Term Paper – Genetically Modified Foods in Review

Term Paper – Genetically Modified Foods in Review

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Willie Reaves PHIL 215 26 April 2010 Term Paper – The Dangers of Frankenstein Foods The population boom that has occurred in the United States over the past half century has created a huge demand on the agricultural system and has subsequently placed strains upon traditional production methods. This is the trend not only in the United States, but also in other nations, particularly in undeveloped countries where population growth is unprecedented. This recent expansion in population has contributed to the promotion of genetically modified foods, which reputedly can solve the world food crisis. While benefits of genetically modified foods do exist, their assumed virtues are not to be ranked over their potential vices with regard to environmental hazards and human health. Genetically modified foods have triggered an adverse reaction in Europe, specifically by the United Nations. The industrial production of genetically modified (GM) foods is unsustainable, untested, and morally questionable given their proprietary company testing, unknown effects, and propensity to wreak havoc on the international political economy. This essay will concern itself with the implications of the production of GM foods on an international basis, but will pay particular attention to the use of the products in the United States. The production and consumption of genetically modified foods poses a threat to human food safety, international agricultural security, and global economic stability.
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To begin, genetically modified (GM) organisms are created when genes are combined from different organizations through DNA recombination technology. The resulting organisms are genetically modified; for our purposes, GM foods are those whose genetic material has been modified by scientific methods. The rise of GM foods has resulted in a controversial media uproar that has stretched far beyond the United States. Recent studies concerning the health effects of GM corn pollen on monarch butterfly caterpillars have made the public cognizant of the issue of genetic engineering, most especially that which deals with their food supply (FAO). The most polarizing issue concerning GM foods is that their effects on human health and longevity are unknown. While many Americans likely believe that the United States Food and Drug Administration puts GM foods through rigorous safety testing, the FDA has no safety requirements whatsoever for these items because it allows the corporations that produce them to perform their own proprietary (and totally unregulated) tests on them. Companies like Monsanto, the world’s largest seed producer, are notorious for glancing over problems with their products. Why would an organization whose duty it is to regulate food safety leave the job up to people whose best interest is to not regulate their products? The health effects of GM foods on humans should not be in question; things like
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This note was uploaded on 11/25/2011 for the course PHIL 215 taught by Professor Markcausey during the Spring '10 term at Emory.

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Term Paper – Genetically Modified Foods in Review

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