Part 1

The article “The Threats from Genetically Modified Foods” published by Robin Mather provide detail on genetically modified foods and the use of it in the United States. Mathers states in her article that “Genitic modification” is the manipulation of DNA by humans to change the compositions of plants and animals. She also indicates that genetically modified foods are in fact illegal in many countries except in the United States where we have been eating genetically modified products for nearly two decades. Genetically modified foods are not required to be labeled by the FDA because the biotech companies have convinced them that there’s no substantial difference in the crops. Some genetically modified crops contain Bt (bacillus thuringiensis) which is a built-in pesticide to release toxins and kill insects that would ultimately destroy the crops. Researchers have evidence that these Bt crops are causing health problems for people.

Roundup created by Monsanto, a popular weed killer has a main ingredient called glyphosate. Scientists have done studies linking glyphosate to birth defects, cancer, and damage to DNA. A study also shows glyphosate damages the environment.  Meanwhile the EPA continues to believe the product Roundup is safe. Big companies such as Monsanto and Syngenta do not allow independent research. They have their own researchers that conduct the research instead. The author writes that going forward; the EPA should also require independent research.

There are people in favor of genetically modified crops and people who are not. Some people prefer to know which foods they consume have genetically modified ingredients. The FDA and GMO supporters find that “labeling foods would be costly and end up raising the price on foods people buy.” Surveys, however, indicate that consumers favor labeling because they want to know what they are consuming. I believe that the article was pretty aggressive with one-sided arguments. Every point she made was against genetically modified foods.

Part 2

I believe that Robin Mather’s article has an effective argument. She points out the facts that are in the best interest of the consumer as well as the environment. I do not understand how genetically modified foods can be illegal in many countries but legal in the United States. The FDA has such strong security check on medications we consume but the same does not apply to foods we consume.

Showing actual numbers and percentages persuaded me to believe her argument. She mentioned that in 2010, 86 percent of corn, up to 90 percent of soybeans and 93 percent of cotton were amongst the genetically modified the high percentages alarmed me. In a study performed on the product Roundup, the use of Roundup by homeowners and gardeners killed up to 86 percent of frogs in one day. Although the FDA may argue that placing labels on products is costly and that it would increase food prices she argues that sales for fruits and vegetables increased when they were labeled with “organic”.

Genetically modified foods are portrayed to be unnatural and people would be reluctant to buy them. I agree that this would scare many companies or investors who have invested in stocks for GM products such as Roundup. It may be true that genetically modifying crops would generate an abundant supply of food but at what cost. If the chemicals in these GM products damage the environment then the natural course of evolution would also be damaged. Consider the soil crops with damaged soil that worms live in and birds eat. These birds will die from the affected worms and it will have a chain reaction. Even if companies continue to use GMO’s, they should label products and leave it up to the consumer to decide what they buy.

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