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?
Please let us know why in the comment section below.
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