GMO Know

There’s much hubub nowadays regarding Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), and their effects on people and the environment. Here are a few tips to help you sort through the information flurry
Compiled by Ilana Pregen | June 5, 2018 | Lifestyle

1. SETTING IT STRAIGHT: GMOs aren’t inherently bad — people have been eating genetically modifying plants (using selective breeding) for thousands of years.

2. PARTS ARE CROOKED: What is bad about GMOs? Well, several things, potentially. But one of the biggest detriments is the business model into which they fit.

3. CIRCULAR LOGIC: Crops are genetically engineered to contain a chemical that kills common pests, before they develop resistance to the chemical. Then the farmers have to buy a newer, better crop to kill the now-resistant pest.

4. MORE CIRCLES: Crops are also genetically engineered to resist herbicides. Spray around these crops and they won’t die, but weeds will. The problem? Now weeds have developed resistance!

5. SUPER DILEMMA: Why should you care about super-pests or super-weeds? Their existence usually demands use of harsher chemicals, which wrecks the environment, and will maybe, one day, wreck humans, too.

6. VIETNAM VINTAGE: Think that day is far away? The USDA is poised to approve crops genetically engineered to resist 2,4-D, an integral ingredient in the biochemical warfare herbicide Agent Orange.

7. YAY!…WAIT…: Concerned scientists have developed viable, eco-friendly proposals to prevent weed-resistance and pest-resistance. These proposals typically don’t favor biotech companies, so they are usually ignored.

8. BYE-BYE BUTTERfLY: Crops genetically engineered to resist herbicide kill monarch butterflies. Herbicides kill the weeds; but the weeds are food for these butterflies.

9. JUST SEMANTICS: So you know, it’s not GMO Food — that means, “Genetically Modified Organism Food.” It’s GM food: “Genetically Modified Food”; or food from GM (Genetically Modified) plants.

10. GMOs IN YOUR FOOD: Whether or not GM Foods are safe to eat is unclear. Long-term testing on animals has not developed a consensus of opinion. And human-testing is scant and difficult to conduct.