GMOs May Be Safe to Eat, But Some Are Still Bad for the Planet


Nicolas Montana

For years, one of the major arguments that has been made against genetically engineered crops is the fear that, by tampering with a plant’s DNA, it could cause health issues for consumers. It’s an understandable worry, however, the scientific consensus now seems to be undeniable: Whatever faults GMO crops may have, they are safe for human consumption. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine argues very persuasively that the past two decades of research have revealed no increased ill effects in populations that have consumed GMO’s. It is important to understand how this study was funded by huge corporations. While some of the researchers involved have served as consultants for bioengineering companies in the past, the fact that the report pulled data from thousands of different sources makes any claims of direct industry influence on the results implausible. At most, environmental organizations have accused the authors of this study of minimizing their findings to avoid taking a firm stance one way or the other on the issue. While the report found no direct link between GMOs and environmental damage, it also noted that there is plenty of evidence of insects developing resistance to crops which contain built-in pesticides, and that many weeds are rapidly developing a resistance to the herbicide glyphosate. That’s a major agricultural problem: These crops were created with the intention of requiring lighter applications of pesticides and herbicides, but farmers are increasingly going to have to use larger amounts of toxic chemicals to keep weeds and pests in check.

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