Research and Writing

Aug 21st, 2014
Price: $10 USD

Question description

Peer Review Assignment 
Due Weeks 6 and 8, worth 50 points apiece

Peer reviews should provide feedback to a peer on the criteria expected in the paper. The Feedback Form can be downloaded from the Appendices section of the course guide by clicking the link here. Follow these instructions: 

  1. Receive a classmate’s paper from your professor (in class if on-ground; via discussion thread if online). 
  2. Obtain the Peer Review Feedback Form from the course shell. 
  3. Comment on all criteria, noting strengths and / or areas for improvement on the feedback form. 
  4. Provide completed Peer Review Feedback Form and classmate’s paper as directed by your professor. 

Note: On-ground students should submit the feedback form and paper to the professor during the class meeting in which the paper is reviewed; online students should submit the feedback form and paper to the professor via the course shell.

As you read a classmate’s paper, address these criteria:

  1. Identify the course, assignment, and date.
  2. Provide positive feedback, where appropriate, on the criteria.
  3. Identify areas for improvement, where appropriate, and recommend improvements.  

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  • Recognize the elements and correct use of a thesis statement. 
  • Recognize transitional words, phrases, and sentences.
  • Identify effective sentence variety and word choice. 
  • Identify positive qualities and opportunities for improvement in writing samples.
  • Analyze the rhetorical strategies of ethos, pathos, logos in writing samples and for incorporation into essays or presentations. 
  • Correct grammatical and stylistic errors consistent with Standard Written English
  • Recognize how to organize ideas with transitional words, phrases, and sentences.

Click here to view the grading rubric for this assignment.

Genetically Modified Foods – The need for Strict Regulations in the US

O’Dane Johnson

Strayer University

Professor Lisa Teitler

ENG 215: Research and Writing

August, 2014

There have been a great number of concerns specifically within the US on the use of GMOs in consumer food products. As a result of these concerns the regulations that govern the use of GMOs in food within the US must change in order to reduce the risk factors in humans. According to the World Health Organization, a number of studies over the past decade have revealed that genetically engineered foods can pose serious risks to humans, domesticated animals, wildlife and the environment.(WHO, 2014) The article also states that ,”Human health effects can include higher risks of toxicity, allergenicity, antibiotic resistance, immune-suppression and cancer.” (WHO, 2014) As for environmental impacts, the use of genetic engineering in agriculture will lead to uncontrolled biological pollution, threatening numerous microbial, plant and animal species with extinction, and the potential contamination of all non-genetically engineered life forms with novel and possibly hazardous genetic material. (Acosta, 2014)

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be defined as organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. The technology is often called “modern biotechnology” or “gene technology”, sometimes also “recombinant DNA technology” or “genetic engineering”. It allows selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another, also between non-related species. Such methods are used to create GM plants – which are then used to grow GM food crops. (WHO, 2014) The use of these GMOs in the nation’s food supply has received increasing media attention due to growing concerns regarding their safety. Consumer, environmental and farmer organizations have raised objections not only regarding the GM food products,but also the safety of the chemicals applied to GM crops.(Phillips, 2008)As the debate continues regarding risks to human health, questions have arisen as to whether the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), tasked with regulating food safety, should act to assess the risks of these foods separately from non GM foods and in the interim, require labeling so that consumers are informed of whether GM ingredients are present and are empowered to make purchasing decisions accordingly. (Lynch, 2001)

Specificity of the association of GM foods and specific disease processes is also supported. Research has shown significant immune dysregulation, including upregulation of cytokines associated with asthma, allergy, and inflammation. There have been other effects discovered such as altered structure and function of the liver, including altered lipid and carbohydrate metabolism as well as cellular changes that could lead to accelerated aging and possibly lead to the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Changes in the kidney, pancreas and spleen have also been documented. (WHO, 2014) Medical professionals have identified intestinal damage in animals fed GM foods, including proliferative cell growth and disruption of the intestinal immune system. (Smith, 2008) Because of the mounting data, it is biologically plausible for Genetically Modified Foods to cause adverse health effects in humans.

Currently only a handful of varieties of GMO corn, soy, and cotton are being grown, but they are used on the vast majority of American farmland.  When an insect pest, fungus, bacterium, or genetic disorder attacks these varieties, it will likely spread quickly across the country.  Already we are seeing higher rates of burn and blight in crops treated with Roundup. According to Scot Cooney,”The rest of the world is not nearly as enamored with GMO technology as is the US.”(Cooney, 2014)  Exports to the European Union are near zero, and the disaster of GMO implementation in India has had terrible consequences on small farmers there. Using GMO crops means buying patented seeds from one source, buying intensive fertilizers, and buying thousands of pounds of herbicide.  In short, the cost to produce GMO crops is much higher and the risk much greater with sustainable agricultural methods.  Moreover, the longer soil is treated with herbicides, the less active it's biomass.  Successive plantings of GMO crops tend to weaken the soil; promote disease in plants, and lower yields.

In the developing world, GMO farmers are caught in a dire no-win situation.  The cost of growing GMO crops requires them to borrow money, and the harvest must be sold at the highest price to recoup the investment.  Often, these small farmers cannot afford to eat the crops they grow, since the best price is on the export market. Traditional farmers need very little investment and can live off their land. US universities have largely defunded traditional crop breeding research in favor of allowing biotech seed firms' proprietary research.  Often, conventional seeds are no longer available to the average farmer.  American has delegated traditional food research to other countries and the United Nations.  Intensive cross breeding, hybridization, and selection using conventional means with new scientific techniques has been shown to safely increase yields by up to 100%.  GMO single gene artificial mutations show only 15% to 25% gains, with unknown dangerous side effects.

Two basic regulatory issues surround GM foods (1) keeping GM crops intended for animal or other use separate from those intended for human consumption and (2) requiring labels for foods containing some portion of GM material. Currently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulate portions of the GMO process. Companies have had to recall corn products when GM corn intended for livestock consumption accidentally entered the human food market and GM crops used for pharmaceutical production contaminated crops intended for food consumption. Farmers and food organizations as well as those opposed to GMOs have called for tighter regulation. FDA guidelines do not require labeling of GM foods unless the food differs significantly from its natural version.

Much of the World Already Requires Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods. Currently, 64 countries around the world require labeling of genetically engineered foods.  Unlike most other developed countries, such as 15 nations in the European Union, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Russia and even China – the U.S. has no laws requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods. (Byrne P, 2010) Labeling empowers the buyer. In order to choose between products with or without genetically modified organisms, consumers need transparent, controllable and straightforward labeling regulations. However, the extent and breadth of these regulations are decided politically. In other countries all food, and any ingredients, directly produced from a GMO must be labeled, even if this GMO is undetectable in the final product. (ESFA, 2013) By law, the use of GMOs is prohibited for products defined as 'organic'. Nevertheless, these products are permitted in certain cases to contain slight traces of genetically modified organisms. New, strict labeling regulations took effect in April 2004. (Byrne, P 2010) Many people expected that they would soon find products with GMO labels in grocery stores. With the notable exception of the Netherlands, GMO labeled products never really appeared. (Lynch, 2001)

When it comes to the environment the issues of concern include: the capability of the GMO to escape and potentially introduce the engineered genes into wild populations; the persistence of the gene after the GMO has been harvested; the susceptibility of non-target organisms (e.g. insects which are not pests) to the gene product; the stability of the gene; the reduction in the spectrum of other plants including loss of biodiversity; and increased use of chemicals in agriculture. The environmental safety aspects of GM crops vary considerably according to local conditions. (WHO, 2014)

The United States does not have any federal legislation that is specific to GMOs.  Rather, GMOs are regulated pursuant to health, safety, and environmental legislation governing conventional products.  The US approach to regulating GMOs is premised on the assumption that regulation should focus on the nature of the products, rather than the process in which they were produced. Compared to other countries, regulation of GMOs in the US is relatively favorable to their development.  GMOs are an economically important component of the biotechnology industry, which now plays a significant role in the US economy; they are the world’s leading producer of genetically modified (GM) crops.  In 2012, of the 170.3 million hectares of biotech crops globally, the United States accounted for 69.5 million, over 40% of the total. For several crops grown in the US, genetically engineered varieties now make up the vast majority of the crop.  In 2013, 93% of the soybeans, 90% of the cotton, and 90% of the corn grown in the US were genetically engineered for either herbicide tolerance or insect resistance. Over 70% of the food sold in U.S. grocery stores contains some portion of genetically modified material. The federal government regulates GM foods through current plant and animal inspection, pesticide and toxic substance, and food safety laws and regulations. The USDA, FDA, and EPA regulate different aspects of GM plants and food. (LOC, 2014)

Many European countries oppose GM foods. The European Union as a whole is currently deciding on the extent of GM food labeling it will require. Within the European Union (EU), the application of GM technology is strictly regulated for domestic and imported goods. The EU has established a legal framework regulating GM food and feed derived products as well as the release of living GMOs into the environment in order to ensure a high level of protection of human and animal health, and the environment. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) role is to independently assess and provide scientific advice to risk managers on any possible risks of GMOs for human and animal health and the environment and to propose appropriate measures to mitigate the risks. While it acknowledges the broader societal, political and economic concerns over GM animals, EFSA does not consider these aspects when carrying out its scientific assessments. In Europe, it is the role of risk managers, such as the European Commission and the Member States, to decide whether a GMO or a derived product can be placed on the EU market. Currently, no GM animals or derived products are on the EU market, nor have any applications for GM animals been received in the EU. (ESFA, 2013) The GM products that are currently on the international market have all passed risk assessments conducted by national authorities. These different assessments in general follow the same basic principles, including an assessment of environmental and human health risk. These assessments are thorough; they have not indicated any risk to human health. The European Union as a whole is currently deciding on the extent of genetically modified food labeling it will require. Individual countries such as Sweden and France call for labeling all GM products (including pet food in France). France, Italy, Luxembourg, Denmark, Belgium, and Austria have maintained a moratorium on GM foods for four years. Europeans are more concerned with the possible effects of GM foods and tend to be more environmentally conscious, with countries like Germany having an environmental caucus sharing power, for example. Europe's reluctance has been costly to American farmers, estimated at a loss $200 million per year. (ESFA, 2013)

The regulations that govern the use of GMOs in food within the US must change in order to reduce the risk factors in humans. These issues will continue to be brought to the FDA’s attention as consumers continue to mobilize on the labeling issue and state legislatures begin to address it. Further, as awareness builds, farmers and consumers are increasingly turning to non-GM products, especially since GM corn has not lived up to promises. As a result it may be time to revisit FDA policy on GM foods.

Genetic engineering, corporate control of people's food, and overreliance on pesticides and herbicides are not the solutions. So what is? According to an article published by Greenpeace International, Ecological Farming (otherwise refer to as organic agriculture) is the solution to mitigating the use of GMOs. Not only is this method of farming safe, it is the method that have been used for centuries and it is doable. There are quite a few benefits to Eco Farming.

The first advantage to Ecological farming is that it keeps food production in the hands of farmers and away from corporate control. (Greenpeace, 2014) Traditionally, farmers save seeds from a harvest for replanting, which saves them the cost of buying new seeds and reduces their dependence on seed vendors. Monsanto’s prohibition on replanting is designed to stop this practice, creating a steady stream of revenue from farmers who must purchase seeds from the company every year. The article states that “Currently, 2.6 billion people (40% of the world’s population) are small-scale farmers. These farmers produce most of the food we consume. Ecological farming is proven to be more profitable for farmers in studies from Europe, Africa, Asia and America.”  (Greenpeace, 2014) Ecological farming enables communities to produce enough food to feed themselves. This form of agriculture fosters a future of healthy farming, and healthy food, to all people.

The second advantage is Ecological farming helps cope with climate change. Ecological farming helps the world’s population to mitigate, and adapt to climate change. Many management practices used by organic agriculture increase the return of carbon to the soil, raising productivity and favoring carbon storage. Soil organic carbon contents under organic farming are considerably higher. The more organic carbon is retained in the soil, the more the mitigation potential of agriculture against climate change is higher. (Byrne, 2010)

Greenpeace highlights the facts that research have also shown that ecological farming makes sense economically. First, this modern farming method leads to increased crop yields. Globally, ecological farming can produce an average of approximately 30% more food per hectare than conventional agriculture. In developing countries, ecological farming can produce roughly 80% more food per hectare. (Greenpeace, 2014) Second, cost efficiencies come from using natural, locally-available fertilizers and organic pest control. This saves costs on synthetic chemical inputs that pollute. Finally, evidence indicates that ecologically farmed products taste better and promote better health. The World Health Organization states that a “recent study in California shows that organically-grown strawberries taste sweeter than their conventional, chemically-grown counterparts. The organic variety also contains 10% more dietary antioxidants, which are known to protect against disease.” (WHO, 2014)

  The US regulations should discourage conventional farming and promote Economical Farming. The benefits are far greater, than the use of GMOs. As we have highlighted Organic Agriculture is safer. It helps to balance the environment from a climate perspective where it helps to deal with climate changes. Organic farming also helps from an environmental standpoint where there is less pollution. There are little or no health risk affiliated with such method of farming. It is also beneficial economically as it encourages farmers to produce more. This will also boost global trade with countries that are against the use of GMOs.


American Academy of Environmental Medicine, AAEM 2008

Acosta, Luis March, 2014 US Restrictions on GMO

Byrne, P September 2010, Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods

Bashshur, Ramona February 2013, FDA and Regulations of GMOs

Cooney, Scott 2013, The Economic Argument against GMO’s

European Food Authority, May 23, 2013 Genetically Modified Animals

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), May 2013 Genetically Modified Animals

Greenpeace International 2014, The Solution – Ecological Farming

LOC May 2014 Restrictions on Genetically Modified Organisms,

Lynch, Diahanna and David Vogel April 5, 2001 The Regulation of GMOs in Europe and the United States

Phillips, Theresa, 2008 Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs): Transgenic Crops and Recombinant DNA Technology

Smith, Jeffery March 2008

World Health Organization 2014, WHO

Appendix A: Peer Review Feedback Form 2

Reviewer’s Name:_________________________________________ Date:_____________

Writer’s Assigned #: _______________________________________

Course:_________________________________________________ Section: ___________

Assignment 4: Persuasive Paper Part 2: Solution and Advantages

Peer reviews should provide feedback to a peer on the criteria expected in the paper. Follow these 


1)Receive a classmate’s paper from your professor (in class if on-ground; by e-mail if online).

2)Copy the Peer Review Feedback Form from the Appendix.

3)Comment on all criteria, noting strengths and / or areas for improvement on the feedback form. 

4)Provide completed Peer Review Feedback Form and classmate’s paper to your professor. 

Note: On-ground students should submit the feedback form and paper to the professor during the 

class meeting in which the paper is reviewed; online students should submit the feedback form and 

paper to the professor via the Assignment Tab in the course shell


Comments+ Strengths < Areas for Improvement

1 Revise, using feedback from the professor 

and classmates, your Persuasive Paper 

Part I - A Problem Exists. 

2 Part 2

Included a defensible, relevant thesis 

statement clearly in the first paragraph.

3 Explain a detailed, viable solution that 

supports your thesis. This should be one or 

two (1-2) paragraphs.

4 State, explain, and support the first 

advantage (economic, social, political, 

environmental, social, equitable, 

ethical/moral, etc.) to your solution. This 

should be one or two (1-2) paragraphs.

5 State, explain, and support the second 

advantage (economic, social, political, 

environmental, social, equitable, 

ethical/moral, etc.) to your solution. This 

should be one or two (1-2) paragraphs.

6 State, explain, and support the third (and 

fourth if desired) advantage (economic, 

social, political, environmental, social, 

equitable, ethical/moral, etc.) to your 

solution. This should be one or two (1-2) 


7 Use effective transitional words, phrases, 

and sentences.

8 Provide a concluding paragraph 

/transitional paragraph that summarizes the 

proposed solution and its advantages.ENG 215 – Appendices

Criteria Comments

+ Strengths < Areas for Improvement 

9 Develop a coherently structured paper with 

an introduction, body, and conclusion.

10 Use one or more rhetorical strategies 

(ethos, logos, pathos) to explain 


11 Support advantage claims with at least 

three (3) additional quality relevant 

references. Use at least six (6) total for 

12 Other

I need you to evaluate the student paper i have pasted above

I need you to comment on 1-11 strengths and areas for improvement

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