GMOs are genetically modified organisms. They will kill you (if you let them). They will kill you if you ignore them, or if you pretend like they’re an abomination, or if you turn a blind eye to their contributions to our world. They will kill you if you don’t use them. Well, maybe not you specifically – but GMOs have saved hundreds of thousands of lives, and continue to do so everyday. Without them, our global population would not have survived.
Have you ever heard of a man named Norman Borlaug? If you’ve taken any sort of plant agriculture course, you’ll know the name. If not, I’ll tell you that he’s the man who started the Green Revolution in the 1970’s. He’s saved billions of lives with GMOs. Borlaug developed a new type of wheat that could withstand dry conditions in India and Pakistan. The wheat had a shorter stalk and heartier head – more food with the same amount of seed used. The new wheat was genetically modified, and it was the only thing that saved India from starvation in the late 1960’s. Farmers used the same amount of land and materials, but got even more food from it, saving themselves. Food production outgrew the growing human population, avoiding the mass starvations that were predicted. GMOs saved billions of people.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever enjoyed the sweet taste of a papaya. Now, since this is the internet and I can’t actually see if you’re raising your hand, I’m going to go ahead and assume a lot of you have tasted a papaya before. Did any of you get sick from it? Unless you’re actually allergic to papaya, probably not. Papaya is a great example of a GMO that has only done good for the world. The first genetically modified papaya was created in Hawaii to combat the papaya ringspot virus, which was wiping out crops. Local farmers were on the brink of starvation, poor from not being able to sell their crops contaminated by the virus. When the GM papaya was introduced, everything did a complete 180. Growth time was shortened, yields were increased, and farmers were once again able to sell their product and support themselves. These GMOs saved lives and significantly improved the quality of life for Hawaiian farmers.
So, yes. GMOs will kill you. If you fight them and don’t let scientists do their jobs, they will kill you. They won’t fight starvation. They won’t increase quality of product. They won’t provide a sufficient method of income for farmers. I could go on about GMOs and how they’ve saved our world – how they’ve allowed us to support a huge global population with limited resources, or how they’ve provided security for people around the world. But if you ignore GMOs (or even worse, actively fight against GMO production), they’ll start killing. They will be taken out of areas where they are most needed, and people will die. GMOs will kill you – if you let them.
Emma — The Suburban Aggie
PS., Check out this video for more on GMOs (especially papayas!)