(GE) can be used in an endless variety of ways. Right now one of the
most controversial applications is its use in food production. Many
foods on the shelves of your grocery store contain ingredients that
come from GE crops. The corn flakes you had for breakfast this morning
most likely contained GE corn. The margarine you spread on your toast
might have contained soy oil created from GE soybeans. Corn and soybeans
are common ingredients in a long list of processed foods including
oils, margarine, breads, cake mixes, chips, even soda pop. When you
consider the fact that more than half of the soybeans and approximately
twenty-five percent of the corn grown in the U.S. are GE varieties,
the odds are high that you are eating food containing ingredients
derived from GE crops.
© Greenpeace Used with permission
GE in food production strongly object to the foods' availability.
They do not believe enough government regulations are in place to
control the production and distribution of these foods. Opponents
also say there has not been enough research or long-term testing
on these foods, that we cannot know what might happen as a result
of growing and eating GE foods or how the environment might be affected.
Proponents of GE foods say the benefits GE provides, like improved
flavor or increased nutritional value, outweighs any potential risks.
not sold on genetic engineering in food production. In fact, they
commonly refer to the foods as Frankenfoods (from the character
Frankenstein, a man created from several different dead people).
European consumers demanded that food producers label the foods
so consumers can make a choice between GE and non-GE. Here in the
United States consumer awareness is growing, due in part to the
StarlinkTM corn incident*. Americans
are confronting the issues of regulating and labeling GE foods.
is a brand of GE feed corn for livestock. It was not
approved for human consumption but mistakenly got mixed in with
corn used to produce a variety of food products like taco shells.
or Not to Label ... That Is the Question
One of the biggest controversies brewing in the field of genetic
engineering is whether to label foods that use genetic engineering
in their production process. More
A Legislator's Argument for Labeling
bill by Representative Barbara Boxer failed to pass, but here is
her argument for labeling. More
What People Think
"Brave New Farm," James Walsh reports on opposition to GE foods.
"What People Think" reports consumer responses to two questions.
Food Information Council
International Food Information Council (IFIC) conducted phone surveys.
to Market Links
Dominate 2002 Crop Acres
In no economic
sector is the potential of G-M-O's debated more than in agriculture.
And there are few advocates who are embracing and utilizing the
technology more than American farmers
Did Not Cause Allergies
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control said it found no evidence linking
the genetically modified corn variety to reported cases of rashes,
diarrhea, and breathing problems.