NO to GMOs?

GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are defined as plants, animals, and microorganisms that have had their genetic make-up altered to produced a more desired result. This new attribute is meant to "benefit" humans or the environment in some way. Common genetic modifications include: 
  • Cloning (remember Dolly the lamb?)
  • Injecting growth hormones into plants and animals (I've mentioned this in a previous post: Happy Food comes from Happy Animals)
  • Tampering with genes to make plants or animals bigger and more suited to food market demands (ex. McDonald's agreed to this with its chicken farmers, they modified the chicken's breasts to make them bigger = more white meat = more McNuggets)
  • Creating completely new foods based on mix-and-matching old and new genes
  • Simply: creating something that is not formed by nature

I've aired parenthesized benefit above because of the growing health argument this issue is becoming. People fall on both sides of the dividing line, and everyone has their own opinions to back up their views. There are two sides to any dispute; to fully consider the issue as a whole, a person must be opened minded to both parties. The conflict of GMOs have people debating whether or not these modified organisms are detrimental to the human body and the environment. Well I was curious, and wanted to do a little research so I could form my own opinion. So, I've compiled a list of pros and cons. I will start off on a positive note and begin with the pros. ahem.

Pros of GMOs:
  1. Resistant to Bugs-  some foods have been genetically modified to be more resilient to insects; therefore, reducing the amount of pesticide chemicals used on crops.
  2. Better Quality and Taste- modifying food can improve the taste; making it more desirable to the consumer. Also, altering the genetic make-up can allow produce to last longer and not spoil as quickly.
  3. More Nutritious- GMOs can be engineered so that the amount of vitamins and nutritional value is increased; therefore, helping individuals fulfill deficiencies and meet their daily vitamin intake.
  4. Better Animal Health- genetic modification can help animals become better resilient to diseases and better adjusted to factory and farm conditions.
  5. More Food in Less Time- genetic modification can grow bigger & stronger animals and food in a shorter time period.

That is one side of the issue, now lets look at the counterargument.

Cons of GMOs:
  1. Allergic Reactions- GMOs can present allergic risks to individuals because new modifications add components to the animal or plant that were not originally there; causing the human body to possibly encounter a complication it would not of had if the item was not tampered with.
  2. Decreased Effectiveness of Antibiotics- some GMOs have antibiotic features that make them immune or super resilient to certain conditions, but then these toxins enter the human body and make actual antibiotics (aka. medications) less effective.
  3. GMOs Mixing with Nature- these organisms could escape (more so animals than plants) and intermingle with their organic counterparts; therefore, creating "superorganisms" with no on-hand kryptonites. Giant, chemical-resilient, blood sucking mosquitoes? No, thank you.
  4. Unethical Human Practices- tampering with the genetic make-ups of plants and animals could lead to individuals wanting to custom order their children or pets; even worse, people may consider cloning themselves or others.
  5. Long-term Health Complications- because GMOs are fairly new, their long-term complications are still unknown; individuals could develop new health issues that could potentially be non-treatable or life-threatening because of the GMOs' inorganic elements.

There you have it, a few strong points on both sides of the issue. After being open to both perspectives, I can see where GMOs would be beneficial to help increase food supply in order to feed the hungry. But, for the most part, I prefer my organisms handcrafted by nature. So, my opinion (regarding my personal health) stands as: because I am still unaware of the long-term consequences (good or bad) of GMOs, I try to avoid them as much as possible. GMO avoidance is not an easy task, but also a reason why I try to eat organic. Certified organic products assure me that they have not been tampered with by anyone else but Mother Nature herself. Yes, buying organic is not always cheap, so purchasing everything organic is unrealistic..but, as long as I try my best to monitor what goes in my body then it is one more positive step towards my healthy future. Eat simply.



Eat Simply. Live Healthy. Copyright © 2011 -- Template created by O Pregador -- Powered by Blogger