The other day I was combing CNN for a political article for another class and I came across an article discussing the controversy over labeling foods that contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms). In full disclosure, I am woefully undereducated when it comes to GMOs. I know what they are and I know that there is some debate regarding their effects on human health, but I am not super familiar with the specifics surrounding the debate. Interested in learning a little more, I read through the article. The gist of it was that there is a House bill that, if passed by the Senate, will prevent states from creating laws that mandate the labeling of foods containing GMOs. The proposed bill has expectedly encountered plenty of opposition from people who believe that the public has a right to know which foods contain GMOs.
I looked up some more information and could not find a consensus as to whether GMO foods affect human health differently than non-GMO foods. Some sources quote scientists that profess that genetically-engineering foods does nothing to the foods that causes them to adversely affect people’s health. Others contend that scientists really don’t know exactly what the impact of GMOs is, and that foods with GMOs should be labeled as such so that people can choose whether or not they want to take a health risk by buying a genetically-engineered food.
Personally, I could be extremely foolish, but I’ve never been overly concerned about contracting cancer or some other illness from consuming foods with GMOs. I don’t look for labels that tell me if a food contains GMOs and I don’t actively try to avoid buying foods with GMOs. Perhaps I should be more weary, however. After all, it couldn’t hurt to have a better understanding of the scientific research and public policies regarding the contents of the food I eat. Given the lack of consensus on the issue, it’s possible that doing more research might not help me form an opinion about genetically-engineered foods that I am 100% confident in. But again, it doesn’t hurt to get more information.