With all the hue and cry you hear from environmentalists, neo-preppies, and climate change antagonists that genetically modified organisms (GMO) are the work of Satan, it sounds like the world is coming to an end. Europeans will not allow the import of American corn, soybeans, or other US grown foods that have been genetically modified to combat pests, or to make food crops more drought resistant. Environmental groups are violently against GMO crops. Organic enthusiasts are particularly against these crops.
Before my research for writing this article, I knew very little about the field. Indeed, I have always been skeptical about claims that GMO foods are bad for us. Corn fed to beef and pigs have been modified. Soy beans whose oil goes into virtually every vegetable oil on the market have been modified. We have been modifying foods and other natural products for a long time.
Historically, pretty much every plant or animal food we consume has been modified in one way or another. For example, today’s corn plant had to be domesticated and was interbred over thousands of years to become today’s dietary staple. Ditto pretty much everything else. In 2009 about eighty-five percent of the US corn crop was genetically modified.
So why are people upset over the process? I think people are naturally skeptical of anything new, and some testy people are especially suspicious or critical of anything mankind does. Climate change is a prime example. It has become a political football in spite of the benign nature of climate change. Sure, climate changes all the time, and all those changes are not bad. Some are good.
Likewise, some genetically changed foods are better than their predecessors. They cost less to grow and harvest, perform better against pests, or are more resistant to drought.
There are no scientific studies that show that GMO foods are harmful to humans or the environment. What are some of the claims of the crazies?
1. GMO crops are causing the honey bees to die in mass quantities.
2. GMO crops are destroying the environment.
3. GMO crops that are herbicide resistant (Roundup resistant) are causing more herbicide resistant weeds to develop.
4. GMO food crops are causing more allergy reactions in humans.
The list can go on, and on. In every case that I have investigated, there are no credible scientific studies that show harm to anybody or anything caused by genetically engineered food crops.
Organizations that advocate loudly against GMO crops are political, anti-capitalism, and anti-human. More than anything, these anti-GMO advocates are collecting money from unsuspecting and ignorant environmentalists and kooks all over the world, similar to Greenpeace and other extreme advocacy groups.
Don’t forget to follow the money.