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Transcript of GMOs
Genetically Modified Organisms are organisms in which the DNA of the organism has been altered in such a way that does not occur naturally.
Crops can be genetically altered so that they can grow faster, resist diseases, pests, and droughts, and grow in greater abundance.
It is possible to improve the tastes of foods and the nutritional content, so that healthier foods will taste more appetizing and hold more nutrients.
In third world countries where the diet mostly consists of rice, GMOs can help improve the nutritional values of rice so that people can eat a more balanced diet.
The tests that helped legalize GMOs in the US were made by the same people who profit from GMO products.
Three government agencies (the FDA, the EPA, and the USDA) regulate the testing and overall safety of the plants and animals.
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Winter, Carl K., and Lisa K. Gallegos. "Safety of Genetically Engineered Food." University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. University of California, n.d. Web. 7 Jan. 2014. <http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8180.pdf>.
GMOs are responsible for the emergence of 'super bugs' and 'super weeds' that are more bugs and weeds that are resistant to herbicides and pesticides.
It would have happened anyway. Natural selection would have lead to the creation of these 'super bugs' and 'super weeds' from the many pesticides and herbicides farmers use.
Polls have shown that the majority of America want to have GMO labels on food so that they know what they are eating.
The FDA and the U.S. District Court have said that labels on genetically modified food would be misleading, because non-GM food isn't "safer or of higher quality" than food with GMOs. GMOs are substantially equivalent to their traditional counterparts.
Farmers using GMOs are actually using more herbicides and pesticides than with traditional crops.
For example, golden rice is rice that has been altered to hold more beta-carotene, which is the source of vitamin A. This crop can be grown in poorer countries where people frequently go blind because of vitamin A deficiency.
There has been a huge increase in world population. Currently, around 7 billion people live on Earth. In the next 15 years, the population is expected to grow by another 1 billion, and there will be almost 10 billion people living here by 2050.
Genetically modified crops' ability to produce higher yields in the amount of space is needed to feed the world's growing population.
GMOs are environmentally friendly. To feed more people with traditional crops, more farmland would be needed. Without the GMOs, more land would have to be plowed under, which means less rainforests, less wetlands, and less land for animals overall. However, GMOs have the ability to produce higher yields with the existing farmland,
Negative "facts" about GMOs are swirling about the internet, but few of them are based on solid evidence or on research that used the scientific method properly.
The vast majority of scientists have brought the study under fire, because of the flawed controls. Only 10% of the group of rats tested were part of the control group, and the rats who were eating higher percentages of GM corn did not get as sick as the rats eating lower percentages of the corn. Also, the type of rats used in the experiment are known to develop tumors under normal conditions.
For example, GMOs are rumored to contain more allergens and have the potential to trigger more severe allergic reactions than traditional crops. Any protein in any plant has the ability to cause an allergic reaction. The new proteins in GMOs are checked to see if they meet the known criteria that characterize allergens. Since most GMOs only differ from their traditional counterparts by a few proteins, "allergy checks" can be done straightforwardly.
The facts based on the study that "proved" GMOs give rats tumors are highly questionable.
The most common GMOs in the U.S. are: soybeans, corn, and cotton
Today's hybrid crops, fruits, and vegetables are genetically bred to produce desirable traits, i.e. taste, color, size, texture, yields. GMO crops, fruits, and vegetables are genetically modified through inserting specific DNA traits. Science has yet to prove GMO food is unhealthy for the consumer.
Farmers are decreasing the amount of pesticides used on their crops, because the GMO crops can resist insects and other pests better than the traditional crops. Farmers are using more herbicides, but the type of herbicide more frequently used (called glyphosate) is much less toxic than the other types of herbicides.