GMO Foods are Harmful and Disney Grows Them
There has been much controversy over the subject of GMO (genetically modified organisms) food and the harm they may cause to our health. While there are some corporations that support genetically enhanced foods, there has also been a lot of worry on the long term impact of ingesting food that was engineered in a laboratory.
GMO foods are suspected of heightening the reactions to food allergies, damaging our DNA and promoting autoimmune conditions. Overall, the impact on human health by GMOs is still unknown. All human studies have been considered non-conclusive. However, animal studies have shown some worrying results. A European study published in 2011 observed that animals that had been fed GMO foods showed signs of kidney and liver disease after ninety days.
The concern is great enough that many European and Middle Eastern regions have completely banned the import or sale of GMO foods. Some US states and cities have issued their own bans but there is no federal prohibition on GMO foods to date. It is also currently not an FDA requirement for GMO foods to be labeled as such in stores.
So how is Disney involved with GMO Foods that are Harmful?
Through EPCOT, which stands for ‘Environmental Prototype Community of Tomorrow’, a Florida based center that is host to numerous biologist from the United States Department of Agriculture. One of the largest pro-GMO corporations, Nestle USA, helped Disney by funding the 2.5 million square foot greenhouse that is the main exhibit within the ‘Living with the Land’ portion of EPCOT.
This greenhouse displays the results of the scientists’ labor and sports fruits and vegetables in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head. There are also plants that are much larger than they would be if grown naturally, such as a nine-pound lemon and over-sized pumpkins.
Within ‘Living with the Land’, there is tour called ‘Behind the Seeds’ that shows visitors the labs used to genetically modified seeds and provides an explanatory guide through the greenhouse. Visitors can also buy a product known as Mickey’s Mini Garden. These consist of a plant within a tube that is intended to be used to help start home gardens. However, the plants in these tubes are created through cloned plant cells within EPCOT’s Biotechnology Lab rather than being naturally formed. Almost everything within the attraction is in promotion of producing GMO products. Even the food served in the park’s cafeterias is known to be genetically altered in some way.
GMO Foods Are Harmful and Disney Promotes Them to Children
Within this attraction, Disney has provided a display to make Genetically Modified Organisms appear wholesome and family-friendly, which is only added to by Disney’s family-oriented reputation. The moral obligations of this are up in the air, but considering the unknown impact of the GMO on long term health and the negative results of animal studies, I feel this ultimately may be sending the wrong message.