GMO’s: What’s the Fuss?

Heather Allen
By: Heather Allen

Ccottongrass-1594705_640urrently, over 90% of the corn, soybeans, and cotton grown in the United States are Genetically Modified Organisms.1 As GMO foods and crops become more popular, a rise in skeptics also occurs. Ethical and health issues have been attributed to GMO products due to the DNA differences that are considered unnatural. The modifications that crops are undertaking is meant to be helpful and allow for a greater production of a crop, as well as keep the crop safe from environmental factors. Recently, the USDA approved the production of genetically modified potatoes.2 These potatoes were created to resist bacterium that could cause a decline in potato production and leave the world in a potato famine. The potatoes are also supposed to last longer in refrigerated areas and become bruised less easily.

Researchers have studied the ability to keep diseasepotatoes-5796_640 away from potatoes by looking at an Argentinian type of potato that has a natural repellent to the bacterium that caused the Irish potato famine. By simply taking a strand of this DNA, the common Russet potatoes are being modified in order to create a longer lasting product. This GMO potato was given the name the “White Russet.” While there will always be skeptics and certain companies will refuse to use GMO products, recent articles are ridding people of the negative ideology of GMO products when it comes to health concerns. There is currently no evidence that GMO foods and crops lead to any health problems. However, there is also a lack of research in the field. Coming to a compromise, the idea of creating a GMO label is in favor for many people. As long as customers know what they are buying, they can make their own decision to promote GMO products, or ignore them completely.


References:

  1. Genetically Modified Crops Are Safe, Report Says. NBC News. http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/genetically-modified-crops-are-safe-report-says-n575436. Published May 17, 2016. Accessed November 18, 2016.
  2. USDA Approves Genetically Engineered Potatoes. NBC News. http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/gm-potatoes-get-usda-ok-n675856. Published October 31, 2016. Accessed November 18, 2016.
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