We see GMOs in pretty much all the different kinds of foods we’ve eaten. In the 21st century, it’s difficult to find produce that AREN’T a GMO. So you’ve heard this term passed around a lot – most times in a negative manner – but what exactly are GMOs? Why are they considered bad? Are they entirely bad?
GMOs are genetically modified organisms. These organisms are foods made from things like corn and soy, and many other crops where their seeds can be modified before planting.
Pros of GMOs
Foods are genetically modified for some genuinely good reasons. Some of these foods can have their seeds modified in order to resist bugs that may harm the crops, withstand extreme weather, and increase crop yield. These are all beneficial because of the fact that they work to either increase crop life or increase crop output. In the end, it benefits farmers and locals who buy the majority of their groceries from local markets.
Not only that, but scientists also choose to genetically modify foods because they help to color – brighten or darken – increase shelf life in stores, and even remove the annoying seeds from fruits and vegetables that we can’t stand. They help to get rid of small inconveniences that come naturally from our produce.
Cons and Risks to GMOs
Many foods that have been genetically modified come with risks that can be damaging to the consumers.
GM foods can cause allergic reactions due to the different genes that the newly modified food may contain. A person may not necessarily be allergic to the fruit or vegetable, but once a seeds gets modified, they may find that the specific modification triggers unforeseen reaction that can either be mild or severe, resulting in death.
One of the biggest concerns about GMOs is the perceived link between these special foods and cancer. Many people speculate that GMOs might increase the risk of developing cancer, since cancer itself is a mutation of the human gene. Currently (as of July 2020), however, there is little to no evidence that GMOs have an affect (positive or negative) on the presence of any specific form of cancer.
Good or Not?
So, what’s the verdict? Well, GM foods have many positive aspects to them, but the decision is up to the consumer. It’s always nice to incorporate organic foods into your diet, however. Nothing can go wrong with that!
- Raman, Ryan. “GMOs: Pros and Cons, Backed by Evidence.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 2 July 2020, http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gmo-pros-and-cons#identification
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