In this day and age where society is faced with more diseases that it has ever had to contend with, more and more of the nation’s population are seeking to expound upon their knowledge on all of the controversy surrounding genetically modified food. With a sea of mixed information surrounding the topic, many people are seeking a clear set of facts from which individual conclusions can safely be drawn.
Genetically modified food, also known as GM foods, or GMO for Genetically Modified Organisms, can be commonly described as commercially marketed food products that contain consumable micro-organisms that have undergone specific changes to their DNA through varying forms of genetic engineering. Organisms are scientifically altered using these processes in order to provide a greater control over certain factors that influence the behavior or traits of the organism. Micro-organisms that are exposed to these methods of genetic modification include yeast, insects, plants, fish, and mammals. It Is the current collective judgment of the scientific community that food products altered as such pose no greater risk to human health than their unaffected counterparts, however this consensus has faced considerable opposition on the grounds of the general health and safety of consumers.
Genetic engineering processes that are used in the development of GM foods originate from a branch of biotechnology. The science had its start at bacterial levels and gradually moved on to the manipulation of DNA in mice, goldfish, plants, and livestock. Research from these instances have yielded advances in medicine, in the form of pharmaceutical drugs, and agriculture, in the form of plant strains that are resistant to both insects and herbicides. Among these, none are found to be of a direct to the nutritional values provided during human consumption.
For years, alongside the controversy of genetically modified food, there has been a substantial push for the labeling of products that possess genetically modified organisms to have adequate labeling expounded before the course of resale. Various polls have been conducted on the matter, the results of which report that the majority of American consumers prefer to be properly informed as to whether or not food they are purchasing has been exposed to genetic modification. This concern has extended to a number of influential trade groups, who have organized to push for a federal initiative that will allow for companies to voluntarily label all GM Foods that are sold to the general public.
There has been a large public uproar over the Pepsi Co. subsidiary, Naked Juice, who was recently involved in a class action lawsuit over the deceptive labeling of their products. The company’s line of fruit and vegetable blended beverages have used phrasing such as “All Natural” or “Non-GMO,” however, it has been reported that a number of synthetic ingredients, such as Fibersol-2, Fructooligosaccharides, and genetically altered soy are present behind these claims of purity.
This is not the first time that a company has been busted for touting facetious statements as a part of their marketing strategies, and as a result, more organizations are stepping up to notify consumers of such instances in other trusted brands. Kashi was also recently sued for its use of prescription drugs, irradiated substances, and other hazardous materials in products labeled as “All Natural.” In the midst of the controversy surrounding these and other genetically modified food, more and more companies will be responsible for expounding upon all ingredients used within the products in order the prevent the perpetuation of misleading information and risk a similar fate.
By Darrell Purcell