Don’t Americans have the right to know whether genetically modified organisms are in the food they are eating?
By Victoria Vonancken Conceivably, you would think you know what you are eating everyday. You had some cereal, a Subway sandwich, and then pizza for dinner. But nowadays food is so much more than you would think. What are you actually putting into your body? With the use of genetically modified organisms there could be all sorts of different things deep inside your food that you would never think could be there. The worst part is that in the United States, we are not able to identify if our food has been modified because GMO labeling is not mandated. Technically, genetically modified organisms or “GMOs” are organisms that are injected with foreign DNA from different animals, bacteria, viruses and plants. The genetic material of these species is completely altered. It is an unnatural process, which is why places like the European Union, Japan, and Australia have already adopted policies mandating the labeling of genetically modified organisms, unlike the United States. The effects of these GMO foods are questionable. There have been allegations that they are toxic, degrading to the environment and even can increase a person’s risk for cancer. Possibly Toxic: “Twelve dairy cows died on a farm in Hesse Germany, after being fed a diet with significant amounts of the GM corn variety, Bt 176.” Other cows in the herd developed a mysterious illness and had to be killed.
Risk for Cancer: Research conducted by Dr. Pusztai revealed information showing graphic pictures of rats with deforming tumors from the genetically modified potatoes they were given with the hormone rBGH. Due to this study, the government of Canada banned rBGH in 1999. In the United States, rBGH is still injected into ten percent of all dairy cows. Europe has banned it since 1994. Food allergies: Have you been hearing more and more talk recently about gluten? I am sure that you know at least one person with the allergy.
Recently, it’s become so common that it’s almost as trendy as Brooklyn itself. Well, this increased allergy among people could possibly be because of GMOs. The Bt toxin in genetically modified foods can pass through human digestion but has been found that it can puncture holes in our cell walls, just as it does to the insects they are trying to weed away. This in turn can cause intestinal problems in humans, possibly exacerbating the gluten allergy. The trend of gluten allergies and intolerance increasing along with the increased use of GMOs may not be a coincidence. At least 21 countries and the European Union have established some form of mandatory labeling. In Europe, if any ingredient in a food has .9% or higher of genetically modified organisms, it must be labeled. This gives the people of Europe a choice on whether or not to take part in genetically modified food. The U.S still has no labeling policy. As the years go on, more information seems to be sneaking out about the truth of genetically engineered foods and their possible adverse effects. Genetically modified organisms are still relatively new and even with these small doses of evidence, there is still so much unknown about GMOS.