DiSanto, Nora

Genetically Modified Foods: Are They Safe?

GMO's defined: Genetically modified foods are foods produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering.

Introduction: The US is the largest producer of genetically modified foods in the world, but does that mean they are safe to eat? The topic of safety in genetically modified food is a growing hot topic in the health world today, and it is important we familiarize ourselves with the all of the information before we put them in our bodies.

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Arguments for why they ARE NOT safe:
  • The American Academy of Environmental Medicine was quoted saying “several animal studies indicted serious health risks associated with GM food,” some of these studies include:
    • o Mice eating GM corn for the long term had fewer, and smaller, babies
    • o More than half the babies of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks, and were smaller
    • o Thousands of sheep, buffalo, and goats in India died after grazing on Bt cotton plan
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Arguments for why they ARE safe:
  • The US government’s position on the topic states that genetically modified foods are safe, resist disease better, and can provide a larger abundance of food for starving nations
  • Benefits include:
    • o Increased pest and disease resistance
    • o Drought tolerance
    • o Increased food supply

In conclusion, it is crucial that we understand exactly what GMO's are and what the effects of GMO's can be along with their benefits, before we consume them.

Resources:

http://gmoanswers.com/ask/are-gmos-safe-for-human-consumption?gclid=CjgKEAjwzcWcBRCat43fy9e5i3ASJADXOBwug4b1mr0HKZoDRQ5GYYv3jEykNsaKzxawVt9e3SgysfD_BwE

This website is structured as a question and answer about everything and anything GMO related. It also tells you exactly who is answering the question so you know how credible it is. This website is helpful in creating my consumer fact sheet because it answers so many common question about the topic that most people seek the answers to. Including this information would give a good insight to the pros and cons of GMOs.

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers

This website highlights the dangers found in GM foods. It would be very helpful when coming up with the cons side on y consumer fact sheet. The article does a great job by breaking it down by bullet points and helpful graph to make its points about genetically modified foods and the harm they can bring.

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/are-biotech-foods-safe-to-eat

This WebMD article is good overview of the crucial basics about GM foods and is explained in terms made for the average person so understand, not just scientists studying the issue. It is also full of great statistics about GMs that would be great to add to my fact sheet.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/harvest/viewpoints/issafe.html

This PBS article takes excerpts and quotes from multiple professors and presidents of companies in the GM and health industry to share there own views and arguments based on their research. This is a good source to show strong arguments for either side. Being able to include quotes from these renowned sources is a great addition for my fact sheet.

http://www.actionbioscience.org/biotechnology/pusztai.html

This article is broken up to four main points: the scarcity of safety tests, safety tests on commercial GM crops, compositional studies, and nutritional/toxicological studies. After investigating all of these points the article concludes that we should not be scared of the science but rather embrace it. From this article I would want to include excerpts about the steps of the GM process and science of it show the pros and cons.