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The Great GMO Debate

Are GMOs Harmful or Helpful | Hardy Wolf & Downing Are GMOs Harmful or Helpful | Hardy Wolf & Downing

The nutrition and ethics of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been debated for decades, eventually gaining the attention of President Obama who signed a law in 2016 requiring food manufacturers to disclose which of their foods contain GMOs. While consumer groups lauded the new law’s transparency, there are loopholes that allow manufacturers to avoid disclosing some foods that have been genetically modified. If food agencies like the Federal Drug Administration allow these types of foods to be exempt, are they really that harmful?


GMOs: Harmful or Beneficial?

GMO LiveStock | Hardy Wolf & DowningThe truth is humans have been genetically modifying plants and animals for thousands of years. Our ancestors did this by selectively using seeds from plants that flourished best in the soil. As each generation of crops passed, their traits became more pronounced in their offspring, resulting in bigger, more plentiful harvests.

Genetic engineering is not entirely different except for obtaining desired results through genetic manipulation by scientists instead of breeding. The genetic modification process has created larger, more robust plants and fruits and even made some immune to pests, reducing the need to sterilize crops with harmful pesticides.

The most important question posed by critics of GMOs is, “Is food that comes from GM crops different from food that comes from natural crops?” Federal food agencies evaluate GMO foods to determine if they’re healthy for consumption – if they find a food that’s been distributed to consumers isn’t fit for consumption, they often penalize the food manufacturer with fines or even legal suits. After 30 years’ worth of studies, researchers have found GMOs generally carry the same risks and benefits as non-GMO plants.

However, critics claim GMO plants made with insecticides are harmful to the human body. The genetic chemical used to kill insects is a naturally occurring chemical that destroys insects’ digestive systems when they feed on the plant, killing them in the process. However, this chemical doesn’t affect humans. Humans consume products that are toxic to insects daily, including beverages like coffee.

GMO Fruits and Crops | Hardy Wolf & Downing

However, There Is a Downside …

For all the good that GMOs can do, there are also negative aspects. Some GMO plants produce terminator, or sterile, seeds, meaning GMO plants are incapable of naturally reproducing, forcing farmers to purchase new seeds just to create a single generation of crops. Scientists also argue that the spreading of GMO DNA can infect other crops, however, creating buffer zones to segregate GMO and non-GMO plants can solve this issue.



Get Product Liability Representation with Hardy Wolf & Downing

Regardless of GMO safety, if you believe you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a product made by a food manufacturer, Hardy Wolf & Downing is here to represent your case. We have extensive experience in product liability cases, and aggressively advocate on behalf of clients who have been injured due to unsafe products. Our firm works with qualified industry experts across the country who can provide crucial testimony to a product’s design or manufacturing defects.
Contact Hardy Wolf & Downing today to schedule a legal consultation with one of our attorneys.


Dog Attack Injuries


While dogs are man’s best friend they can sometimes lash out in unexpected ways. Animal bites are common throughout the United States, though most only require minor medical attention. In addition to causing physical injury, a dog bite can become infected. To protect yourself and your loved ones it’s important to understand why dogs attack, how bites should be treated and how to avoid them. (more…)

Insurance Claims Delays Deliver Massive Profits To Industry By Shorting Customers

From an article on Huffington Post:

Unlike many other businesses, the insurance industry is bound by law to act in good faith with its customers. Because of their protective role in the lives of ordinary citizens, insurers have long operated as semi-public trusts. But since the mid-1990s, a new profit-hungry model, combined with weak regulation, has upended that ancient social contract.

“Claims has been converted into a money-making process,” said Russ Roberts, a New Mexico-based management consultant and former business professor at Northwestern University who has studied the insurance industry’s evolution from a service business to a profit-driven machine.

The change started when consulting giant McKinsey & Company sold Allstate and other leading insurance companies on a new system to boost the bottom line: Rather than adjusting claims the traditional way, which gave claims managers wide latitude to serve customers, insurers embraced a computer-driven method that produced purposefully low offers to claimants.

Continue reading on Huffington Post.

A Song of Laws and Damages: Personal Injury in the “Game of Thrones” – Part 2

Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon

Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon (Image courtesy of HBO via the

Game of Thrones’ six seasons of drama and action have amassed a significant body count. While characters of the fantasy series are forced to seek physical revenge for wrongs against them or their loved ones, today’s modern system of law allows victims to pursue financial compensation. In our last blog we discussed the many lawsuits that could be filed against the Stark, Baratheon and Frey families. Read on for part two, chronicling the personal injury caused by even more noble Houses. (more…)

A Song of Laws and Damages: Personal Injury in the “Game of Thrones” – Part 1

Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington in HBO's Game of Thrones.

Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington in HBO’s Game of Thrones. (Image courtesy of HBO via the

HBO’s hit fantasy series Game of Thrones, based off the books by George R. R. Martin, has become a cultural phenomenon. With the seventh season only weeks away, it’s likely that many fans are taking the time to catch-up or get through their latest re-watch of the entire series. (more…)

Families Suing Jose Fernandez Estate

Hardy Wolf & Downing's take on the families suing the Jose Fernandez Estate

The bodies of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and two others, Eduardo Rivero and Emilio Jesus Macias, were found September of last year after a boating accident resulted in the death of all three men. While previously thought to be an unfortunate accident, results from a six-month investigation by The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have recently revealed the true cause. (more…)

Calvin Johnson’s Experience with the NFL and Traumatic Brain Injury

In March of 2016 former Lions receiver Calvin Johnson chose to retire after a nine season career with the NFL, despite having what seemed to be at least several years left. While some people assumed Johnson left due the Lions’ repeated struggles, in his interview with E:60 he revealed that his physical health was the primary motivating factor. After suffering multiple concussions, Johnson ran the risk of falling victim to a traumatic brain injury (TBI) if he continued participation in the NFL.

Constant Concussions

Johnson revealed in his E:60 interview that the prevalence of concussions in the professional football world is much higher than most would expect, and handled in a severely unhealthy manner. “Concussions happen,” Johnson said. “If not on every play, then they happen like every other, every third play, you know.” Despite their frequency, research by Football Outsiders’ Scott Kacsmar noted that zero of Johnson’s 78 appearances on the NFL injury report even mentioned concussions.

Even when facing serious injury, players seem to take whatever steps were necessary to stay in the game. Johnson said that “the team doctors and trainers they were giving [painkillers] out like candy.” Such heavy reliance on strong medication risks creating an even more harmful cycle of addiction and dependency for players already suffering from other injuries.

Hidden Injury

One of the biggest concerns surrounding concussions is not the initial trauma, but the hidden damage that could surface later. Dr. William Meehan, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness, noted that “concussions have a cumulative effect” and “every time you get [a concussion], there’s some effect on the brain that doesn’t go away”. Repeated injury can eventually cause chemical changes in the brain and effect areas responsible for controlling mood, problem-solving and concentration.

Not everyone who suffers a concussion will lose consciousness. Symptoms can include:


  • Headache
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizure
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Blurred vision
  • Weakness or numbness in extremities
  • Dilated pupils
  • Confusion, restlessness or agitation
  • Changes in personality or uncharacteristic behaviors
  • Problems with memory, concentration or thinking

In the days following a serious or traumatic brain injury, it’s extremely important to pay attention to any symptoms and seek medical help if conditions worsen.

If Someone’s Negligence Led to You or a Loved One Suffering a Concussion, Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers in Maine

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact Hardy, Wolf & Downing today. Our Maine personal injury lawyers are intimately familiar with the unique concerns of time delay in the onset and detection of symptoms after suffering head trauma. Our attorneys may be able to prove injuries of this type even weeks after the incident.