Class blog for sharing and commenting on current events in biology.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Major Grocer to Lavel Foods With Gene-Modified Content

Fiona Staunton                                                                                                March 11, 2013
Core Bio / C-ODD                                                                                          Ms. Davies
Strom, Stephanie. "Major Grocer to Label Foods With Gene-Modified Content." The New York Times. The New York Times, 09 Mar. 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2013. <>.
            This article talked about a major step forward in the food marketing business. Whole Foods, one of the largest food markets , with 339 stores throughout the United States and Canada, recently agreed to start labeling food that is genetically modified. In Europe, GMO foods have to be labeled by law. Recently in the United States, the topic of genetically modified foods has been a hot topic. Many debates have taken place, and some groups are even going into supermarkets and putting labels on foods that may or may not be genetically engineered. The article calls this move a “game changer,” and related it to how Wal-Mart stopped selling genetically modified cow’s milk a few years ago.  This new move for Whole Foods has many people happy. 90 percent of voters in a 2012 poll were in favor of labeling foods with GMOs, or Genetically Modified Organisms.
I believe this article is important to humans throughout the world, especially in North America. Knowing whether or not the food you are putting on your table to eat will impact many choices people make in supermarkets. There is a study in rats that bioengineered food can be harmful. However, Karen Batra, who is a spokeswoman for a company representing the biotech industry said, “without scientific evidence showing that genetically modified foods caused health or safety issues, labeling was unnecessary.” I think giving people the choice whether or not to buy GMO foods will hopefully make people more conscience of the food they are putting in their body, even if there isn’t a lot of evidence out there on GMOs being a potential risk. I believe this is the first of many steps being made by America to help peoples health and start combatting the weight issues going on.
I do think that there could have been some improvements in this article. For example, the writer did not go into depth on whether or not GMO are actually dangerous or not. There was two points, one saying there was a test showing that they were harmful on rats, but another point said there was no evidence to back it up. I believe hard facts about whether or not GMOs are dangerous would help readers understand why the labeling issue is such a big deal to many people.


  1. This was a very well written and interesting response to the article you chose. You did a very good job of criticizing the article. I think you point about not discussing the dangers of GMOs was very valid. I also found your summery very good and helpful in finding out about the article. Specifically, the statistics that you put into the summery were very helpful in proving the point of the article. I totally agree with your opinion that you expressed, as to why this article is important. I think that people have the right to know what goes into their food however we need to do more research on the harmful effects of GMOs. You talked about groups going into stores and putting GMO labels on foods and I think talking about that a bit more could have been very interesting. Overall, you did a very good job.

  2. Matthew Bettino

    I really liked how you picked an article that had such a direct impact on our society. Everyone in our class needs to obtain food somehow, and grocery stores are a very popular source. This article that you summarized had an impact that some of us may see in the coming years. This made your summary easy to understand as well as relate to. Also, I really liked the correction you said that the article needed. You reasoned through why the evidence in the article was insufficient. Also, you told why this information the article lacked was indeed necessary for the reader’s complete comprehension of GMO foods. Finally, I liked how you put in a fact about what society’s view on the topic is. You said the 90% of voters said that they wanted to have labels on GMO foods. This provided me with an understanding of how this topic sits with the public. Knowing this stat makes me believe that GMO labels may become more prominent soon. One thing that I learned from your summary was that, in Europe, GMO labels are already in place. This really makes me think that our country may move towards GMO labels very soon. I also was surprised tom learn how little information there is about the true risks of GMO foods. I think with it being such a hot topics, many tests would have taken place that would have a definite conclusion. One think I believe you could have done better would have been to show the other side of the story. You showed an opinion that was anti-GMO labels. However, you left out any insight about what people who are pro-GMO labels have to say. With this comment aside, I thought you did a really good job of summarizing a really interesting article.

  3. Gregory Mo 4/7/13

    This review very well summarized the article which was a little complicated in parts. You were able to describe GMO’s and the debates surrounding these genetically modified organisms. I like how you also gave the two views of GMO’s and the counterarguments which were backed up by the quote by Karen Batra. You also did a good job of talking about what has been happening with GMO’s and give an example to Wal-Mart which stopped selling genetically modified cow’s milk. I was impressed how much processing could really go into the food I am eating, which is kind of gross. Although there is no evidence saying it causes health issues, I still agree with what you said that we should know what we are eating and it should be labeled. I also learned about GMO’s which I had never heard of, but now if I see a food with that label on it, I will be able to understand what it is, as opposed to just buying it or not. This review could have been even better if you talked about more locally, like if our local Bronxville supermarkets have labeled certain foods with GMO’s or exactly what is happening with this situation near us. Another way this could be improved is by showing exactly who debated over GMO’s, like did farmers support it, or big corporations support the chemically enhancing? But those are just suggestions to add but otherwise this article was very well written and intriguing, teaching me a lot about what I really eat.

  4. This report was a fantastic summarizer of the article, amongst many other things, which as Greg said, was a little confusing at parts. I liked how you had multiple opinions of GMO's and the other side of those views which were backed by the Karen Batra quote. I thought it was great that you connected the article to the real world by giving an example of Wal-Mart stopping distribution and sales of genetically modified cow milk. It is preposterous how much processing goes into the foods I'm eating daily, without any thought. What you said is totally correct, that there should be adequate labeling on every product telling the consumer what they are actually consuming. Again I agree with what Greg said, making the connections locally would be awesome, explaining whether or not local grocery store are selling these types of products. I thought this was a very interesting article and a great reflection on it. Overall very informative.