Composition & Rhetoric
Ms. Sarah Thompson
September 25, 2016
Genetically Modified Organisms
Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are in a large portion of the food most of the world consumes. These food products are just food plants that have had their DNA altered to make the plant more resistant to weather extremes, resistant to pesticides, have a longer period of ripeness, or other things considered beneficial to the plant and the consumer. Many concerns have risen over the years in response to the cultivation and increase in genetically modified organisms.
Those that are in favor of genetically modified organism have listed out many of the benefits of implementing genetic modification in the organisms we eat. For example, world hunger has decreased significantly as GMOs have increased. The use of pesticides have actually decreased because the plant is hardier. They also have provided many scientific studies that present information that proves that there are no health risks associated with genetic modification.
Those against GMOs insist they are harmful to the environment. This is due to the increase in pesticides used because the plants are more able to resist the chemicals. This is very contradictory to the information given in favor of GMOs. In fact, the majority of information I have found on GMOs has had conflicting sources. One site will claim there are thousands of scientific studies proving that GMOs are not safe, while another will claim that that is just not true, and will provide their own scientific studies proving they can be harmful. It is quite difficult to differentiate which sources are credible and which are not to be trusted. Many individuals do not like that the foods they consume are not natural and organic.
They argue that foods in the past were not modified and did not harm people so we should continue to implement them in our recipes today.
The fact of the matter is, many people are simply not educated on GMOs, and with the plethora of sources listed on the internet, who can blame them? There are so many conflicting sources and sides. I have asked many individuals what they know about GMOs and the answers ranged from “I don’t exactly know what they are, but I know they’re bad,” to “I’ve never even heard of them.” A large group of people believe it is a necessity that people know what they are putting inside of their bodies, which is why many people believe genetically modified organisms must be labeled so people are aware of what they are consuming. Others believe that the 88% of scientists who insist GMOs are safe have been paid off by big corporations in order to make money, because GMOs are extremely profitable. They cut down on costs greatly, which is why they are produced so much more and have made it possible to cut down on world hunger. In this respect, many ethical dilemma: is it for the people or is it for the money? In world where there is plenty of food to sustain every living being, it is incredibly ridiculous that so many people have to go without.