Day 12: GMOs: The Basics

Q: What are GMOs? 

A: GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, which means that the organism has been genetically altered to obtain desirable characteristics.

Q: Why do we need GM crops?

A: Through the use of biotechnology, crops can be engineered so that they are resistant to diseases and pests, tolerate specific herbicides and harsh environmental pressures, and help farmers by increasing crop yields. GMOs positively impact the environment by decreasing the amount of pesticides and herbicides needed in order to grow a successful crop. According to U.N. statistics and forecasts, “the population of the world in 2000 was around 6.18 billion, but is expected to become 8.15 billion in 2025 (representing a 31.84% increase in just 25 years). Such population growth will of course result in an increase in the demand for food (AgBioWorld).” Are we producing enough food today to feed the world in 2025? The answer is no. It is essential that that agriculture industry continue to improve upon and utilize available technologies to increase yields and efficient crop production to meet the demands it faces today and in the future.

Q: Are GM crops safe to eat?

A: The answer is yes. GM crops are the most widely tested crop on the market. There is no scientific evidence that suggest genetically modified crops pose any health risks.

These are just some basic questions and answers regarding genetically modified crops to give you a better understanding of the topic. I believe it is important to take advantage of the science that is available in the world today and focus on practicing sustainable agriculture, this being said, I am thankful for genetically modified crops.


Resources:

“Do Humans Need GMOs?” Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge, Vol. 8. AgBioWorld, 2011. Retrieved from: http://www.agbioworld.org/biotech-info/articles/biotech-art/need-GMOs.html.

“Biotechnology Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).” United States Department of Agriculture, 2015. Retrieved from: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=AGRICULTURE&contentid=BiotechnologyFAQs.xml.

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