Since the mass introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into food in the 1990s, it has been highly controversial. Supporters state the positive aspects of GM foods, such as higher yields and improved nutritional value. However, there have been increased public health concerns. The primary controversies have been a lack of long-term safety studies, potentially negative impact on human health, and environmental footprints.
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A large concern regarding GM foods is a lack of long-term safety studies. The FDA does approve GM organisms in foods. However, the whole food group is not tested for safety. It is also difficult to do so since animal testing does not always reflect on humans. The absence of safety studies assumes that these foods are safe since there are no evident immediate risks (Michigan State University, 2018).
GM foods have been directly and indirectly associated with potential health risks. Conditions ranging from infertility to immune issues are a consequence of GM food consumption. GM foods have also been linked to a disruption in metabolic processes, leading to diabetes and insulin resistance. There is a belief that GM foods may impact the human genome leading to cancer or other conditions in the long term. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine recommends avoiding such foods if possible (Institute for Responsible Technology, 2015).
Introducing GM crops used for food has adverse effects on the environment. Genes added to the crops result in herbicide-resistant weeds. In turn, stronger chemicals are used in agriculture, which eliminate vital insects. Indirectly, chemical pollution levels rise. Crops and plants are cross-contaminated with genes leading to disruptions in ecosystems (Plumer, 2015).
It is evident that GM foods and crops are potentially harmful. Both humans and the environment are affected by consequences as a result of their introduction. It is critical to conduct long-term studies to examine the prolonged effects. Public health concerns are particularly worrying due to the mass use of GM foods in a modern diet. Genetically modified food is not safe and poses numerous risks to humanity.
Institute for Responsible Technology. (2015). Health risks. Web.
Michigan State University. (2018). Are GMOs safe? Web.
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Plumer, B. (2015). Are GM crops good or bad for the environment? Vox. Web.