Relax, GMOs Are Harmless.
Remember science? As forward-thinking, health-minded individuals, we are often guilty of getting caught up in the hype trending on social media. Alkaline water, juice fasts, kombucha, the non-existent link between vaccines and autism, to name a few. In the age of Trumpism, let’s not forget about science.
Although many Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods shoppers fear that GMOs have harmful effects on our bodies, none has been demonstrated. Even with opponents of GMOs searching hardily for decades, no adverse health effects have been found. As Robert Goldberg, a plant molecular biologist at UCLA, stated in Scientific American, irrational fears persist despite “hundreds of millions of genetic experiments involving every type of organism on earth and people eating billions of meals without a problem.” About 90 percent of scientists around the world believe GMOs are safe – this view is endorsed by the American Medical Association, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the World Health Organization. Still not convinced? You should be. Remember science. Scientifically, biologically, no hazard has been shown. The fear of GMOs, to present date, is therefore completely irrational.
The benefits, however, are well documented. Farmers are able to use fewer pesticides while increasing crop yields and lowering costs. This is especially important in developing regions where famine and malnutrition persist. Scientists created pink pineapples containing the tomato-based antioxidant lycopene – tomatoes in turn are being engineered to provide the antioxidant purple pigment from blueberries. Golden Rice is a crop engineered to supply more vitamin A than spinach – worldwide this technology could prevent a million deaths a year.
The truth is, farmers and agriculturalists have been genetically engineering food for centuries through selective breeding programs and crossbreeding. Modern technology allows us to introduce and control very specific genes instead of the previous uncontrolled exchange of genetic material. So, before you blindly protest all GMOs, remember science and the impact a few select genes could have for human nutrition and life around the globe.