GMOs aren’t as bad as they’re made out to be
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
There are so many things in our food that we’re told to avoid nowadays. Trans fats, carbs, gluten—but none of them are more avoided than the dreaded GMO. I know there are many articles out there about how bad these things can be for your body and the planet, but after doing some research I think the production of genetically modified foods shouldn’t be seen as something to fear, but as a necessity for our world’s food supply.
We’ve all heard the arguments that genetically modified organisms (GMO) are bad for you and the environment. Some claim that they’re linked to cancer, that they contaminate other organic crops, or that the pollution will outlast nuclear waste and global warming effects. Because of these claims, they are so scrutinized that some companies label their food to assure consumers that it is free of these pesky organisms. In fact, non-GMO products are so popular, sales of foods labelled as non-modified exceeded $10 billion in the US in 2014. While so many people are concerned about genetically modified foods, there isn’t a lot of evidence that justifies this concern. Actually, according to the website GMO Answers, many scientific experts like the World Health Organization, United Nations Food, Agricultural Organization, and the American Medical Association are in consensus that GMOs are safe to eat. So, to me, it sounds like a lot of fear mongering.
GMOs aren’t as bad as they’re made out to be. In a 2016 study by the Pew Research Centre, 88 percent of American Association for the Advancement of Science members said GM foods are safe to eat, and 92 percent of working PhD biomedical scientists concurred. Additionally, GM foods in Canada are considered safe to eat by Health Canada, so we shouldn’t have to worry about them. Thanks to consumer anxiety, GM foods are made out to be the bad guys. However, if you do some research, they actually yield a lot of benefits to the supply and sustainability of food.
You can believe what you want about the harmful effects of GMOs, but there’s no denying they have some significant advantages. Genetically modified foods were developed to have numerous benefits. These benefits include resistance to weather damage, easier growth in some environments, producing more crops, foods that bruise less easily, carrying less diseases caused by viruses and insects, and finally they can be modified to carry more nutrients. For example, a GM crop called Golden Rice has been modified to carry more vitamin A, which helps fight malnutrition in developing countries.
When all is said and done, practically everything is supposedly bad for you in one way or another, so quit worrying about what ingredients in your food might cause some health concerns which haven’t been proven. Considering how much GMOs do for our food quality and quantity, I’d say the pros outweigh the cons.