GMO Labeling and our freedom of choice

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Recently in Colorado, voters had the opportunity to be the first state in the nation to adopt protocols regarding the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). These protocols would require packaged food to be labeled as, “produced with genetic engineering.” This measure would give consumers the opportunity to choose whether or not to purchase products with GMO’s. On the other hand corporation’s raised concerns regarding their projected price inflations, and customer fear, or backlash related to GMO’s. Perhaps because the state of Colorado passed legalizing marijuana by majority, it was surprising to me, the majority of  voters chose to reject the labeling measure with 66 percent voting against it, and only 34 percent voting for it.

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GMO’s were first introduced into industrial production of medical products in the second half of the 1980’s. Today 60-70% of the food produced in North America contains products which contain GMO’s. Little is known about whether GMO products have adverse health effects, or how exactly they would interact with native species over time. The problem is that the any side effect that could be associated with GMO’s, could just as easily be a side effect of another hazardous supplement we put into our bodies. The interaction between native, and GMO plants is scary because people are worried that if GMO plants begin to fertilize native plants, our native plants will reproduce themselves into extinction. One thing that is alarming to me, is that in Europe many countries have banned GMO’s all together. The reasoning behind this, is that in Europe they have the philosophy that products must be deemed safe before it is put on the market. In America we believe that products should be placed on the market until they are proven to be harmful.

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Since the start of our country, the citizen’s have been making world changing choices. The choice to revolt against Great Britain, the choice to abolish slavery, and the choice to land on the moon are just a few.  The freedom of choice, is part of what makes America so amazing. I have heard stories of immigrants coming to America and being astonished when seeing our grocery stores for the first time. The amount of food we have sitting on the shelves is very impressive. This is the home to treasures such as, the all you can eat buffet, Thirty-one Flavors ice cream, Satellite TV with 5000 channels, two major league teams in almost every major city, and the Mall of America. It seems silly to me, and unpatriotic that we would vote against having a choice over what we put into our body. The alcohol, tobacco, and Drug companies rely on Americans having a choice of whether or not put these substances into our body. Yet the billions of dollars they receive from our choice, is helping fund the campaign’s encouraging voters to stop asking for more choice. Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?colorful-diet-icons-food-intolerance-such-as-gluten-free-sugar-free-nut-free-gmo-free-egg-free-dairy-free-isolated-white-41267165orange-kiwi-inside-isolated-white-27141345

My name is Kelly Greer, I am a freshman at Fort Lewis College, and I am majoring in environmental studies. When taking Comp. 250 students are assigned a final research project. Because my major is environmental studies I chose to research GMO labeling. While I was researching, Colorado was also in the process of rejecting GMO labeling, which prompted me to imply that narcissism is the reason labeling was rejected. The actual studies and research that I used was found in the Fort Lewis library directory. I found it was easier to only use research that had been refereed, because no one can call you a liar if the source has a stripe shirt in Ulrich’s dictionary. This project definitely taught me a lot about GMO production as well as myself as an academic writer. I found I am now more willing to buy organic products, I don’t want my kids to have some weird health defect because I wanted to save a few bucks. I also found that I need a lot of help to sound smart when I write. Not so much using big words, but going to the writing center, or teacher for advice about sentence structure and grammar. If I was doing this project over again I would choose a topic as fast as I could, then write as much of the paper as I could without doing research. Then go and fill up my paper with backup research and information. I think I did too much research, which made it hard to find a starting point. Then when I started writing,  I would write and write, then look up some more research and find what I just wrote is poppycock. Funny words aside, if one uses the time and resources available, this assignment is not as scary as it seems.  Good luck suckers!

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