Many headlines proclaim that GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) produced food is bad for us, however science debunks that myth. Sales of such GMO-free products are skyrocketing and they represent about $16 billion in annual sales. GMOs currently on the market provide ample cases of tangible benefit with relatively negligible risk. In the US, 70% of the food in US supermarkets contains GMO ingredients.
Organizations like the
National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the
Advancement of Science, and the European Commission have
publicly proclaimed GMO foods to be safe to eat. A large 2013
study on GMOs found no "significant hazards directly connected
with the use of genetically engineered crops."
Other experts cite the
fact that practically all the food we eat today has been
genetically modified in some way; everything from corn to
watermelons have been selectively bred for thousands of years to
give us the traits we find desirable, like large amounts of
sweet, edible flesh, or small and fewer seeds. Brings to mind
the early ugly looking and untasty small kernel corn, tiny
potatoes, tomatoes, and purple carrots.
Thousands of years ago
when people simply gathered wild fruits and vegetables for food,
these plants were found naturally growing in the wild. Then,
about 10,000 years ago, people began to domesticate these wild
fruits and vegetables and eventually improve upon them.
For instance, potatoes
were domesticated about 10,000 years ago. Following centuries of
selective breeding, there are now over a thousand different
types of potatoes. Over 99% of the presently cultivated potatoes
worldwide descended from varieties that originated in the
lowlands of south-central Chile.
Selective breeding is
the process of developing a plant or animal based on selecting
desirable characteristics of the parent. For example, saving
seed for replanting from plants within a crop that have shown to
be particularly robust; or breeding a white dog with a black
patch over its eye via two parents that have the same trait.
Selective breeding is a form of genetic modification which does
not involve the addition of any foreign genetic material (DNA)
into the organism. It is the conscious selection for desirable
traits. GMO adds different genetic material into the organism,
in order to create desirable traits.
October 1995, the potato became the first vegetable to be
grown in space. NASA and the University of Wisconsin, created
the technology with the goal of feeding astronauts on long
space voyages, and eventually, feeding future space colonies.