January 28, 2014

Question of the Week: Should There be a Ban On Genetically Modified Organisms?

vegetablesBy the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, have been in the news a lot lately as consumers, grocery stores, agricultural companies, environmentalists, and others debate whether foods containing GMOs should be so labeled.  There is no federal law on GMO labeling, but two dozen states, from New York to Hawaii, are expected to consider laws requiring such labeling.  Central to the debate is whether GMOs are safe — for humans, for the environment, and for the food supply — which begs the ultimate question: should we allow GMOs at all?

Proponents argue that genetic modifications to crops produce higher yields, increase resistance to pests and diseases, decrease the need to use pesticides, and that there is no evidence that they harm human health.  Opponents contend the use of GMOs increases the need for herbicides and pesticides, introduces new  sources of allergens and other toxins, contaminates the environment and gene pool of non-GMO crops, and that studies have shown GMOs can harm human health.

Parts of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and South America have banned certain GMOs.  While the U.S. relies heavily on GMOs (at least 70% of processed foods contain at least one GMO ingredient, typically in the form of corn or sugar), there are signs that portions of the country may follow suit.  For example, the Big Island of Hawaii last year moved to ban GMOs.

So what do you think?  Should there be a ban on GMOs?

Should there be a ban on Genetically Modified Organisms?

Please let us know why in the comment section below.  


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16 Responses to “Question of the Week: Should There be a Ban On Genetically Modified Organisms?

  1. I think that GMOSmust be taken off the market, because:
    I have never seen studies (double blind, independent research, etc,etc,etc) performed and offered by chemical companies, GMO producers, that would address the potential, unknown problems and risks, before starting use. THAT IS PRIOR TO GENERAL USE. THE USE OF TRIALS to confirm safety- and once approved, a process for addressing damages should they occur, be set in place. Why is it necessary to have a tape holding the blades of a pair of scissors shut with the warning: Caution, scissors are sharp, my cause cuts!!!!

    Why is it necessary, that when problems arise fertilizer/chemical run off, fracking, it’s up to citizens to FIGHT the push back from corporations and the government. It’s amazing how quickly citizen groups are labeled crazy (or is it paranoid), that no problems exist. It seems that standards need to be set before hand. These would be standards that the corporations would want to meet and maintain, as Stewards of the earth. California set standards for Fracking before drilling could start. Perhaps insurance companies will underwrite the long term risks of these products. HA

  2. I think GMOs are unnatural and there has been insufficient study of them to really know all the potentially adverse consequences of their use. At the very least, there should be full disclosure of their use so consumers can make up their own minds as to whether they want to buy these altered foods.

  3. As a health and fitness professional for over 25 years I have seen a definite increase in obesity, allergies and other health problems. We do not know at all what these GMO foods are doing to the health of humans animals or the planet as a whole. It is dangerous to assume that they are safe in anyway. We can not know that yet! I think if the labeling issue is such a big deal, then only buy products that are certified GMO free!

  4. It’s all right to look at possibilities with appropriate studies over a relatively long period of time. But to me, this a rush to create profitability without due diligence, possibly permanently harming millions of people. It’s better to take the whole thing off the table of public commerce until we know more.

  5. A ban would violate so many laws it is a waste of time even asking!
    Shop Whole Foods Markets or Trader Joes for nonGMO (FYI, one of my past clients in GMO litigation)
    and let the other 90+ of soybean production (and similar percentages of corn, canola, cotton, beets etc) continue to feed the world — mostly animals and vehicles — safely and sustainably.

  6. Yes, of course I think GMOs should be banned.
    Until they are, however, we can make our voices known by refusing to purchase GMO products. If people refuse to buy them, stores will not stock them, manufactures will stop producing them, and farmers will stop growing them.
    GMOs are everywhere… even in Girl Scout Cookies. But we can put a stop to that!

  7. Why would you trust a chemical company to grow your food when it’s in their best interest to sell you their product. They are self-governing their own industry without anyone watching.

  8. GMO are dangerous to our health and to the health of the environment. Many people don’t even know what GMO are which is extremely unfortunate. If people were aware of the potential health risks and understood and think most people would never buy anything that was genetically modified. I believe until we know that they are safe they should be banned or at least labeled. There is so much evidence that they aren’t safe and I have no doubt in my mind that GMO have a lot to do with the increase in disease in the US.

  9. Most consumers do not realize that GMO ingredients are in their detergents, breads, fabrics, beer, wine, cheese and many other household foods and products. But we mainly hear complaints about corn and soybeans. Why does the cheese and wine crowd not complain about GMOs used to produce their products while complaining about corn and soybeans. Almost all enzymes used in making many, many, many food products are produced by cultures of GM organisms (bacteria, yeast, fungi and other organisms), but when have you read about that in the newspaper. The science is clear, but it is a challenge for scientifically illiterate societies to understand this and most are unwilling to learn.

  10. I think the question is framed the wrong way. Ban may not be the right way to go but certainly labeling is important, providing customers with more choices. We also need more independent research into the long-term health affects of GMOs.

  11. I think that we should move away from GMOs and monoculture in general. We need to be more thoughtful and varied in the produce we grow and choose to eat. A lot of the problems GMOs seek to fix (like pests) can be addressed by a shift in what we grow (more heirloom varieties) and how we do so (embracing polyculture).

  12. Simply banning all GMOs would be using a chainsaw where a scalpel would do better. Because of GMOs potentially large upside–in combatting malnutrition, for example–we should not ban them outright. We should proceed carefully, study GMOs, label them, and ban the ones that present unacceptable harms.

  13. I am hugely in favor of a ban on GMOs. Until they are proven safe, why take the risk? Some of the claims made by grassroots and consumer groups — not industry biased groups — are that they cause organ toxicity and other devastating health consequences. We need to know more. And we should not flood our food supply with GMOs until we do. They are hard to avoid. Corn, sugar beets, soy? Those are in everything! I say we at minimum require GMO foods to be labeled, but I would love to see the US follow Europe and other countries and just ban them outright. We need a solution to our world food shortage problem, but it should not be at the expense of our health and the environment.

  14. I do not agree with a ban but am concerned that we do not know all there is to know about the potential harms associated with GMOs. I would like to see more independent research devoted to the subject so we can be sure that the benefits really do outweigh any harms. And at the very least, there should be clear labeling on all foods containing GMOs so we can make educated food choice decisions.

  15. I don’t think all GMOs should be banned necessarily, but at least the ones causing obvious harm (harm to butterfly habitat, strains requiring more pesticides and herbicides) should be.