Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are crops and livestock with have been genetically engineered to have traits typically uncharacteristic of their species. Farmers use GMO crops to extend growing seasons, prevent pest problems, and grow larger crops than naturally possible. However, are the risks of using GMO crops more prudent than their benefits? This farmer seems to think so.
GMOs Are More Common Than You Realize, And More Dangerous
Before the turn of the century, nearly 100% of seeds were conventionally produced for farmers and gardeners. Now, in the U.S. close to 90% of seeds are genetically modified. These seeds are used to increase yields for farmers, but not everyone is on board with the shift to genetic engineering of food. Farmer Kirk Bair, who despite growing GMOs himself, is wary of the effects of GMOs on the environment and human health. In an interview with GlobalResearch, he explained the truth behind GMOs and why they're bad news for our food: “When you put a herbicide gene inside a corn seed, soybean, wheat, whatever you’re working with, you’re eating that. You’re ingesting it... I want to know what I am eating and I don’t want to eat GMO foods.”
Why Farmers Still Use GMOs Even Though They're Dangerous
Despite Bair's strong stance against GMO crops, he continues to produce and sell them. Why is that? Bair explains that even though he would prefer to phase out GMOs entirely, it's simply not feasible. He told GlobalResearch, “To use conventional corn, non-GMO, I’d have to till, apply pre-emergence herbicide. It’s more economical and more convenient to use GMO corn on real ground. I only use it because I felt like I had to. My seed supplier said, ‘Kirk it’s harder and harder to get a hold of conventional seed.’” Because of major conglomerate seed and fertilizer companies, it's unaffordable for many farmers to use conventional or organic seeds. But, farmers in the U.S. are working towards establishing measures in transparency and accountability to ensure the foods you buy are safe and sustainable, no matter where they come from. With support from local communities, farmers in the future will be able to provide safe, Non-GMO products to ethical consumers.