Jasmine Knox, Staff Writer

Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOS, are defined by the Non-GMO Project as “living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering.”

While 64 other countries around the world require GMO food products to be labelled as such, the United States does not.

Similarly, although many organizations who rely on GMOs for business insist that GMOs are safe for regular human consumption, they have an obvious bias.

The debate as to whether or not to make the FDA require GMOs to be labelled has been contested for years.

GMOs aren’t restricted to food. For example, goats were injected with genes from spiders that produce silk and bred to produce more goats with silk proteins in their milk.

The silk proteins from the goat’s milk are used to make an ultra-fine silk that is used in a range of industries.

GMOs are most prevalent in the agricultural industry, where the practice has been used to enhance crops.

Another example, tomatoes have been altered with genes from the cold-water fish known as the winter flounder. These tomatoes were subsequently resistant to frost and freezing cold temperatures.

Doesn’t seem too harmful, right? So if the American Medical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have both reaffirmed that consuming GMOs is harmless, then why does every country within the European Union, Australia, and Japan ban GMOs? America sticks out like a sore thumb.

The only research conducted to prove that GMOs are safe have been conducted and sponsored by the same corporations who advocate for their use, such as popular brands Kraft and Kellogg.

To date, there has been  no research that supports the evidence that exposure to GMOs is harmful – but the right agencies aren’t doing the necessary research to determine it.

The Institute for Responsible Technology is one of the few American organizations to publish research that provides evidence that consuming GMOs may be harmful.

According to the study, genes are introduced to different species through the use of bacteria and viruses to invade the DNA, which has never been done before.

The same study proved that skin allergies to soy soared over 50 percent in the UK after GM soy was introduced, and that some people reacted to GM soy but not regular, wild grown soy in skin allergy tests.

GMOs also proved to cause intestinal damage, liver problems, and infertility in laboratory rats.

In a rare human trial, an insecticide produced from GM corn was found to be in the blood of pregnant women and their fetuses.

In conclusion, Americans should always have a right to know what’s in their food. After all, it goes into their bodies.

However, there has not been enough research or evidence to determine whether or not GMOs are actually harmful.

But the argument can be made that Americans should have the choice to avoid GMOs if they want to – even though it seems almost impossible. Hopefully we will one day see such progress.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Pinehill via Creative Commons