The Risks of Genetically Modified Organisms Essay

3252 Words14 Pages
What are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)? A Genetically Modified Organism is an organism that has had its genetic material changed through the insertion of a foreign gene into it. Although GMOs have only been in use in the past twenty years, they constitute the majority of the American food supply. What is even more shocking is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently does not require safety testing for GMOs. In 1992, according to Mae-Wan Ho, director of the Institute of Science in Society and Science Advisor to the Third World Network, and Lim Li Ching, a researcher at the Institute of Science in Society and the deputy-editor of Science in Society magazine, the FDA decided that safety assessments for GMOs were…show more content…
StarLink corn was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) strictly only when it was created for sale as feed for animals (1118). The primary reason that StarLink corn was approved was because it contained Cry9c, a protein from Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt), which was seen as far more stable in comparison to the other proteins derived from Bt (1118). What is most surprising about this case is that a food clearly labeled as animal feed was able to contaminate corn grown for human consumption and make it onto the shelves of grocery stores and into the human food supply. StarLink corn was clearly never approved by the EPA to be grown for human consumption. This failure of containment of GM corn shows how GMOs need to be strictly regulated and supervised after they are approved by a federal agency such as the EPA or FDA. The lack of testing, regulation, and supervision is evident once again after fifty-one reports of allergic reactions relating to the ingestion of StarLink corn were submitted to the Adverse Events Reporting Systems (AERS), an FDA program used to collect information regarding adverse health effects on humans triggered by drugs marketed in the United States, between July 1, 2000 and November 30, 2000 which ranged from gastrointestinal illness to anaphylactic shock, a severe and sometimes fatal allergic reaction (1119). Since these fifty-one reports could have been self-diagnosed
Open Document