Genetically modified foods are nothing to fear

Illustration by Miles Huffman

I was one of those people who voted against genetically modified organism food labeling.

Why? Well, because I know the truth about GMOs, and I don’t buy into the hype that says they’re bad or need to be specially labeled.

Truthfully, neither should you.

I have some knowledge on GMOs because my family used to be big in agriculture, particularly the almond industry.

Ultimately, this is what I know: In the food world, GMOs are fruits, vegetable, grains, etc. that have been genetically modified to resist drought and disease and to yield more product without the use of more resources.

This means that those fruits and vegetables are easier to produce at higher quantities without needing pesticide.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m more concerned about the pesticides that our food is treated with than with how the food has been modified.

But I get it, people are worried about whether or not GMOs are safe.

After all, we are playing with genetics and can’t that get a little messy if it’s not done right?

Well, genetic modification of food products has been going on for 20 years, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration monitors GMOs so closely that they catch damaging ones before they hit the market.

Regardless, I don’t think people really understand what GMOs mean for the world.

The world’s population is growing at an enormous rate. Currently, we are just shy of 7.5 billion, and the population is growing quickly.

Without genetically modifying food, there’d be no way to produce enough food for even a fraction of today’s world population.

The California drought would wipe out most of the nonmodified crops grown as they wouldn’t be able to survive the dry conditions.

Disease and pests would kill of most of the rest, and what remains would be ridiculously expensive because of the scarcity and demand.

So, yeah, GMOs may be scary if all you read is the hype that anti-GMO campaigns put out.

But a world without healthy, sustainable food for everyone to eat is a frightening place that I don’t want to live in.

Megan Mann can be reached at [email protected] or @meganisthemann on Twitter.