With risks and rewards, GMOs are here to stay

| | March 10, 2014
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

I recently learned my kids’ favorite cereal, Cheerios, is full of GMO ingredients. Learning this made me wonder how common Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs, are in Colorado. To what degree do they impact our health and environment?

Like most technological innovations, GMOs were developed to solve a problem, improve our lives and make money. But many innovations heralded as societal boons eventually have unintended negative consequences as we learn more about them or as their usage becomes widespread.

GMOs are plants whose genes have been altered. People have been altering genes for millennia by selective breeding — whether they’re creating rose hybrids or dog breeds. The main difference with GMOs is genes are inserted into plants in the lab, in combinations that wouldn’t occur through traditional breeding or natural evolutionary processes.

So what’s the future of GMOs? More will come, including rice, potatoes, and one that could be a boon to Colorado — drought tolerant wheat.

There are some benefits and drawback to using GMOs, and time will tell whether the risks outweigh the rewards. But the genie is out of the bottle. GMOs are all around us — in our food, on our land and in our cars. Like Twinkies, they’re here to stay.

Read the full original article: Just The Facts: Colorado’s GMOs — Burgers, gas and Cheerios

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