As I continue on with my classes in public health subject areas, I have become more wary of the cocktail of chemicals in our foods and personal care products. One area I hadn’t looked into too deeply was genetically modified foods, until a presentation where I chose them as my subject.
A food product that is genetically engineered is a product “in which the crop DNA is changed using the gene-insertion techniques of molecular biology.”
Genetically engineering crops is just one of many methods that are used to increase production. Others include: crop breeding; chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides; crop rotation; and organic methods.
The advocates of GMOs promise the following:
- GMOs are just a more precise way of breeding plants, a time tested and safe practice.
- Nutrition can be improved in developing world.
- Higher yield will feed the world on less land with economic benefits for farmers and consumers.
- Less pesticide/herbicide application and fewer environmental impacts.
Norman Borlaug, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and Presidential Medal of Freedom have criticized the critics of GMOs as anti-science and elitists ignoring the food needs of the developing world.
The promises of GMOs have not been fulfilled since GMOs were introduced in mass to US agriculture in 1996. Instead, food allergies have skyrocketed along with rates of obesity and other health ailments. The food companies have been unable to prove that their products are unconnected to the rise in food allergies. Its time to just label it.
Hit the jump to address the promises of GMO foods…