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Last updateWed, 18 Sep 2019 11am

Features

What’s Really in Your Cereal?

The Use of Genetically Modified Organisms in Our Food


Think you know what you’re eating? According to the United States Department of Agriculture, in 2009, 93 percent of soy, 93 percent of cotton, and 86 percent of corn grown in the U.S. were GMOs.

GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are organisms that have been created through techniques of biotechnology, also called genetic engineering (GE).

This relatively new science allows DNA from one species to be injected into another species in a laboratory, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods. Incredible, isn’t it?

“Pesticide companies develop GE food crops by combining DNA from plants, animals, bacteria and viruses, to contain or resist pesticide, which results in more pesticides sold and sprayed,” said Michael Hansen, Chief Scientist of Consumers Union. “Genetically engineered foods contain untested novel foreign compounds that can be detrimental to our health.”

American consumers deserve the choice whether they want to eat GMOs. In 30 other countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production of GMOs, because they are not proven safe.

In the United States, on the other hand, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved commercial production of GMOs based on studies conducted by the companies who created them and profited from their sale.

Many health-conscious shoppers find the lack of rigorous, independent, scientific examination on the impact of consuming GM foods to be cause for concern, according to the Non-GMO project.

Robert Brackett, Director of Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the Food and Drug Administration stated in his testimony before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, that the FDA is confident that the bioengineered foods on the United States market today are as safe as their conventional counterparts.

The FDA has found no evidence to indicate that DNA inserted into plants using bioengineering presents food safety problems.

The FDA does not require labeling to indicate whether a food or food ingredient is a bioengineered product, just as it does not require labeling to indicate which conventional breeding technique was used in developing a food plant.

According to an ABC News Poll, 93 percent of Americans said the federal government should require labels on food saying whether it’s been genetically modified, or “bio-engineered.”

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