UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | June 18, 2024

The Agvocate: GMOs are not going to kill you

With the media pushing consumers to buy non-GMO, organic, pesticide-free, and so on, it can be difficult to find products that make them feel at ease. Knowledge is power, and understanding the many food items available may assist consumers in taking care of their nutrition and making informed decisions about what they put on their plates. Jenessa Walgren | Sun News Daily

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In an era where scientific advancements shape our world, understanding genetically modified organisms has steadily become more important.

I strive to equip readers with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions about purchasing GMOs and their important significance in our lives and the environment.

As a four-year Future Farmers of America member and avid performance horse enthusiast, who grew up on the outskirts of the Delta community surrounded by corn and alfalfa fields as far as one could see, agriculture has always had a special spot in my heart.

Rodeoing and stock-showing livestock throughout high school ignited my passion to inform others about “the joys and discomforts” an agricultural life can bring, all while educating those who may have never been around progressive agriculturists and family farms.

For thousands of years, humans have been selectively breeding to modify organisms to fit their needs and wants. Genetically engineered organisms are no different.

The United States Department of Agriculture openly reports that scientists use genetic engineering to take favorable genes, like insect resistance or drought tolerance, and transfer them into crops that Americans eat.

Genetically engineered corn, soybeans, cotton, potatoes, papaya, summer squash, canola, alfalfa, apples, sugar beets, and pink pineapples are grown in the U.S.

When consumers see large words or phrases they don’t understand, a sense of fear can set in, and that is why GMOs have been given a bad reputation simply because those who are not completely educated on them are offering others false information.

GMOs are not harmful to humans and some have higher nutritional value than their counterparts.

Scientists employ genetic modification today to increase crop yields, minimize crop spoilage, extend storage life, enhance visual appeal, and improve nutritional value. With the never-ending population growth, farmers would never be able to provide for everyone without GMOs.

A GMO farm will yield more healthy, appealing and cost-effective crops than a counterpart farm. This is because the farmer won’t need to spend as much on pesticides and herbicides since the plant has already been modified in a way that it can protect itself and grow strong without as much intervention.

GMOs are nothing to fear because they are just plants that have the most desirable traits for the best price. An example of selective breeding that we can compare to the selective breeding crops undergo is a dog breeder enjoying a golden retriever’s smart family-friendly personality but wishing they wouldn’t shed like their poodle.

America’s beloved golden doodle was born by crossing a golden retriever and a poodle, so individuals can still have a friendly and smart companion that is hypoallergenic for those sensitive to animal dander.

Corn that grows stronger, looks more desirable, has higher nutritional value and is more cost-effective is just like a golden doodle. They both were created for certain purposes by people for people. GMOs not only help farmers yield more crops per acre but also allow consumers to obtain nutritious fruits and vegetables at a lower price.

A world without GMOs would be a world where only the rich would have access to fruits and vegetables, and the poor would starve. The world’s farmers that use GMOs are making their living the same as everyone else, and their intentions are pure—to feed as many people as they can with nutritious food.