The idea of eating plants and animals whose DNA has been manipulated in a laboratory — called genetically modified organisms, or G.M.O.’s — still spooks many people.
Amy Harmon, The New York Times, 27 Jul. 2013

eople are eating a lot more GMOs than they realize. Hidden in processed foods such as cereal, salad dressings, and tortilla chips are a plethora of genetically modified ingredients ranging from corn and soybeans to canola oil and sugar. While these additives have been consumed for nearly a decade, new breeds of GMOs are coming to the table which are wowing some customers and worrying others. Take the Arctic apple for example, whose genes have been modified to stall browning, allowing the fruit to be sold pre-sliced and help curb food waste. Even with this famous pet-peeve being solved and scientists saying it is healthy for consumption, much of the public has still vowed to stay away from frankenfood. Why is this? “If this trend goes on, one day, there will be only Monsanto engineered foods available” said a commenter on a Reuters article about genetic engineering. Agri-giant Monsanto was one of the first drivers of transgenic sciences, along with herbicides and pesticides. Many are worried about Monsanto’s close ties to GMOs and with good reason. Monsanto has been engineering seeds with genes resistant to their own weed killers, making it possible to spray more and more herbicides and pesticides which have been marked as a ‘probable’ cause of cancer. This expansive use of chemicals along with their aggressive business tactics and ignorance of ethical farming has forced consumers to go into a hysteria against Monsanto.

To gain an advantage with this public opinion, companies such as Chipotle, McDonald’s, and Heinz have pledged to be GMO-free. Some countries are even going as far as to ban the crops all together, including Zambia for instance, who rejected shipments of GMO corn during a time of famine. The GMO industry has become accustomed to this and is unnerved by any tactic companies might use to gain a competitive edge, saying they want to hide nothing from customers and inform the public as much as they can about their products. But that seems to be the problem in itself, fruits and vegetables have always been known as forms of life and never strictly as a product. With seeds becoming patentable, possible carcinogens being sprayed on crops, and local farming being eaten alive, it will be difficult for future generations to comprehend that food comes from the Earth, not just a grocery store.

Get in deeper:

Are GMOs Safe? – The People Speak  || Vice News

Debate: Related Articles
Three Different Perspectives on the Same Issue. Click on the title to see more
The Genesis EngineShould Companies Be Required To Label Genetically Modified Foods?China’s GMO Stockpile
Science gives people power. And power is unpredictable.Amy Maxmen, Wired, 22 Jul. 2015
Backers of the idea say consumers deserve to know what’s in the food they eat. Critics say labeling is a ploy to make consumers worry.Andrew Kimbrell & Nina Fedoroff, The Wall Street Journal, 12 Jul. 2015
With its world-leading research investments and vast size, China will dominate the future of genetically modified food —despite the resistance of its population.David Talbot, MIT Technology Review, 21 Oct. 2014
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