A commentary by Jonas, 2013 Intern.
The first genetically modified food was a tomato produced and released in 1994 by a company named ‘Monsanto’. Monsanto now produces 90% of the world’s genetically modified foods. A bill signed in March 2013 by president Obama allows the manufacturing and distribution of them, but there is still a lot of controversy about genetically modified foods.
Genetically modified foods were meant to have a longer shelf life, taste better, be healthier and more convenient to grow. For instance, fruits like strawberries can only be grown in warm weather, but by genetically modifying them they can now be grown year-round. Since genetically modified foods are more durable and can be grown more abundantly and at a faster rate, they will cost less, which will be more affordable for the poor.
But is this really the case?
Genetically modified food can pose serious health risks to people allergic to nuts and other foods. Some people think that genetically modified foods contain a new allergen. Also, our bodies can naturally 'reject’ the bacteria in the genetically modified food causing a serous allergic reaction.
The environment may be negatively affected by genetically modified foods. Pests who have eaten the genetically modified foods can gain an immunity to pesticides. This means if there is not a variety of crop species in place it will be whipped out.
Genetically modified foods are made by splicing genes together. This can be done in many different ways. The two most common ways are by bacterial carriers and viral carriers. Bacteria carries a specific desired trait into a plant and once pollinated, the fruit now has that specific trait.
I believe that we should not grow modified foods. Genetically modified foods is going against nature. Every fruit and vegetable has their own characteristics which makes each unique, genetically altering them takes that away. I also believe that genetically modified foods aren’t 100% safe to eat. Even though they meet FDA standards, FDA’s standards may not be as strict as they need to be.
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