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The Fuss Over GMOs

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We have all heard the says “you are what you eat”, but what does that really mean today?  Modern agriculture and farming are constantly changing in order to figure out how to feed a rapidly growing population of over 7 billion people worldwide, 320 million of that being in the United States alone.

Probably the biggest developments to have come about in light of this issue are GMOs and GMCs.  For many people, hearing those two acronyms is enough to make you cringe.  “GMO” stand for genetically modified organism, while “GMC” stands for genetically modified crop.  One of the most important aspects of this whole concept is understanding what exactly a GMO is.  According to IRT, a GMO is the result of a process done in a lab where the DNA of the organism is extracted and put into the genes of a different, unrelated organism.  These organisms make up 94% of the soy bean product, 90% of the cotton produced, 88% of the corn product, and a handful of other major crops that are farmed.

So all of this seems simple enough, and what is the big fuss over consuming GMOs?  Well, here is the thing, recent studies that have been done show a possible link to the increase in toxin level in the consumer’s body, as well as possible allergy development.  What is important to remember is that the changed DNA found within these organisms has the potential to changed the DNA found within the consumer’s body.  Additionally, many GMOs have been engineered to product their own pesticides and herbicides, which is great if we are solely focusing on the fact that this reduces the need to spray harmful chemicals.  However, when thinking about the fact that consumers either eat food made with these crops or wear products made with these organism, there is a little bit of an uneasy feeling that arises.  Additionally, it is important to at least just mention that factory farming and the production of GMOs has a negative effect on the farmers.  Finally, while the lasting effects of GMOs are not yet known, it can already  be seen that they have a negative effect on the environment.  Many of these crops leave a toxic residue in the soils.  Biodiversity is also a major concern, as it is needed for an ecosystem to thrive and grow.  Planting GMOs only stops pollinators from finding food, nutrients from returning to the soil, and there is definitely a possible link to water pollution.

So what can we do about this harmful development?  The answer is actually quite simple and goes back to “you are what you eat!”  The fix lies in the concept of awareness.  Finally there is a move by big food companies to ban the use of GMOs in their food.  Just in these past few weeks Chipolte banned the use of GMOs in their food, saying that they were “G-M-Over it”.  It is looking like the beginning of a new food revolution.  Additionally, it is important to note that these same companies producing food in the US, make their products without GMOs overseas.  We are the change!  Get to know your food, you may be surprised.

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About the author

Hello! I am currently a college student working on getting my B.S. in Sustainability Science. I like to write about all different types of environmental issues that concern me.

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