Im always reading about Genetically altered foods. I know theres alot out there on how bad they are but what are the side effects of them? Why are people making GMO foods if theyre so bad for us shouldnt the FDA get involved?
Re: GMO's are they good or bad?!
1 year, 4 months ago #10
The problem I run into when discussing GMOs is that the category is far too broad. There are many, many products and ingredients which fall under this label; some are controversial ingredients, and others are not. I don't think it's helpful to lump everything together and call it "good" or "bad," and I think the side effects will depend on the specific GMO you encounter.
While a knee-jerk reaction to something that has been "genetically-modified" is understandable, consider this: in 1970, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize was a man named Norman Borlaug. He is credited with saving over a billion lives thanks to GMOs. More specifically, he developed a type of wheat that could produce very high yields without falling over: "In India, yields increased from 12.3 million tons in 1965 to 20.1 million tons in 1970. By 1974, India was self-sufficient in the production of all cereals" (wikipedia). People were starving, and his scientific innovation saved their lives. "Genetically-modified" isn't a label that, in itself, describes danger or health hazards.
The FDA, and many other countries, have found no discernible difference in the nutritional value of GMOs and non-GMOs. That said, our nation's culinary history is filled with regulatory failures on the part of the FDA to accurately asses food risks. I do think the most important thing is continued research, and more transparent labeling. If a company was forced to declare whether their food contains GMOs, then the consumer can make informed, personal decisions. I think we also need more scientific study on the environmental effects of continued GMOs. Most importantly, I think consumers need to educate themselves about the different types of GMOs and about the products they purchase, which is why foodfacts.com is such a valuable tool!