Sunday, January 17, 2016

GMOs: Good or Bad?

GMOs were discussed as the cover story CBS Sunday Morning today, Digging for Seeds of Truth in the GMO Debate.. This is a pretty good and balanced discussion of this controversial topic. 
A GMO papaya grown in Hawaii.
The reporter, Barry Petersen, talked with a papaya farmer in Hawaii, who explained how the vaccinated seeds have brought back this crop that was entirely destroyed by a blight. These GMO seeds, which have been used there for 20 years, have saved this crop and the farms with no side effects. He also spoke with others on both sides of the argument.

There are no easy answers

I have 2 big issues with GMOs:
1) Do we know what Bt and other insecticides do to our gut biome?
2) Round-up ready crops mean that we are consuming glyphosate, which has been shown to be dangerous to humans. It is even more dangerous to monarchs and many other pollinators that need weeds to complete their life cycles.

I was struck in the story that someone claimed that there is no environmental damage. I take issue with such a broad statement.

GMOs are not the same as the age-old plant breeding programs that select for the best characteristics, but they are pervasive in our food supply and have helped to bring back devastated crops. So are they good are bad? The answer is not straightforward.

As home gardeners, it is unlikely at this point that we would have access to GMO crops, but this may be changing. We need to be careful from here and not let Big Chemical force the issue to sell their products.

Green Gardening Matters,
Ginny Stibolt

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