Say No to GMOs

by Bella Mansfield
Class of 2016

In the midst of the world’s third agricultural revolution, the possibility of ending world hunger is looking up—with some costly side effects. Today’s commercial agriculture system use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) has skyrocketed since they were first introduced into the field in 1996. Their beginning was seemingly a positive one; countless benefit’s from stronger resisting crops to foods that require less time and energy to produce. Some of the world’s most important grains, like rice, were able to be produced nearly a quarter of the time faster than non-GMO rice takes to mature, giving farmers more time and land to devote to growing other foods.

The possibilities behind GMOs seemed to be endless; the rate at which crop production increased shed light on agricultures newfound ability to provide enough food to suffice the growing world population. Still, the safety of GMOs is continuously under heavy debate. In reality, it is not clear whether or not the foods that millions of people are consuming each day are truly that nutritious or delicious. In fact, many people are unaware of what exactly they are eating, nor what long-term side effects these foods could have.

Foods that contain GMOs have been genetically enhanced, and may or may not contain genes that can pose serious threats to your health. In some situations, GMOs are having the opposite effect in humans than that which they have in foods. Instead of building up immunity, allergic reactions and resistance to antibiotics have become more popular in people than ever before since the creation of GMOs. Scientists claim this to be a result of interchanging genes—opening up a whole other door of controversy. After all, what good can come from messing with genetics?

Like with most issues in the twenty-first century, there are also the pressing environmental effects that attribute to the bad reputation GMOs have acquired. Cross breeding and cross pollination can have tremendous amounts of damage to the ecosystem, and the herbicides and other chemicals that result from GMO production have a direct correlation with greenhouse gases and the furthering of global warming.

It is still not certain whether or not GMOs are entirely bad for you. However, people deserve to know what they are eating. Many have made the transition to all organic foods and steer clear from all genetically modified foods. Vegetarians and vegans were displeased to find out that some of the fruits they were consuming contained fish or other animal genes, and other cultures with food taboos are at risk of being fooled by these superfoods. Until scientists can come to a solid conclusion on the state of genetically modified foods and their impact on human health, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and say no to GMOs.

Bella Mansfield is a student in Advanced Placement English Language and Composition