What would it actually take to prove to you that you’re wrong, that genetic modification is no more dangerous or harmful than any other kind of human agriculture?
On the heels of yet another study demonstrating that GMOs aren’t harmful and are in fact Very Good Things, I feel as though I need, once again, to address the 1-in-5 Americans that think the risks of eating GM foods are “high.”
What would it take? I’m asking you.
What would it actually take to prove to you that you’re wrong, that genetic modification is no more dangerous or harmful than any other kind of human agriculture? To prove to you that it is uniformly better in most cases? I can’t think of all the things I’ve tried to say.
They’re better for the environment. They increase the food supply using less land and often less water than traditional (and organic!) crops.
They use fewer and less harmful pesiticides than traditional (and “organic!”) agriculture. Roundup (i.e. glyphosate) is safer and a better alternative to the other necessary pesticides.
They’re safer for humans because we know exactly what genes are changing, unlike the results of selective breeding which captures tens of thousands of unnecessary (and unstudied!) genetic changes. Unlike shooting your oranges with ionizing radiation so they won’t have seeds next time.
They’re healthier for humans. There’s rice that introduces vitamin A into the diets of malnourished children. There’s corn that contains less mycotoxin because it’s healthier. There’s potatoes that produce less cancer-causing agents when fried.
They’re not bad for farmers. Thy aren’t the only crops that are patented. The story about farmers being sued for seeds blowing into neighbouring fields is a complete fabrication. Nobody in India is comitting suicide over GMOs. Most farmers buy new seeds each year from other farmers who specifically grow seeds because it’s more efficient than trying to grow your own, so nobody even cares if they don’t grow well the next year from seed because that’s not what modern farmers even do.
They save taxpayers money. When farmers make more money—and they do with GMOs, because they can get the same or bigger yields with less investment of time and money in combating problems—they need fewer subsidies.
THERE IS NO FISHMATO. There was an attempt to make tomatoes frost-resistant that failed and it never went to market. There are zero GM tomatoes on the market and the only one there ever was failed commercially because of economics, not safety.
There is literally no argument against GMOs that holds even the tiniest bit of water, and all it takes to learn this is the tiniest bit of Google-fu and the ability to give just the most microscopic bit of credit to the group of people who’s only job is to study these things for a living—you remember them, right? Scientists?
And that’s really the problem, isn’t it?
You’ve lost the ability to trust in expertise.
You’d rather have your conspiracy theories about “Big Agro” and “Monsanto Shills” than a healthy stable food supply―so long as you get yours, that is.
Well right now there are Seven Point Six Billion Human Beings on this one exceptionally-taxed planet and that number’s not shrinking anytime soon. And we’re already using all the land we can. So you’d better suck it up and start trusting in science and scientists again soon otherwise the next time there’s a famine somewhere you’ll either A) be partly to blame, because your fear of expertise—that’s what that is, by the way, you’re afraid of people who know more about something than you, long and short of it—is doing things like leading your elected representatives to Ban GMOs in Europe For No Good Reason or B) be one of the starving multitudes yourself.
I don’t know how to convince you that GMOs are good, because I don’t know how to convince you to trust in expertise again.
But I sure as hell hope you suck it up and figure it out yourself, because we’ll all be in a heap of trouble if you don’t.
Signed: The Remixologist
Photo source: David Kessler, CC BY-SA 2.0