In recent years, GMOs, or genet­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied organ­isms, have become a hot top­ic of con­tro­ver­sy. Some peo­ple think they are unsafe and want to be banned, while oth­ers think they are per­fect­ly safe and a nec­es­sary part of our food sys­tem. So who’s right? And what do we real­ly know about GMOs? Let’s take a look at 10 com­mon myths about GMOs and see if we can clear any­thing up.

gmo

GMOs are used to create monster foods

One of the most com­mon myths about GMOs is that they are used to cre­ate so-called “Franken­foods”. The vast major­i­ty of GMOs are used for pur­pos­es such as mak­ing crops resis­tant to pests or improv­ing their health or adap­ta­tion to harsh envi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions. These so-called Franken­foods are foods that have been genet­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied to behave in an “unnat­ur­al” way. Some prod­uct exam­ples:

  • Toma­toes have thick­er skins to pre­vent dam­age.
  • Drought tol­er­ant corn, wheat, or sweet pota­toes
  • Bananas are resis­tant to bac­te­r­i­al wilt
  • Rice for­ti­fied with vit­a­mins and nutri­ents helps fight mal­nu­tri­tion

GMO foods have been devel­oped to fight world hunger by increas­ing yields per acre and reduc­ing food waste. In addi­tion, farm­ers can plant crops in places where lit­tle is grow­ing.

eggplant

Relat­ed Top­ic: Foods High in Chem­i­cals

GMOs kill bees

In the mid-2000s, the world was out­raged by the sharp decline in the pop­u­la­tion of hon­ey bees around the world. And right­ly so, since bees play a vital role in the glob­al food chain, but GMOs are not the rea­son. There are many dif­fer­ent dis­eases that are asso­ci­at­ed with pop­u­la­tion decline. Here are some of the more com­mon ones:

  • Ticks Var­roa destruc­tor
  • Colony col­lapse
  • Tra­cheal mites
  • Pes­ti­cides
  • Habi­tat destruc­tion
  • Chang­ing of the cli­mate

Bees pol­li­nate a third of the food we eat. As pest-resis­tant GMOs become more pop­u­lar, few­er chem­i­cals are used, allow­ing the bees to do their job with­out addi­tion­al haz­ards.

gmo tomato

GMOs will destroy our environment

This myth fits well with the num­ber 9 and comes from peo­ple who think GMOs are ster­ile and don’t need to be pol­li­nat­ed. Oppo­si­tion to GMOs believes that the lack of need for pol­li­na­tors will lead to a reduc­tion in bio­di­ver­si­ty. The truth is that, like any oth­er plant that depends on pol­li­na­tors for growth, GMOs also need to be pol­li­nat­ed. There is no evi­dence that GMOs are more harm­ful to the envi­ron­ment than oth­er crops. GMOs don’t just help the envi­ron­ment feed more peo­ple.

See also
The very first spring flowers

Here are some of the ways they help the envi­ron­ment:

  1. Few­er chem­i­cals and fuels used in the agri­cul­tur­al process
  2. Reduc­ing excess CO2
  3. Pre­vent soil ero­sion and improve soil health
  4. Water sav­ing

GMOs cause cancer

Experts ques­tion the cred­i­bil­i­ty of the study link­ing GMOs and can­cer. Like most myths, this one is born out of the igno­rance of peo­ple who have a reflex reac­tion to things they don’t under­stand. Eat­ing genet­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied foods will not change your own DNA or cause you can­cer. There have been stud­ies done by insti­tu­tions around the world and there has been no evi­dence that eat­ing GMOs caus­es any kind of can­cer. If you are con­cerned about can­cer, here are the top caus­es of pre­ventable devel­op­ment:

  • Smok­ing
  • Too much UV radi­a­tion from the sun or tan­ning beds
  • Over­weight
  • Drink­ing too much alco­hol

GMOs will create “superweeds”

“Super­weeds” are grad­u­al­ly start­ing to grow around the world. A super­weed is an unwant­ed plant that is resis­tant to glyphosate or oth­er her­bi­cides. At first glance, this seems to be a nat­ur­al con­se­quence of genet­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied crops pass­ing on genet­ic mate­r­i­al. How­ev­er, stud­ies by Pur­due Uni­ver­si­ty and oth­er insti­tu­tions found no evi­dence that GMOs con­tributed to the devel­op­ment of these super­weeds. Instead, the true cause of super­weeds is the overuse of her­bi­cides by farm­ers and their pro­duc­tion by plants as they nat­u­ral­ly devel­op.

cucumber

Monsanto controls the world with its GMOs

Mon­san­to is one of the lead­ing com­pa­nies when it comes to GMOs; they have been work­ing on them since the ear­ly 1990s. They are also one of the most hat­ed com­pa­nies in the world. There­fore, it is not sur­pris­ing that there are many myths that they are try­ing to con­trol the world.

See also
London parks. The most beautiful places in the city

Some of the rea­sons why Mon­san­to is hat­ed are actu­al­ly valid. Here is a list of some of the com­pa­ny’s most uneth­i­cal prac­tices:

  • Sued farm­ers who they said were pirat­ing seeds
  • Accused of grow­ing defec­tive crops and sell­ing them
  • Made a her­bi­cide that caused neu­ro­log­i­cal prob­lems
  • Cre­at­ing crops that can only be treat­ed with Mon­san­to her­bi­cides.

And while all of these things (and more) are tru­ly ter­ri­ble, that makes them uneth­i­cal at best. All this was done in pur­suit of prof­it, not world dom­i­na­tion. Luck­i­ly, Mon­san­to does­n’t own all of the GMO patents. They have a lot of them, but oth­er com­pa­nies also have patents for GMOs.

Can’t trust independent research on GMOs

This is a com­mon myth prop­a­gat­ed by anti-GMO peo­ple. They argue that because the research is not gov­ern­ment fund­ed, it can­not be biased. This can­not be far from the truth. There have been many inde­pen­dent stud­ies of GMOs, and they all come to the same con­clu­sion: GMOs are safe for human con­sump­tion.

plastic vegetables and fruits

GMOs are not tested for safety

Anoth­er com­mon myth about GMOs is that they are not reg­u­lat­ed. How­ev­er, the real­i­ty is that GMOs are one of the most high­ly reg­u­lat­ed crops in the world. The rules that GMOs are sub­ject to are much stricter than the rules for con­ven­tion­al crops. For exam­ple, in the Unit­ed States, a new GMO must go through a rig­or­ous approval process that can take up to 10 years and cost mil­lions of dol­lars. Here are a few items that are reg­u­lat­ed by GMOs:

  1. The nutri­tion­al val­ue is the same or high­er than non-GMO prod­ucts
  2. Reg­u­la­tion of all chem­i­cals used to grow GMO crops
  3. Reg­u­la­tions on mod­i­fi­ca­tions that have GMOs
  4. Strict rules to pro­tect oth­er plants from cross-pol­li­na­tion
See also
Sights of Jerusalem. Top 20 shrines

GMOs cause health problems

There have been a num­ber of stud­ies on GMOs and their impact on human health. The con­sen­sus of these stud­ies is that GMOs are safe for human con­sump­tion. A study pub­lished in 2012 looked at the long-term effects of feed­ing GMO corn to rats. The study showed that there were no dif­fer­ences in the health of the rats whether they were fed GMO corn or not. Anoth­er study from 2016 looked at the effects of GMOs on gut bac­te­ria. The study found that there were no sig­nif­i­cant changes in gut bac­te­ria when peo­ple con­sumed GMOs. The bot­tom line is that there is no evi­dence that GMOs cause health prob­lems in humans.

Apple

Organic foods are better than GMO foods

Organ­ic foods are bet­ter than GMO foods. This claim is believed by many peo­ple to be true, but the evi­dence does not sup­port this claim. A study pub­lished in 2016 looked at the nutri­tion­al val­ue of organ­ic and GMO foods. The study found that there were no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences in the nutri­tion­al val­ue of organ­ic and GMO foods.

Remem­ber that GMOs are reg­u­lat­ed in the same way as organ­ic prod­ucts. Research also shows that there is no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence between organ­ic and GMO foods when it comes to nutri­tion or the envi­ron­ment. This is because, con­trary to pop­u­lar belief, organ­ic farm­ers can use pes­ti­cides, insec­ti­cides, and fungi­cides. They just have to be obtained from nat­ur­al sources. So if you are look­ing for the best option for your health or the envi­ron­ment, organ­ic is not the answer.