“Genetically modified organisms,” or “GMO’s,” do not sound like something you would want to eat. When one learns the facts on GMO’s, however, you may develop a different opinion.
Did you know that certain plants that are grown using biotechnology (the process creating GMO’s) have better resistance to pests and disease, meaning that farmers actually have to use less pesticides and fungicides on them? Organic foods, on the other hand, do not always have restrictions on pesticide use. Organic foods are also not grown with built in resistance to pests and bacteria, meaning that while those foods could have less pesticide residue on them, they also have a greater chance of containing pests or bacteria.
Before learning more about the issue, I thought food containing GMO’s meant that chemicals had been added to the food to make it last longer or grow bigger. I thought it was the same as food that was heavily processed, had a lot of preservatives, and was generally unhealthy to eat. Foods developed with what scientists call “recombinant DNA techniques” is a precise way of inserting genes into the DNA of an organism to magnify favorable traits. These foods, which are GMO foods, are those now programmed to be more resistant to bacteria or pests, or not as susceptible to droughts and frosts. It has nothing to do with adding chemicals or increasing the processing, and these foods have been extensively tested by both independent organizations and the government. The result from all scientists is the same: GMO foods pose no greater risks.
Why are some people concerned about GMO foods then? The media likes to focus on those theoretical and false horror stories of GMO foods causing disease, or eliciting allergic reactions. When one looks at the studies and the science, however, GMO foods are a clear good for society, and will help decrease costs and feed more starving people.