According to the definition of The Penguin English Dictionary, genetically modified (GMO’s) are “[food]: containing an ingredient that has had its genetic structure modified, e.g. to improve its growth or increase its resistance to pests.” (Genetically Modified)
It is very common to hear the questions “What are the benefits of genetically modifying a food?”, “What are the risks of genetically modifying it?” and “Is it really necessary to label the products?” when talking about the controversial topic of labeling GMO’s. After researching these questions, it is possible to determine whether, or not, genetically modified foods should be labelled and the reasons for it.
Lately a big part of the population of the United States has been fighting for and against labels on GMO’s. Writing about the benefits, or what are claimed as benefits of labeling products, is essential to better understanding this topic. One of the most commonly found arguments is that consumers should have the right to know exactly what is inside of the product they are buying. According to The New York Times, “Any private company has the right to require its suppliers to meet labeling standards it chooses to set, and consumers have a right to know what’s in the food they are buying” (Why Label Genetically Engineered Foods,1).
Some people fear consuming genetically modified foods because they are not sure about what is inside of the product. According to Harmon and Pollack, people who are pro labeling believe they have the right to know if the produce they are buying was or not modified and if yes, what is inside of it. They also argue that genetically modified food “is fundamentally different from the selective breeding process” (1). – According to The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia: “In biology, the crossing and selection of animals and plants to change the characteristics of an existing breed or cultivar (variety), or to produce a new one. Selective breeding is breeding in which humans choose the parent plants or parent animals.” (Breeding)
Another important topic in this discussion, are the risks of not labelling genetically modified foods. Even though most specialists say there’s no visible risks on labelling GMO’s, as the time goes on people want to become more aware about what they are consuming. “As Americans ask more pointed questions about what they are eating, popular suspicions about the health and environmental effects of biotechnology are fueling a movement to require that food from genetically modified crops be labeled, if not eliminated” (Harmon and Pollack, 1).
One of the biggest issues people find when trying to discuss the possible risks on not labeling GMO’s is that, “The field of study remains young enough that it’s impossible to tell whether there are long-term effects to the processes scientists are using to genetically alter foods” ("Genetically Engineered' Requires Label.").
In contrast, there are also some people who do not think there is a...