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Should genitically modified foods be labeled - Research Paper Example

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Should genitically modified foods be labeled

Actually, a lot of food that we eat today contains genetically modified ingredients. Supporters of this technology claim that it benefits humanity because that it ensures and sustains food security around the world as the population increases. Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM) of food is an issue that has entered the mainstream media in a lot of countries. It is a fact that a lot of food that we eat today contains genetically modified ingredients and usually without our knowledge. Supporters of this technology maintain that it ensures and sustains food security around the world as the population increases (Caplan). There is no doubt that the science behind genetic engineering is improving. While biotechnology could be the wave of the future and genetically modified foods could really provide alternatives to help increase food production, there is a growing wave of concern from citizens, farmers and scientists who question the way the research is currently being handled by a few large, profit-hungry corporations. That is, as well as scientific debates on the merits of genetically engineered food, there are equally, if not more important, debates on the potential danger on both human beings and the environment (Kass). Much of the concern people have about Genetic Engineering is due to the fact that it is a very young and untested technology and may not be the answer to the food shortage problem just yet. Similarly, crop uniformity, which the biotech firms are promoting, will reduce genetic diversity making them more vulnerable to disease and pests. This furthers the need for pesticides, which are created by the same companies creating and promoting genetically engineered crops. This leads to questions of the motives of corporations and countries who are using the plight of the developing world as a marketing strategy to gain acceptance of GE food as well as dependency upon it via intellectual property rights. That they are against any labeling or other precautionary steps and measures that countries may wish to take is of paramount concern. The reason that genetically engineered food could be dangerous is due to the lack of testing to ensure that extracting genes that perform an apparently useful function as part of that plant or animal is going to have the same effects if inserted into a totally unrelated species. It may be that in the long term, genetically modified food could provide us with benefits and be a safe alternative, but we cannot know that at this time due to the lack of safety testing. The testing that has been done is often to ensure that the crop grows. Yet, there has been less emphasis on testing the effects or testing the wider ecology and the associated impacts of this technology on humans and nature. Even if there has been some testing, the long-term effects to humans, animals and the environment are unknown. The full ramifications of modified genes mixing with unmodified ones are unknown (Caplan). Thus, genetically modified food may benefit us, but we cannot know that at this time because much needed testing has not been done and current studies point to dangers rather than benefits. However, a group of scientists in UK do claim that GE food may be safe, but they mention that the long-term effects are still unknown. Also, it should be noted that a lot of field tests that companies do ...Show more

Summary

Labeling of Genetically Modified Food Genetic Engineering is a new biological science that revolutionized our knowledge of the species and their origins. Through this knowledge, scientists become able to understand the composition of the living creatures, including plants, animals, and humans (Ford)…
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Should genitically modified foods be labeled essay example
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