How Gmo's Affect Your Life Essay

2787 words - 12 pages

How Genetically Modified Foods Affect Our Lives

In recent years, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have replaced our diet with genetically altered foods, which have adversely affected human health as well as local communities. Being resistant to pesticides, GMOs are created by splicing genes of different species that are combined through genetic engineering (GE), something that is impossible to do in nature (The Non-GMO Project). Consuming these genetically altered and more processed foods can lead to increased risk of diseases and even cancer (Genetically Modified Food). Most of the time we do not even realize that we are eating these harmful toxins as they are infused in our food ...view middle of the document...

Even some tobacco has been GM (Smith, “Genetic Roulette” 258). Since corn can be manipulated and injected into virtually any food product, the thought of GM corn is even scarier. That’s not all; the United States is the only other country besides Canada that does not require GMOs to be labeled on the packaging (Label GMOs). This means that we are consuming even more GMOs than we realize. Some foods that we ingest on a daily basis that contain GM ingredients are dairy products food additives such as enzymes and flavorings, meat, eggs, honey, and pollen in the air contain traces of GM materials (Smith, “Genetic Roulette” 258). The harsh reality is that even if we are conscious about what we eat and try to stay away from processed foods, even the air we breathe contains GMOs!

Now that I have introduced GMO’s, I want to explain the health risks associated with these types of foods. Although GMOs were only introduced in 1996, the side effects can already be seen: there have been increased allergic reactions, antibiotic resistant bacteria and other toxic hazards (Safe Food). While these side effects of GMOs may seem minuscule in the grand scheme of things, the lasting affects can be much more drastic. More and more children are having life-threatening allergies, which can be contributed to increased GMO intake. Already 37 people have died from side effects of GMOs, 1,500 partially paralyzed and 5,000 were temporarily handicapped by chemicals used in harvesting GMOs (Smith, “Genetic Roulette” 258). These numbers do not include the number of children that have been born with birth defects associated with the chemical, glyphosate. This chemical alone can cause infertility, stillbirths, miscarriages and cancers (The Ecologist). Researchers found that glyphosate “caused malformations in frog and chicken embryos that were similar to human birth defects found in GM soy-producing areas. In particular, the researchers found malformations of the head and cyclopia (where a single eye is present in the centre of the forehead)” (The Ecologist). Essentially, GMOs could cause babies to be born as the one-eyed monsters we read about in fairytales. Seeing that GMO’s have only been deemed “safe” for human consumption for a little over 15 years and there have been no long-term studies performed on humans, the changes in animal fetuses mirror the growth of human babies. With prolonged exposure to GMOs the data concerning the side effects is only to increase as we continue to eat GMOs without considered the effects they can have on our bodies and procreation of future generations.

While effects may be only starting to surface amongst humans, tests on animals have been going on for a longer period of time. As a result, animals have been suffering because of the health complications brought on by GMOs. Jeffrey M. Smith, a leader in promoting healthier non-GMO food choices, writes in the introduction to his book, Genetic Roulette about the many side effects of GMOs...

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