Saturday, August 31, 2019

Enact Law of Mandatory Labeling Essay

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)/Genetically Engineered (GE) foods are the result of laboratory processes which artificially insert genes into the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of food crops or animals. There are many arguments both in favor of and against mandatory labeling of GMO/GE foods. Whether or not to require labeling of GMOs or GE foods also involves the debate over the risks and benefits of food crops produced using biotechnology. However, the overarching argument is consumers have a right to know what is in their food, especially concerning products that can cause allergic reactions. According to the Campaign for Healthier Eating in America, Genetically Modified (GM) foods are linked to toxic and allergic reactions, sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ studied in lab animals (http://www.responsibletechnology.org). Because there is no scientific evidence that GMO/GE foods do or do not cause health issues in humans (because there have been no long-term studies), consumers may or may not be being harmed by GMOs. However, the safety of GMOs has been questioned by other countries. In fact, they are banned by food manufacturers in Europe and other countries, but, present in the majority of meats, produce, diary and processed foods in the United States (US). Many consumers in the US have no knowledge that they are consuming GMOs. If they did, it is now known if, similar to Europe, many would prefer to not consume GMO/GE foods. However, without proper labeling, the big issue of concern is, they do not know how to avoid them if they wanted to. The current labeling policy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to label items with the nutritional and caloric value of foods and to include any allergens such as peanuts in a soybean product. However, GMO/GE foods or ingredients are not required to be labeled. According to the FDA website, mandatory labeling of GMO/GE foods in the US has been proposed, but, not enacted, at federal, state, and local levels. One reason is that consumers have been consuming GMO/GE foods without their knowledge for years and have not suffered any significant adverse reactions. However, with GMOs not being labeled and without any long-term scientific studies of those consuming GMOs, it is not known if any health issues that consumers have had are related to consuming GMOs. However, as it stands, it appears the FDA does not feel it is necessary to require mandatory labeling o f GMO/GE foods and their ingredients. The most commonly known GE crop in the US is corn. Because many processed food products including animal feed contain corn ingredients, the majority of processed foods in grocery stores directly or indirectly include GE ingredients that are not labeled. Consumers have the right to know what is in their food. Furthermore, for religious or ethical reasons, many Americans want to avoid eating certain types of animal DNA products. By labeling GMOs and GE foods, including animal DNA, consumers will be able to choose. Opponents may argue that consumers who want to avoid GM or GE foods may choose only organic food items. However, this solution is not completely effective. Although a food item may be labeled organic, there is a possibility that it is not completely GM or GE free. This is because the food item may have been processed in the same facility as a GM or GE food item or may include traces of GE ingredients. The possible costs or drawbacks of mandatory labeling of GMOs and GE foods/ingredients are it would impose a cost to all consumers. For example, the food system infrastructure would need to be renovated to be able to segregate GE and non-GE products. This expense would most likely be passed on to the consumer. Opponents of mandatory labeling include the following, food manufacturers who would need to implement the mandatory labeling laws, seed companies and also the biotechnology companies such as Monsanto who are in the GMO and GE manufacturing business. Others who would be against the mandatory labeling laws would be the grocery stores because consumers may not purchase many of the GMOs that they would normally purchase, possibly reducing their revenue. |1. Are there at least 5 complete paragraphs that address all 5 questions? |2 Yes. | |(2) | | |2. Thoughtfulness of Content. (Are answers obvious, or do they go beyond |1 Very thoughtful. | |the obvious?) (1) | | |3. Clarity of writing. (Specific, precise wording vs. vague, general |1 Very clear and specific. | |wording) (1) | | |4. Grammar and mechanics. (Proper use of Standard, academic English prose?|1 Strong mechanics and grammar. | |Only one topic per paragraph?) (1) | | |Total Points (5) |5 A This looks like it’ll be a very strong topic because it is | | |arguable and fairly specific. | References The Campaign for Healthier Eating in America (2009). Retrieved January 9, 2010 from http://www.responsibletechnology.org/GMFree/CampaignforHealthierEatinginAmerica/index.cfm[pic][pic][pic]

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