How Safe Are Genetically Modified Foods?
Could genetically modified foods (GMOs) be the solution for world hunger? Although your solution will help feed the world's malnourished people, the fix could potentially cause cancer, increase allergies and terrorize the environment. Would the trade-off be worth it? That's what scientists, doctors and everyday shoppers are asking themselves when it comes to genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Currently, about 80 percent of food is genetically modified—and researchers are still trying to separate fact from fiction when it comes to health and environmental outcomes.
In the U.S. alone, an estimated 75 percent of processed foods on grocery store shelves contain genetic modifiers. Of American-grown corn, 85 percent is genetically modified, as is 91 percent of soybeans and 88 percent cotton. Is this reason to worry, or do food activists still have much to learn? At their best, GMOs could play a major role in mass producing food sources to meet the needs of starving families worldwide. At their worst? Well, that burger might just end up taking a bite out of you.
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Key Facts In This Video
Farmers have modified plants and animals in some form for more than 12,000 years. (0:37)
Some studies have concluded there is not an increased risk of problems associated with GMO products. (2:47)
There's conflicting evidence as to the effect of GMOs on the environment. (3:54)