The term GMO shouldn’t scare you. These technologies are helping our nation’s farmers contribute to a safe and responsible food system. GM technologies also help reduce food costs at the grocery store.
If you purchase food with labels on them, you’re likely aware of genetically modified crops – also known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), GE crops or biotech crops.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about GMOs. I know because I’m a farmer.
GMO’s Are Proven Safe
Despite the fact that GMOs are proven safe, more and more grocery products are carrying labels indicating that foods are “GMO free.” These labels have a tendency to scare consumers rather than educate them on the importance and safety of this technology.
Currently only 10 GMO crops are commercially available: corn (field and sweet), soybeans, cotton, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, papaya, squash, potatoes and apples.
Yet food manufacturers mislead consumers and spread misinformation by adding “GMO free” labels on everything from salt to bottled water — items that wouldn’t ever include GMO technology (salt doesn’t have genes!).
Food companies are hoping the labels provide them with a marketing advantage and they’ll be able to sell these products at a premium, adding to the cost for consumers.
GMOs pose no risk to human health. They’ve been commercially available for well over 20 years, and in that time have not been linked to a single illness or death.
In 2016, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) had found “no substantial evidence of a difference in risks to human health between current commercially available genetically engineered crops and conventionally bred crops.” The researchers examined hundreds of scientific papers on the subject, listened to hours of live testimony from activists and experts before coming to their conclusion.
GM crops have been tested more than any other crops and have been proven safe to consume by both people and livestock. Also, GMOs have never been found in milk, meat or eggs originating from animals that consumed GMO grains.
The World Health Organization, American Medical Association, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, British Royal Society and others have all agreed that GMO crops are safe to consume. The great thing about this research is that it was conducted by a variety of industry experts and independent organizations.