corn, an injection of the pesticide BT is commonly found in its genes. This pesticide is known for entering a pest body and exploding its stomach causing the pest to die and farmers to sleep easier at night. This pesticide that is in the corn that Americans eat is now showing up in peoples body and performing the same process as if people were the pest. This process is causing the food that Americans eat to eventually find its way into their blood stream, which is causing major food allergies. Of course, these medical illnesses cannot be fully linked to GMO foods but according to Iowa Source internet magazine article “Doctors say no to GMO” there are medical professionals that strongly advise people to stick to organic, non- GMO foods.
Just as peoples health, the health of the land is greatly affected by GMO foods. The biggest part of GMO foods is the chemicals that are used to grow their crops. These chemicals have their own effects on the plants but the effects that they have on the environment are hard to keep track. “Bee friendly” a popular cheer anti-GMO advocate likes to yell in front of the state capitals all over the US. This saying comes from the harmful effects that these GMO plants have on the bees. The chemicals in the plant scare off bees, which discourages them to not pollinate. With these chemicals chasing the bees away it is giving plants within hundreds of miles of these GMO factory farms to not get pollinated. In some cases the weeds that these herbicides kill could be potential habitats to native insects but are now vacated due to the harmful effect on pest. Monarch Butterflies that once flew free in Kansas are now almost never seen. This is one of the effects of excessive pesticides.
Also, the chemicals used and sprayed directly on the plant are making the land almost unable to grow crops. The damaging effect it has to the land will probably take the earth decades to heal. The effects of excessive herbicide and pesticide use make the soil almost dependent on the sprays and the nutrients, which the soil contained is lost. According to Science and Society’s Internet article “GMO and Environment: Once a Gene’s In, Where Does It Go?” Genes that get put into a specific crop can contaminate other crops using the soil to travel. This effect can make a crop invasive and eventually will take over its surrounds.
Furthermore, the biggest down side of GMO foods is risk that this method has on the plant species. The practice of monocropping is not only making the crops dependent but it is also a big problem in the future of Americas crops. For example, the cotton failure in India sent farmers to their grave in debt. According to “Genetic Roulette” when India agreed to grow BT cotton they didn’t know all what they agreed to. When the cotton failed to grow India got angry. They started doing test and found out that the cotton did not only fail to produce but within a day of feeding the cotton to their animals they later died. Mono cropping was a big factor in this issue because with contracting all this cotton farms India could not grow any other crop and forced farmers to make due with what little they had, which was failure crops and a long list debt. This could have been avoided if farmers in India didn’t contract only BT cotton.
In addition, using mono cropping as a method of farming poses the biggest threat to the whole plant species. The fact that these GMO seeds successes are based on specific conditions could wipe out a whole species of plants. For example, BT corn is injected with BT to protect corn when excessive pesticides are sprayed on it. The fact that food industries like Monsanto use mono cropping as their methods of growing could be harmful to the species of corn. This devastating problem can occur if the BT corn contracts a disease that affect the entire farm. The contraction of disease can not only affect the farm it started in but can also travel and further affect crops like a contagious cold. Also, the fact that these GMO seeds are practically made for certain conditions having unexpected weather such as droughts or floods can have fetal effects to crop.
To continue, what makes the whole situation worst is the fact that not only does America allow GMO foods but also these foods that it produces have no labels. In the organic food industry labeling is important because it shows pride and the quality that farmers are producing. The organic companies go through nail biting test and system examinations just so they can proudly have a USDA or 100% organic certification on it. The fact that big food corporations like Monsanto refuses to label their foods are really questionable to weather or not they are a reputable source. America should enforce labeling GMO foods because it costumers a right to know for their health, liability, and to come up with their own decision.
To start, health is such a big issue dealing with GMOs. Ways American can make better assessment of foods before they eat it is by labeling GMO foods. If people knew what they were eating half of them would probably never have even tried it. Yes, it maybe obvious that in an American grocery store they could probably pick out GMO foods if it was packaged but if it was just a simple apple, from a far weather organic or GMO they both look the same. There are cases that animals, like mice suffer with tumors because of eating GMO foods. If when consumers are walking in a story and health labels or ingredients are handy and visuals to customers it would help people better assess American eating habits. Also, it would help consumers know what to avoid if ever in medical need of a diet change or just want to eat healthier.
Secondly, labeling GMO foods will give help doctors better assess health issues. If Americans track down everything they eat and if linked back to GMO products it could eventually take GMOs out of America. If the food is good it should speak for itself. Companies like Monsanto should not be worried about their foods reputation if their food was as good as they portrayed it. This law would cause food companies to be held accountable if there is ever a bad food epidemic. The biggest problem with these food industries is that they almost never own up to their actions and bad decisions. By labeling all GMO foods will help Americans grade and hold food up to a higher standard with in their own health.
Lastly, labeling GMO foods would give people the right to make their own decisions. Commercials and celebrities are always telling people what is healthy, what to buy, and what is good. If GMOs were label the food would speak for its self and consumers with their own knowledge would be able to express themselves. If they do decide to keep purchasing GMO foods it would be totally up to them and. Also, it would definitely help doctors to diagnose most of the mysterious illnesses in America caused by something Americans eat. Food would simple be consumed as either organic or GMO. Labeling would help narrow disease researches and eventually find no use for GMO foods.
To end, its not really hard to see why Americans should stand against GMOs. The harmful conditions it cause to not only people’s body but to the land as well. The food of what Americans eat should not be hidden and dealt with later down the line in a doctors office. Buying organic products and practicing organic farming can help America claim its independence instead of being a slave to the harmful addictions and dependence of GMOs. Going organic can help Americans respect the land as well as themselves so that both can live and last longer. The belief that one-day organic will cure the world, people and environment from diseases and hard times. Also, America must help GMO farmers to look into long-term results rather than fast cash to help boost their product playing dumb to the wellbeing of America. By reading these hard hitting fact’s this will maybe open doors to a new outlook and way on tackling health issues in America, so that one day every one could pay the famer always and the doctors never.
SMITH, J Jeffery M. “Doctors Say No To GMOs” Iowa Source. Iowa’s Enlighten Magazine. May 5, 2013
“GMO and Environment: Once a Gene’s In, Where Does It Go?” Science and Society’s