In this article, we’re going to probe those questions and a few more to help you fully understand GMO once and for all. It has been quite a hot-button topic for quite some time, but what is GMO exactly? People are led to believe that it’s some abomination people are putting in our food; a simple internet search will turn up thousands of confusing results like dense data, frightening images, etc. All with a healthy dose of skepticism.
GMO stands for “genetically modified organism” and it refers to “the process by which changes occur in an organism’s genome,” according to Michigan State University. Brad Day, professor and associate department chair for research at MSU, said: “It’s important to understand that all organisms – not just those that are the basis of foods – are genetically modified in some way, shape, or form.”
In fact, the process of genetic modification and selection is to thank for modern dog breeding and plant breeding. It’s a common practice found naturally and unnaturally in our world. All of the GMO stuff you hear about gets its roots in genetic engineering and are not only common but also naturally occurring to some degree.
Are GMOs Safe?
One of the top things you’ll see surrounding GMOs is whether or not they’re safe. GMOs have been accused of being “unnatural,” “dangerous,” and even “toxic.” Rebecca Grumet, of the MSU Department of horticulture, said: “Modification through genetic engineering. In terms of alterations to a plant’s genome, what’s important is not the method that was used. It’s what genes or traits have been introduced. The idea behind genetic engineering is that it’s more precise, and it lets scientists take advantage of traits present in a given species to better another.”
Grumet went on to say that hundreds of independent research studies have found no larger risk associated with GM crops and that there is scientific consensus on this topic.
Do we need GMOs?
The fact of the matter is that the US is spiraling towards overpopulation. We’re going to need new, creative ways to sustain our population. Genetically modified crops could be the solution to this problem. GM crops could allow for agriculture to grow to a more industrial scale fitting for the increasing population. GM crops are also more affordable. They can manufacture more GM crops for far cheaper than traditional agriculture. This makes it more sustainable for more of the population, not just options for the upper-classes.
So, in short, we do need GMOs, but we need them to procure a sustainable future for all. We need genetic modification to survive. GMO foods are not as dangerous or scary as some like to make them out to be. Genetically modified crops are actually a huge advancement to ensure sustainability for our ever-increasing population.
It is not harmful to our bodies; in fact, every living being goes through the process of genetic modification, at least to some degree, as the body adapts to its surroundings in order to survive. If you are still foggy on the topic of GMOs and genetic modification in general, we encourage you to research this fascinating subject further. It could be the way of the future and, perhaps, the only way to a sustainable future if we keep going at the rate we are.
There are many options for non-GMO foods, just look for the NON-GMO Project label. “The Non-GMO Project is a mission-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to building and protecting a non-GMO food supply. We do this through consumer education and outreach programs; marketing support provided to Non-GMO Project Verified brands; and training resources and merchandising materials provided to retailers.”