Note- GMOs are directly related to my field of study, so my opinion will have a bias behind it. I mean shit, Im in the #1 agricultural n biological engineering program in the nation (#bragging) Monsanto literally has a a conference room in my libraries basement and I almost accepted an internship with them this past summer. I'll do my best to provide sources behind most of my statements
People are very very misinformed about genetically modified organisms. The fact of the matter is that ~90% of all processed foods and ~70% of all food in our grocery stores contain GMOs in some form (1). We are at a point of dependency on GMOs- which isnt a bad thing in my opinion. For every 10 acres of land being planted today, 9 of those will consist of genetically engineered corn or soy (2) and there is very good reason behind this.
The most popular and known reasons for genetic modification are as follows-
-Improved shelf life of harvest
-Improved nutrition of crop
Let me touch on a few of those,
Improved shelf life is an obvious plus, no need to expand on that. Raising the nutrient levels in certain crops, or adding new nutrients all together is very beneficial when growing food to provide for those who do not have access to a variety of markets (think vitamin deficiencies in Africa).
One of the biggest GMO progressions is the stress resistances. This allows us to grow in conditions that would be otherwise unforgiving. You know how Illinois/Iowa produces a stupid amount of feed corn on a yearly basis because of its ideal growing season for corn/soy? Well why grow cattle feed in Illinois when it can be grown in texas where they actually have cattle ranches? Better yet, it gives our farmers the security of being able to have a good harvest when something goes wrong. Many people dont realize that farmers can be absolutely FUCKED by a single late or early frost.
This is where the subject gets a bit tricky and political, herbicide resistance. This is that whole "round up" thing you may have heard about. It simply means the crop itself is resistant to a herbicide used for killing weeds. This does not make the plant poisonous, cancerous or dangerous. All the issues stemming from this, including the whole "super bug" thing are ridiculous. GMOs are not at fault for this, it is the herbicide itself. If you spray your food with poison before eating it what the fuck do you expect? We need to stop with the whole BAN GMOs thing and start looking for a way to get around using herbicides.
At this point I have yet to mention the yield per plant increases or the bushels per acre increase.
Just the other day my crop sciences professor was displaying 4 jars to use that all contained seeds, 2 had corn, 2 had alfalfa. One of each had been from the 1980s and one of each from 2012, both gathered from the same area of land . The newer jars contained at least 45% more each. Like I said before, this is one of the most reputable sources I can note, my uni is one of the most respected sources of research in this field
Here are some more yield stats(3) -
Mexico - yield increases with herbicide tolerant soybean of 9 percent.
Romania – yield increases with herbicide tolerant soybeans have averaged 31 percent.
Philippines – average yield increase of 15 percent with herbicide tolerant corn.
Philippines – average yield increase of 24 percent with insect resistant corn.
Hawaii – virus resistant papaya has increased yields by an average of 40 percent.
India – insect resistant cotton has led to yield increases on average more than 50 percent.
Nice lil visual for ya (4)-
A lot of people talk about how some GMO seeds are made so they can never reproduce and freak out about how unnatural that is. And then they go and complain that GMO plants are going to mix in with a native plant population and breed wild hybrids.
Its like... are you fucking kidding me? Thats the whole reason behind the non-germinating GMO thing, so they cant do that and yet you still bitch about it? wtf
Do I agree with the legal measures that a lot of these companies take to protect their seeds?No. But you need to also look at it from their perspectives, billions of dollars in research so someone can use your product for free? No thank you.
Do I think labels should go on all GMO food? Honestly, I dont give a fuck. I'll eat it regardless.
Do I think companies should be able to do whatever they want to a plants genetics and sell the seeds to farmers? Hell no. Imagine if a company placed the invasiveness and resistances of a weed in to corn or something, that would be obnoxious as fuck.
Not going to read through all that i just wrote so if anything makes no sense or is straight up wrong just say something