Research Report-Genetically Modified Foods

GMO's, The Secret Ingredient Revealed
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  Woodside 1 Melissa Woodside Ms. James English 1A May 6, 2013 The Secret Ingredient Revealed The controversy surrounding the safety of genetically modified food has grown to epic  proportions. The scary thing is, bioengineered foods are still in the experimental stage, and we have been involuntarily chosen to participate in place of lab rats! The good thing is, most of us don’t even know it so there is no need for panic, the scientists will take care of us. On a more serious note, this is not far from the truth. Genetically modified foods are present in just about everything we consume, and there are no guarantees that they are not hazardous to our health. To make matters worse, our civil liberty of freedom of choice has been stripped away from us  because there are no laws in place forcing companies to label foods that are genetically modified. Genetically modified foods are created from organisms in which the genetic material, or DNA, has been altered in an unnatural process called “genetic engineering.” During this process, selected individual genes are transferred from one organism and injected into another, usually  between unrelated plant species. The result of this process is a genetically modified plant that will be used to grow genetically modified food crops (Biotech). The fact that GMO’s are experimentally created in a laboratory as if they were science projects, the government is refusing to label foods that are genetically altered, and lastly, there are no mandatory tests in  place to prove they are safe are legitimate reasons to believe that GMO’s are very dangerous and the entire human race is at risk.  Woodside 2 Genetically Modified Org anisms, or GMO’s, have never been conclusively proven safe for human consumption. According to Judy Carman, PH.D., “very little safety testing is done on GMO’s, and when it is done, biotechnology companies conduct minimal testing. More extensive testing of GM foods is needed to ensure they are safe” (Roseboro, Ken. The Organic and Non-GMO Report). However, the US Food and Drug Administration  –  the company responsible for  protecting the public health by assuring that foods are safe, sanitary, and properly labeled  –  inexcusably has no mandatory safety assessment processes in place ensuring the safety of GMO’s.  T he only involvement the FDA has in the safety assessment of bioengineered foods is implemented in the 1992 Statement of Policy: Foods Derived from New Plant Varieties.” In this  policy, the FDA recommended that developers voluntarily consult with FDA about  bioengineered foods under development, and according to the FDA, since issuance of the 1992  policy, developers have routinely done so. In June 1996, the FDA added additional guidance to the 1992 policy, this addition “describes the process in which a  developer intending to commercialize a bioengineered food meets with the agency to identify and discuss relevant safety, nutritional, or other regulatory issues regarding the bioengineered food and then submits to FDA a summary of its scientific and regulatory assessment of the food; FDA evaluates the submission and respond s to the developer by letter” (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). This  policy basically allows the biotech companies to do their own testing on GMO’ s for safety. Of course, B iotech companies are going to approve the safety of GMO’s because they are the ones making the profits. In my opinion, this is not a trusted method of testing the safety of GMO’s. The United States and Canada are currently the only two industrialized countries in the world that have not passed a bill to label genetically modified foods. The FDA posted this question on their website under FAQ’s: “Why aren’t foods from genetically engineered plants  Woodside 3 labeled? ” This was their answer; “ We recognize and appreciate the strong interest that many consumers have in knowing whether a food was produced using genetic engineering. Currently, food manufacturers may indicate through voluntary labeling whether foods have or have not  been developed through genetic engineering, provided that such labeling is truthful and not misleading. FDA supports voluntary labeling that provides consumers with this information and has issued draft guidance to industry 4 regarding su ch labeling” (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). Their answer gives no indication of “why” GMO’s are not labeled. It simply states that consumers (we) should trust the food manufacturers, including Biotech, to properly label GMO’s if they “choose” to. What about our choice ? The gover  nment’s  choice to refuse to  pass a bill enforcing the labeling of GMO’s has everything to do with money. They know that if these foods are labeled, the majority of people will not buy them. Why is the government afraid that people will stop buying them? Because genetically modified foods are NOT safe! GM foods are developed with the belief that there is an advantage to the producer or consumer in regards to lower prices, greater benefit in terms of durability or nutritional value, or  both. Improved crop protection was the initial objective for developing genetically modified  plants, which included the introduction of resistance against plant diseases caused by insects or viruses or through increased tolerance towards herbicides. Insect resistance is achieved by incorporating into the food plant the gene for toxin production from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (BT), a toxin that is currently used as a conventional insecticide in agriculture and is safe for human consumption, according to the Biotech companies. Virus resistance is achieved through the introduction of a gene from certain viruses, which cause disease in plants, making  plants less susceptible to diseases caused by such viruses, ultimately resulting in higher crop  Woodside 4 yields. Herbicide tolerance is achieved through the introduction of a gene from a bacterium conveying resistance to some herbicides (Biotech). How can a plant be safe for us to eat when its DNA consists of a toxin, a virus, and a  bacterium? It can’t be. However, the government continues to allow Biotech companies to taint our food, or genetically modify them, without properly testing them for safety, and without enforcing these companies to labe l GMO’s. Unfortunately, we are human and we need to eat, so we allow the government to allow the Biotech companies to continue with the annihilation of the human race.
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