There has been an increasing interest on the part of American consumers in having genetically modified or engineered foods labeled. Currently, 64 countries require these labels and efforts are underway in over 30 states to require labeling, even though the federal government has shied away from any uniform labeling requirements. The science does not seem to support some of the concerns that people are voicing. So far, studies have not identified any health risks from consuming these foods. The FDA and USDA consider these modified or engineered foods equivalent to their non-altered counterparts, and thus not requiring labeling. The public, however, is not convinced. Even scientists and researchers will admit that these foods have been around for a relatively short time, and most studies are done on laboratory animals, such as mice, so no one can guarantee that there are no possible future adverse effects. Crops, such as corn and soy beans, have been grown using GE/GM seeds for many years in the U.S. These crops go into hundreds of processed and prepared food items most of us eat every day. In this discussion, you will get a chance to formulate an opinion based on the scientific research and share your views with others.
Be sure you have read the assigned materials on this topic:
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Consumer Info about Food from Genetically Engineered Plants (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Retrieved from: http://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/geplants/ucm461805.htm)
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: How FDA Regulates Food from Genetically Engineered Plants (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.(Retrieved from: http://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/geplants/ucm461831.htm)
- Just Label It!: Blog post: Expert Panel Confirms Importance of GMO Labeling (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
- Snow, A.A., Andow, D.A., Gepts, P., Hallerman, E.M., Power, A., Tiedje, J.M., Wolfenbarger, L.L./ (2005). Genetically Engineered Organisms and the Environment: Current Status and Recommendations. Ecological Applications (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., V15, I2. Pp. 377-404 (read the Abstract)
- International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications: Pocket K No. 4: GM Crops and the Environment (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
- Create your initial post in response to the following question. Be sure to support your position with facts and scientific information, not opinions. You may want to refer to both the required and optional readings provided in this module to support your position fully. Additional research through the EC Library is also a great idea.
- Should the U.S. require labeling of all genetically modified or engineered food? Why or why not?