Genetic Modification of Food
Man has been performing genetic modification of organisms for multiple millennia. The difference with recent technology is that we now have a way to make precise modifications instead of what were essentially blind attempts with unknown consequences. There has been no time in history with safer, more effective modification practices.
There is no scientific research connecting GMO crops to significant health or environmental hazards. This includes over 30 years of data.
On average, GMO technology has reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, increased crop yields by 22%, and increased farmer’s profits by 68%. Yield gains and pesticide reductions are larger for insect-resistant crops.
“Organically labeled vegetables are considered by many consumers to be healthier than non-organic or ‘conventional’ varieties. The purpose of this study is to examine the nutritional quality of broccoli using vitamin C, a fragile and abundant nutrient, in broccoli as a biomarker. These samples were obtained during different seasons when the broccoli could be either harvested locally or shipped far distances. The findings indicate that vitamin C could be used as a marker under a controlled laboratory environment with some limitations and, although the vitamin C content of organically and conventionally labeled broccoli was not significantly different, significant seasonal changes have been observed. The fall values for vitamin C were almost twice as high as those for spring for both varieties. The seasonal changes in vitamin C content are larger than the differences between organically labeled and conventionally grown broccoli.”
Extreme opponents of GMO foods know the least about genetics and science, but think they know the most. There is widespread agreement among scientists that genetically modified foods are safe to consume and have the potential to provide substantial benefits to humankind. However, many people still harbour concerns about them or oppose their use. In a nationally representative sample of US adults, we find that as extremity of opposition to and concern about genetically modified foods increases, objective knowledge about science and genetics decreases, but perceived understanding of genetically modified foods increases. Similar results were obtained in a parallel study with representative samples from the United States, France and Germany.
“Organic crops have 34% lower yields (when the conventional and organic systems are most comparable).”
“The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods. Consumption of organic foods may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.”
“We have reviewed the scientific literature on genetically engineered (GE) crop safety during the last 10 years, built a classified and manageable list of scientific papers, and analyzed the distribution and composition of the published literature. We selected original research papers, reviews, relevant opinions and reports addressing all the major issues that emerged in the debate on GE crops, trying to catch the scientific consensus that has matured since GE plants became widely cultivated worldwide. The scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazards directly connected with the use of GE crops. An improvement in the efficacy of scientific communication could have a significant impact on the future of agricultural GE. Our collection of scientific records is available to researchers, communicators and teachers at all levels to help create an informed, balanced public perception on the important issue of GE use in agriculture.”