I’ll just come out and say it. We’re one of those big, scary farms that raises GMO crops. Yes, my husband and his father use GMO corn and soybean seeds to help ensure they can produce more with less and have a crop each year to contribute to our food supply. The crops surround our house and populate the fields my son plays in and we walk through on a weekly – sometimes daily – basis.
There was a time in our farm’s not-so-distant-past that GMO seeds did not exist and a corn or soybean crop was not guaranteed from one year to the next. Drought, extreme heat or pests could destroy entire fields. This impacted our farm but more importantly, it impacted our ability to help provide for others. A key component of this country’s continued stability and success is its ability to feed its people all year, every year. GMOs help make that possible.
My husband and his father are not bad guys with ulterior motives. Both have families they want to see for years and decades to come and consume the same products they grow. But both understand that making a crop more tolerate and environmentally friendly through the enhancement of some genes is good business. Why continue to use pesticides when you can design a plant that naturally withstands insect invasions? And who wants to use more water than necessary to raise soybeans? Using technology in our food allows us to be better stewards of our land and raise more with less.
The benefits of seed technology has not just hit farmers and consumers in this country, but people in impoverished Africa have substantially cut their risk of blindness through rice that contained additional Vitamin A. And more recently, bananas have been developed that could help starving families on the other side of the world. (Read more about the Super Bananas HERE). If allowed to move forward, scientists across the globe have the ability to make amazing and life-changing discoveries, carried out through technological advances in the food supply.
So when people fear GMOs and claim they are the cause of our aliments and disease, I point to study after study that finds GMOs safe for human consumption and a vital component of our ability to deliver safe and affordable food to everyone, everywhere. If GMOs leave the field, farming as we know it will take a major step back and millions of people across the world will no longer be able to afford their food or have access to life-saving, nutritionally superior products.
We have allowed technology to make so many aspects of our lives, better. So why not let it improve our ability to feed ourselves and others?
For more on this topic, I encourage you to read the following blog, recently published in The New York Times. http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/well/2015/06/08/fears-not-facts-support-gmo-free-food/