GMOs' should be illegal in all food
GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. According to nongmoproject.org, GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food.A growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.
Most countries do not consider GMOs to be safe. In more than sixty countries, including Australia, Japan and all European countries, there are restrictions or bans on the production and sale of GMOs. But in the U.S, the government approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit greatly from it.
According to labelgmos.org, sixty four countries already label genetically engineered foods. Excluding the U.S.The same companies that fight GMO labeling in the US reformulate or label GMOs in the foods they sell overseas. But by law, the use of genetically engineering is prohibited for products defined as 'organic'.
In gmo-compass.org, the newly extended EU directive for labelling genetically modified foods has been in effect since April 2004. However - contrary to expectations - very little has changed throughout most of Europe. Labelling requirements were broadened significantly, but consumers nonetheless rarely find labels indicating the use of genetic engineering.Anyone who places labels on their GM products risks losses in sales and damage to their image. In order to avoid this, many producers have changed the composition of their products: rapeseed oil (canola oil) may be used instead of soybean oil for producing margarine – soy lecithin may be replaced by chemical emulsifiers. Other producers pay a premium for soy with a written guarantee that GM content does not exceed the 0.9 percent threshold, thus allowing the producer to use soy and forgo the GM label.
In conclusion, I believe that GMOs should be illegal, as it is in many nations, not only does it benefit the large companies that produce this, but it puts chemicals in everyday food that we consume.
Many people all over the world do not like GMO's. Political cartoon, public figures, the average consumer; almost all of them condemn GMO's. However, not many of them actually understand what GMO's are. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, meaning the DNA of the the food, an apple, per se, has been altered in such a way that is advantages either to the producer of the consumer. For example, genetically modified crops such as corn and some fruit have been genetically modified to resist pesticide. Others have been modified to grow bigger and thus have more nutritional value. A more recent one is a genetically modified apple that does not brown. A somewhat lesser known one is called insulin, which is naturally produced by the body but is injected as treatment for diabetes, as insulin regulates glucose levels. The insulin that is artificially produced is either genetically modified E coli or yeast, and helps millions of diabetics stay alive every year. GMO's are not the devils of the food industry, they are designed to benefit the consumer, be it through more quantity or more quality. If the producer of a genetically modified crop were to forgo this consumer benefit and actually harm the consumer, that producer would be shut down very quickly.
To more or less illustrate how GMO's work, we can look at Monsanto, which is probably the most hated company in the food industry, quite possibly the most hated company, period. The reason for this isn't really Monsanto's fault, it's the idea of Monsanto that people hate, the idea that a company would somehow be so evil that it could sterilize plants and patent nature and modify God's work. I will get into this a little bit later, but first I will get back to the topic at hand. The way GMO's are produced is by isolating a desired gene and replicating it, either through selective breeding or through bacterial delivery, which is a topic so interesting it deserves its own paragraph.
When a bacteria infects, say, you, it latches on to one of your cells and injects its DNA into that cell. The DNA is then essentially integrated into the cell's DNA, which entirely changes the purpose of that cell into producing more bacteria. After some time, the cell bursts, and a bunch of new bacteria fly out and continue the process. Bacteria delivery exploits the fact that bacteria can change the function of the cell by injecting the desired trait, or DNA, into the bacteria. The bacteria is then released and infects a plant. When the bacteria latches onto the cell, instead of injecting it's own DNA, it injects the desired trait into the plant, resulting in the cell receiving that desired trait. Through this system, you can infect colonies upon colonies of plants and spread the desired trait all over your product
The reason I think why people are so paranoid of GMO's is really because they don't understand it. They may think that GMO's are tampering with God's work, or may be tampering with Nature, or may be just outright immoral. I will acknowledge the fact that GMO's may be a little short sighted in that we don't really know the long term effects of this. However, most GMO's are in reality very similar to the original plant, they just have traits that are more or less desirable to the consumer. In fact, 80% of all processed foods are genetically modified in one way or another, with very little adverse consequences. There is a good chance that you are I have eaten something genetically modified today, and you most likely feel fine. I certainly feel fine. If you also feel fine, you must acknowledge that fact the GMO's really aren't that harmful to your health, your lifestyle, nor anything else, because genetic modification was created to cater to the consumer (and also make the company billions of dollars, but the consumer benefits too so who cares).
U.S. consumers inaccurate believe that, unless the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) had approved every GMO food through hard and well designed, long-term studies, GM food ingredients would not be allowed in our food supply. But the reality of it is that the FDA has no GMO safety testing requirements, and GM ingredients are found in almost all foods in the shelves of most grocery shops.
The majority of my opponent's argument reads like this: "We don't know much about GMO's, therefore it should be illegal."
This would actually be a valid argument for a consumer if it were changed to "I don't know much about GMO's yet, therefore as of now I will not eat it." However, from a legal standpoint, "I don't know" is not a valid reason to ban something completely. Moreover, a lot of the stuff my opponent attacks is not GMO's in of itself but the politics surrounding the product. Unfortunately for him/her, the politics are a superficial factor, as making it more transparent would not effect the science at all. My opponent has also said something along the lines of "GMO companies do not want to label products as GMO's, therefore they must be hiding something, and whatever they are hiding must be bad." This is similar logic to what Senator McCarthy and Stalin used in their respective witch hunts, for example, when McCarthy found a suspected Communist, he would bring him in and ask him very personal questions. If the suspect refused to answer, McCarthy would say "What have you got to hide?" and then throw them in prison without a formal trial. This is the same case here, where my opponent fallaciously assumes that GMO companies like Monsanto have got something to hide and completely disregards other factors that may have slipped his mind such as the fact that GMO's are not very popular among the public and labeling foods as genetically modified would dramatically decrease sales, whether or not GMO's are actually harmful or not.
"No agency oversees or tests GMO's, and because of this, the “research” that supports GMO safety is not mandated by any agencies or US government, and the information that may be given is done so in a voluntary basis by the very companies that produce their own GM crops and foods, which has been described by critics as “meticulously designed to avoid finding problems”."
Superficial problem, as this is an attack on the regulation, not the actual GMO. If we should put in a valid, well funded, and incorruptible agency to test GMO's, nothing in the product would change. Getting rid of the whole thing simply due to a relatively minute issue is hasty and reckless.
"What is most astonishing is the 44,000 FDA documents were only made public as a result of a lawsuit revealing problems with GMO's, and the engulfing consensus among the FDA's scientists was that GM foods were "substantively different", so divergent that their consumption might ramificate in unpredictable and hard-to-detect allergens, toxins, new diseases and nutritional problems. "
Key word here is "might". What is "might"? is there a 100% chance? 90% chance? 50%? 1%? My opponent has not specified, what "might" is, and therefore, we don't actually know how serious the threat is. Besides, his facts are incorrect, as GMO's have never been definitively linked to any such allergic reactions, new diseases, or nutritional problems. Toxins are a non-issue, as GMO's do not add chemicals and any naturally produced toxins would either be flushed out by the plant itself or kill the plant altogether. Moreover, if GMO's really did have a toxin problem, it would come crashing down so fast, we wouldn't even have this debate.
"Except for organic foods, the entire American food supply has been systematically hijacked by chemical companies, not bent on trying to feed the world; not providing healthy alternatives, but rather for profits that they reap from the chemicals that are used by thousands of farmers that grow GMO crops."
I will use this chance to remind everybody that GMO's do not use chemicals. I have already explained in my previous argument how GMO's worked, that is, through DNA splicing and injection, which does not in any way involve chemicals. Remember, GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, meaning the DNA has been modified in one way or another. GMO does not stand for Chemically Bombarded Animal Raped by Human Greed, which is what my opponent, with all due respect, seems to believe GMO's are.
Another thing I don't understand is why my opponent is against big businesses making money. If the consumer, meaning you, benefits from what big businesses are doing, why do you care if their motives are not benefiting the world or other similarly warm and fuzzy goals? The fact remains that GMO's are in fact better than organic crops, simply because they can be designed to taste better, last longer, grow bigger, grow more efficiently, and resist weeds and bugs. In fact, GMO's have the potential to remove the need for chemicals mixed with food entirely, as a simple (well, not really simple) change in the DNA of the crop can do the pesticide's job for it.
"The answer to this question is found in probing the virtue of the corporation in question. As virtuous people, we expect corporations to act with a sense of fundamental human decency. We expect them to behave within the boundaries of respecting human life, honest business practices and reliable science. We (naively) wish that corporations would act like decent human beings but they simply do not. What they care most about is getting a better pay check. In order to get a decent profit, the violate the basic tenets of virtue. They betray humanity in itself and destroy life. They malign Mother Nature herself, and in doing so, they threaten the very future of sustainable life on our planet."
So many logical fallacies mixed into one argument. The one that stands out first is the "Just Plain Folks" fallacy, where he essentially says we as virtuous people practice honest science, have fundamental human decency, and uphold honest business practices, but the big bad companies like Monsanto do no such thing because they want money. Well that's nice and all, but until my opponent can specify what exactly Monsanto is doing that is so malignant to the consumer, this argument is invalid. Hell, I want to make tons of money too, does that make me evil? Of course not.
The next fallacy is the appeal to Nature fallacy, where he essentially says that GMO's are not natural and are violating Mother Nature and other similarly heroic arguments. However, by doing this, he completely ignores the fact that Nature does not always equal good. Sure, organic foods may be completely natural, but other stuff such as potato blight, E-coli, ring worms, tape worms, aphids, locusts, drought, water fungus, mold, etc. are also natural. If someone came up with a food, albeit artificially modified food, that could resist all these things, why would you choose the more natural kind where there is a better alternative?
The final fallacy (I'm running out of space) is a slippery slope argument, where my opponent says that GMO's will destroy life, malign mother nature, and basically destroy our future and throw everything we've ever worked for to hell. Well, how does my opponent know this? How does he know that GMO's will, without a doubt, spark a disastrous chain of events that will be so catastrophic that it will end life on Earth as we know it? He/she certainly didn't put much evidence to support that either, and I am actually really curious as to how making relatively small changes in the DNA structure of food products is going to end all sustainable life on Earth. Would be an interesting read.
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