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The Truth on Genetically Modified Food


My Issue

The research paper focuses on the topic “The Truth on Genetically Modified Food.” Genetic modification refers to a biological technique that affects the genetic machinery of a living organism. Therefore, genetically modified food encompasses food whose ingredients such as crops, micro-organisms or animals genetic material have been altered in ways that do not occur naturally. Despite decades after the surge in the concept of genetically modified foods, the debate on their importance and effects to the society continue to rage. The pro-GMO population argues that these foods make farming efficient in addition to supporting the ideology of feeding the world’s ever-growing population. On the other hand, the opposers focus on their fear of the effects of GMOs including allergies, cancer among other harmful effects on health that are yet to be determined and quantified.

This issue is of personal importance to me as a mother and an individual in a family with a history of diabetes, gallbladder, and cancer. Since what individuals consume is an integral part of living healthy, what my family consumes worries me. In recent years the aspect of asymmetric information between producers and consumers has reduced due to extensive developments in information technology such as social media. For instance, it is rather common to see posts of how children cereal contains rat poison or colored dye that might eventually lead to cancer. It is against this background that the research paper endeavors to educate the general public and myself on what we consume daily. Undeniably, this is an important issue considering that most people cannot begin to describe in entirety a genetically modified food much less face reality on whether these foods are safe to consume.

Science Resources

Lefebvre, S., Cook, L. A., & Griffiths, M. A. (2019). Consumer perceptions of genetically modified foods: A mixed-method approach. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 36(1), 113-123.

The paper examines consumer’s perceptions and behavioral intentions regarding genetically modified foods. The article focuses on consumers’ behaviors towards the labeling options; that is, it centers on consumer’s opinions in foods labeled as containing the transgenic ingredients across both plants and animal-based categories. The research found out that consumers harbor negative feelings towards foods labeled as genetically modified compared to the non-GM and as such are likely to purchase unlabeled GM products. The research concluded that while consumers recognize the positive economic, societal and environmental benefits associated with GM products, labeling often overshadows the benefits and the presence of GM labeling increased the avoidance of the foods. Primarily, the article reflects on the knowledge of the average consumer and their perceptions towards GMO foods as such important in the development of the paper.

Singhal, N. (2018). A study of consumer behavior towards genetically modified foods and the moderating effects of health consciousness. The Journal of Business Perspective, 22(3), 306-315.

This particular research paper recognizes that with growing environmentalism and health concerns, individuals across the globe are becoming more conscious of the types of food they eat and the details associated with their processing. The main focus of the paper is to analyze the effects of health consciousness of consumers in influencing consumers’ attitudes towards GM food. The researcher concludes that it is necessary for the marketer to revolve the advertisements strategies around issues that pertain to consumer’s health consciousness. The paper builds on the health consciousness of the consumers a factor that is important in investigating household consumptions patterns in association with GMOs.

Zhang, C., Wohlhueter, R., & Zhang, H. (2016). Genetically modified foods: A critical review of their promise and problems. Food Science and Human Wellness, 5(3), 116-123.

The article recognizes that in recent years the term GMOs is controversial due to its benefits to consumers and producers alike and the fact that the advantages are associated with biomedical risks. The article focuses on providing up-to-date information about the benefits as well as the potential problems associated with GM food. The material is relevant to the project since it focuses on the foundations of the concept of GMOs and as such speaks to consumers and the general public at large on the benefits and problems associated with GMOs.

Research question

What are genetically modified foods and the effects on the human body?


The project is geared towards the average household consumers. In the past three decades, pro-genetically modified foods have emphasized the importance of such foods in facilitating the development of society and in feeding the world’s population. To no small extent, the emphasis on the benefits over-shadowed the potential health concerns associated with GMOs. The paper is grounded on the opinion that it is crucial for everyday consumers to be knowledgeable about the foods they consume and the processes related to their manufacturing. Indeed, the fact that consumers are growing health-conscious validates the efforts of the paper to educate them on the benefits and biomedical risks associated with GMOs. Undeniably, it is necessary for consumers to have symmetric information on GMO to be able to make health conscious and environmentally aware decisions on what they consume.

Tailoring of the Message

Average household consumers are unlikely to be conversant with the technical, scientific terms associated with genetically modified food, organisms, and crops. As such, the researcher will endeavor not only to explain but also to use simple words in place of technical ones whenever possible. The research will appeal to the average household consumer since it will focus on the concept of family and the risks associated with GMOs which often threaten the idea of family.

Natural Science Principles

There are several natural science principles applicable to the idea of GMOs including the science of the DNA and associated transfer of genetics and the apparent increase in the world population. Additionally, climate change, degradation of land and a decrease in land sensitivity, which have decreased the availability of arable land.

The concept of genetically modified foods is grounded on the premise of DNA modification apparent when scientists discovered that genetic material could be transferred between different species. Indeed, the entire concept of genetically modified organisms or crops is grounded on Charles Darwin’s postulations of species variation and selection. Severally papers in the second half of the second century paved the way for contemporary molecular biology that gave birth to great genetically modified foods available in the grocery stores across the world today (Singhal, 2018). The first genetically modified plants, the antibiotic-resistant tobacco were produced more than three decades ago by three different independent research groups. In the early 1990s, China commercialized genetically altered tobacco. The USA followed suit in 1994 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved genetically modified species of tomato (Lefebvre, Cook, & Griffiths, 2019). Since then several transgenic crops and organisms have received the FDA approval.

It is important to acknowledge several strong challenges in society today prompted and motivated scientists to resort to biotechnology. These factors encompass; increase in the world’ population, a decrease in arable land and bottleneck of conventional and modern breeding. The current world’s population is more than 7.35 billion with an estimation of an annual increase of more than 80 million people (Zhang, Wohlhueter, & Zhang, 2016). Statistics from the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) indicate that more than 795 million individuals across the globe are undernourished. The most practical solution to keeping pace with the growing population is to boost crop yields which can be effectively done through optimization of crop genetics (Singhal, 2018). FAO recently ascertained that arable and available for food production will decrease by more than 0.1 ha by the year 2050 (Zhang, Wohlhueter, & Zhang, 2016). Reasons for the decrease in arable vary from accelerated urbanization to land desertification and degradation to climate change and water resource limitation among other factors. The solution to the decline in arable land is to increase the production per acre which can be effectively achieved through genetic improvement. Additionally, the application of biological technologies and the development of the concept of GMO promise to reduce production timelines and other bottlenecks associated with conventional breeding techniques.

The concept of genetic alteration associated with GM foods possesses several health risks including toxicity, allergenicity, and genetic hazards. These health risks are associated with the inserted gene and their portrayed proteins perse, the secondary effects of the products of gene expression and the disruption of natural genes in the modified organisms. For instance, the “Starlink” maize was engineered with genetic information from Bacillus thuringinesis in efforts of making the plant resistant to certain insects (Zhang, Wohlhueter, & Zhang, 2016). While the inserted gene encodes a protein with pesticidal properties, it is associated with unintended strong allergenicity which I evident in several cases of allergic reactions from consumers. The principles are relevant because they educate the reader on what GMO is. By teaching the reader, the damage genetic food can have on your body health and to point out what the FDA still allows today.


Hypothesis and Experiment

The research paper hypothesizes that GM foods are not safe for the body since they are associated with valid health concerns from allergies to toxicity to genetic hazards. Research geared towards validating this particular hypothesis will involve the comparison of two groups one consuming genetically modified foods and another non-GMOs. The two groups will be consuming similar foods to achieve almost identical nutritional value. The experiment will be a case study on the effect of consumption of GM foods on the body versus non-GMO similar foods. Using various quantification of health, the research will endeavor to compare the health of the two groups. Undeniably, it will be interesting to identify if indeed GMO increases the health risk and vulnerability to specific disease or whether individuals have similar chances of developing high risk health concerns irrespective of the food they consume.


Lefebvre, S., Cook, L. A., & Griffiths, M. A. (2019). Consumer perceptions of genetically modified foods: A mixed-method approach. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 36(1), 113-123.

Singhal, N. (2018). A study of consumer behavior towards genetically modified foods and the moderating effects of health consciousness. The Journal of Business Perspective, 22(3), 306-315.

Zhang, C., Wohlhueter, R., & Zhang, H. (2016). Genetically modified foods: A critical review of their promise and problems. Food Science and Human Wellness, 5(3), 116-123.


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