made us more efficient and enhanced our quality of life. When it comes to agriculture, technology
is seen as a negative by some consumers. I believe technology is a positive thing for farmers,
consumers and our planet.
A technology that has received lots of attention lately is GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) seeds/
plants. The term sounds a little scary and has people wondering how GMO’s impact food quality
and safety. On our farm, we prefer using hybrid seeds with special traits such as resistance to some
pests and resistance to drought. We use Roundup Ready corn which means we can apply Roundup herbicide to control weeds while allowing the plant to thrive. The goal of hybrid and GMO seeds is to select desirable traits that will produce a better quality product.
|Me in our field of Sudan Grass|
The following blogs and websites provide factual information about GMO’s. Just in case you don’t
have time to read them all, I’ve included a quote from each article.
Best Food Facts website
Frequently Asked Questions – GMO’s
“Biotech products are far safer than other methods that are used to introduce traits and value
into crop products. We have been modifying crops for about 10,000 years. And a lot of the older
technology is not subject to regulatory review because it is “generally regarded as safe”, or GRAS.
An example of this is RoundUp Ready soybeans (ones that can tolerate pesticides and herbicides).
Before being made available to the public, they were subject to 1,800 tests.”
What Effect do GMOs have on Human Health?
“Foods that have been genetically modified undergo testing for safety, health and nutrient value. The
nutritional value of GMO foods is tested and compared against non-GMO foods. Numerous studies
have shown no nutritional differences between commercially available GMO and non-GMO foods. In
fact, genetic modification can actually improve the nutritional content of some foods”
9 GM Crops Grown Commercially in the United States
You may find it surprising to know there are only nine GM crops commercially available in the United States.
U.S. Farmers and Ranchers website
It’s Been Said: GMOs are bad for human health
“Farmers’ yields continue to increase while the amount of land used continues to be the same or
even decrease. Many of our farmers plant biotech seeds for reasons such as protecting their crops
from adverse weather and pest and disease pressures. Additionally, with the use of biotech seeds,
pesticide use has been reduced, which is better for the environment.”
Common Sense Agriculture’s Blog
Labeling, GMOs, GMEs, and COOL
“All biological organisms, plants, animals, bacteria, etc., have been modified, or changed, since
the beginning of time. In some cases it has been through natural processes, outside of the direct
influence of man. In other instances, man has directly modified through selection. For example,
keeping wheat that had more grains per head, grass that could tolerate drought, cattle that gain
weight quicker or more efficiently are all manners in which man has modified organisms.”
Terry Etherton Blog on Biotechnology
Why Genetically Modified Crops?
“GM is a method to introduce new genes that can improve crop performance. In the last 14 years,
both GM HT (herbicide tolerance) and insect resistance have been enthusiastically adopted by
farmers in the USA, Argentina, Brazil, India and China. The outcomes have broadly been positive;
easier weed control, better insect control with reduced insecticide applications, increased carbon
sequestration by low till agriculture, and increased farm incomes.”
Common Ground – Conversations about Farming and Food website
Quote: “Every plant improved through the use of food biotechnology is examined by the FDA
and EPA for potential health risks. Tests are done on plants before entering the food and animal
feed supply. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that current foods containing biotech
ingredients have passed human health risk assessments. In addition, the WHO says no effects on
human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of biotech foods.”
Weighing in on the Safety of GMO Foods
Quote: “Seeds that have been altered genetically to be pest-resistant or drought-resistant or
otherwise more resilient help us to grow better crops with less water and less chemicals. It’s also
important to note that the process of genetically altering seeds is not very different from plant
breeding that has been going on for centuries.”
I feel very comfortable consuming products produced from GMO seeds and don’t hesitate to feed
these products to my family. I’m grateful for scientists who have worked hard to create this valuable
technology that allows farmers to be more efficient, consumers to benefit from quality foods they
desire and the environment to thrive because it takes fewer natural resources to produce the same