Technology in GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” casts a dark shadow over humans. Practically speaking, biotechnology companies engineer GMO-plants or -animals by combining genes from bacteria, viruses, or other plants and animals. Then the DNA from different organisms is transmitted to our food; consequently, into our biological systems. In this way, the old adage “we are what we eat” may be true since GMOs are highly likely to modify human genetic traits in future generations.
Undeniably, food is essential to sustain human life. However, agribusiness companies present the benefits of biotechnology in agriculture and food production as a significant solution for high food demands. Experts estimate the population of the planet to reach nine billion in 2050. Therefore, agribusiness views GM food as insurance that future generations will not starve. However, this attitude omits any concern for unaddressed safety issues in food commodities designed for human consumption.
According to the Non-GMO Project, 64 countries around the world require significant restrictions or mandatory labeling on the production and sale of GMOs. In the United States, many polls, such as one sponsored by the Mellman Group and Associated Press-GfK, reveal that two-thirds of American consumers want GMO labeling. A draft guideline on federal standards for labeling published only on May 3, 2018, almost two years after a flawed GMO labeling bill became law in July 2016. Nevertheless, until regulations become more transparent, the public cannot know who to trust or what to buy—which hardly eases U.S. consumer anxiety.
Over twenty years, many scientific studies have found no risk or toxicity to human health from GMOs. At some point, researchers believe there is no food that is 100% pure, clean, or uncontaminated. Moreover, many believe that not a single human being has managed to escape a significant intake of GMOs. It appears that it may cause multi-generational, long-term disorders. Apparently, all of us have become subjects in this biotechnology experiment. Unfortunately, generations to come and their mutations will pay the price.
Since U.S. consumers still want to hold the food industry accountable, the law that requires all food companies to provide labeling will take effect in 2020. In the meantime, voicing our opinions on the importance of a viable labeling law can create more awareness. With genetic traits at stake, consumers at least can create a conscious choice by looking for the Non-GMO Project’s Butterfly symbol on products they purchase.