GMO’s or Genetically engineered or geneticallymodified are those in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in away that does not occur naturally. The use of these GMOs in the nation’s foodsupply has received increasing media attention due to growing concernsregarding their safety. Consumer, farmers, and environmentalist have voicedtheir opinions and objections about GM food products and the safety for thecrops with these added chemicals. According to GMOs: The Pros & Cons ofGenetically Modified Food these concerns include the potential effects on humanhealth, contamination of non-GM crops due to cross pollination, and escalatingtoxicity from increasing use of the chemicals, in turn caused by increasingweed resistance. Furthermore, GMOs can lead to less biodiversity within plants.The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) regulates GMfoods as part of the framework of federal agencies which also includes theEnvironmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Department ofAgriculture (USDA).
The FDA policy places responsibility on the manufacturersand producers to assure the safety of the food, explicitly relying on theproducer/manufacturer to do so. The FDA and USDA also has a place in thelabeling controversy. The USDA and FDA sets standard for food companies tofollow that are too indistinct. Many of these companies can get through theseloopholes and still get the USDA seal of approval. With advertisement on labelssaying, “All Natural” and “No sugar added” is not what you think it means.That’s what they want you to think when buying these products of the shelf inthe groceries store.
But, freshly squeezed orange juice taste way better thanstore bought ones even though the store-bought ones promised you with “allnatural” ingredients. All natural is supposed to be a product containing noartificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed. Minimalprocessing means that the product was processed in a manner that does notfundamentally alter the product. Misleading labels are not beneficial to anyoneother than food companies to make a profit. This also gives the consumer afalse understanding about nutrition. According to Pollan “Unhappy Meals” hesays that nutritionism is not the same as nutrition and that nutritionism isthe key to understanding food is nutrient. Scientist have discovered Crispr cas9, it is an enzymefound in bacteria.
It functions by cutting DNA that they think is foreign. Whenthey cut it, this permanently turns off the gene leading the gene to notfunction/work properly. Scientists have been using CRISPR on plants and animalsto include mushrooms that don’t brown as quickly in the refrigerator, anddrought-tolerant corn. “CRISPR has already been implemented for genome editingin plants, including tobacco, soy, wheat, rice, potatoes, oranges and tomatoes”(FoodDive). The funding assigned for crisp will be used towards the advancementof machinery in the future of bioengineering.
Monsanto obtained CRISPR-Cas9technology from different institutes and made it the first licensed technologyin agricultural use; USDA stated, “it will not regulate these foods because thetechnology does not involve inserting new genes into organisms” (FoodDive). Withthis new discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 it could increase the life expectancy ofthese products and develop new products that taste better. But it could alsoimpact the content the food and might cause harm to consumers. Furthermore, thiscould lead to less biodiversity in plants and increase the surplus of the products.This new discovery has a positive outcome on the industry side but for theconsumer it could lead to health-related issues and possibly a decrease innutrition and poor diet. Globalization in developing countries is a quickeningof urbanization. The impact of urbanization and global change has impacted householdfood security and the nutritional status of individuals in urban areas makingit so that people are eating just to fell full and not providing their bodieswith the correct nutrients to develop their immune system and health. Indeveloping countries competition for market share of food purchases is rising.
Thesechanges to food systems are having a substantial impact on the food andnutritional security of both producers and consumers. This impact is being felton the availability and access to food, through changes to food production, obtainingand distribution systems, the food trade environment, and overall food culture.According to the Food Rebellion article written by Eric Holt-Gimenez and RajPatel, one of the reason that contributes to the prevalence of poverty in ruralareas is the fact that farmers aren’t able to access available food. Similarly,In the Origins of the Third World article written by Mike Davis, he also arguesthat farmers, who are usurped of their farming power, the primary source offood cultivation, are also deprived from food due to the food price inflationand accessibility to food source. Changes are also facilitated in concrete waysby food production based on intensive agriculture, new food processing andstorage technologies, longer product shelf-life, the emergence of foodretailers such as fast food outlets and supermarkets and the intensification ofadvertising and marketing of certain products (McMillan, New face of Hunger).
These food system and lifestyle changes are in turn having an impact on thehealth and nutritional status of people in developing countries. There is anindication of rapid increases in overweight and obesity, particularly amongadults, and an increasing occurrence of diet-related non-communicable diseases.Although producing GMO is a necessary step incombatting the superbug, it is still essential to regulate the production ofGMO to ensure the benefits provided by the commitment in making GMO and tominimize and prevent future risks to the human’s health and damage to thepopulations of good farming insects.
In order to do this, a general set ofstandards and policies should be implemented for the GMO producing companies toabide to and regular inspections should be performed at these corporations inorder to establish common grounds for the production of GMO that is bothaffordable and safe. In addition, there is too much food waste. Landfills arefilling up and creating bad unnatural greenhouse gasses and being a waste ofspace and not being able to get ridded of efficiently. 40% of all the food produced in the UnitedStates are not eaten, according to the National Resources Defense Council; 91%of consumers reported that they throw away food because of the “sell by” date.Food waste has increased by 50%. To move forward and feed the futuregenerations we must find solutions to reduce food waste and provide it back tothose in need who will later give birth to future generation.
From the video”The Future of Food: Sustainability and Security” In Bedfordshire, England theyhave a groundbreaking system where they separate their food waste from regularwaste. That food waste is then picked up weekly, and taken to an anaerobicdigester to get shredded, liquefied and then goes through the process offermentation and pasteurization which provides excess energy that goes backinto the national grids and ends up as fertilizer for the farms. So wasted foodhelps make more energy and food. With these solutions we can have a safe andsustainable way of controlling food waste and the future generations will thenhave food to eat, live off of and grow with a healthy diet.