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EnviroWeekly | The problem with GMOs | The Triangle
Opinion

EnviroWeekly | The problem with GMOs

You would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of genetically modified organisms in our food at this point. It’s a topic often touched upon in the mainstream media, and people have various opinions and theories about the issue of GMOs.

There are articles that argue that GMO food is essential for a growing population. As the human population increases in size, the amount of resources needed to sustain life will be strained globally. Water, oil, grain and rich soil will be used extensively in the future. With current farming practices, agriculture will have to change. Some people view GMOs as a solution to an ominous future because they believe it increases crop yields.

Environmentalists tend to argue that GMOs will meddle too deeply with the workings of nature and the planet in general. For instance, Roundup Ready seeds are mutated to resist copious amounts of herbicides and contain cell toxins to kill insects, and the new terminator seeds will be able to sterilize the plant after one or two growing seasons, making it impossible to recycle the seeds. The risks of GMOs have not be studied enough to see challenges they may create for our health, environment and future food production.

One interesting point that is not made often is that humans are not the main consumers of GMOs. In the United States, 10 billion farm animals eat genetically modified corn and soy every day. Over 70 percent of corn, grain and soy produced in the U.S. is fed to animals in factory farms. Furthermore, an exorbitant amount of water goes into producing the grains for animals to eat and keeping the animals alive until slaughter, and then additional water is required for the process of slaughter.

If you really want to avoid GMOs, don’t eat animal products or animal byproducts. Choosing organic foods yet still eating animal products barely chips away at the issue and doesn’t protect you from consuming GMOs. Globally, humans consume 60 billion animals each year, and we are feeding animals food that humans could easily eat for themselves (unless you’re avoiding GM food). By avoiding GM plants and animals completely, you are taking the best precautions to avoid that food. The most effective choice we have today is where and how we use our dollar for the food we eat and in how we spend our lives.