If you’re still not sure how to feel about GMOs — or for that matter, what “GMO” even means — you’re not alone.
There are as many contradictory definitions of GMO Farming as there are terrifying headlines that get the facts wrong. The thing is, GMO Farming methods are simply the latest, safest evolution in farming techniques humans have been using since the dawn of agriculture.
What was once the result of trial and error is now efficient, predictable and precise — a safe and proven way to pass beneficial, naturally occurring traits into the seeds farmers need to grow our food. Think crops with stronger natural resistance to pests and disease, or the resilience to withstand drought.
Before your next grocery trip, here are the top 6 things you need to know about food grown with GMO Farming:
1. The Evidence Is In and The Science Is Settled
The European Union spent over $200 million on a decade of studies by hundreds of research groups and concluded that crops grown with GMO Farming are as safe, healthy and nutritious as anything else you can buy.1https://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/pdf/a_decade_of_eu-funded_gmo_research.pdf The entire global scientific community happens to agree: the World Health Organization,2www.who.int/foodsafety/areas_work/food-technology/Frequently_asked_questions_on_gm_foods.pdf American Medical Association,3http://www.foodinsight.org/sites/default/files/Biotech-Comms-Guide_2013.pdf the National Academy of Sciences,4https://www.nap.edu/read/23395/chapter/8#172 the list goes on…
2. GMO Farming Slashes Pesticide Use
All farming methods use pesticides (yes, even organic). But farmers adopting GMO Farming methods can cut back drastically. They’ve been able to slash the amount of insecticide used on corn alone by 90%.16https://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/pub-details/?pubid=45182 And across all crops, GMO Farming has reduced pesticide use by 37% on average.17http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0111629
3. It’s Proven Safe By a Trillion-Meal Study
Following a 30-year study of more than 100 billion animals, scientists found zero signs of health impacts on animals fed crops grown with GMO Farming — and no nutritional difference in the meat, milk or eggs they produce.19https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25184846 And that evidence keeps mounting: U.S. farmers raise over 9 billion food-producing animals annually, and more than 95% of them eat feed produced with GMO Farming.20https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25184846They’d notice if their animals were getting sick.
4. GMO Farming Makes Healthy, Sustainable Food Affordable
Economists studied nearly a decade of monthly grocery sales data for more than 10,000 products, and found that Americans have been paying up to 62% more for foods labeled non-GMO — and up to 90% more for organics.22https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306919218301131 That can add up to hundreds of extra dollars every year that families pay for food that decades of research shows is no healthier or more sustainable than crops grown with GMO Farming.
5. GMO Farming Can Help Fight Climate Change
Using GMO Farming methods, farmers have kept the same amount of CO2 in the soil and out of the atmosphere as if we took 47 million cars off the road for a year.23http://www.pgeconomics.co.uk/pdf/2017globalimpactstudy.pdf It would take a forest four times the size of all U.S. National Parks a full year to offset that much carbon.24http://www.pgeconomics.co.uk/pdf/2017globalimpactstudy.pdf
6. GMO Farming Methods Protect Our Water Sources
It’s an unfortunate truth: The farms that feed us are among the top sources of pollution in the waterways we rely on for drinking water. But with GMO Farming, farmers can increase soil health, reduce erosion and cut herbicide runoff by 70 percent26https://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/publication/?seqNo115=68911 — protecting our water sources now and for the next generation.
There are countless everyday decisions that other people feel entitled to judge us about. Buying wholesome food that the scientific community agrees is good for the planet, good for our families and good for our wallets shouldn’t be one of them.