GMO's or genetically modified organisms are plants, animals, microorganisms or other organisms whose genetic makeup has been modified in a laboratory using genetic engineering or transgenic technology. This important creation has become a hotly debated topic in the food industry ever since its introduction in 1994. In the United States a huge portion of what people eat everyday has been genetically modified. In fact, “three major commodity crops are raised predominantly from GMO seed: field corn (92%*), soybeans (94%*), and cotton (94%*)”.
Many people believe that this switch to GMO products has been a terrible trend that could be detrimental to human’s health and long-term sustainability. Early fears of GMO foods were based on potential health dangers caused by increased herbicide usage and the cross pollination of gene pools. “Animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility and “Human studies showing how genetically modified (GM) food can leave material behind inside us, possibly causing long-term problems" eventually gave legitimacy to these potential fears. All of this led to "The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urging doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients".
As time has passed though, people have become less opposed to GMO's and are starting to discover their major societal benefits. One of the most important discoveries is the increased crop yield in comparison to organic foods. Due to germplasm and breeding, common crops like corn, cotton, and soybean are being grown more efficiently. In fact, virus resistant papaya has increased yields in Hawaii by an average of 40 percent.
These increased yields have worked to keep food prices down throughout the United States. Along with other seasonal factors, GMO's influenced consumer food prices in Michigan to go down by 8% last year. This reduction in food prices allows for poorer Michigan residents to buy more food and for other individuals to donate. This has and will continue to work towards reducing Michigan's 15.7-food insecurity rate.
Does the caucus believe the benefits of GMO’s outweigh the drawbacks?
Do you personally consume GMO's?
Should we work towards increasing the usage of GMO's?
Do you think this is a potential solution in fighting hunger?