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GMO Food’s Impact on Human Health

Author: Lucy Chen

Editors: Hwi-On Lee and Misha Wichita

Artist: Esther Chen

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are crops altered through genetic engineering to improve their resistance to pests, herbicides, and harsh environmental conditions. While concerns persist about the impact of GMOs on human health, ongoing research has produced a wide range of results, highlighting the complexity of the issue at hand. However, extensive research has shown that GMOs may have detrimental effects on the delicate balance of gut microbiota, which can result in disruptions in immune system function and a higher susceptibility to various diseases.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website, GMOs do not have a direct impact on human health. The FDA states that GMOs are considered safe for consumption and are subject to a strict regulatory process. Additionally, they highlight that GMOs have been consumed by millions of people for many years without any apparent negative health effects. The implications of these findings are significant, considering the widespread use of GMOs throughout the food industry.

However, critics argue that the methods employed by the FDA to test the safety of GMOs are outdated and insufficient. For instance, it is worth noting that the FDA does not mandate companies to conduct long-term studies to thoroughly evaluate the health effects of GMOs. In addition, safety assessments are predominantly based on studies that are conducted by the very companies that produce GMOs, leading to concerns about potential conflicts of interest. A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) journal suggests the need for further research to fully understand the possible health risks associated with GMO consumption. The NCBI journal emphasizes the importance of conducting long-term studies to completely assess the impact of GMOs on human health as well.

Moreover, questions arise about the FDA's close ties to the food and biotech industries and their potential influence on its stance on GMOs. Despite ongoing research and varying findings, the FDA maintains its position that GMOs are safe for human consumption and thus do not require any special labeling or additional testing. Consequently, the debate surrounding the safety and regulation of GMOs persists, with further investigations necessary to address these concerns and ensure the well-being of the general public.

Further research is necessary to comprehensively understand the harmful implications of GMOs on gut microbiota and human health. The gut microbiome, which plays a vital role in human health, has garnered significant attention in recent years due to its impact on various aspects of wellbeing ranging from immune system function to mental health. While existing research on the effects of GMOs on gut microbiota remains somewhat limited, it suggests that the consumption of genetically modified crops can lead to significant alterations in the composition of gut bacteria. These changes can have adverse effects on gut health, immune system function, and overall human health.

Existing research provides compelling evidence of GMOs notable implications for human health, particularly their impact on gut microbiota. However, it is important to note that the FDA refuses to acknowledge that GMOs are anything other than safe for human consumption. This claim persists despite ongoing concerns from critics about the adequacy and potential biases in the FDA's methods for assessing GMO safety.

To fully comprehend the impact of GMOs on human health, it is crucial to prioritize future research endeavors with a particular emphasis on investigating the long-term effects. Ultimately, striking a balance between the potential benefits of genetic engineering and the potential risks is of utmost importance, with the primary focus on safeguarding human health and wellbeing.

 

Citations:

Bawa, A S, and K R Anilakumar. “Genetically Modified Foods: Safety, Risks and Public

Concerns-A Review.” Journal of Food Science and Technology, U.S. National Library of

“Food, Genetically Modified.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization,

Accessed 28 Jan. 2024.

“GE Food & Your Health: | GE Food & Your Health.” Center for Food Safety,

28 Jan. 2024.

GMOs and Your Health, www.fda.gov/media/135280/download. Accessed 29 Jan. 2024.

Smyth, Stuart J. “The Human Health Benefits from GM Crops.” Plant Biotechnology

Journal, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2020,

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