ARTICLE: Are GMOs Safe?

Scroll down to the big link at the bottom for all the dirt. If you want my two cents, read the preamble.

People often ask me to comment on agricultural issues like organic vs conventional and gmo vs non-gmo. In the the same way that they expect me to eat nothing but roasted brussels sprouts and kale salad with a side of celery juice chia pudding, they anticipate a response vehemently denouncing GMO foods. In truth, I don’t have a problem with genetic modification.

Let me take you back to my elementary school days. The most exciting class day was when we got a fresh new edition of Time For Kids. TFK is the freakin’ bomb, y’all. There are articles in there about current events, sports, entertainment, but most importantly science. We already know my nerdy little heart skips a beat thinking about cool scientific discoveries, and I vividly remember learning about genetic engineering when its first big triumphs were announced. Dolly the cloned sheep! That glow-in-the-dark monkey with jellyfish genes! Cold-hardy tomatoes that get their protection from cold water fish genes! These are all really amazing feats of modern science, and they’re not hurting anybody. In fact, strains of rice have been genetically modified to increase their vitamin A content, which has helped to drastically decrease vitamin A deficiency – a huge (and preventable) cause of death in many countries that struggle with malnutrition. As with many things, I find that the public wants to say “GMO = BAD, NON-GMO = GOOD” and avoid any grey area, but really it’s far more complicated than that.

The problems come when companies use genetic modification for less-than-noble things, or brandish their marketing genius against you to convince you that ponying up the extra cash for a non-GMO label is the only way to go. To get a thorough review of the GMO debate, please check out the incredible article by William Saletan published in Slate Magazine this week:

Unhealthy Fixation

The war against genetically modified organisms is full of fearmongering, errors, and fraud. Labeling them will not make you safer.

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