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Looking at Both Sides of the Genetically Modified Foods Issue

Looking at Both Sides of the Genetically Modified Foods Issue

Genetically modified (GM) foods hold many promises for improving life. With their amazing breakthroughs, biotechnology firms have manipulated the genetic structure of many high-demand crops, bestowing them with amazing properties. Natural herbicide and pesticide-producing genes have been inserted into corn to kill off weeds and pests without directly poisoning the environment. Production costs and maintenance time have been decreased through genes that bestow rapid growth and hardiness in tomatoes. The firms even claim that their modified foods can vaccinate in the near future! With these impressive foods, the implications are wondrous: farmers could immensely increase their profit, markets could rapidly expand, and world hunger could finally be solved. Given these astounding benefits, why would any farmer not want to grow GM foods? Opponents of GM foods respond by raising grave questions: do GM foods truly hold up to their promises? Have the firms researched possible dangerous side effects of their tampering? By eating the unnatural foods, are humans risking their lives? Let us investigate both sides of GM foods and decide if they are worth the investment.

The farmers’ primary route to increase their market is by expanding globally. This is not easy, but can be made easier with the new hardy, pest-resistant, low maintenance GM crops. Low maintenance means lower prices, which will increase the number of crops sold. However, lower prices are not the only part of the equation. Consumers must believe that what they are buying is safe. No matter how low the price goes, it will not sell if consumers don’t trust the product. This has been the fate of GM…

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…mon Research Ends.” The Evening Post [Wellington] 26 Feb. 2000: 21. Online. Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe. 22 June 2000.

Gwyn, Richard. “GM Foods.” Editorial. Toronto Star 20 January 2000, ed. 1. Online. Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe. 22 June 2000.

The Hunger Site. 24 June 2000. .

Kilman, Scott. “Biotech Scare Sweeps Europe, and Companies Wonder If U.S. Is Next.” Wall Street Journal [New York] 7 Oct. 1999: A1 .

—. US Consumer Pressure Forces McDonald’s and Other Fast Food Chains to Ban GE Potatoes. 25 June 2000 .

O’Brien, Delan. “Genetically Modified Foods.” Letter. Irish Times [Dublin, Ireland] 12 June 2000, city ed.: 15.

Online. Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe. 24 June 2000.

“Tasty Foods May Rev Up Immunity.” Prevention: April 1995: 28-30.

The Condom Distribution Debate

The Condom Distribution Debate

The topic of condom distribution in public schools has caused many heated debates throughout our country in the last decade. Proponents of distribution state that free condom distribution will ensure that teenagers will practice safe sex and that the rate of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy will decline. Opponents of distribution state that free condom distribution will encourage sexual activity and foster the idea that premarital sex is acceptable. Judges in federal court have even considered whether or not condom distribution and sex education without prior parental notification violates parents’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The only viewpoint absent in a discussion of this very controversial topic is the one that holds the most value: the viewpoint of America’s teenagers. Teenagers are the only ones who can fully explain why condom distribution fails to respond to the needs that foster sexual activity among young people.

Though I am not a sexually active teenager, refraining from sexual involvement has been difficult. I have been in serious relationships where the desire to have sex has been complicated by emotional expectations. Abstinence is especially hard in a society that seems to promote sex, as long as it is “safe” sex. I feel that the support, which used to come from authority figures such as parents and educators, is crumbling because of the initiation of programs such as condom distribution. It is as though parents and schools have forgotten that some teenagers, for whatever personal reasons, do not desire to be sexually active. I do not minimize the need to educate teenagers about safe sex and the risks of sexually transmitted diseases, for I am …

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…far more beneficial outcomes than those which any condom can deliver.

Works Cited

Fanburg, Johathan T. (1995, May). Students Opinions of Condom Distribution at Denver, Colorado, high school. Journal of School Health. v65 n5 p181(S).

Gow, Haven Bradford. (1994, March-April). Condom Distribution in High School. The Clearing House. v67 n4 p183(2).

Leo, John. (1994, June 20). Learning to Say No. U.S. News

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