GMOs: What’s all the fuss?

As I said on Monday, GMOs have become a hot button topic.  But why?  What is all the fuss about GMOs?  Here are the three main points/counterpoints in this debate.

Point: With little studies available we don’t know what GMOs will do to our bodies.  Since GMOs have only been around for a dozen years, we don’t know what effect this experimentation will have on our health.  And since all studies for safety are conducted by the GMO creators, the data cannot be trusted.

Counterpoint: N0 evidence exists against safety.   Pure and simple argument from GMO manufacturers.

Point: The use of GMOs is designed to allow for increased use of pesticides, further damaging the enviornment and our health.  Avoiding agricultrual toxins is difficult enough, creating mutant, chemical-resistant seeds that allow for increased pesticide/herbicide does not help.

Counterpoint: Some GMOs are designed to be resistant to crop-killing bacteria, allowing for less pesticide use.   

Point: The lack of labeling for GMO products, eliminates a consumers right to choose.  The only way to tell if a product is non-GMO is by buying organic.  The United States is the only industrialized nation that doesn’t require GMO labeling.

Counterpoint: The ubiquity of GMO use makes labeling unproductive and unfair.  Since the most used crops are near or above 90% GMO use, labeling would be unneccesary.

My Take

Personally, I’m most concerned about increased use of agricultural chemicals due to GMO use.  While it’s possible eating GMO food products may be bad for you, I think the more pressing concern is the amount of pesticides and herbicides in the enviornment.

I believe it is certainly appropriate to require GMO labeling on products so consumers have a choice.  Until that occurs here are some guidelines and resources to avoid GMO food products:

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