Facts about GMOs

1147927.largeWith all the news about GMOs…what do you really know about them?  Ignoring the health concerns for a moment, it’s good to look at some facts about how widespread they are, and that’s what this article at the WSJ does.  Some key points:

  • GMO crops have grown, on average, by 10 million hectares a year since 1996 (when they were introduced).
  • Most of the world’s GMO crops consist of four types of plants: soybeans (48%, by acreage)), corn (33%), cotton (15%), and canola (5%).
  • Five countries are responsible for about 90% of GMO crops.  US (40%), Brazil (23%), Argentina (14%), India (6%), and Canda (6%) – leaving other countries at 11% total.
  • In the US, most major crops are GMOs, more than 90% of our top crops like corn, soybeans, and cotton.  I think that goes a long way towards explaining opposition to GMO labeling!
  • Over 75% of GMO seed designs are owned by 10 companies (some of those are GM, some are non-GM but still considered proprietary).  Selling seed is a $34.5 billion business.

You can read more at the WSJ article linked above.  I’m a huge fan of using science to improve our lives, but believe  it cannot be selective science like GMOs are.  What I mean is, new seeds are designed, but long term health effects are not adequately studied before the seeds are introduced to market.  Instead, seeds are put on the market, making us all guinea pigs, but without adequate control of the variables, any health concerns that may someday surface cannot be accurately tied to any single crop.  There can be no accountability, and with neither accountability nor laws requiring extensive testing, there is no incentive for companies to be sure their products are human-safe.  While some GMO efforts are likely benign, the idea of engineering corn to produce poison to kill insects for example (read up on BT Toxin)…and then telling us it’s OK for us to eat that poison…that’s a real stretch.Oh, and that picture of a blue strawberry?  That’s not photoshop, that’s GMO at its finest, and you can read more about that here.