Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Final Post and Evaluation

So this will be it for the blog, my science communication class has concluded, and I will be graduating in 9 days!  It has been really fun managing this blog for the last 4 months, and it has opened me up to a whole world of blogging that I really didn't know about.  I also learned a lot about genetics and all the ethical issues surrounding the field.  Maybe someday you will see a GM label on your corn, or see a home genetics test in your cabinet, and be reminded of this blog.

I think I found my engaging voice pretty early on in the blogging experience, and tried to carry it through most of my posts.  I ended up with a total of 22 not counting this one, and this last blogging period I was about 4 posts short of the two a week mark.  I started running out of ideas and enthusiasm for findings new things to write about, as I beat GM foods into the ground pretty good.  I was pretty consistent commenting on others blogs, probably hitting 3 or 4 posts a week with a comment. 

Anyways a special thanks to Jen, my professor, good luck with the class next year!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Labeling of GM Foods

Recently a bill in the Connecticut state congress was proposed requiring Connecticut consumer be made aware of GM foods they are purchasing by placing labels on these items.  The bill was killed though by a lower level General Law Committee before it could be voted on.  This is currently a large portion of the GM food debate, labeling.  Some feel these foods should be labeled so people know what they are eating, while others feel that GM foods have been proven safe enough to the point where labeling is not necessary.

Through my research this semester, I have found nothing that suggests GM foods can harm humans, and there is not a single instance where GM foods were tied to any health problems.  The truth is, it is nearly impossible to tell if a GM food has affected an adult.  Considering the rest of their diet and general lifestyle, there are too many factors to test its direct effect.

I don't see labeling of these  foods happening in the near future for two reasons.  First, several items in the produce section would require labeling, but I would bet that most of packaged foods would require GM labels.  Corn which yields corn syrup, sugar beets which make up a large percent of our sugar, and soy are all GM foods, and these items are commonly found in the ingredient lists on nutritional facts.  Grocery stores would be covered in GM labels, so it honestly makes more sense to label those things that are organic, which is already done.  The consumer should assume they are eating GM food if it isn't organic.

Second, large corporations won't let labeling happen. Monsanto, for example, produces most of the GM seeds used in America, and also produces the herbicide that may be used with them.  They do not want to see labels on GM foods, as it could hurt their profits. Unfortunately, corporate lobbyists are the most powerful people in Washington, so I doubt federal legislation will come through anytime soon concerning the labeling of GM foods.