Today, I will be posting my fourth round of research for this cycle. This past week, I have been focusing on the negative side to GMOs. I have discovered that this is an extremely controversial topic in many aspects and I am hoping that bringing in the "ethical" point of view will help me make a clear conclusion from the most objective perspective possible. Before I start, here's a reminder of my question:
What role do ethics play in the production of GMOs?
Here are some of the strongest arguments adhering to the principle that GMOs are an overall disadvantage to society.
1. Potential health risks
Numerous associations support GMO production. GM crops are FDA approved (the FDA states that GM crops meet the same health requirements as any other foods) and their production is deemed safe by the following: World Health Organization, American Medical Association and U.S National Academy of Science. (1) However, according to the American Academy of National Medicine, animal testing has revealed evidence of possible health hazards, including: immune dysregulation, altered liver function, and changes in the pancreas and spleen. (2) Also, it has been proven that in GM dairy products, there is an increase in a hormone called insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which can survive digestion and enter the blood stream. This hormone is currently under investigation as it has been related to prostate and breast cancer. (3)(4) This specific hormone may not be directly related to GMOs, but it is found in them and presents definite risks.
2. Threats to ecosystems
There are multiple downsides to GMOs regarding threats to ecosystems. Firstly, there are many insects that are helpful insuring biodiversity within ecosystems but are impacted by the chemicals in GMOs. (5)(6) GM crops are also proven mediators to the transfer of genes to wild plants, creating herbicide-resistant weeds. To regulate this, scientists create herbicides for the weeds that are toxic to animals such as cows. These have deadly consequences on many organisms and impact the ecosystem. (6)
That's all for this post! I hope I presented deeper insights into the disadvantages to the debate concerning GMOs. Next week, I'll be tying in the "ethical" aspect and hopefully starting to conclude my research. Referring to my first post, I'll be using "ethical problem solving" to help shed more light on the issue.