Genetically modified foods have already been around since 1996 when it was first introduced and approved for commercial use. It was the time when GM corn and soy were introduced for use in commercial farming. They found their way into consumers by way of the many products that use soy and corn as ingredients.
Not many people in the US may know about it, but 70 percent of corn and 90 percent of soy being planted in US farms are genetically modified. Other crops that have gone the way of genetic modification include cotton, which include cottonseed oil, and canola.
GM Food Now Rampant
To say that GM foods have become a staple in the current US diet may be considered an understatement. Corn, for example is being used as an ingredient for a wide range of food products found in supermarkets. It may not be unusual not to find a food product that may be absent of any GM food ingredient. Households may be eating GM foods all these years and may not be aware about it. Why is this so?
No Standard GM Food Labeling
One reason why people may not be aware that they may be eating GM food is that manufacturers are not required by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA to include ingredients coming from GM crops as part of their product labeling. This has been a sensitive issue that continues to be debated on by both for and against GM food. Food manufacturers are concerned that GM labeling may put off a lot of consumers and may affect the sales of their products even if the quality may be the same. People in the FDA may have the same sentiment, which may have prodded them not to require proper labeling of GM ingredients all these years.
Is GM Food Safe?
Granting that GM foods have found their way into the US diet all these years and may have not resulted into serious health consequences among American, people might readily conclude that it is safe after all. But this is where alarms may sound off. Most consumers may not know of it, but GM foods were declared by the FDA as “generally regarded as safe” way back in 1992, before GM seeds were even introduced for commercial planting. The decision was made by the FDA with a complete absence of safety testing, which is a requirement for most other food products that go into the market. There seems to be no record of any type of safety testing made on such types of foods.
So are GM foods really safe? That is a question that continues to puzzle many people. The answer to that eludes most of us because there seems to be a total lack of rigorous safety testing to back up any conclusions. To say that GM foods is safe because they have been eaten by many American households and yet have no conclusive reports of being harmful or unsafe may not be accurate. True, GM foods today may not cause that instant harm or damage that may immediately be noticed. But who can really know the gradual and slow effects that GM foods may have on people if adequate testing not connected to an industry that promotes its use are absent? Therein lies the gray area where a lot of people may still not know about GM foods.