GMO foods. Sort of a brave topic to endeavor with all of its recent attention. However I have learned a few surprising things over the last couple of years, as a dietetic student, that I believe are worth sharing on the topic. I never believed in a million years I would be one to defend GMO foods, and in many ways I still am not, but I wanted to provide a thought here at least for your consideration. For all the GMO haters out there (Me me! That was me!). That together we might fairly consider both the bad, and the good.
The GMO Bad:
Put plainly, we just don’t know yet on a short or long-term consideration how these adjustments on the DNA level of foods are interacting with our human bodies. Are they undetectably causing dangerous chronic inflammation? New allergies? Spurring auto-immune disorders? There is no way to know because at the moment there simply is not a tight enough reign on the GMO labeling process, therefore leading to a lack of reliable records available for keeping the GMO foods accountable. Drawing conclusions. Making informed adjustments. It is all outside of our reach until the labeling of GMOs is more absolute and the health records therefore more confidently analyzed. However as is, there’s no way to know yet (big picture) if these GMO foods are OK, but still they circulated today’s food system prevalently and unapologetically. That is the bad news.
The GMO Good:
What? The ..good? With all of that said, how could I have the gall to defend its existence? Just listen.
It is SO easy to jump of the ‘hater’ bandwagon for GMOs, and I am not trying to talk you out of that. I myself have at least one foot on that wagon at all times. However, I have an incredible example of the potential GOOD that GMOs can do for the world that I would like you to at least take in with me for consideration. Back in 1970 a gentlemen by the name of Dr. Norman Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his invention of a GMO semi-dwarf, high-yield, disease-resistant wheat variety. This GMO crop, in the mid-20th century, literally saved hundreds of thousands of lives from starvation. In fact Dr. Borlaug has often been revered as, ‘The man who saved a Billion lives”. His semi-dwarf wheat variety made a wheat yield possible in regions like Mexico, Pakistan, and India where it would have been otherwise impossible due to the ‘regular’ (non-genetically modified) wheat plants having stems that were too long to survive the harsher desert climates. These were regions at the time of critically severe food insecurity (post WWII), and therefore Borlaug’s GMO dwarf-wheat crop was literally a life-saver for a countless multitude.
Wow. What a powerful testimony. GMO technology not only has the potentially to meet unique needs and save lives, but already has! And tremendously so! Did you know that? Doesn’t that…change or soften in some way the often hard-lined perspective against GMO foods that we find everywhere in the media today? The potential is unbelievable. But understandably scary at the same time.
My point here ultimately is not to encourage people to trust GMO foods before they are proved themselves, but to be more open to considering the case ‘for’ GMOs. To not close up our ears and hearts to the idea that GMO foods could do this world a great service in the days ahead, and when we might be needing it the most.
It’s not certain, but it is certainly possible.
A billion people, is a billion people… Hats off to that!
So let’s together be at least open to the idea.