Genetically Modified Organisms

Editors Note: I love having TACA guest bloggers write their thoughts to share here on TACAnow. There are a lot of wonderful people contributing to TACA and helping us educate and empower families living with autism. Today, our guest blogger is my son Jeff. He is the inspiration behind how TACA got started. This is his 9th grade paper on GMO’s. His assignment was to pick a topic and discuss the pros & cons. I love what he was thinking about. Obviously he was listening to his mom.

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Author: Jeff Ackerman

March 19, 2013

Genetically Modified Organisms

            There are many different types of food out there, including genetically modified food which could be healthy or unhealthy and a lot of scientists have studied the effects. They studied the foods to see if they are good or bad. The scientists who study these foods have started to look for health risks. Genetic modification is not a natural way of making food. The food is reengineered to produce faster to market to change the product altogether. We should not use genetic modification in our food because it can lead to cancer and other unknown illnesses.

Genetic modification is a type of cells that is made up of biotechnological animals and plant that scientists can change genes. They are hybrids because the genes are being mixed together. Many individuals have been altering genes of plants and animals for a long time. The result are changes to many organisms. Since the creation of GMOs, they are quite popular. Right now according to GMOs, they are now 85% of corn, 91% of soybeans, 88% of cotton and 95% of sugar beets that are being engineered (Genetically Engineered crops 1). Right now Gregory Jaffe says that 60% or 70% of processed foods in stores is genetically modified (Jaffe 1). Natural reproduction is when an offspring is being produced with the same kind of animals or plants. “When plants are genetically modified, the process is raw, not exact, and causes mutations, which changes the plants DNA, this is unnatural and unpredictable” (Non GMO project 1). We don’t what it can happen to us when we eat genetically modified food. Some people say we can use GMOs by having more advantages for the economy and we can remove diseases from animals and plants. For years, farmers thought GMO foods defeated pests (Bledsoe 3). When GMOs started in the 1980s, there weren’t many rules or laws and the science of GMOs was in question (Bledsoe 2). In the economy, we see benefits but we don’t know all the risks of GMOs (Bledsoe 5).

Karen Bledsoe states that genetically modified food is good for people because it makes additional crops which increase the food supply (Bledsoe 6). Additionally, she reports the crops that are genetically modified have an increased pest and disease resistance as well as an increase in drought resistance (Bledsoe 4). “Herbicide tolerance and the ability for the plant to produce its own pesticides are the two main traits that are being added. (Mckee 3).” Scientist say that GMOs would lower the cost of vaccines (Bledsoe 2) and cure diseases worldwide (Phillips 2). Another great benefit to GMOs is they increase the food supply resulting in a reduction of food cost and world hunger (Phillips 3-4).

The effects of genetic modification are not healthy enough to keep using. Bledsoe agrees that they don’t know the effects of the food organisms in science. One of the ways that GMOs can hurt us is the environment. It can have biological pollution and plant and animal species extinction (Genetically engineered crops 1). There a lot of toxic chemicals from GMOs and in herbicides, there are bad for the farmers and those people and animals that eat them. A study from the Canadian government showed that they are now “super weeds” that can fight herbicide (Non GMO project 7), But now they have to use stronger herbicides. When the climate has been changed by the weather, we need some more easy crops so that the crops will grow. GM crops aren’t flexible and need expensive technology to grow. “Naturally breeding is better to have flexible crops to handle drought, heat, and flooding”(Non GMO project 6).

Studies say that genetic engineered foods make risks to animals and humans. There are no studies on humans; however, there are studies of lab animals such as, rats and rabbits. Some of the results showed that rats that were fed GM tomatoes developed stomach ulcerations. Mice that ate GM peas got allergic reactions. Rats that ate GM potatoes had pre-cancer growths (Non GMO project 2). GM food is not better grown and less nutritious than regularly grown food. Non GMO project scientists state that GM foods are not healthy since they have 12 to 14 percent less cancer fighting ingredients (Non GMO project 3). Furthermore, GMOs are responsible for creating “super bugs” and “super weeds” (Non GMO project 3) such as Pig Weed, Rye Grass, and Mare Stail (GM crops-Just the Science 6-7). As a result of “super weeds and bugs” farmers had to increase the amount of herbicide they use (GM crops-Just the Science 6-7).

Even though crops grow faster and resists pests, we don’t know the long term effects of GMOs (Genetically modified organisms 11). What they have shown sometimes GMO foods are less nutrious than natural foods and can create allergic reactions (Non GMO project 30). Many people are concerned that the GMOs aren’t healthy enough and the changing nutrients of the foods is dangerous and we need science to demonstrate it is safe. Only time will tell if genetically modified food is safe for humans.

Works Cited

Bledsoe, Karen E. “Genetically Engineered foods” Gale.com Copyright 2006. Web. March 4,

2013 www.Gale.com

“Genetically Engineered crops”. office@centerforfoodsafety.org. Food safety, 2013. Web.

February 7, 2013 www.centerforfoodsafety.org.

Jaffe, Gregory. “Are Biotech Foods Safe to eat”? wedmd.com copyright 2003. Web. February     27, 2013 www.wedmd.com/food-recipes.

Maryanski, James H. “Genetically Engineered foods” Fda.gov August 6, 2009. Web.

February 27, 2013 www.fda.gov/Newsevents.

Mckee, Mitchelle. “About GMO’s” NonGmoShoppingguide.com Copyright 2010. Web.

February 27, 2013 www.nongmoshoppingguide.com.

“Non GMO project” N.P. GM crops- Just the science. Web. February 26, 2013      www.NonGMOproject.org

“Non GMO project” N.P. Non-GMO- project 2013. Web. February 7, 2013           www.NonGMOProject.org

“Yes on Prop 37- California Nurses association”       November 5, 2012. Web. February 7, 2013 www.carighttoknow.org

Phillips, Theresa. “Science of GMO Foods” Ornl.gov/sci Genetically modified foods, 2007.

Web. February 7, 2013 www.nature.com/scitable/topic/page.

Wachtler, Mark “CA Prop 37 GMO food labeling initiative defeated!” Examiner.com

November 7, 2012. Web. February 6, 2013 www.examiner.com.

“Yes on Prop 37- California Nurses association”       November 5, 2012. Web. February 7, 2013 www.carighttoknow.org

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Silvia Martinez says:

    Love the way your son outline ever detail about “THE GARBAGE GMO” . He comes along so far.” by far a proud moment!

  2. Pam says:

    Thank you Jeff for writing about this very important subject. I certainly learned a lot and will share with others. Great job!

  3. Pam Howland says:

    Jeff, I enjoyed your article! I am sure it was a lot of work to write, and I appreciate your efforts because I learned a lot about GMOs. Great work!
    Pam Howland

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