Letters to the Editor

Natalia Lima: We’ve been using GMOs forever

Regarding “Glad ‘organic’ myths were exposed” (Letters, June 30) and “Organic foods make her feel better” (Letters, July 10): In regards to the GMO (genetically modified organism) argument, human success would not be possible without GMOs.

GMOs are made with biotechnology. But biotechnology is any sort of manipulation of genes for a desired trait. (This means if you married an attractive man to have attractive kids, your kids are GMOs.) Biotechnology has been occurring for years, since the domestication of crops and animals.

All soybeans are genetically modified; there isn’t one genetically unmodified soybean on the market. People are quick to label GMOs as bad and their producers as evil, but most GMOs are developed to prevent famine by making crops resistant to disease and extreme weather conditions. Without GMOs, many more people would starve. This isn’t saying GMOs are without problems or ethical concerns, but the benefits generally outweigh the negatives.

As for the organic food argument, instead of choosing extremes, farming needs the sustainable middle road. Sustainable agriculture models itself after natural ecosystems, utilizes an integrated pest-management system, involves breeding disease-resistant plants and conserving water and resources. Combing modern agriculture and traditional farming techniques allows farmers to keep yields high without overuse of pesticides.

Natalia Lima, Turlock

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