Genetically Modified Foods

Submitted by: Submitted by

Views: 464

Words: 2438

Pages: 10

Category: Other Topics

Date Submitted: 11/28/2011 11:51 AM

Report This Essay

Genetically Modified Foods

Research Paper

Marcia Luchenbill

ENGL 1302-12492

El Paso Community College

25 October 2011

In 1994, history was made when the first genetically modified organism (GMO) was approved for human consumption in the United States: the FlavrSavr tomato. This tomato was genetically engineered to ripen on the vine to produce a tastier flavor while resisting the natural softening and rotting that quickly occurs after ripening. The tomato was approved by the FDA without any testing for adverse health effects and was sold in supermarkets with no distinct labeling differentiating it from non-GMO tomatoes (Rockey, n.d.). With this humble fruit, the age of genetically modified foods was born. The controversy over the safety and labeling of GM foods began, as well.

In the 17 years since the approval of the FlavrSavr tomato, genetically engineered foods have flooded the market and the controversy over these foods rages on. “Whether or not to require labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods is a key issue in the ongoing debate over the risks and benefits of food crops produced using biotechnology” (Byrne, 2010, p. 1). In this paper, we will first define the process of genetic engineering and will investigate if this process is safe. We will examine several studies about the health risks of GMOs and discuss other key reasons why these foods should be avoided. Finally, we will list several compelling reasons why GMOs should be labeled.

To begin, let us first answer this question: What is a genetically modified organism? The Institute for Responsible Technology (n.d.a) has provided the following definition: “A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic, hence they are also known as transgenic organisms. This process may be called either Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic...