GMOs

Peace Chijioke and Fahim Rahman

A 2015 poll published by the American Broadcasting Company revealed that 52% of the American public do not believe GMOs are safe. A bulk of these concerns are due to the fear that GMOs pose a threat to human health, are less nutritious, and a danger to environmental health. However, much research has been done and proves otherwise.

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Photo courtesy of Seacoast East Local
Health & Nutrition

The Genetic Literacy Project debunked ten studies that “prove” GMOs are harmful to health, including a greatly flawed study that tied GM crops to cancer. Another popular claim made by anti GMO activists is that GMOs have led to gluten disorders faced by millions of Americans. However, no scientific research proves this to be true. Yes, the consumption of GMOs have increased along with gluten allergies, but this is not a case of causation. When the fact that GMO wheat isn’t even commercialized is taken into account, there is no ground on which gluten allergies can be tied to their consumption. The amount of skinny jeans worn in the U.S. has also increased along with the consumption of GMOs, but it would ridiculous to relate those two instances. This stands true for GMOs and health risks.

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Photo courtesy of Brian Tomlinson

 

Environment

Another popular argument made by those who oppose GMOs is that they pose a harm to the environment, especially those bred to resist pests. Transgenic research disproves this. Biotech crops bred for natural resistance to pests are less harmful to biodiversity than conventional crops because glyphosate, which is the pesticide used in conjunction with GM crops, is less persistent in the environment and less toxic to animals. New Scientist who initially strongly opposed GM crops withdrew their statements and noted, there was “no conclusive evidence of direct negative impacts on biodiversity of GMOs that have been commercially released” upon the release of this study, further relating how detrimental it is not jump to conclusions especially on a topic that so largely impacts the global population.

Food Security

Although it has been largely accepted that there is currently enough food being produced globally, to feed the world’s population, some 795 million people lacked a sufficient amount of food to lead healthy lives in 2015 alone. This along with the speculated 9 billion people (2 billion more than the current global population) expected to inhabit the Earth by 2050 calls for an urgent reform in food production. In 2013 out of the 18 million farmers who grew GM crops in 27 countries, 90% of them were small and resource poor farmers. The growth of farmland has increased globally  for eighteen years straight. It can not be denied that GM crops make for increased food security.

To effectively target the malnutrition faced by the global population today, to ensure the success of our prosterity the use of genetically modified organisms, particularly those bred for consumption, ought not to be condemned.