Genetically Modified FoodsWhat are your thoughts on genetically modified foods and why is America in favor of it than our European counterparts?

Expert Answers
brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

They are not necessarily inherently bad, but I also think we really don't know what we're doing when we modify genes.  We can do it scientifically, but we are pretty bad at gauging what the long term effects will be in terms of the habitat and species, and economic effects on farmers and humans.  I think we pursued it out of profit motive first which is usually not good for consumers.

America is less concerned environmentally than our European counterparts, whatever show we may put on otherwise, and much more business friendly when it comes to these kinds of things.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since my dad's an agriculture type, I tend to follow his lead.  He thinks they're safe, he's got a Ph.D. in plant pathology, so I believe that he knows more about it than I can.

I think Americans are in general more receptive to the idea that technology can cure all and that change is good.  I think the Europeans are a little more "conservative" in that way -- like with the French and their desire to keep their 8 million kinds of hand-made cheese instead of having more generic stuff like we eat...

lynn30k eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What bothers me is the profit motive. Yes, firms need incentives to spend money to try to increase yield, but being able to patent lifeforms leads to interesting problems. I would watch "Food, Inc" for an overview. What is most telling to me is that when Monsanto "refutes" info in the film, it misstates what is actually IN the movie. Genetically modified straw man.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Genetically modified food scares me because it makes me wonder what I am putting into my body. I would much rather ingest wholesome, natural food that I know is healthy for me. I believe it is important to be technologically advanced but if what we have now is healthy then why try to change it.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Americans have a tradition of wanting convenience. We are ok with our food being genetically modified if it lasts longer without spoiling, looks shiny and colorful, and costs less. Unlike Europe, we don't have a long history of farmer's markets and vegetable gardens.
ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Newer understandings of evolution recognize the importance of mutation and variation within a population as a process that alters genes in a population, so isn’t this a little bit like that. Is it the fact that man is doing the altering that which disturbs us?

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is my understanding that a lot of the focus of genetically modified foods is on the crops themselves. Altering the genetics of the crop to be drought resistant, protection against certain pests and herbicides, and also to produce more nutritional crops.

frizzyperm | Student

I think Americans are in general more receptive to the idea that technology can cure all and that change is good.  I think the Europeans are a little more "conservative" in that way pohnpei397

(Europe is conservative??? Stem Cell Research bans? Hundred million dollar museums to Creationism? Murdering abortion surgeons? Evolution??? Dolly the sheep, the LHC etc.)

Eurpope's reluctance to embrace GM crops is based on a very real fear that we have no idea how they will behave in the wild. Whereas the US Gov has buckled to corporate greed. Releasing modified supercrops into the environment is untested and a huge gamble.



epollock | Student

I tend to disagree. That's what they thought about high fructose corn syrup after it came out. Now it's not so good for us. I tend to think that modifying anything is not good. As long as you can get your nutrition from regular foods, there is almost no need for it.