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After years and years of debate, a consensus has been reached on whether or not countries should be required or even allowed to label food that has genetically modified food products. Basically, it's been decided that it is okay for countries to do so, but it is not required. This article sums up the arguments better than I could:,0,5510492.story

So what are your thoughts on this? Do you think that genetically modified food should be required to have a special label? I've always figured that it should be labeled, though this article does raise some good points.

Laura Hogg asked this
August 12, 2011 at 1:15 PM



Here's some more information on the subject, by the way:,0,3802216.story

Laura Hogg answered
August 12, 2011 at 1:28 PM

This is a very interesting topic! I feel like almost all our food is now genetically modified somehow. Even farmers who try and grow organically can be surrounded by others that use pesticides. So, even though they aren't using the pesticides themselves...their crops can end up getting sprayed by them. I am sure this doesn't happen to all organic farmers, but my friends who are growing organically up in traverse city have been having this problem! It really frustrates them.

Back to the issue though, my first reactions was: yes I want there to be a special label for genetically modified products. It's our right to know. But then another part of me I really want to know just how many things are genetically modified? I am sure a lot of what I eat is. It's a tough one for me to come to a conclusion on.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Bri Luginbill answered
August 12, 2011 at 4:20 PM

I guess I wouldn't care if everything was labeled modified or not, but why is being genetically modified so bad?

Dayton from SLN answered
August 15, 2011 at 12:39 PM

There are several reasons. For one thing, the FDA has never declared that genetically modified food is entirely safe for human consumption. There have never been long-term scientific studies on the effects of eating GM food. With a huge percentage of the food on grocery store shelves being genetically modified - low estimates place it at around 60-70% of processed food alone - that's cause for concern.

There have been cases where cross-contamination of GM foods with non-GM foods have caused severe allergic reactions.

I never would have thought of this, but there are also religious implications. There are some religions that don't eat pork, for example. But if pig genes are introduced into, say, tomatoes, someone could be eating something from a pig without even knowing it.

GM technology is not cheap, and thus is not affordable for farmers in poor countries. Experts say that the increase of GM foods could lead developing countries to depend even more on industrial countries. This is NOT what developing countries need in order to get on their feet.

GM seeds are genetically uniform. This reduces genetic diversity and makes whole crops far more susceptible to pests and disease - which, in turn, increases the need for pesticide use.

There are certainly benefits to GM food. But I think it should be labeled as such, because as the consumer, we have a right to know and make that decision for ourselves.

Laura Hogg answered
August 15, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Thanks for posting your previous comment Laura. I knew from the movie Food, Inc. that a lot of chickens are genetically modified. That's why chicken breasts are obscenely large in certain grocery stores! In the grow houses, the chickens can barely even walk because they are way more than their natural born body weight intended them to be.

Also, that movie showed that in some farms with cows...they literally insert corn directly into the cows stomach. It shows a clip of someone doing this and it's pretty gross. Cows aren't supposed to eat corn either. They were meant to eat grass.

I encourage anyone to watch that movie. It'll really make you think twice when you buy things at the grocery store.

Bri Luginbill answered
August 15, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Also, the use pesticides a way of genetically modifying food? I thought it was from my first comment, but now I am not sure. Does it fall under a different category?

Bri Luginbill answered
August 15, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Pesticides themselves don't alter the genes of plants. The problem is, they have genetically engineered crops to be resistant to certain pesticides (Roundup, for example). This sounds like a great idea on the surface, but for the reasons stated above, I think it's cause for concern.

What disturbs me is that, from everything I've read, the scientists who work for genetic engineering companies don't seem willing to run scientific studies on the effects of genetic engineering; they say they don't think it's necessary. Doesn't that completely go against scientific principles? Shouldn't we figure out the ramifications of something before we charge on ahead? I have the same issue with much of traditional medicine: side effects are pretty much an afterthought.

I'm definitely going to check out Food Inc. I've been meaning to watch it for ages! Is it on Netflix?

Laura Hogg answered
August 15, 2011 at 3:34 PM
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