I’ve been highlighting different aspects about GMOs in the food supply for 3 weeks now – what they are, the pros, and the cons. Today, I will wrap up this series. These are my conclusions based on all of the facts I have researched and presented. There is not a definitive answer on this. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
In general, I think GMOs used in agriculture are a good thing that hold a lot of potential for the future. I am a believer in using technology to help people, and I see that possibility with GMOs. Like most things, they aren’t perfect.
Many people have concerns about the safety of these products. While I can see where they are coming from, I think these fears are inflated. First, people have been crossbreeding different plants for a very long time. Genetic engineering is a more sophisticated version of this practice. No one had concerns until now. Also, there are many ingredients in our food that are considered “generally recognized as safe”. These are ingredients that people have been eating for a long time, so we assume they are safe to consume. Salt is an example. However, through modern research, we now know that consuming excess salt is not good for our health. My thought is research will likely show something similar with GMO containing foods.
There is some debate over whether using GMO crops has reduced chemical use. I find all of the debate rather silly. We don’t know how much chemical use would have increased without the introduction of GMOs, so who knows if they really helped or hurt the situation. While I would hope that we could reduce the use of chemicals in our agriculture, the end result of food is the most important in my mind.
My thoughts on the issue of herbicide resistant weeds is in a similar vein. Plants and animals evolve over time. It is unclear to me that GMO crops are the reason we have more herbicide resistant weeds now. It is possible, but the evidence just is definitive in my opinion.
I do think we need to be more careful with growing GMO crops. First, I wish the plants with added nutrients were available commercially. Why develop these crops without actually growing them? Second, if the point is to make more food to feed a growing population, that isn’t working. Many countries refuse to import some of our grain products that are GMOs. We need to get on the same page internationally for these products to be a real benefit.
As I said, there is no one answer about GMOs. There are experts in both camps. Here is my opinion. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, whether you agree with me or not.
Until next time, happy eating!
Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!