Destructive Effects of GMO on Children

I. Introductory Paragraph

A. Attention getter: Children are considered to be innocent, naive and completely depend on adults to survive; however, the truth is that children have become even more vulnerable than ten years before.

B. Relation to audience: Can it be considered a coincidence that the incidence of food allergies has increased since 1996 – the same year GMO’s were introduced into our food? How many children at schools suffer from food allergies? The cause may be due to the genetically modified (GM) corn and soy in the breads and cookies and the GM oil and sugar found in many of today’s products.

C. Credibility: I am a loving parent of two beautiful children.

D. Thesis: I want my children to eat healthy and not genetically modified food.

Transition: So, what is genetic modification?

II. Body Paragraphs

A. Definition of GMO and its development: GMO refers to a plant or animal that has DNA modification through the insertion of new genes from a different species or even a different plant or animal kingdom. As a result, such modification gives the plant new characteristics, like taste improvement or resistance to pests and drought. If one begins to research GMO, one will find a considerable amount of contradictory and incomplete information. The long-term effects of GM contamination on crop genetic diversity are not known, but recent research on animals have definitely shown its destructive influence. In a recent study by a team of scientists from Russia, hamsters fed a diet of GM soy were sterile by the third generation. Other studies report significant destruction of livers and stomachs of experimental animals, along with higher rates of cancer when fed a diet of genetically modified food. So, studies with GM foods indicate that it may cause pancreatic, hepatic, renal, and reproductive damage and may alter hematological [blood], immunologic and biochemical parameters, the significance of which remains to be determined through chronic toxicity studies.

B. GM products in US: Engineered foods in the U.S. include corn, soy, canola oil, cottonseed oil and dairy from cows fed with a genetically engineered hormone. Milk from cows treated with the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH) contains an increased amount of the hormone IGF-1, which is one of the highest risk factors associated with breast and prostate cancer. How much GM food does a typical student eat while at school? No one knows for certain, since food companies do not have to label the ingredients from GM crops. What is known is that 91% of the soy, 85% of the corn and 90% of the sugar beets grown in this country are genetically modified.

C. What parents can do: As parents, there is a lot we can do. The first is to learn more detailed information from our brochures. Collectively, we can demand from the Department of Education that they adopt a GMO-free policy in school food, based on the best available scientific evidence. The Safe School Food Coalition will initiate a letter writing campaign next month aimed at top school officials for the purpose of raising awareness of this issue. Promote the issue with your family and friends.

III. Concluding Paragraph

Children are at the greatest risk from the potential dangers of genetically engineered foods. Their rapidly developing bodies may be significantly affected by the potential toxins and nutritional differences associated with these foods. Children are also more susceptible to potential allergic reactions and the effect of increased hormones in milk from cows treated with a genetically engineered growth hormone (rbGH). While we are in the process of removing junk food from the schools, we should also remove the even more dangerous biotech food from our children’s lunch boxes. We believe that our efforts to provide safe products for our children are justified. All parents need to protect their children from danger, and the more information we possess, the more we can do to effect positive change.

Arvanitoyannis, Dona A. IS. “Health risks of genetically modified foods.” Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009; 49: 164–175
Kyriakidou, Dina. “Greece to further test, destroy any GM cotton crops,” July 4, 2000, Reuters News Service. Available on the Internet:
Surov, Alexei. “Genetically Modified Soy Linked to Sterility, Infant Mortality, Birth Defects.” survey of 2010. Available on the Internet: