The food industry is ripe with debate about GMO food products. One side argues that they are harmful to us and the environment; the other side argues that humans have been manipulating plants for eons, so whats the harm? The truth is that nobody actually knows quite yet. The research is still fuzzy because quite frankly we have not had enough time to determine the actual effect of these products.
Why GMOs Are Bad
There are a lot of things that make GMO products less than desirable. Here are just a few:
GMOs harm the environment. These organisms are created in a lab. They are super plants and can cross pollinate and spread rapidly. Once their genes are spread around, there is no way to clean them up.
GMOs harm the body. There are some studies that show that GMO foods are not as healthy as organically non-GMO foods. Some studies even show that GMO foods can leave material behind in the body.
GMOs harm the crop. Many GMO foods are developed to be herbicide proof. What this means is the food plant is resistant to weed killer. The farmer can then spray weed killer all across his crop and destroy the weeds but leave the crop in place. But what can happen is the weeds mutate and become resistant to weed killer.
The list goes on, but as the reasons continue some are specious and merely opinion. The truth is that many of the effects will not be known for several decades.
Why GMOs Are Good
Just as there is a list of reasons to avoid GMOs, there are reasons to keep them around.
GMOs increase crop yields. Many modifications include resistance to pests. For instance, Syngenta has created a type of GMO corn that is resistant to common corn eating pests. This means higher yields for farmers.
GMOs reduce pesticide need. Farmers could get by without the pest resistant crops. But it would mean more chemicals on the plants.
GMOs increase crop size. The actual fruit or vegetable is larger. This means more food per fruit and can help fight against world hunger more effectively.
The list could continue, but the bottom line is crops are bigger, yield is higher, and chemical use is (theoretically) reduced.
Are GMOs Good or Bad?
Every person can decide for him or herself whether or not to eat GMO products. There will always be a group pushing for them, and a group fighting against them. Non-GMOs will be available even if mainstream society deems them to be safe, so you will never be forced to eat them.
What do you think? Are GMOs acceptable, or should they be banned?