Healthy Food Awareness
There has been a great increase in the amount of attention people are giving to what they eat nowadays. With the almost annual recalls of products due to some form of contamination or other and the recent exposure of the use of “pink slime” in food, public awareness has most certainly been heightened. Eating fresh foods is such an integral part in maintaining a healthy diet, and there is a great dependence on labels to help consumers choose foods contingent to their healthy diet. This brings us to the GMO foods debate.
What Are GMOs?
GMOs are produced by a process that alters the genetic makeup of an organism by ultimately changing their DNA for numerous reasons including, instilling a resistance to pesticides, adding nutrients, and other benefits. However, the controversy stems from the fact that there are concerns as to whether or not GMO foods pose a risk to humans' health and the government’s refusal to label foods that contain GMOs. These foods are mostly crops, but recently the FDA deemed that genetically engineered salmon has "no significant impact" on humans, as well. People trying to avoid GMOs are finding it difficult to guarantee they are not consuming GMO foods because even labels such as “organic” or “all natural” may contain GMOs. It is argued, consumers need to be able to decide what to allow in their diets and not labeling these products does not give them a choice. GMOs first made their appearance in 1994 and their presence has grown significantly in the last ten years. Though farmers have been using selective breeding methods for years, people against GMOs posit, the processes are drastically different. Products that we consume daily most likely contain either GMOs or their byproducts, such as corn, soy, and even feed given to livestock. There has been no definitive evidence as to its effects on the mental or physical health of humans, but it is interesting that there is a resistance to label these foods. In other countries it is required that labels be placed on GMO foods. Food companies are wary of labeling their products because they fear people will simply cease buying their goods.
The Debate Goes On
So far, the government has not made a decision about labeling foods that contain GMOs or their byproducts in them, but there are many groups petitioning for the requirement of GMO labels. It’s a slow-going process, but there are many vivacious participants who are very vocal about their ideals. Many of these protesters believe we are not being told the full story about the affects of GMOs on the human body, but there is no proof, just speculation. What are your thoughts on the GMO controversy? Do you mind whether or not your food has been genetically modified?