Volume 6 Issue 3

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Page 31 of 55

Gene cally modified (GM) foods are foods produced from organisms that have had a part of their gene c makeup – their DNA – altered through gene c engineering. Many scien sts and poli cians believe that making plants resistant to insects and infec ons will greatly increase crop yield and help prevent world hunger. In fact, in 2006 a total of 252 million acres of transgenic (or GM) crops were planted in twenty- two countries by 10.3 million farmers. The United States led the way with 53 percent of its crops produced from GM organisms, followed by Argen na (17 percent), Brazil (11 percent), Canada (6 percent), India (4 percent), and China (3 percent). The majority of these crops were herbicide – and insect-resistant soybeans, corn, co on, canola, and alfalfa. Another use of this technology is to produce Gene cally Modified rice with increased iron and vitamins, which could alleviate chronic malnutri on in third-world countries. So on the surface it looks like this technology Beware of Genetically Modified Foods would be helpful to humans. Unfortunately, there is more data showing up to suggest there could be serious nega ve side effects using GM foods. Its important to note that we don't have a requirement in the United States to label food as gene cally modified if they in fact have come from this technology. What's more, es mates suggest that 80 percent of the soy produc on in the United States is gene cally modified and over half of the corn planted in the country has been gene cally modified (which, by the way, contributes to the produc on of copious amounts of high- fructose corn syrup among other products). The jury is s ll out on what this could mean for human health and the environment. Apparently the only way you can be certain you are not ea ng GM food is to eat only organic food, which is a great idea in any case. Page 32 | Abby's Magazine -

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