I learned a lot about GMOs when researching this, I wanted to post the actual discussion with the summary of what we did in class also. Learning about GMOs and what they are gave me a better understanding about what is in my foods when I go out to eat and also when I go to the store to by vegetables. Also touching on the subjects that could potentially harm us, by ingesting these chemicals. None of this has been scientifically proven that eating foods with pesticides on them are hurting us.
GMO’s are a bacterium in foods that have had their genetic material altered using genetic engineering techniques. Baby formula, sweetened juices, cereals, vegetables, canola oil, tofu, meat, milk, carbonated soft drinks, canned and frozen foods have one of the eight GM crops in it. The eight crops are soybeans, corn (field and sweet), papaya, canola, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beets, and summer squash. GM crops were created for insect, drought, and disease resistance, herbicide tolerance, and enhanced nutritional content. This allows farmers to skip steps in production process like pesticides herbicides because crops are already resistant. Also that they claim its better food and the taste quality means making crops disease resistant. They also do this so that we can have higher yields and more efficient production. This happens in both animals and plants, this happens all the time in animals we eat like lamb, chickens, cows, and pigs. We target the desirable traits in animals that make the meat larger and also for profit reasons. Animals can get GMO through the feed that they are being fed, like corn and can be found in soybeans that they are being fed. Some pros that I have already mentioned is that they claim to be better food and taste quality, allows farmers to have one less step in spraying them with pesticides, added vitamin and minerals. Added vitamins and minerals are supposed to be beneficial to people who live in counties with not an adequate supply of nutrients. With all this being said they are supposed to be safe for human consumption. There has not been enough testing of GMO and also no adequate long term testing to detect problems. People have found out that allergic reactions have occurred from GMOs. Genetic modifications often mixes or adds proteins that weren’t there in the original plant causing new allergic reactions to the body that we are not sure of. GMOs are also have a feature added to them so they are resistant to certain diseases and viruses. There are many down sides to having GMO foods like modified genes may reach plants that were not meant to be genetically modified and may be resistant to bacteria, which will be harder to kill on the plant and also harder to kill in humans.
Even though it has been approved by the FDA to sell and produce GMO foods, there are some health concerns and the production of new allergies, increased toxicity, decreased nutrition, and antibiotic resistance. Food allergy effects almost 5% of children and 2% of adults in the United States (Bakshi, 2003). How allergic reactions happen is when an abnormal protein comes into the body which stimulates an immune response, and then your body takes care of this problem. If we consume food that is genetically modified then this protein that enters our body attacks the immune system and the immune response to this increases, which in terms is harder to get rid of. As of now there has been no confirmation of GM foods being the source of allergic reactions, but we have not researched long term of when GM foods can do to people. Increased toxicity in plants can harm humans, plants that we consume produce low enough levels of the toxic matter that it is safe for us to eat. There is concern that messing with the genes of the plants could increase the toxic levels. If the genes become damaged during the insertion process it could alter its production of toxins. This has not been observed in GM plants, they have been observed in potatoes which have caused safety concerns. Decreased nutritional value has been a main problem with GM foods because we are not sure if the GM food had more of its nutritional value before it got modified. This has been proven in soybean production, there has been lower levels of phytoestrogen compounds, believed to protect heart disease and cancer, than traditional soybeans. Antibiotic resistance has become a huge factor in GM foods because more bacteria is becoming more resistant to antibiotics in recent years. There is concern that bacteria living in the gut of humans and animals could have picked up and antibiotic resistance gene from a GM plant. In the end there is no “significant” research that has suggests that GMOs are a serious health risk to us. There is strong opinions that they are a huge risk but nothing has been proven that some of the problems with our health comes from GM foods. Knowing that gluten intolerance is a food allergy that is a physical condition in the gut. In my opinion this could be the reason of why so many Americans are having gut problems. As said before there are no factually prof that gluten sensitivity has anything to do with GM foods, but since wheat is not used in gluten free foods there could be other GM products that are injected in these foods to replace the wheat. Genetic foods have been in our lives for about 20 years and still no research has been done to find out if these foods are even safe to eat. As for today there has been no known illness that have been from GM foods. Given with what I have learned about GMOs I think there should be a label on our foods that tells us what is in our food. We should know what we are putting into our bodies and we can make a decision to eat it or not. When there is no labels on what kind of organisms are in our food we “could” be developing medical problems that we could have prevented with knowing first off what was in our foods.