Genetically modified food has its pros and cons

A few decades ago, the world applauded at the idea that someday we would have the ability to stop world hunger.  Scientists said food could be manufactured at a fraction of the cost and millions would be fed.

Researchers have been able to combine oranges and kiwis and turn strawberries blue, thanks to bio-engineering. (Borrowed from classroomclipart.com)

Researchers have been able to combine oranges and kiwis and turn strawberries blue, thanks to bio-engineering. (Borrowed from classroomclipart.com)

But now that we have technology, many people are against the idea.

Some say it’s unnatural and upsetting the balance of nature. Others believe scientists are playing God and that certain cancers and gastro problems are caused by some of  the foods we eat.

We can’t deny that many of the foods found on store shelves have been altered in some way. Hydrogenated soybean oil and MSG are among the “food stuffs” that are in many of the products bought daily at the local market.

Farmers have stated they don’t want to use genetically modified seeds for their crops but just recently wheat found in a farmer’s field in Oregon that was genetically altered. How can we be sure that the food we consume is what we believe it to be?

(See this article about Monsanto, one of the world’s biggest seed companies.)

Researchers report that food that is genetically modified  lasts longer on the store shelves and in our homes. It can be raised or grown in laboratories and even cloned.  It has helped alleviate hunger throughout the world. That part can’t be denied.

Those who think genetically modified food is a bad idea have been fighting to get a bill passed that would require all companies to label their food as “genetically modified.” These companies don’t want this to happen, and some politicians have been more than happy to vote no on the bill because the profits the companies generate are in the millions.

So what do we do? Feed the world and look past the effects it might have on consumers, or push for the law that gives Americans a choice about what they eat?

Why can’t we have both? Requiring companies to label food that has been genetically modified should have been mandatory all along. How is this different from packages of cigarettes or bottles of alcohol? The world has a right to know what they are eating.

I am a label reader and care about what I put into my body. If I can’t read an ingredient on a food label, I don’t buy it.

Maybe that’s what the food companies are most afraid of; consumers who have knowledge about what they are consuming. I suppose if they did know, many of the companies would go bankrupt.

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