Listen up grocery store customers! Everyday when you are shopping for your family's weekly groceries you are purchasing foods that are genetically modified. Your family is most likely makes up the most important people in you life and you want to make sure they are eating healthy so they can live a long life. Well the supposedly healthy foods that surround us in the store most likely contain some form of genetically modified food.
This altering of genes in foods is a topic that every family should educate themselves on to decide if this is the of type food they feel comfortable feeding their family. In this blog post I will be explaining genetically modified foods and some of the ethical issues surrounding this topic to help educate you on GMOs. Hopefully you will be able to gain knowledge and form your own opinion on if genetically modified foods are the best option to feed your family with.
Lately there has been a lot of controversy over the production and consumption of GMO foods. You may be wondering what GMO stands for and what it is. GMO stands for genetically modified organism or abbreviated as GMO, which means that the fruit or vegetable that you are eating has been genes have been altered to improve its ability to withstand bugs, viruses, and other related topics. Some of the main food that falls into the GMO category are corn, soy beans, and beets; over 80% of these products that you can find in the store has been genetically modified (whfood). Two of the main questions that arise when scientists are learning about genetically modified foods is its effect on the environment and if it is morally wrong to alter a plants genes.
You may be asking yourself how can changing a plants genes so that it is a more stable crop morally wrong, well researchers have found three different moral issues surrounding the GMO industry. The first moral issue is concerns associated with the consequences of using these types of crops in the agriculture industry. Other moral concerns surrounding GMO foods are the idea of the act of changing genetics and the possible negative effects on the consumers of GMO foods. In this article we will be taking a deeper look into the truth behind these concerns and how those conclusions were made.
Comparison between GM corn and organic corn (Live, Love, and Laughter WordPress)
Each of the moral concerns stated in the previous paragraph can be matched with a similar theory in the area of Environmental Ethics (plato stanford). The Environmental ethics theory that is associated with the first moral concern uses the term consequentialism, the second is deontology, and the third concern is associated to virtue ethics. Consequentialism judges the wrongness of something based on how good or bad its consequences. Deontology can be understood as an actions ability to be applied to rules and if it follows those rules. Virtue ethics is based off of one's own feelings and ethical values towards a subject, in this case GMO foods.
The environmental consequences of genetically modifying foods is a heavily researched topic in the farming industry. The main concerns that come up in research are risk management, risk assessment, and risk perception. These consequences are all associated with the possible problems that may arise from the use and producing of GMO foods. Some of these risks are unpredictable risks of GMO crops and the unknown health effects that might be associated with GMO's. Also there may be unintended negative effects of genetically modified crops on the surrounding environment that could harm the delicate ecosystems.
GMO fact sheet (Jeffrey Sterling MD)
The rightness of an action goes with our next concern about GMOs, termed deontology. When you are buying fruit or vegetables at the grocery store you are making the assumption that the product you chose is natural. When something is natural it is supposed to be good and healthy. But the act of genetically engineering food products is unnatural because it is seen as morally wrong to some people and not as good of a product. The act of playing God and changing the genes of an organism can sometimes be seen in a negative light even if there are some positive effects of genetically modified foods.
The third and final concern of the issues surrounding the topic of genetically modified foods is virtue ethics. Virtue ethics is your own opinions and feelings towards the GMO industry. Using this concept and the facts that you have learned as a concerned grocery customer from reading this blog post. Using both your own values and beliefs along with your new knowledge about GMO's you can make your own decision regarding whether you want to feed you family GMOs or not.
Check back next week for a more in depth look at genetically modified foods and how to spot them in the grocery store. There will also be a discussion on some non-GMO option foods that are healthy and taste good!