Safe for Us and the Environment?

Carman, Judy and Natalie Parletta. “Is Genetically Modified Food Safe for Us and the Environment?.” Nutridate May 2017: 3-8. Print.


This article comes from a magazine based on nutrition and human health.


Purpose and Thesis: to give an overview of how these crops are genetically modified, the benefits and risks, considerations for assessing their safety, and how they are regulated. The article discusses the two main proteins that GM crops are made to produce: one to increase its resistance to herbicides so that when it is sprayed, the crop will survive while the weeds surrounding it will die, and the other to regulate insects by creating Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins within themselves so that bugs die when they eat the crop. It also states the various concerns with GM foods such as the lack of scientific technology or knowledge to understand the complexities of inserting a single gene that could cause many non-intended effects, and the unforeseen future of potential genes shifting and mutating that can produce toxic material after going through many generations, as well as the likelihood of concentrations of herbicides present in the food that we eat.

The authors use a good amount of logos and pathos to persuade the reader to be concerned with the safety and unknown future of genetically modified foods. The writers break down the legal regulatory systems being used to monitor GM foods, and reveal that many of these tests are not sufficient enough to be counted as evidence (like testing GM foods on chickens when they have a completely different physiology than humans). Some pathos attributed to this article comes from the urgency and dissatisfaction with the system being used to regulate GM foods. For example, “I didn’t see a single animal study investigating allergic reactions or reproductive health or cancer. I only saw some animal studies measuring toxicology” (5).


This connects to my research probe because it sheds light on the safety of genetically modified foods by poking holes in the system used to produce and sell them. It shows many of the tests and laws are too lax for the public to be content enough to continue eating GMOs without knowing the future risks.

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