The Argument Against GMOs (by Brittany Plymell)

monsanto1The Research

1.)

HARRAR, SARI. “How Can You Tell If They Are Real Or Modified?.” Good Housekeeping 258.8 (2014): 97. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 22 Nov. 2014

This article was published by Good Housekeeping. It speaks to a broad audience and is a reliable magazine source, not a supermarket tabloid.

Good housekeepings’ “How Can You Tell If they Are Real Or Modified?” was an article published this month making it a current periodical source. It covers recent topics such as legislation not passing in California and Vermont that would have mandated the labeling of GMO’s. It discusses what GMO’s are, who is for and against labeling GM foods and some of the motivations fueling both sides. The article brings up some of the pros and cons of GMO’s, but its’ main focus is the contamination of non GM foods by GM crops. It’s difficult to tell the difference between GM foods and non GM foods without going through extensive testing. This is a big reason I argued GM foods should be labeled. Once a crop is contaminated it can’t become decontaminated. There simply haven’t been enough longterm studies on the effects of consuming GMO’s to gamble contaminating all food crops. People have the right to know if they are eating a genetically modified organism, just like they are privy to their food containing nitrates, caramel coloring and MSG.

2.)

Hammond, Besty. “With All Votes In, GMO Labeling Measure 92 Defeated by Just 800 Votes.” OregonLive.com. N.p., 24 Nov. 2014. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.

Oregon Live, an up-to-date news source broadcasting for the Portland Metro area and the state of Oregon, published this article.

I found this article to have some of the most current information about the recent failure of proposition 92, labeling GM foods in Oregon. The article provided information about vote counts, percentages and why there will be a recount of cast ballots. The article was brief, and also covered other measures that were on the November 2014 ballot such as the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, but it did give me the most current and accurate numbers for the controversial GMO debate.

3.)

Vendômois, Joël Spiroux De, Dominique Cellier, Christian Vélot, Emilie Clair, Robin Mesnage, and Gilles-Eric Séralini. “Abstract.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 05 Oct. 2013. Web. 22 Nov. 2014.

This article was published by the National Center for Biotechnology, providing peer reviewed articles focusing on the effects of GMO’s.

Although this article did not provide conclusive information that consuming GMO’s does not definitively dictate that a person will suffer adverse health effects, it does highlight the fact that some health complications were seen in lab rats fed with GM food. The article also states that the longest running trials were too short (3 months) and that to gain conclusive evidence longer, more in-depth trials would need to be conducted. My letter to the Willamette Weekly does not argue that GMO’s are scientifically proven to cause adverse health affects, but that evidence has not concluded without a doubt that GMO’s will eventually cause negative side effects to consumers.

The Public Writing

November 22, 2014

Dear Mark Zusman, Editor of Willamette Weekly,

In lieu of proposition 92’s failure to pass I thought it pertinent that a few facts surrounding the issue of GMO’s be brought to light. While most Oregonian’s expected the measure to fail (it failed in California and Vermont earlier this year), surprisingly the bill failed by a narrow margin of 806 votes (Hammond). What’s not surprising is that the opposing side of prop. 92 spent over twice as much on campaign efforts as the proponent side. With corporate giants Dupont and Monsanto opposing standard labeling of GMO’s, and therefore dumping mass amounts of money into advertisements that are against GMO labeling, trying to out-campaign the issue isn’t a solution. It’d be a slow and arduous losing battle. The Supreme Court needs to make a decision ruling against encroaching GMO’s crops and for standard labeling of GM food. Sadly, that won’t happen any time in the near future.

It is foreseeable in the near future that states will make it mandatory that GM food be labeled. Oregon almost became that State. Had a mere 800 more people cast their ballots in favor of proposition 92 passing food manufacturers would have been forced to label boxed and canned food containing GM ingredients. Soon the day will come when consumers are granted the right to know what’s in the food they eat.

The use of genetically modified organisms is not an issue that will disappear in our lifetime. The strong view and monetary gain of those profiting from GMO’s is too great for a compromise. Proponents of GM foods argue that research hasn’t concluded that consuming GM ingredients will cause harm or damage, but that’s only half of the story. The research preformed on GMOs is still inconclusive in both directions. There is no definitive evidence that GMOs are harmful to our health, but just as important, the evidence as to whether or not they cause long-term damage is lacking (Spiroux). What do you, as a consumer value more, your health, or lining the pockets of the elite One Percent?

The bottom line is that we have a right to know what we are eating. If these corporations are so confident in the fact that their product doesn’t cause harm, why do they refuse to inform us? If their research has shown no adverse effects, then why hide ingredients? The main argument against labeling GM products is that as a result prices of food will increase. The UK and Australia have paved the way for the US, demonstrating that labeling GM foods will not increase prices for the consumer (Harrar). Until a verdict has been reached as to whether or not GMO will cause long-term side affects, is it worth it to take the gamble? While corporate giants are padding their pockets, we the consumer are gambling with our health, livelihood and ultimately our future.

By,

Brittany Plymell

Sources:

Hammond, Besty. “With All Votes In, GMO Labeling Measure 92 Defeated by Just 800 Votes.” OregonLive.com. N.p., 24 Nov. 2014. Web. 22 Nov. 2014

HARRAR, SARI. “How Can You Tell If They Are Real Or Modified?.” Good Housekeeping 258.8 (2014): 97. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 22 Nov. 2014

Joël Spiroux De, Dominique Cellier, Christian Vélot, Emilie Clair, Robin Mesnage, and Gilles-Eric Séralini. “Abstract.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 05 Oct. 2013. Web. 22 Nov. 2014.

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2 comments

  1. alisha

    I like that you chose something that is currently happening. It is interesting to read about the GMO labeling or not labeling argument. It’s sad that people do not want their food to be labeled, I’d sure like to know what I am consuming. You have a strong argument and hopefully someday, someone can open the eyes to the people who are denying this law.

  2. Tina Jones

    I’m so glad to read your work on this most important topic! Just getting GMO labelling on the ballot is a step in the right direction. And you’re correct; the fact that it failed by such a narrow margin despite the money from Monsanto and Dupont being dumped into the state is a huge indication of how this will turn out in the future. I feel like all it takes will be one state, and soon more will follow.

    Your research and letter are spot on and very well done! I only want to caution you on your use of apostrophes. “GMO’s” and “Oregonian’s” should be “GMOs” and “Oregonians”. I’d hate to see someone dismiss your very well thought out and executed letter due to a misuse of apostrophes.

    Thank you for letting me read and review!!

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