Genetically Modified Foods

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(“Farmer Framed”)

As modern technologies are becoming increasingly popular, the uses of natural products have significantly decreased — despite the fact that these new alternatives have countless ramifications to both personal health and the environment. Though the public may not be fully educated on the subject, grocery stores are filled with genetically modified organisms — making up 80% of processed foods (Lombardo). Even as they are purchased in mass quantities, these foods are difficult to distinguish from foods produced through natural means since it is not required by law that these foods be labeled as such (Kannall). By definition, “[g]enetically modified foods are biologically altered foods” (Kannall). The purchase of organic foods, as well as growing one’s own food, is the most evident way of preventing the consumption of these products, and I feel that it is important for the general public to be informed on the subject of genetically modified organisms, since there are numerous risks associated with them. We all have a responsibility as consumers to do everything in our power to protect both ourselves and the environment, and I believe that society has disregarded this responsibility for convenience. “Ever since the introduction of GMO foods, the amount of childhood food allergies has risen significantly” (Lombardo); the betterment of personal safety, especially when it concerns children, should be a high priority in our culture. The risks also apply to the environment, in that pollens from these modified crops can contaminate adjacent plants, thereby, creating organisms such as weeds that have the same type of resistances bread into the DNA of these foods (Lombardo). As well, “[g]enetically modified crops are often sprayed with powerful pesticides and herbicides, and are fertilized with chemical fertilizers. These chemicals then contaminate the environment by traveling through the air; they leach into the ground, where they end up in fresh-water sources” (Kannall). When weighing the outcomes of both options, I do not feel that creating plants with desired traits is worth the long-term ramifications of environmental contamination and added allergens; natural and organic alternatives are the safest products in my opinion, in the interest of health, should become normality within society.

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