Genetically Modified Organisms in Agriculture- The Start of My Journey to Understand

Jon Entine from the Genetic Literacy Project joins me today to discuss his decidedly pro- point of view on GMO (genetically modified organism) seed and farming. This topic tends to bring strong emotional reactions no matter what side of the argument you are on. According to the USDA over 75% of corn, soybeans and cotton grown in the USA is GMO and the USA accounts for over half of the global production in acres.

It is quite difficult to to get unbiased, trustworthy information about this controversial topic. The extremes seem to rule the information on the internet. The World Health Organization appears to take a fairly centrist point of view, recognizing that there have been no studies to overtly discredit the safety of GMO agriculture yet at the same time acknowledging there could be potential problems. They also have recommended protocols for the companies engaged in the modification process.

As for me, I’m still not entirely sure what I believe on the subject. I have made what I consider the safest choice for now I LIVE IT; I own and opperate a USDA Certified Organic vegetable farm. No GMO seed is allowed.

This episode is the beginning of my journey to talk with multiple people with multiple points of view about the subject of GMO. At some point I’m going to form a definitive opinion.

Each person must make their own choice though and I recognize as a reasonable person, that the arguments for and against are not clear. The unintended consequences that are potentially harmful to the environment appear to be the biggest risks from my point of view. Uncontrolled pollination, what the WHO calls “outcrossing” seems to be a genuine issue. The potential effects of outcrossing or pollen drift, are highlighted in the fight by Organic farmers to prevent contamination by cross pollination.

In another episode I will talk with an anti-GMO person and we’ll get their point of view.

The food industry is fascinating. Thanks for listening to JACK’S FARM RADIO please subscribe at iTunes.


2 thoughts on “Genetically Modified Organisms in Agriculture- The Start of My Journey to Understand”

  1. You can sequence the genome to determine the difference between genetically engineered foods. Of course there is a difference between the GE and non-GE organisms. They patent them so there must me a difference. Bt corn contains Bt toxin in every cell and Roundup ready crops are sprayed with Roundup, which is systemic and penetrates every cell. It does not wash off. If you eat vegetables from such crops you eat Roundup.

    Contamination of organic farms is a problem. Organic farmers lose their certification when their crops become contaminated. And we do use the word contamination. Seed sellers test the seed that comes in and this costs them time, money and reduces available product to sell. Your guest is disingenuous if he is familiar with GE crops but does not know about episodes of contamination.

    1. Thanks for the input.
      It’s very difficult to get straight, laymen’s type answers on this subject.
      I’m familiar with Round Up’s mode of action. I hadn’t thought about it being systemic, though.
      I’ll check that out. I do know it’s sprayed when the plants are young and not fruiting or in the seed stage.

      I’m really loping forward to talking with other folks about this topic.

      Thanks for listening.

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