GMO Foods and the Risks

Claire Hein

GMO foods are taking over America and toxifying our sources of nutrition. People should not be worried about whether or not the apple they are eating contains toxins that might make them sick. Genetically modified organisms are organisms in which their genetic material is altered in a way other than natural occurrence. GMOs are created in a lab by selecting and inserting a specific gene, and transfering to another organism in order to produce a trait. The main goals of producing GMOs are to make foods taste better, look better, grow faster, and survive harsh environments. There are many health concerns that come with genetically modified organisms. GMOs in foods can give any person an allergic reaction or worse, as we as a community lack knowledge of what goes on while modifying organisms. 

Humans are sensitive beings and any sort of pesticide could be harmful to us if consumed. In America, most food labels that are GMO do not state it on the label. Science Daily says it best, quoting, “Disease and health are the result of a complex interaction between humans and their pathogens.” One way that GMO foods can affect human health is that the toxins can possibly cause reproductive, pancreatic, renal, or biochemical problems. GMOs can also cause antibiotic resistance, because the genes in such organisms can be transferred to bacteria in humans. Additionally, there is a common concern around GMOs causing cancer since cancer is made from DNA mutations. Inside every genetically modified organism includes the risk of an emergence of a new disease, pest, or a weed. Common GMO crops grown in America include corn, soybean, and cotton. These GMO crops were genetically modified for the main purpose of controlling weeds. On the other hand, the bacteria from GMOs have been used positively in the past. The FDA says that “in fact, genetic engineering, which is the process used to create GMOs, was first used to make human insulin, a medicine used to treat diabetes.” But GMOs still pose a large threat to everybody and contain toxins that most people would prefer not to consume.

Not only do GMOs put humans at risk, but they also have negative effects on the environment. Nature says that “horizontal gene transfer of pesticide, herbicide, or antibiotic resistance to other organisms would not only put humans at risk, but it would also cause ecological imbalances, allowing previously innocuous plants to grow uncontrolled.” More pesticide use, in general, contaminates the environment and could overwhelm farms where crops should be growing healthy and naturally. The Non GMO Project says that “genetically modified crops therefore pose a serious threat to farmer sovereignty and to the national food security of any country where they are grown.” Any toxins are not going to have a positive effect on the environment or human life. Even though toxins help preserve things like some foods and crops, the contamination is not healthy for the soil or our bodies. Overall, genetically modified organisms contain toxins that humans should not be consuming all the time. Grass-fed beef and organic produce should be things to invest in, and highly processed foods should be avoided. We do not know how all GMO foods may affect human life so it is best to stay clear if possible. Lastly, although farmers use GMOs to keep their crops safe from weeds, it is contaminating the environment surrounding and putting unwanted bacteria in the crops, and this all needs to be changed.