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1 Kelsie Smart English 2010 T/TH 11:30-12:20 10/6/13

GMOs are a Hinder to our Health

Which would you prefer: a naturally made, fresh sandwich with a ripe tomato from the garden or a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) packed greasy McDonalds cheeseburger and fry? The sandwich should be your choice. Although dangerous, picking up groceries from the stores that dont contain GMOs is a harder task than it would seem. The Vice President of the Grocery Manufacturers of America and chief
Figure 1 this banana makes you think twice about what youre consuming

spokesman of the American Food Industry, Gene Grobowski explains, In a grocery, as much as 70% of the processed food might contain GMOs.(Lambrecht page 3) This is probably due to the fact that GMOs have increased in popularity over the last decade. Americans should ban the use of GM foods completely. This is because natural food is much healthier and without all the added chemicals your body will feel better after eating it. Jeffrey Smith, the author of 10 Reasons to avoid GMOs, states, Numerous health problems increased after GMOs were introduced in 1996. The percentage of Americans with three or

more chronic illnesses jumped from 7% to 13% in just 9 years; food allergies skyrocketed, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others are on the rise. (Smith Page 1) We can see from these statistics that GMOs cannot possibly be good for any of us. To further my point, The American Academy of Environmental Medicine urges medical doctors to warn patients about eating genetically modified foods. (Ann, page 1) In contrast, looking at the other side of the totem pole, there are many people out there who
Figure 2 This apple used to be normal before it was mutated

consider GMOs to be a savior to the world. This is because GMOs have positive effects as well as negative ones. For instance, Kathy Enright admits We have a climate in the US now that is incredibly unfriendly to food biotechnology. Yet we need to dramatically increase the protein supply if we are going to feed everyone by 2050. (Enright page 1) Enrights point shows that GMOs help to provide more food for our populations growth. In some ways I agree with this since there has to be a way to feed the ever growing population, but I dont know if GM foods are the way. As you can see GMOs in food have recently become controversial. Nevertheless, I support healthy, natural food that will influence Americans to live long, high quality lives; as well as a way to produce it efficiently without having to empty their pocket book.

Conversely, a positive effect of GMOs is that it is an effective way to produce large amounts of food. In the Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences, written by R. H. Phipps and J. R. Park, they write, With increasing world population, a slowing of the rate of crop improvement through conventional breeding and a declining area of land available for food production there is a need for new technologies to produce more food.(Phipps and Park page 1) Through these new technologies GMOs come in to affect, making a regular size fruit or vegetable 10 times the size, therefore feeding multitudes more. Though this isnt the healthiest way to provide food for our country it sure helps our nation from going hungry. GMOs might be able to accomplish this, but I want to know all the options we have first. In the article, Economic Impacts of Genetically Modified Crops on the Agri-Food Sector, the arguing point is the most immediate and tangible ground for satisfaction appears to be the combined effect of performance and convenience of GM crops, in particular for herbicide tolerant varieties. These crops allow for a greater flexibility in growing practices and in given cases, for reduced or more flexible labor requirements. Where labor or time is a restriction, this convenience effect has an economic impact. In the medium term, it should translate into increased labor productivity and savings in labor costs.(Economic Impact GMO page 1) When farmers have to use less of their supplies and time to farm, then we all benefit from this. Not being a farmer myself, using less time and supplies looks good in theory, but I think the sacrifice comes in with the quality of the food produced. Furthermore, GMOs means fewer pesticides which almost always equals a more environmental friendly egosystem. In the article Engineering Food for All, Nina V. Fedoroff

further explains this, genetically modified crops containing an extra gene that confers resistance to certain insects require much less pesticide. This is good for the environment because toxic pesticides decrease the supply of food for birds and run off the land to poison rivers, lakes and oceans.(Fedoroff page 1). This is an excellent way of seeing how GMOs are helping our environment. Regardless of these affirmative effects, the people supporting GMOs fail to see that when food is no longer natural, then what you are eating has a great lack of nutrition. You might bite into something that that has flavor and tastes good, but what are you really
Figure 3 this depicts how food is becoming unnatural

putting into your body? Do you really want your person that matters most to be built on something that is processed and artificial? Even though, there will be less starvation in the world due to GMOs increasing food supply, the health problems may balance this equation in a negative fashion. This is due to the fact that there are so many chemicals used when modifying these foods. Companies responsible for this are Monsanto, Dupont, and Syngenta. These three companies represent the top 3 companies in the Big 6, which are the worlds six largest seed/agrochemical/biotech firms. They control the global agricultural research agenda and this could be considered highly dangerous due to conflicting motives. From the article The Big Six, Hope Shand states, The Big 6 agenda promotes genetic

engineering, Chemical dependence and monopoly patents that thwart both public and private sector alternatives and innovation. According to agricultural economists, some u.s. farmers adopted industrys genetically engineered seeds and companion chemicals faster than any agricultural technology in history. (Shand) I cant believe how much control these big companies have over the food industry. Below is a great example of how much money/power the companies in the Big Six have. Monsanto is located in the U.S. and in 2009 had an annual income of $7,297,000,000. Dupont is also located in the U.S. and in 2009 had an annual income of $4,641,000,000. In third place Syngenta, located in Switzerland, had an annual income of $2,564,000,000. (Shand) The way I see these numbers, it scares me knowing how powerful the top seed companies actually are. With all of this power/money, if they want to experiment with genetically modifying seeds who can stop them?

The food in the grocery store should be tasty, wholesome, and natural. The human body needs nutrients and feeling healthy after a meal is just a bonus. The last thing any American wants to worry about is major health problems 10, 20, or 30 years down the road. I would like to be healthy enough in my coming years to raise my children and watch my grandchildren grow up. Its not just about the years of your life, but the life of your years.(Author to come) I love this quote because it summarizes one of my main concerns about the growing popularity of GMOs. How can I enjoy my life on this planet if I am nonexistent?

I propose that we as Americans, or even as human beings on this planet; find a better solution to mass produce food in a healthy, more efficient manner. To solve this problem I suggest that scientists continue to use GM foods but to not use damaging chemicals. In order to sustain our growing population we must discover this new solution by the next century or we risk losing the health and survival of our inhabitants. We are remarkable human beings with incredible brain power; surely there are plenty of solutions for this current problem. To summarize my opinion, it is my strong belief that Americans should take a stand against the use of GMOs in food such as other countries have. The research I have done throughout this paper clearly shows that the health risks outweigh the benefits. Thus they might inadvertently be used to hinder the population of the U.S. instead of increase it.

Work Cited
Lambrecht, Bill. Dinner at the New Gene Cafe. 1st Edition. New York, NY: Thomas Dunne Books, 2001. 3. Print.

Smith, Jeffrey. "10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs." Institute for Responsible Technology. Jeffrey Smith, 06 Jun 2007. Web. 23 Sept 2013. <http://www.responsibletechnology.org/10-Reasons-to-Avoid-GMOs>.

Enright, Cathy. Personal Interview. 21 May 2013. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://www.foodpolitics.com/2013/05/foodnavigator-usas-enlightening-interview-the-industry-povon-gmos/>

Phipps, R. H. , and J. R. Park. Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences. 1st Edition. 11. UK: Centre for Dairy Research, 2002. 1-18. Print. <http://www.ask-force.org/web/Benefits/Phipps-Park-Benefits2002.pdf>.

"Economic Impacts of Genetically Modified Crops on the Agri-Food Sector." Europa The European Commission of Agriculture. Directorate-General for Agriculture, n.d. Web. 7 Oct 2013. <http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/publi/gmo/fullrep/ch3.htm>.

FEDOROFF, NINA . "Engineering Food for All." New York Times The Opinion Pages. The New York Times, 18 Oct 2011. Web. 7 Oct 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/19/opinion/geneticallyengineered-food-for-all.html?_r=1&>.

Shand, Hope. "The Big Six: A Profile in Corporate Power in Seeds, Agrochemicals and Biotech." Seed Savers. The Heritage Farm Companion, n.d. Web. 29 Oct 2013.