Luke C. Maryland

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Dear Sir/Madam President, Hello, my name is Luke Copenhaver. I am a junior in high school, and I am writing to you today to discuss Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). GMO foods are derived from plant seeds. These plant seeds that have had their DNA changed using genetic engineering technology. They are often referred to as “Frankenfoods” because of the similarities to Frankenstein and how he made his monster via splicing different organisms together. These genetically modified crops have been no stranger to controversy over these past few years. One company in particular, Monsanto, is really under the spotlight for GMOs. Personally, I firmly believe GMOs need to go. The mere thought of splicing and eating synthetic foods is quite disgusting. What happened to eating good natural food? There is plenty of evidence out there already; GMOs should be banned. The idea behind GMOs foods is a good one: GMOs can supposedly yield massive numbers of crops that are resistant to pesticides, bugs, and droughts. These GMOs are told to improve the nutrition as well as the flavor of the food we eat. While this sounds ideal, the companies who produce these GMOs are in it for the wrong reason: they aren’t there to produce healthier and more nutritional crops. They produce GMOs for the money. John Robbins puts this best: “To Monsanto and other GMO companies, the terminator and other seed sterilizing technologies are simply business ventures that are designed to enhance profits. In this case, there is not even the implication of benefit to consumers” (Huffington Post). GMOs have been hyped for years to be the solution for malnutrition and even world hunger. Many companies spent billions and billions of dollars promoting GMOs. Time Magazine (2000) even picked up on the GMO hype in their article “Grains of Hope”. Golden rice was supposed to be the cure for world hunger. Time Magazine themselves said the rice “could save a million kids a year”. The problem with this though is that these crops rely on massive amounts of pesticides and fertilizer to actually grow properly. In addition, GMOs also require plentiful amounts of water. How is that going to end world hunger? GMOs require a lot; do farmers even have the funds to support GMOs? Using more pesticides on our crops does more than just pollute said crops; using more pesticides can impact insects. As more pesticides are used, more pests gain resistance to those pesticides. They can grow to be completely immune to these effects. There are more adverse effects from GMOs, however. One study has found that pesticides from GMOs have been found in maternal, fetal, non-pregnant women’s blood. The fetus is very vulnerable to these adverse effects. Another study finds that DNA fragments similar to those found in meat carry their genes into our circulatory system. A more recent study links GMOs to certain gluten disorders, which currently affect more than 18 million Americans. More research needs to be done, but the evidence is already there; GMOs are not the squeaky clean alternative to existing food that they are chalked up to be. In conclusion, GMOs are a plague. They are being manufactured for all the wrong reasons. GMOs have been hyped up for years by the media using million dollar ad campaigns. While the idea behind them is a solid one, the biotech companies that currently produce these Frankenfoods are in it for all the wrong reasons. These companies are driven by money and greed, not world hunger. Not only that, but GMOs are not necessarily cost efficient. They require excessive use of water and pesticides, the latter of which has lots of impact on the environment. What will you do about GMOs? Do you believe they are the food of the future? Do you believe they could be used to end world hunger? Or, do you believe GMOs need to go? What would you do to combat them? Sincerely, Luke C.