Research Paper on Dangers of Genetically Modified Foods

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1330 Words
Date:  2022-11-02


In recent years, genetically modified foods have been an area of interest for many researchers' bases on the controversy related to its production and consumption. Its production has posed questions on the risks, unnaturalness, moral considerations, unhealthiness, untrustworthiness, and moral considerations. Genetically Modified food is processed through the use of genetic engineering by the direct manipulation of an organism's genes. The idea behind GMOs, as opposed to the natural selective breeding for animals and plants to get desired traits, basically relies on science in the production. The technology has been used for different purposes. For example, in the United States, most soy and corn that is grown countrywide has been genetically modified to be herbicides resistant. Notably, the technology has been used in the production of vegetable oil, sugar, fruits, and vegetables. One of the major hindrances of the acceptance of GMO food is food neophobia by most of the consumers. Generally, despite one of the major challenges facing the acceptance of GMOs being food neophobia, the products pose huge threats to the health of consumers and the environment at large.

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One of the greatest challenges facing the acceptance of GMOs has been Food Neophobia. This is the general reluctance to consume or the avoidance of new foods. Scientist identifies Food Neophobia as one of the major determinants of GMO acceptance among many people (Catacora-Vargas, Binimelis, Myhr, & Wynne, 2017). This condition arises due to the perceived risks and benefits, and trust attributed to its consumption. People's willingness to consume GMF directly correlates with Food Neophobia (Maes, Bourgonjon, Gheysen, & Valcke, 2017). This condition is primarily as a result of one's culture and current diet in relation to new or unusual foods. As a result, if a new food fails to fall in one's accepted category will be consequently rejected ("Guidance on the risk assessment of genetically modified microorganisms and their products intended for food and feed use," 2011). In relation to GMO, the tampering with "mother nature"; natural production in organisms, has been attributed to a number of risks on the consumer (Dovey, Staples, Gibson, & Halford, 2008). These risks have been pointed out more specifically by scientists as they assess the impact of such consumption to both the environment and on the health of the consumer at large.

One of the perceived risks of GMO food is the unhealthy causes to the consumers. Since 1996, after the commercialization of GMO products, numerous studies have been conducted to assess the perceived risks of the products. Surprisingly, the findings from these studies have indicated increased health hazards to both human beings and animals. According to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM), doctors have been cautioned against the prescription of GMO diets to patients (Maes, Bourgonjon, Gheysen, & Valcke, 2017. The academy cites danger that has been cited by different studies in relation to animals. From these studies, the effects have been characterized by organ damage, immune system disorders, infertility, and accelerated aging among others. On humans, it is approximated that from 1996, the percentage of American citizens diagnosed with chronic diseases increased from 7% to 13%, almost double the number ("10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs - Institute for Responsible Technology," 2017). Additionally, other side effects such as reproductive disorders, autism, digestive problems have also been pointed out. This statistics is a clear indication of the unhealthiness of GMO products.

Furthermore, the excessive use of herbicides in the production of crops significantly affects both the environment and the health of the consumers. Chiefly, the use of this technology requires an excessive spray of chemicals on crops. Most crops are engineered to crop tolerant. For instance, Round Ready crops herbicides sold by Monsanto in the United States have been attributed to most of the negative side effects. Studies indicate that between the year 1996 and 2008, 383 million pounds of herbicides were sprayed by US farmers on GMOs. Consequently, the use of these herbicides resulted in the emergence of "superweeds" that were resistant to the herbicides. As a result, farmers continued to use even more toxic chemicals in the subsequent years. On human beings, Roundup chemicals have been attributed to hormone disruption, cancer, birth defects, and sterility.

Furthermore, the use of genetically modified food poses a further health risk to the consumers. Mainly, the introduction of foreign proteins that have never been present in man's food chain will be in high consumption (Huang 10). Consequently, this introduction of foreign proteins will lead to health risks concerned with genetic hazards, allergens, and toxins. Synthesis of new proteins can produce unpredictable allergenic effects (Buncic 40). For example, genetically modified beans were discarded after the discovery that the expressed protein of the transgene was allergenic. The European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) are opposed to the line that science sufficiently supports the safety of GM food (Bawa and Anilakumar 1039). They hold the view that each GM food must be judged on a case to case basis and thus, the concept of GM food cannot be universally accepted as a response to food shortage. Ironically, the safety of the genetically modified food has not been primarily a public concern, but rather a scientific concern. Generally, it is a concept of "science fighting science."

Finally, the unregulated circulation of the Gm products in the market is a high risk as there are no substantial examinations of these products before they get to the consumers. In the United States, for example, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no requirement of any safety study on the products, allows the release of the products to the market without their notice, and neither does it mandate labeling of GMOs (Schmidt, 2005). This unregulated production and lack of adequate safety assessment for these GMO products pose a threat to the consumers. Notably, one of the causes of food neophobia is untrustworthiness of new or unusual foods. Therefore, the lack of the above measures to assure safety to the citizens it should be a major concern ("10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs - Institute for Responsible Technology," 2017). Also, it is worth noting that most of the producing companies are profit-making organizations. Hence, it is hard to trust their motives in the production of such controversial products.


In conclusion, GMOs are dangerous to both the consumers and the environment. As discussed, many people are struggling with acceptance of GMOs citing the risks associated with them. Scientists have pointed out the effects of these effects. One of the effects is the excessive use of herbicides which not only result in the development of "superweeds," but also affects the health of human beings. Secondly, the perceived danger of the introduction of foreign proteins into the human body is also a threat to health. Primarily, these foreign proteins will result in allergenic effects. Another threat of the products is seen in the unregulated production of the product. This production questions the integrity and safety of the products. In a nutshell, the introduction of GMO has caused more harm than good in society.


10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs - Institute for Responsible Technology. (2017, January 15). Retrieved from

Bawa, A. S., and K. R. Anilakumar. "Genetically modified foods: safety, risks and public concerns-a review." Journal of Food Science and Technology, vol. 50, no. 6, 2012, pp. 1035-1046.

Catacora-Vargas, G., Binimelis, R., Myhr, A. I., & Wynne, B. (2017). Socio-economic research on genetically modified crops: a study of the literature. Agriculture and Human Values, 35(2), 489-513. doi:10.1007/s10460-017-9842-4

Dovey, T. M., Staples, P. A., Gibson, E. L., & Halford, J. C. (2008). Food neophobia and 'picky/fussy' eating in children: A review. Appetite, 50(2-3), 181-193.

Guidance on the risk assessment of genetically modified microorganisms and their products intended for food and feed use. (2011). EFSA Journal, 9(6), 2193. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2193

Huang, Kunlun. "Safety Assessment of Genetically Modified Foods." 2017.

Maes, J., Bourgonjon, J., Gheysen, G., & Valcke, M. (2017). Variables Affecting Secondary School Students' Willingness to Eat Genetically Modified Food Crops. Research in Science Education, 48(3), 597-618. doi:10.1007/s11165-016-9580-4

Schmidt, C. W. (2005). Genetically Modified Foods: Breeding Uncertainty. Environmental Health Perspectives, 113(8). doi:10.1289/ehp.113-a526

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Research Paper on Dangers of Genetically Modified Foods. (2022, Nov 02). Retrieved from

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