Low-income & low-grade Food

After consideration of many topics, it seems that food justice is the topic that is most interesting.   The food business has always thrived and created an unlimited amount of ways to make food interesting for all types of people from many cultures and backgrounds but it is important to recognize those that may not be as fortunate. The specific topic of food justice that will be focused upon is nutrition and affordability for low-income families.   These families usually have a difficult time affording the right food or being educated about what’s right and what’s wrong to eat. The cheapest food is usually the worst type of food. This is one thing that has to change for these low-income communities. The lack of funding in these communities can lead to unhealthy conditions and obesity. According to Hillary Burdette, “Fast food restaurants may also be more concentrated in low-income neighborhoods. The proportion of children’s meals consumed at fast food restaurants has increased in parallel with the childhood obesity epidemic, and consumption of fast food has been frequently implicated as an important cause of childhood obesity” (Burdette. 2004). You tend to see more fast food restaurants populated within areas that are of lower-income because they usually are more affordable. This is definitely a strategy they use when building these restaurants in neighborhoods like this. People just want to survive and will do whatever they believe will contribute to that survival.

According to Eileen Kennedy and Lawrence Haddad’s article, Lessons learned and future priorities, “We now know that national food self-sufficiency is a poor proxy for household food security. It is common to have 20-30% of the population consuming less than 80% of caloric requirements even when the per capita supply of food within the country is at or above 100% of needs.’ It is the household’s ability to obtain food that is critical in ensuring household food security. Of course the ability to obtain food is related to the household’s purchasing power, which in turn is related to the household’s income” (Kennedy 2). The household’s income is the determinant of food security and it is unfortunate that it has to be that way. People should be assisted more or at least be supplied with the education on how to eat better on a budget.   There are ways to supply the correct resources. One way is through the use and operation of food deserts. “The term “food desert” was reputedly first used by a resident of a public sector housing scheme in the west of Scotland in the early 1990s to capture the experience of living in a deprived neighborhood where food was expensive and relatively unobtainable. The phrase first appeared in an “official” publication in 1995, as part of a report from a policy-working group investigating grocery distribution and food retailing on behalf of the Low Income Project Team of the UK government’s Nutrition Task Force. Since then the term has been increasingly used by academics, policymakers, and community groups as shorthand to describe populated urban areas where residents do not have access to an affordable and healthy diet” (Cummins 2014). This is what low-incomes families need more of. Food deserts and less fast food restaurants can be a huge contribution to prevent obesity in these neighborhoods. This is what makes food justice so important.

Citations:

1.Burdette, H., & Whitaker, R. (2004). Neighborhood playgrounds, fast food restaurants, and crime: Relationships to overweight in low-income preschool children. Preventive Medicine, 38(1), 57-63. Retrieved February 22, 2015, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091743503002330

2. Kennedy, E., & Haddad, L. (1995). Lessons learned and future priorities. Viewpoint, 2-6.  Retrieved February 22, 2015.

3. Cummins, S. (2014). Food Deserts. The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior, and Society, 1-1. Retrieved February 22, 2015.

There Will Indeed, Be An App for Minority Education Justice

As previously stated in the research paper, there is a social injustice within the education realm. It’s haunted by its history and its unclarity in the future. To be specific, the social justice here is under representation. Minorities are underrepresented in leadership roles and administration. Perhaps the greatest problem surrounding this injustice is that we are just unaware of how important it is to be properly represented in these roles, and how important it was to be represented in those roles. To address this issue, I plan to make an app for smart phones. Smart phones are the ultimate tool. However, most people, especially young adults, do not prefer to have to search all around for important information. They’d rather have it “pushed” to them.

This app will utilize the internet and it’s ability to gather information and bring it right to your screen instantly. This application is intended for high school students, college students, and recent graduates; as these are the people who are looking for jobs. The app will operate similar to popular dictionary apps work on iOS and Android respectively. Similar to how the dictionary app provides a “word for the day”, this app will provide a prominent black administrator for the week past or present. It will detail where they work, and what major work they have done. This could be seen as romanticizing the position(s). An addition to providing information about prominent black admins now and then weekly, a searchable database within the app that uses location based technology from the smartphone, will help detail where one can find educational institutions that have open administrative positions, as well as the most and least diverse student bodies as well. To make the secondary feature more powerful, a possible connection with Indeed or LinkedIn could work to bring a social media aspect as well as a job board aspect to the application as well. Which fits into the mission of the app.

As previously referenced, the scholarly works of Jerlando F.L. Jackson (A Crisis At The Top: A National Perspective) details why this app is needed.  “An examination of the status for African American in leadership positions is needed to help facilitate the development and advancement for the next generation of leaders.” (Jackson, 2004). What better way to help that then by providing weekly information about prominent leaders and providing a search database to help hire the next? Also in a joint work from Khaula Murtadha and Daud Malik Watts(Linking the Struggle for Education and Social Justice: Historical Perspectives of African American Leadership In Schools). “African American educational leaders then worked to overcome these barriers and pushed to bring Black leaders of education and their staff to the forefront. However, these stories and accounts have not been incorporated into the literature of school administration, leadership, reform and change.” (Murtadha and Watts, 2005). Again, a lack of awareness can be remedied by making that information readily available even outside of the school system, especially because today’s technology allows for us to learn without ever stepping foot into a classroom.

 

There is a flaw in this application concept. Ironically, it is visibility. The Apple App Store and Android Marketplace have matured to hold over one million and then some; applications. It is hard for apps that are not established or a viral hit to make it to the front pages of these app stores. And also the rating systems are at the mercy of public opinion and that could bring complications as well. However, if the application brings any sort of measurable result then the application is a success.

Work Cited

-Murtadha, Khaula and Watts, Daud Malik[2005], Linking the Struggle for Education and Social Justice: Historical Perspectives of African American Leadership in Schools. Retrieved (2015, February, 15) from http://eaq.sagepub.com/content/41/4/591.abstract

-Jackson, Jerlando F.L. [2004] A Crisis At The Top: A National Perspective. Retrieved (2015, February, 15) from http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3211255?sid=21105869691133&uid=70&uid=4&uid=2129&uid=3739256&uid=3739664&uid=2

Racial and Economic Injustice in Food Access in the United States

Access to nutritional food is a fundamental human right in the United States, but unfortunately the food system in the America only provides this access to a select sector of the population. Many low income families in racially mixed, urban areas do not have equal access to fresh, healthy food when compared to those in middle or upper class neighborhoods. Low income areas are more likely to have a McDonald’s and a Burger King, than a Whole Foods or even a proper grocery store. This denial of access has led to a number of problems in lower income areas both from a nutritional and economic stand point. Fortunately sociologists have been working on solutions to the food access injustices prevalent in American society.

In 2004 City Limits magazine reported that in New York City, the wealthiest residents have five times as many square feet of grocery-store space as do the city’s poorest (Griffith 2006). This means that poorer families living within the city limits are five times less likely to eat healthy food than their wealthier neighbors. This is backed up by A 2006 University of Michigan study that was conducted in New York, Maryland and North Carolina that found that “neighborhoods of color and racially mixed areas had half as many supermarkets as predominantly white neighborhoods and twice the number of smaller corner and bodega-like stores, which carry little fresh produce. Similarly, low-income neighborhoods were found to have half as many supermarkets as the wealthiest communities, but four times as many of the smaller stores. Low-income and nonwhite communities in general had fewer natural food stores and fresh produce markets(Griffith 2006).” This problem is compounded by the fact that low income areas have not only low access to supermarkets but also a greater density of fast food restaurants than other areas (Kwate 2008). Therefore it is much easier to get a Big Mac or a pack of Twinkies in most low income areas than it is to get fresh fruits and vegetables. Areas where this disparity in food access takes place are often referred to as “food deserts” and are almost always confined to low income urban areas with a mixed race or African American populace.

Studies indicate the food available in these food deserts can affect obesity rates as well as other related health concerns such as heart disease and diabetes (Kwate 2008). In 2013 The American Heart Association listed cardiovascular disease as the number one major cause of death for black males and females(Go et. al. 2013). The same study also indicated that the rates of high blood pressure (HBP) in black men and women were significantly higher than white men and women. Diabetes is also of major concern in black populations. This is especially true for black women where it is estimated that diabetes can be attributed to abdominal obesity in 39.9% of African American women, compared with 24.0% of white American women (Marshall 2005).

So far public discourse over health concerns have rarely placed emphasis on socioeconomic issues (Galli, Clift. 2012), but there are some exceptions. Bronx City Councilman Jim Rivera has called for legal hearings over whether or not New York City zoning laws could be used to restrict the concentration of fast food restaurants in low income areas (Griffith 2006). And in 1992 Washington State established the Farmers Market Nutrition Program to “provide fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables to families on public assistance” and to “expand the awareness, use of and sales at farmers’ markets.”(Griffith 2006).

Works Cited:

Griffith, M. W. (2006). How Harlem Eats. Nation, 283(7), 36-38.

Kwate, N.A. (2008). Fried chicken and fresh apples: Racial segregation as a fundamental cause of fast food density in black neighborhoods. Health and Place. Volume 14, Issue 1. March 2008, Pages 32–44

Go AS, Mozaffarian D, Roger VL, Benjamin EJ, Berry JD, Borden WB, Bravata DM, Dai S, Ford ES, Fox CS, Franco S, Fullerton HJ, Gillespie C, Hailpern SM, Heit JA, Howard VJ, Huffman MD, Kissela BM, Kittner SJ, Lackland DT, Lichtman JH, Lisabeth LD, Magid D, Marcus GM, Marelli A, Matchar DB, McGuire DK, Mohler ER, Moy CS, Mussoli-no ME, Nichol G, Paynter NP, Schreiner PJ, Sorlie PD, Stein J, Turan TN, Virani SS, Wong ND, Woo D, Turner MB; on behalf of the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2013 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2013; 127:e6-e245.

Marshall M.C. 2005. Diabetes in African Americans. Postgraduate Medical Journal. 2005 Dec;81(962):734-40.

Galli, A. M. and Clift, B. C. 2012. Food Justice. The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization.

Social Justice Topic: Reporting Sexual Assault

The reporting of sexual assault in the United States is something that has hugely declined in the past few years and it is not due to a decrease of the crime itself. Sexual assault is broadly the most unreported crime in the United States (Fisher, Daigle, Cullen, & Turner, 2003; Marchetti 2014). It has been reported that out of 100 assaults only 32 are reported. Out of 32 cases 7 lead to arrest and only 2 are actually prosecution and face jail time (RAINN). It is assumed that the remaining 68% of those who have suffered a sexual assault have chosen not to report due to; lack of faith in the justice system; fears of retaliation; shame/self doubt that are derived form stereotypes and myths. Even for those that chose to initially report the assault, studies show that a lot do not wish to follow up with their report partly because of regrets and/or fear (Marchetti 2014). Some of this shame includes male victims who take responsibility for the assault because stereotypical beliefs that are usually reinforced by society’s values on gender specific roles (Vopni 2006).  These reinforced beliefs are also some of the reasons why some young women stay silent, fearing that they may be blamed or ridiculed for what has happen to them (Vopni 2006). There’s almost a certainty that many women are reluctant to report an assault if they believe that their assault isn’t a “real” or “classic” rape. In other words if it was not committed by someone unknown or leaves a physical injury behind a women is most likely to not convinced that she has truly been sexually assaulted and doubts she will be believed when reported (Vopni 2006; Marchetti 2012).
It is said that victims of sexual assault can in the future suffer from things such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Substance Abuse, self-Harm / self-Injury, Stockholm syndrome, Depression, Sexually Transmitted Infections, pregnancy, flashbacks, Borderline Personality Disorder, sleep disorders, eating disorders, Dissociative Identity Disorder and suicide (Marchetti 2012; RAINN). For those who do not repot their assaults, consequences may lead to them losing opportunities to access victim’s services (Marchetti 2012). Not only that the underreporting Sexual Assaults is financially crimpling to programs and initiatives making it even harder for victims of sexual assault to get appropriate care and attention(Marchetti 2012 ; Fisher et al., 2003). Unfortunately due to society’s myths and stereo types on sexual assault (which are reasoning for the police’s inability to properly serve as “gatekeepers” to the justice system) many assaults are either do not get reported or followed up when reported (Vopni 2006). According to an article by Vicki Vopni the police seemingly use the “real rape “ standards to evaluate sexual assault cases, which further traumatizes victims and add to the list of negative experience associated with reporting to the police (Murphy, Edwards, Bennett, Bibeau & Sichelstiel 2013; Vopni 2006).  An article by Dr. Sharon B. Murphy and colleagues says that studies showed that 32% percent of 125 sexual assault cases did not want to be pursued by the victims, the insinuation is that that practically a result of negative experiences. These negative experiences include victims feeling that the police officer taking their report was rude, insensitive, conceding (in some cases being told that there are higher priority cases to be handle) and feeling imitated by the polices line of questioning.
Although there have not been many studies to explain why those who have chosen to report a sexual assault have done so, but reporting is one of the most important steps when initiating the whole process in criminal justices (Vopni 2006). There is usually an initial assumption that when reporting to authorities, Police officers will believe the allegation, increase the victim’s personal sense of safety and deliver a sense of closure to the victims (Vicki Vopni 2006). When examining “what extent do police incident reports indicate that the victim wishes to drop the case? And what are the reasons documented in police incident reports for victims’ desire to drop the case?” Murphy’s report reveals that a lot of cases documented that victims did not want to press charges even though 11% of victims claimed they were encouraged by the police to drop the charges. Articles such as Murphy’s and Vopni highlight police reporting practices, making us aware that these practices are different among departments; specific language used in the reports, how the investigation is conducted and  the amount of detail officers chooses to include regarding victims’ decisions. There should be specific reporting practices in place for cases of sexual assaults, where police can be held accountable for their interactions with victims including accurate and detailed documentation of all stages of the process in particular the initial stage where cases are critical (Murphy, Edwards, Bennett, Bibeau & Sichelstiel 2013; Vopni 2006). Furthermore, there should be influences that promote arrest and successful outcomes when prosecuting cases of sexual assault. (Marchetti 2012)
Works Cited
Vopni, Vicki. “Young Women’s Experiences with Reporting Sexual Assault to Police.” Canadian Woman Studies 25.1 (2006): 107-14. ProQuest. Web. 15 Feb. 2015.

Marchetti, C. A. (2012). Regret and police reporting among individuals who have experienced sexual assault. Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, 18(1), 32-39.

Murphy, S. B., Edwards, K. M., Bennett, S., Bibeau, S. J., & Sichelstiel, J. (2014). Police reporting practices for sexual assault cases in which “The victim does not wish to pursue charges”. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29(1), 144-156.

https://rainn.org/get-information(2015)

ZH Under-Representation of Blacks [Edu Justice]

Black Under-Reps in Administrative Positions

 

One of the storied areas of social justice that has needed acknowledgement and reform countless times is in the realm of education. It’s often plagued by its history and the problems the future holds. One of the main injustices that lies in education is misrepresentation and under-representation. One of the key parties that suffer from misrepresentation and under representation are the African Americans. However, it is fair to say that other minorities as well suffer from this. To focus this even more, it is the under-representation of African Americans in positions that oversee the student body. Throughout American history, African Americans have fought for equality and a fair chance in many aspects of life thus far. And that has led to a much more diverse student body overall specifically in colleges/universities. The Institute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Education Statistics reported that The percentage of American college students who are Hispanic, Asian Pacific Islander, Black and all other major minorities, have increased. The percentage of Blacks amongst other minorities attending college over the past 50 years has risen from 10% to 15%. That doesn’t seem like much of a growth, but in that same period of time White students have dropped nearly 20%. While a lack of diversity in the student body is an injustice in itself, the trends could point to that slowly but surely changing. However, the real injustice is the lack of proper representation in the administration sectors of colleges and universities. In an excerpt from A Crisis At The Top: A National Perspective from Jerlando F.L. Jackson article in The Negro Journal, we see that this injustice is on the radar of scholars as well what may be the cause of the issue and possible solutions. “Fundamentally, it stands to reason that, those making decisions for a diverse student population, should themselves be diverse…The higher and postsecondary education research literature abounds with recommendations for retaining and advancing students and faculty of color. However, little empirical or practice-based knowledge is provided” (Jackson, 2004). Jackson provides a possible solution of building a conceptual framework, while also producing the proper knowledge for policy implementation. Also it should be identified who possess administration positions that lead to executive positions at colleges and universities that are African Americans. “An examination of the status for African American in leadership positions is needed to help facilitate the development and advancement for the next generation of leaders.” (Jackson, 2004). Also in a excerpt from a collaborative article Linking the Struggle for Education and Social Justice: Historical Perspectives of African American Leadership In Schools from Khaula Murtadha and Daud Malik Watts also acknowledge this injustice with the under representation of powerful black administrators. “Woodson argued that there were serious problems with inaccurate, ill-planned, depoliticized curriculum content and lack of resources, as well as problems with the poor, unethical preparation of teachers.” (Woodson [The Mis-Education of the Negro], Murtadha and Watts, 2005). African American educational leaders then worked to overcome these barriers and pushed to bring Black leaders of education and their staff to the forefront. However, these stories and accounts have not been incorporated into the literature of school administration, leadership, reform and change. (Murtadha and Watts, 2005). The central cause for this injustice seems to be a lack of awareness. Also,in  J. Luke Wood’s Ethical Dilemmas in African American Faculty Representation we get a numbers perspective of this injustice. “Black faculty represented merely five percent of the professoriate in 2003 (NCES, 2006). However, when viewed in light of the percentage of African American students, a disparity is seen in that African American students accounted for 12.5% of the enrollment of college and universities in 2004 (NCES, 2006b). Additionally, while African American faculty represent nearly the same numbers as they did more than two decades ago(Trower and Chait, 2002), the total percentage of the Black population in the United States has increased from 11.7% in 190 to 12.3% in 2000 (Hobbs and Stoops, 2002) (Wood, 2008)” Wood also highlited that while Black adminstrators are under-represented, there is research that shows that African American faculty are just as valuable and maybe even more effective than their other counterparts. He quotes that Black faculty are more likely to engage and collaborate, take on diversity related activities that will help their students learn to function and work in a diverse society, and spend more time working on their teaching strategy and advising students. However, again it is a lack of awareness, education, and other factors involving complications such as Affirmative Action that hurt possible reform. African Americans are under-represented in education leader positions, due mostly to a lack of awareness and education. We must increase awareness, educate our youth no matter the race, and make Black educational leader positions desireable.

Work Cited:

-Postsecondary Enrollment Rates. (Retrieved 2015, February, 15) from http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=98

-Murtadha, Khaula and Watts, Daud Malik[2005], Linking the Struggle for Education and Social Justice: Historical Perspectives of African American Leadership in Schools. Retrieved (2015, February, 15) from http://eaq.sagepub.com/content/41/4/591.abstract

-Jackson, Jerlando F.L. [2004] A Crisis At The Top: A National Perspective. Retrieved (2015, February, 15) from http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3211255?sid=21105869691133&uid=70&uid=4&uid=2129&uid=3739256&uid=3739664&uid=2

-Wood, J. Luke[2008] Ethical Dilemmas in African American Faculty Representation. Retrieved (2015, February, 15) from http://nau.edu/uploadedFiles/Academic/COE/About/Projects/Ethical%20Dilemmas%20in%20African%20American%20Faculty%20Representation.pdf

America Needs Prioritizing

Children are our future. They may be future presidents, icons, and leaders. So why is their education so easily thrown on the back burner? Educational justice should be something that is on everyone’s minds. There should be constant efforts to give every child opportunity, and opportunity begins with knowledge and education. Furthermore, significant effort is needed to keep this opportunity from the constrained of fore comers financial standing and class.

America is consciously making the decision to abandoned education to support big business. According to the article “Poverty and Education” corporations including (but not limited to) Bank of America, Exxon-Mobil, Wells Fargo, Google, and General Electric paid little or no federal taxes in 2009 “thus keeping $222.7 billion out of the federal coffers. According to a report by the National Education Association, $9.8 billion of these lost revenues would have gone to public colleges and schools, adding 100,000 jobs in public education and giving 400,000 poor children the chance to enroll in preschool.”

According to Leonard Vogt, “The real 21st-Centruy problem in public education is poverty.” Educational justice does not live in a vacuum. It is manipulated and changed by other forces. Poverty is one social justice, which is strongly entwined with educational justice. According to Vogt, who references (www.nationofchanae.org. November 11, 2013), a study in October 2013 “indicates that poverty, which has long been the biggest obstacle to educational achievement, is …our true 21st century problem.” The article tells that this aspect of educational justice must be addressed first or no other attempts will help. Vogt furthers this perspective by telling, “economic inequality within the educational structure also contributes to the problem of poverty within education. For example, the top 16 New York City charter school executives earn more than the NYC School Chancellor, in some cases twice as much.” Vogt goes on to describe in statistical detail the pay that college presidents receive, which is rising exponentially (2015).

According to F’abio D. Waltenberg “a reasonable normative goal in terms of educational justice consists of equalizing opportunities for achieving essential educational outcomes.” By saying this Waltenberg is describing that educational justice can be achieved by giving everyone equal opportunity. Equal opportunity is at the heart of educational justice, and often-social justice as a whole.

One example of an attempt to fix educational inequalities was President Johnson’s Head Start program that he enacted during his “War on Poverty.” The program begun in 1965, and today “serves over 800,000 children in predominantly part-day programs, almost 50 percent of eligible three and four year old children” (Currie, 2001). Other programs include the “Houston Parent Child Development Center” (Johnson and Walker 1991), which offers home visits, full day childcare, and center-based programs for parents. A similar program is “The Milwaukee Project”, which offers full day childcare and job/academic training for mothers. Another helpful educational program is the “Early Training Project”, which offers home visits and summer part-day preschool programs.

Education is so mal funded that it is especially difficult for financially challenged parents to give their children a good education. This is why my App will focus on helping these parents identify activities and recourses (such as the programs previously mentioned) that will help their children to learn and grow in a positive way.

Waltenberg, D. F’abio. Educational Justice as Equality of Opportunity for Achieving Essential Educational Outcomes. (2006). Universite Catholique de Louvain. 1-49. Retrieved from https://www.uclouvain.be/cps/ucl/doc/etes/documents/DOCH_157_(Waltenberg).pdf

Curry, Janet. Early Childhood Education Programs. (2001). The Journal of Economic Perspectives. American Economic Association. 15. 213-238. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.libproxy.temple.edu/stable/2696599?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

“Poverty and education.” (2015) Radical Teacher Spring 56. Academic OneFile. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA291352883&v=2.1&u=temple_main&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w&asid=10bc2a45fb642579c9b978b2b40b70d5

EDUCATION, JUSTICE, & DEMOCRACY. (2013). Harvard Educational Review, 83(3), 529-531. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1434423468?accountid=14270

Vogt, Leonard. “Education and poverty.”(2015) Radical Teacher 68. Academic OneFile. Retrieved from

http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA368676633&v=2.1&u=temple_main&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w&asid=f1a4164b10ad73a13d327105e06c6d43

Food Justice: You Should Look at The Label on The Package

WHAT! WHAT! Where am I? What parallel universe is this? Why is this chicken $6.99/lb compared to $2.99/lb elsewhere? Oh yea that’s right, I am shopping at Whole Food Supermarket. Don’t be alarmed you have to expect prices like that when the companies mission statement is “helping support the health, well-being, and healing”. Whole Foods in the areas that it exists are known to stock items of the healthier spectrum and able to accommodate customers who have dietary restrictions. However that’s not all Whole foods does, if you look closer sometimes the mark up on the items is due to how that product was harvested, grown, fed, and shipped. For instance common phrases you might see on the packaging is “Organic, Grass Fed, Hormone free, No Antibiotics Administered, caged free,” or one in particular “Non-GMO’s / No GMO’s”.

The Acronym GMO’s stand for genetically modified organisms and According to IRT, the Institute of Responsible Technology GMO’s or “is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal”(GMO Education). In addition the IRT states that the genes “may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans”. This is a major issue because the use of genetically modified organisms in crops (GMO’s) introduces new toxins and allergens into our ecosystem thus having damaging effects on health caused by unnatural foods.

There has has been countless case studies trying to debunk the effect of the use of GMO’s French scientist Gilles-Éric Séralini, Dominique Cellier and Joël Spiroux de Vendômois wrote the article “New Analysis of a Rat Feeding Study with a Genetically Modified Maize Reveals Signs of Hepatorenal Toxicity” which tested the effects of specimen GMO corn MON863 on the Rats over a 90day period which reviled several finding. The Séralini, Cellier and Vendômois noted, “(GMOs) cultivated for food or feed is under debate throughout the world, and very little data have been published on mid- or long-term toxicological studies with mammals”(Séralini, Cellier and Vendômois 1). The use of GMO’s is under debate but not banned for use. Further more research after a 90-day trial it was concluded that “Longer experiments are essential in order to indicate the real nature and extent of the possible pathology; with the present data it cannot be concluded that GMO corn MON863 is a safe product” (Séralini, Cellier and Vendômois 1). The test shows growth for both sexes, resulting in 3.3% decrease in weight for males and 3.7% increase for females within several days.

John B. Fagan, Ph.D. a Professor of Molecular Biology at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa has several fears correlating with the use of GMOs’. First being, the damaging effects on health caused by unnatural foods, 2) Increased use of chemicals on crops, resulting in increased contamination of our water supply and food, and 3) the spread of diseases across species barriers (Bogart ).

Fagan says, “Genetically engineered foods are being introduced without due regard for health, yet many damaging effects will be irreversible” however Fagan also suggest the following solutions until a permanent answer is found.

  • Any food produced through genetic engineering should be banned until scientifically shown to be safe and safe for everyone. (Bogart 1)
  • Labeling should be required for any food that contains even one genetically engineered ingredient, or that has been produced using genetically modified organisms or enzymes. (Bogart 1)
  • Full disclosure labeling will allow consumers to choose what they eat. It will also help scientists trace the source of health problems arising from these foods. (Bogart 1)

 Untitled

From what I can see the transition from GMO’s too naturally grown produce will be a difficult one, the cost of producing are natural without the additives of any other unnatural substance can be costly. The best thing that can be done is raise the awareness of the American people informing them about the substances in their food, teaching them about the potential health risks. After enough awareness and in the declining sales food manufacturers would be forced to change their harvesting practices to better accommodate their customers.

Works Cited

Bogart, W. V. (2001). Using the Internet for A Global Information Seeking Approach for The Long Term Survival of Humanity and the Eco-System. Retrieved 2 14, 2015, from http://www.earthportals.com: http://www.earthportals.com/geneticfood.html

McDermott, M. (201110 12). What Are GMOs & How Many US Foods Contain Them? (Infographic). Retrieved 2 14, 2015, from Treehugger.com: http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/what-are-gmos-how-many-us-foods-contain-them-infographic.html

GMO Education. (n.d.). Retrieved February 14, 2015, from http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-education

Séralini, G., Cellier, D., & Vendomois, J. (2007, May 1). New Analysis of a Rat Feeding Study with a Genetically Modified Maize. Retrieved February 14, 2015, from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00244-006-0149-5

How to Shop if Avoiding GMOs l Whole Story l Whole Foods Market. (2014, September 12). Retrieved February 14, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YasosMF4yDA