The growing discussion about GMO presence in our food chain has become a platform for anti-agriculture propaganda. As a young farmer and agriculturist, I have a desire to share my experience and knowledge on this topic.
What is a GMO?
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is the result of introducing a desired trait from one plant or organism into another plant or organism through the use of biotechnology.
Biotechnology is a form of science where living organisms are used to modify, improve or develop a desired result in another living organism. Examples of biotechnology include: bread, cheese, wine, beer, and ethanol.
There are eight crops that contain herbicide tolerance and insect and disease resistant GMOs in the U.S.: corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, papaya and squash.
Future (waiting approval) examples of GMOs include: vitamin A enhanced rice, high carotene mustard seed oil, vitamin A enhanced cassava, enriched sweet potatoes, edible vaccines and many more.
Why do I plant GMOs?
My family and I plant seeds that contain GMOs because we care about the environment, our health and safety and our economic sustainability. Each year we have a choice to plant conventional, non-GMO, seed to meet our needs to grow corn, soybeans and alfalfa. We choose varieties with GMOs, which are $50/acre more expensive, because the technology provides us with a product that meets all of our environmental, safety and profit considerations.
The fact is, farming is a risky business and we have to make investments that minimize the risk.
Just like buying insurance, we invest in crop technologies. However, GMOs are better than insurance because they enhance the benefits of the performance and grain quality upon harvest. We plant GMOs because we couldn’t achieve our environmental, social and economic goals without them.
Why do I sell GMOs?
For the past six years, I have spent over 15,000 hours selling and promoting the sale of seed containing a GMO. Why? Because our products are enhanced by a well-tested and proven technology that provides economic and environmental benefits to our direct and indirect customers. In addition, it has given me a great opportunity to earn a competitive wage, engage with world-class leaders and work with farmers to feed the world. I sell GMOs because I believe in the people and products that are improved by them.
Why you should support GMO technology?
I’m asking for your support and advocacy of GMO technology. GMOs directly impact the future of agriculture and our capacity to improve the environment, meet social standards and ensure economic stability. You should support GMOs because they are scientifically-proven to be sustainable, while enhancing our lives and those of future generations to come.
For more information, visit www.gmoanswers.com or www.Geneticliteracyproject.org.
Mary Butcher says
GMO is neither all bad but not all good. Some examples are the lifesaving biologic medications created with mouse enzymes and proteins, as well as antibiotics that also have the potential to harm us. Roundup ready vegetation still competes with resistant weeds that grew in my neighbor’s field, potential deleterious effects on wildlife and honeybees are some of the concerns. Neither side pro and con are all wrong nor are they all right, but as much as both want to be all right the possibility is nil. The claim that GMO adversaries propagandize against agriculture may really only be a difference of opinion as well as GMO advocating for its position on the issue. Instead of making these blanket statements and squelching the opposition, would it not be more productive to utilize tools like honest and ethical research and studies? I prefer to respect the diversity of opinions. But until I see more evidence for the safety of GMO products, i will seek out non GMO. I am only a senior citizen with 2 1/2 acres, but grow quite a bit of my own produce without pesticides and the seed is not GMO. After all, aren’t most of us really interested in a safe place to live, play, and a quality life for our families?
You plant GMO’s because it is profitable. I have interviewed over 70 farmers here in Canada. The one thing that every single farmer has told me whether they grow conventional of GMO’s is the eat organic. They do not believe the GMO’s are safe and they do not believe all the chemicals are safe. Many have expressed guilt over what they are serving up to their fellow citizens but they all say again the same 2 things. No one wants to pay what it costs to grow the food so the farmers need to grow in a way that results cheap food and GMO’s are subsidized. Number 2 no one wants to work on the farm doing manual labor so the farmers need to find a way to farm the land in a way that can make it a one or 2 man operation which the chemicals achieve. I have seen the ads in the paper “wanted 300 people to pull weeds. No experience necessary” Then when no one answers the ad the farmer goes and sprays because he has no choice. Spray is expensive and they would rather not use it if they could. Let’s get real about what the issues are.