Negative impacts on GM foods:

The use of genetically modified plants and animals has already become commonplace in today’s society without many people being aware of it. The lack of consumer consent in the choice to eat genetically modified foods creates an ethical dilemma.

Safe for Consumption?

As much as “70 percent” of food prepackaged in a normal grocery store contain genetically modified foods. Are they all safe?

  • StarLink corn
    • modified corn that was found in stores, which were never intended for human consumption. It was designed specifically for pig feed.
  • Flavr Savr tomato
    • genetically modified tomato that rot longer.
    • but less resistant to pests and easily caught diseases, which made the crops even more costly to grow and thus higher price for consumers.
  • Pharmaceuticals
    • as pollen spreads, genes from pharmaceutical plants have made it into the food supply.
    • these drugged foods are more commonly being fed to animals that are raised to be slaughtered and consumed by humans.
  • Allergens
    • BT toxin, designed to kill pests that eat crops, caused allergies and other responses.

Safety for environment

  • Increase use of pesticides and herbicides
    • the world’s largest supplier of genetically modified seed for crops is Monsanto, which happens to be one of the larger producers of pesticides and herbicides.
    • roundup Ready Soy fields require an average 3x as much Roundup.
  • Cross pollination
    • pollen from modified plants can spreads and will infect other plants, creating "superweeds" with insecticidal properties or herbicide-resistance.
    • insects becoming resistant to the BT gene inserted into corn and cotton in order to kill off pests.
    • in Canada, an organic crop field was contaminated by Monsato's genetically modified rapeseed.

    monsato's rapeseed farm

    the organic farmer

    images taken from here

Financial Impacts:

  • $200 million was invested in creating Flavr Savr, and almost non of the investmet was able to be reclaimed.
  • GM crops have cost the United States an estimated $12 billion in farm subsidies, lost sales and product recalls due to transgenic contamination
  • Massive failures in Bt Cotton up to 100% in India.

Testing, testing..

  • Very little testing has been done on GM foods.
    • genetic engineering is a new field, and long term results are unclear
    • funding only given to tests which show positive results.