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:
- Receive a classmate’s paper from your professor (in class if on-ground; via discussion thread if online).
- Obtain the Peer Review Feedback Form from the course shell.
- Comment on all criteria, noting strengths and / or areas for improvement on the feedback form.
- 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:
- Identify the course, assignment, and date.
- Provide positive feedback, where appropriate, on the criteria.
- 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
215: Research and Writing
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)
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
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.
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)
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,
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.
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.
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.
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)
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 http://www.aaemonline.org/gmopost.html
Acosta, Luis March, 2014 US
Restrictions on GMO http://www.loc.gov/law/help/restrictions-on-gmos/usa.php
Byrne, P September 2010, Labeling
of Genetically Engineered Foods http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09371.html
Bashshur, Ramona February 2013, FDA
and Regulations of GMOs http://www.americanbar.org/content/newsletter/publications/aba_health_esource_home/aba_health_law_esource_1302_bashshur.html
European Food Authority, May 23, 2013 Genetically
Modified Animals http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/gmanimals.htm
Smith, Jeffery March 2008 http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_11361.cfm
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,
8 Provide a concluding paragraph
/transitional paragraph that summarizes the
proposed solution and its advantages.ENG 215 – Appendices
+ 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
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