Encouraging Mandatory Labeling: Requiring Transparency in the GMO Industry Your Name Due Date . Today the foods that you eat may not be the all natural, wholesome, or organic items that you may assume that they are. Biotechnologists have found the means, by incorporating the DNA of bacteria with the plant life that make up the basic ingredients of the foods that we eat every day, and have been creating and distributing such foods for a very long time.(Harmon & Pollack, 2012) The average consumers know so little about GMO products, primarily, because they are seldom properly labeled when they are being sold…
Many Americans feel this reluctance stems from an unwillingness to reveal something that they do not want consumers to know. The best solution is to require mandatory labeling of all of the products that are considered GMO, genetically engineered, or in any way augmented in or by a laboratory. Genetic research has been going on for several decades and is still going strong. Most people hear the words genetic engineering or biotechnology they think of science fiction stories. However, real, modern biotechnology is quite different and it is certainly not science fiction. The manifestation of biotechnology is not so much “in your face,” as it is “in your food.” In fact, for more than a decade the majority of processed foods in the United States include ingredients containing genetic material derived from plants whose DNA has undergone laboratory manipulation. The most common genetically altered crops in the United States include soybeans, corn, cotton, and canola. The soybeans carry DNA derived from bacteria that cause the plants to be resistant to common weed killing pesticides, as well as, corn crops, which, also, is taken from DNA from bacteria, which allow the corn to produce its own natural pesticide.(Harmon & Pollack, 2012) It has been determined that most store bought products contain some form of soy or corn, including high fructose corn syrup, and exist in 60-70% of the foods on the grocery store shelves, including cereals, snack foods, dressings/dips, crackers, and chips are all the products of genetic modification, in one way or another.(Byrne, 2013) Supporters of mandatory labeling believe that they manufacturers do not want labeling because they do not want consumers to be aware of how much GMO food they are already consuming. They, also, feel that the scientists, biotechnological farms, and the big businesses that profit from them do not want to be forced to label such products. In their eyes they are putting profit before public awareness and, potentially, public safety. This public concern is not strictly an American phenomenon. Consumers prefer to be informed. Twenty-one countries have already implemented mandatory labeling requirements; so one might ask, why should the United States be any different? (Byrne, 2013) Consumers have a right to know through clearly marked packaging, to make informed choices about the ingredients being mentioned, and understand what exactly they put into their bodies. The claim that GMO goods are completely and thoroughly safe, however, is not something that any of the scientists today can actually guarantee. They can only confirm that there appears to be no danger or side effects associated with consuming GMO foods or food ingredients. It has never been confirmed through human testing that that is true, especially over a period of long term consumption. That said, they are essentially asking us to take their word for it without providing much in the way of facts and details. In fact, biotechnologists today are, basically, using the same limited ...
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