Opinion: Why you need to know about GMOs

If you are the type of person who tries to stay updated on the latest news, you know about Miley Cyrus and Syria. But have you heard that results are showing that Genetically Modified Organisms can be found in certain foods having the potential to affect your health?

The shocker is it’s not just fast food, but nearly all the food you buy at your local grocery store. The topic of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) is a subject that should be getting massive amounts of attention, but the media seem to be uninterested.

GMOs are animals or plants that have been genetically engineered by DNA from another related organism. According to WebMD’s article, “Are Biotech Foods Safe to Eat,” “experts say 60 to 70 percent of processed foods on U.S. grocery shelves have genetically modified ingredient.” Some of the most common foods that are genetically modified are soybeans, maize and corn.

So the question is why should you care?

GMOs could be affecting your health. The effects of eating crops that have been genetically modified are still being debated. According to the Institute of Responsible Technology, there have been several studies involving rats that ate crops that have been genetically modified and suffered from a variety of health problems such as reproductive issues, infant mortality, liver problems and heighten allergies.

However, FDA has approved foods with ingredients that have been genetically modified while some scientists disagree about the effects of eating biotech food.

Despite there not being a clear agreement with scientists, there is a growing call for food that contain GMOs to be labeled. Several organizations such as “Millions Against Monsanto” planned marches to spread awareness about GMOs.

In America, we don’t normally label foods that have GMOs while some countries such as Hungary do. According to MSN, Hungary burned 1,000 acres of fields that contained GMO seeds. It is believed that GMO seeds belong to Monsanto (a major GMO company), but they denied claims they provided the seeds.

Hungary is just one example of the growing concern of food safety.

I am not a scientist, and I cannot tell for sure if GMOs are safe to eat or not?. But don’t you believe the media should be aiding us in making this decision? What is more important than the food we eat?

If you are concerned about GMOs, good sources of information about the food issue is the 2010 documentary “Food Inc,” WebMD, The Institute for Responsible Technology, and the book “Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All American Meal.”

This is just the basic and I urge you to look beyond this article to come up with your own conclusions.

Go educate yourself on GMO. And if they make you feel uncomfortable, go do something about it. Then encourage the media to do the same.


Photo | Shannon Millard, Photo Editor