Genetically Modified Organisms Mya Cascario Period 7

Genetically modifying foods is a fairly new technology that has been creating a lot of controversies lately in the health world. Genetically modifying the genes of an organism comes with many risks such as inflicting allergic reactions and exposing us to toxic chemicals, and it is important that people are aware of the negative health effects of this technology.

Genetically modified organisms, more commonly known as GMOs, have the ability to create new allergens. This happens during the modification process when the genes of a non-allergen and an allergen are crossed. Proof of this occurrence was found in 2000 when a group called Genetically Modified Food Alert reported that a batch of Taco Bell tortillas had been contaminated by a pest-repelling protein called Cry9c during the process of modifying the corn used to make the tortillas. This protein was designed to destroy insects’ intestines, and it was not approved for human consumption because it came with the risk of inflicting allergic reactions. The field this corn was grown in can no longer be used because the soil has been contaminated by the allergen and cannot be cleaned up. This incident just goes to show how genetically modifying organisms can affect the environment. Because of genetic engineering, multiple acres of land are now unable to be used because any plants that grow there would be contaminated with a toxic chemical.

Another downfall of genetically modified foods is that when we buy them, we promote the use of glyphosate on fields across the country. Glyphosate is a moderately toxic chemical used to kill off grass and weeds. Monsanto, a company that delivers agricultural products, engineers their crops so that they are resistant to glyphosate. This allows them to use the herbicide on their fields without killing the crops. What they didn’t know was that when they use this chemical, some travels through the air and is ingested by humans. “Glyphosate disrupts the ability of animals, including humans, to detoxify xenobiotics or substances that are foreign to the body or to an ecological system. This means that exposures to the numerous chemicals in food and the environment, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals and carcinogens, could be causing levels of damage that would not occur if the body were able to detoxify them”(Zeese. pg 2).

Yes, Genetically modifying organisms is cost-effective, and yes, it is environmentally friendly in some ways, but this, by no means, can bypass the risk that comes with eating these foods. By eating these foods, sure, you might save a little money, but at the same time, you’re also ingesting a toxic chemical. If you knew this before, would you really choose genetically modified foods? I bet not. Anyways, you wouldn’t really save any money after you pay off the huge hospital bills you got because you were poisoned by your cheeseburger.

In conclusion, genetically modified organisms come with some small benefits, but they come with way larger health risks to allow them to continue to be produced, especially when they aren’t even required to be labeled. People across the country are setting themselves up for organ damage and unknown diseases, and they don’t even know about it. Our country would be healthier and less at risk if we discontinued the use of genetic engineering on foods.

crops

Modified, toxic

Growing, infecting, killing

Its poison marks the land.

food

Credits:

Created with images by Hans - "spike wheat cereals" • Hans - "oats oat field arable" • Unsplash - "barley cereal grain" • Uki_71 - "corn on the cob corn nature" • Vijayanarasimha - "maize corn indian corn" • Daria-Yakovleva - "background frame food" • realworkhard - "tree field oilseed rape" • AnnaER - "field cereals rye"

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