There’s no shortage of strong opinions or weak facts about food and farming out there. Honest, evidence-based answers? A little harder to come by.
In this series, we pose questions from real people on Facebook to a diverse panel of independent experts — farmers, moms and a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist — so you can make your next grocery shopping decisions with a little more confidence and a little less stress.
In this installment, you asked: What are the health effects of eating GMO crops or being near fields where they’re grown?
Jennie Schmidt: Farmer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Mom
“There are no negative health effects from eating genetically engineered crops. In 2016, the National Academy of Science reviewed the scientific literature on GMOs from the past two decades, scouring over 1,000 peer-reviewed studies, research papers and expert testimonies for any evidence of adverse health effects, and “found none.”1http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=23395 There’s also no risk from being near the fields where they’re grown. Thousands of farm families live and work near these fields, including my own. My two kids have worked with my husband and I on our farm since they were young. As a mom, I would never risk their health if I had any doubts. I know what we’re doing is safe, both from my own experience and from rigorous investigative research like I described. Another example is an Agricultural Health Study that tracked over 50,000 farmers and found no additional health risks associated with using GMO Farming methods.”
Liz Bingham: Farmer, Mom
“As a mom, I’ve dived for any number of pacifiers my babies drop before one hits the floor. Our kids are precious to us and I will always do all I can to keep them healthy and strong. We work together on our farm, walking the fields to pick out rocks, riding in equipment with dad while mom gets a haircut, and piling into every available seat in tractors or trucks during Harvest because it’s exciting and no one wants to be left out when the big equipment is working.
If there was any danger this technology posed to my children, they would not be with us on the farm.
I feel confident based on decades of regulated safety testing that these crops pose no harmful effects to my family, our soil or the surrounding wildlife. In fact, years of soil sample data on our own land proved to us that adding GMO farming methods to our farming practices has improved our soil health, energy efficiency and overall environmental footprint, even letting us run big equipment in the fields less. Our farm is healthier today with GMO technology in use.”
Michelle Miller: Farmer, “The Farm Babe” Columnist
“GMO and non-GMO crops are equivalent in terms of safety, but GMOs do generally allow us as farmers to reduce pesticides. I’m happy to live where our crops are grown — it’s our family history and livelihood.”
If you liked this post, check out the rest of our One Question, Three Voices series:
This post is sponsored by A Fresh Look, a 501(c) (6) organization, whose mission is to provide trustworthy research-based info to consumers about the benefits of GMO Farming methods.