Research Topic: Unsafe Foods?

I propose to research genetic modifications made on food and the risk of health as a result. I read the possible research topic that Josh had posted earlier in the week. The post titled “Food and You” and I thought it was a great research topic. I think it’s a really good and counterintuitive topic. People think and know that fast food is bad for you and as a result think that home cooked meals are healthy. However what some people do not realize is how all of the food is altered. Food is altered in so many ways with hormones and other chemicals that it has become unhealthy. This is a topic that I am looking forward to researching. Thank you Josh for adding this onto the blog.

Why Do People Fear or Accept Genetically Modified Foods?

Plant Breeding

Introduction to Plant Breeding

Transgenic crops

Dangers of genetically modified foods: confirmed

Introduction to Genetic Modification


Genetically Engineered Crops


  • This article comes from the Center for Food Safety in regards to the risks of genetic engineering and modifications of plants and animals.
  • 60% of processed foods are genetically altered. Studies have shown that genetically engineered foods can pose risks to humans, wildlife, and the environment. Impacts on human health can be antibiotic resistance, immune-suppression, cancer, and higher risks of toxicity. Environmental impacts can lead to biological pollution, plant and animal species extinction, and infection of non-genetically  engineered life forms with hazardous genetic material. However further studies need to be done in order to find long term effects if there are to be any.

Genetically modified foods: harmful or helpful?


  • This article talks about the advantages, disadvantages, criticisms against genetically modified foods.
  • Some possible advantages are pest resistance, disease resistance, cold tolerance, and nutrition. Some possible disadvantages and criticisms against are environmental hazards, gene transfer to non-target species, human health risks, and economic concerns.

Genetically modified foods: are they a risk to human/animal health?

Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms

Legal Regulation of Risk Analysis and Genetically Modified Foods
GMOs and Resolution of Conflicts Under the WTO
Toxicity Studies of Genetically Modified Plants: A Review of the Published Literature 


  • This article is about the World Health Organization (WHO), risk assessment, and toxicity studies of genetically modified (GM) products. This source also gives a number of key words that will help me with further research in the second paragraph of the second page.
  • The WHO defines genetically modified organisms as organisms in which the genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. To make something genetically modified the genes of one organism must be transferred into another, and also between non-related species. This process can be used to make genetically modified plants. According to the WHO adverse effects from GM products would be minimal. It is also mentioned that genetically modified crops should be tested and observed more because it is not perfected yet.
Health Risks of Genetically Modified Foods 


  • This article discusses health risks of genetically modified (GM) foods, has toxicity studies, and the effects of consuming these foods.
  • As genetically modified foods have been introduced into our diets concerns have risen regarding the safety of the consumption of these foods. Animal toxicity studies with certain GM foods have shown that they may affect several organs in the system. These affects on certain organs may have possible health effects on humans. Results of most studies indicate possible toxic effects. However further studies need to be done in order to find long term effects if there are to be any.
Risk Analysis and GM Foods: Scientific Risk Assessment 


  • This article covers risk assessment of GM foods, and the history of genetic engineering, and food safety.
  • Genetic engineering emerged in the 1970′s. The first genetically engineered foods were crops to provide an alternative to pesticides. Second generation of genetic modifications provides traits such as enhanced nutritional or health-promoting characteristics that are of benefit to consumers. Concern has been raised about the safety aspects of food derived of genetically modified products.
Public Opinion, Risk Assessment, and Biotechnology: Lessons from Attitudes toward Genetically Modified Foods in the European Union
Administrative Authorizations, Risk and Biotechnology 


  • This article discusses biotechnology, risks, and the uncertainty of GM foods.
  • Human beings have always been threatened by natural hazards that they have tried to eliminate by means of science and technology. However science and technology have also created threats, risks and problems. Genetically modified foods are an example of risks that science has developed. It is unclear if GM foods are harmful and further research needs to be done.
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2 Responses to Research Topic: Unsafe Foods?

  1. davidbdale says:

    I join you in your appreciation for Josh’s topic, Alen, and I’m very happy you find it intriguing enough to research further. Of course, I’ll need you to focus your attention on a specific, narrow, and verifiable thesis as soon as you can.

    This first assignment to gather five sources can be fulfilled quickly and sloppily, or it can offer you a chance to begin narrowing your topic early and effectively without a tremendous amount of effort.

    Follow as many leads as you like, but not merely to collect five somewhat related sources. Instead, read enough to begin to focus your attention and choose from among the many angles this wide subject matter offers. If pesticides are interesting to you, see what you can learn about just one. If genetically modified organisms (GMOs) intrigue you, find the one that seems most counterintuitive (tomatoes enhanced with DNA from piranhas?) and track the history and effects of that unlikely modification to our food supply.

    The sooner you can convince me you’re embarked on a genuine search for verifiable data on a topic of real interest, the happier I will be. (The happier you’ll be too, for that matter; you’ll know you aren’t wasting your time.)

  2. davidbdale says:

    I’m dropping by the old Research Proposals today to see how much your projects have changed since you first proposed your ideas (and to lay some grades on you).

    Obviously yours is quite different today than when you started, Alen. You’re still researching food safety, and gene manipulation, but that’s about the only resemblance to the original comparison of junk food to home cooking.

    This was a strong proposal when you first posted it, Alen, and I see you’ve been back many times since to update it. That exercise has earned you a very nice grade for this assignment, since I promised you all you could continue to update your posts until I graded them. Very nice work.

    Grade posted.

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