Genetically engineered foods

Genetically modifying organisms (GMOs) is a technology developed to alter the genes of a plant or animal cell – usually for commercial purposes. GE technology is most often used to make farmed salmon grow larger and to give new properties and capabilities to agricultural crops. GE plants can be designed to be tastier, more nutritious and can even produce medications. These attributes are particularly important to counter the harsh growing conditions that exist in many developing nations, as well as adapting organisms to climate change. About 94% of our soybeans and 92% of our corn grown this year will be genetically modified. Roughly 75% of all processed foods on supermarket shelves now contain some GE components. And every year, tons of bioengineered salmon are sold at restaurants which are not required to label this food as genetically engineered.

Supporters of GE foods advance the benefits of higher crop yields with less use of pesticides, fertilizers and water. They say GE plants and animals are needed by the world’s burgeoning population to avoid famine. They also claim there have been no reports of illness caused by consuming genetically altered foods.
Critics warn about prematurely certifying the safety of this technology. They believe there has been insufficient assessment of potential long-term risks to our health and environment. They say a consumer has a right to know whether the food they’re buying is natural or bioengineered.

Proposed Legislation: Reintroduction of H.R.270 - Genetically Engineered Salmon Labeling Act (117th Congress 2021-2022)
Prospective Sponsor: Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR)

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