In 1994, the first genetically modified food (a tomato) was introduced. By 2009, more than 80 GM crops had been approved by the FDA for animal or human consumption. Today, most sources estimate that up to 70% of processed foods available in U.S. grocery stores contain ingredients from GM plants. The most prevalent GMO crops include soy, corn, cotton, canola, and sugar beets. In May of this year, over 2 million people participated in a worldwide anti-GMO (genetically modified organisms) protest to demand mandatory labeling of GMO products. The concept of GMOs is not new and the practice of gene manipulation in plants and animals has existed for centuries. However, the increased concern among consumers regarding food production is worth examining. Any Google search on the subject of GMO and/or genetically engineered (GE) foods results in a long list of conflicting websites and claims. But are GMO foods really threatening our health, our environment, and our economy? Do the benefits outweigh the costs? And is mandatory labeling really the best solution for farmers and consumers? Review the following websites before submitting your comments and discuss what you learn. Be sure to reference credible and scientific resources to back up your opinion.
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