I recently graduated from college with a Bachelor’s in Communication, but I never thought that my degree would take me into agriculture. The closest I ever got to “living country” was growing up with horses on a five-acre lot just outside of Peoria. However, I never really understood the importance of agriculture and how much it really plays a part in my life. It even excites me to say that there are incredible opportunities in the agriculture industry that aren’t directly related to working on a farm. The only downside I’d say about the industry is the fact that American Farmers are not appreciated for all of the hard work they do.
There is a lot of misinformation flooding the media about genetically modified organisms (GMOs). A lot of the misconception comes from luring mainstream audiences to believe that GMOs are filled with toxic chemicals that are harmful to the human body. They believe that these toxins are introduced to the plants through unsafe, laboratory experiments where a syringe is commonly seen injecting unquestionable poisons into said plant. This is not the case; in fact, the procedure to develop genetically modified organisms is a lot safer than many realize. What frustrates me about mainstream media in general is that people believe everything they see. They barely question the autonomy and authority of what they read, and they hardly go out of their way to research the claims being made.
There are countless studies and educational resources that any person can find to understand what a GMO is and how safe they are to eat. More than that, the technologies utilized in developing genetically modified organisms can benefit the growth of food for the projected population increase in 2050. It certainly wouldn’t be an end all cure, but with 9 billion coming so soon we definitely have a lot of work to do to feed those hungry mouths.
Another common misconception is that big agriculture companies that invest in the development of GMOs refuse to label genetically modified organisms because they have something to hide. This is simply not the case. The real reason that they do not label GMOs with a specific “this is a GMO” label is because of the fear that it would cause consumers. There is nothing dangerous about consuming GMOs, so there is no point to label them. There have been numerous studies done to prove that they are safe for consumption, and there hasn’t been a single reported death. If they labeled GMOs specifically, people would then think they are implying that GMOs are dangerous to eat. Instead, foods that do not contain GMOS are the ones being labeled. Labeling the foods that do not have GMOs helps consumers that want to avoid buying these products to avoid them. Using this method is sort of a “win win” for both sides.
I think people forget that when a company has a bad reputation, they lose money. More than that, most people don’t realize how much money is spent by organizations to maintain a positive public image. Big agricultureas no reason to hide what they are providing their consumers. I encourage anyone to take the time to educate themselves before deciding what foods they will choose to avoid because of health concerns.