Cheap food? Thank GMOs

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Today, about one-in-eight people across the world do not have enough food to eat. Addressing this problem of food insecurity today is daunting, and it will become even more so in the future as we face a projected increase of the world’s population to 9 billion by 2050.

In the United States, almost 50 million Americans suffered from food insecurity in the past year.

Fortunately, there have been major advances in agricultural technologies over the past 20 years that have enabled higher and higher yields without having to use more of our limited resources. Perhaps the most important development has been in the advances of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Through the use of GMOs, we are able to produce enough food at affordable prices to the world.

Of critical importance is that GMOs help keep food costs low; if GMOs did not exist, food prices would be dramatically higher in the U.S. and across the world. This is especially critical to low-income consumers who have limited amounts of money to spend on food. If prices were higher – as would occur in the absence of GMOs – this would lead to higher rates of food insecurity across the world, including in the U.S.

Read full, original article: Thank genetic modification for low American food prices

  • Mike Bradley

    You people are lying scumbags and should be hung

    • Judy Nonarchi

      Because …. um, they’re lying about population growth and the logical need for more food? Scumbags because they support ways of actually providing that food?
      Hung because then we can be turned into Soylent green maybe to feed those new masses? (organic of course)

    • Antumbra

      And what, pray tell, will become of you?

      Not too long from now, your vehemence and disgust will be barely a footnote in the history of GMO technologies, as they gain acceptance and help change the world for the better.

      “In the early days of more advanced genetic technologies, popular opposition was strong – based on misunderstandings and ultimately manipulated by those who could make money off their fear. Eventually, when the tragic and very real human cost of the opposition as well as the benefits to all nations became clear, they began to be accepted on a wider basis.”

      But then, because our record-keeping is so much better, when schoolchildren write about the history of GM technology – they can directly reference people like you, and ask their parents why you lie and threaten. And their parents will smile, because it’s a good question – and they will explain that you didn’t know any better, that you were told to be angry about it and defensive instead of rational, to feel emotionally attached to made-up ideas about nature and the purity of your precious bodily fluids.

      And perhaps, if you’re still around – you will admit that you felt quite strongly about it yourself, but you were wrong, eventually the world moved on despite your objections and you learnt better, you’re sorry for the things you said, and you’re happy that the world is a better place.

      • Eliza Dalton

        Wow you’re kinda playing dirty over here. Can people not have their opinions?
        Quick question, have you done much research? I understand the surface appeal of GMOs but there is a lot of economic nastiness going on that we don’t see, I’d love to introduce it to you sometime.

        • Damo

          Introduce away.

  • srlucado

    And just think how much cheaper food would be if such a huge amount of corn wasn’t being wasted on ethanol. Hungry people everywhere would be thankful.

  • Mother Plucker

    The problem is not a shortage of food, but rather an excess of human beings. Are we going to make 9 billion cell phones/cars/dishwashers etc. a year for everyone? Are we to become so efficient at wringing out the natural resources of this planet that we meet a dead end? I don’t know how we will reduce our population by choice; it will likely be unpopular and unfair. The alternative? Science has done enough experiments with rats overpopulating a given size cage. Avert the crisis now, or the decision will be made for us by starvation, war and disease.

  • Mike Bradley

    Do you get paid to tell lies, or are you as credulous as you make out ?

    Happy illness to you, oh, sorry you already have it.

  • Carson

    If you remove the subsidies for GMO farmers and penalties for organic farmers then GMOs will cost at least 2-3 times more than organic. And if you include the externalities (pollution of our air, water and soil; death of bees and butterflies) of growing and eating GMOs then no one in their right minds would support GMOs.

    • Carson, can you cite evidence that farmers who grown GM crops get more subsidies than organic farmers who grow the exact same crop, just not GM? And evidence that organic farmers are “penalized” for growing, say, organic soybeans or organic corn? I’ve never seen any evidence to support either claim, but open to review what you can send from a reputable government source or mainstream academic paper.

    • First Officer

      You remove farming subsidies and the GMO’s will be even more financially favorable as farmers would be pressured to reduce expenses and maximize net income even further.

    • hyperzombie

      penalties for organic farmers

      What penalties do Organic farmers pay?

      • Eliza Dalton

        Things like patents and the fact that it’s much harder to produce organic food due to cross pollination

        • hyperzombie

          Well if organic farmers are growing patent protected crops that is their decision, nothing to do with GMOs. And yes there are patent protected crops that Organic farmers grow.

          “cross pollination” I don’t get this argument. How would growing a crop using 1850s methods make cross pollination worse? How can it make the plants pollinate more?

          • Eliza Dalton

            I think you misunderstand. I’m saying that GMO seeds are patented so when they cross pollinate with organic seeds in organic fields, the organic farmers get in trouble because they’re unknowingly growing patented seed that isnt their fault.

          • hyperzombie

            It is not against the Organic rules to have GMO cross contamination. There are tons of so called Organic seeds that are also patented, and some are even trademarked as well.

          • Eliza Dalton

            Something cannot be considered organic if it has GMO cross contamination. Google “definition of organic food.” Here, I’ll do it for you:
            “Organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of… genetically modified organisms.”

          • hyperzombie

            grown without the use of… genetically modified organisms

            True, but it says nothing about cross contamination.

          • Damo

            There is no penalty for cross contamination–you only can’t plant a plant with a GMO trait.

          • hyperzombie

            you only can’t plant a plant with a GMO trait.

            But no one tests for GMOs, so they don’t really care.

          • Damo

            True–just don’t be planting the day the third party inspector comes to inspect.

          • hyperzombie

            Yep, got to burn the Bt cotton seed bags before the inspector shows up. Easy to do they give you a few days notice.

          • Damo

            I just want you to know, I am not harassing you or think ill of you. I just feel that you have been misinformed when it comes to GMOs.

            If you would like more information, I will be happy to share it with you. Frankly, I don’t have skin in the game on a personal level, but increased use of GMOs has led to conservation of natural resources, which benefits all of mankind.

        • Damo

          What silliness is this?

          • Eliza Dalton

            If you read my later comments perhaps it can provide some clarification.

          • Damo

            I did, I still don’t understand. No one is forcing you to use patented seed. Also, what does cross pollination have to do with the method you use to farm?

          • Eliza Dalton

            Oh so it’s the GM seed that is patented. Right? So when GM seed and organic seed mix through cross pollination, the organic farmers get in trouble because they were growing the patented seed that was blown into their field. Does that make more sense?
            And because of this cross pollination, organic farmers have to take extra precautions to make sure their seed stays organic. They have to use separate machinery, do extra tests, all that stuff. So it changes the method the organic farmers use to farm. Does that help?

          • Damo

            That has never happened. Provide one case where it did. If you look it up, you will see it has not.

          • Eliza Dalton

            Here are 2 off the top of my head: Percy Schneider and Ryan Louisville. Check ’em out.

          • hyperzombie

            I believe you mean Percy Schmeiser, a canola seed farmer from Saskatchewan. This was not a case of cross contamination, he was trying to grow and sell his own GMO herbicide tolerant seed that had a patented trait in it.

          • Eliza Dalton

            That may be Monsanto’s side of the story but Schmeiser’s seems to be much different.
            Why are we patenting food in the first place?

          • hyperzombie

            No, according to Percy’s own testimony before the Supreme Court in Canada, it was not cross contamination. His defence was that it was a found trait.

          • Eliza Dalton

            Interview with Percy Schmeiser:
            PERCY SCHMEISER: It came like a — like a time bomb, like a shock to me, that my seed was ruined through cross-pollination or direct seed drift by a substance, by a seed I didn’t want in my land. And so, it was very disgusting and hard to take that I had lost something that I worked fifty years on.

          • hyperzombie

            by a seed I didn’t want in my land.

            LOL, that is hilarious. He sprayed roundup on the crop over and over again so he could just have that seed on his land. He had 95% Roundup ready canola planted in nice straight rows, that is not cross contamination. Read the court documents, when he is under oath.

          • hyperzombie

            Would you like to read the court decision and testimony?

          • Damo

            No, that was the judge’s side of the story.

            Don’t know why we are patenting food (are we?), but we are patenting seed to reward the hard work that goes into research and development.

          • hyperzombie

            The only real “Food” that is patented are fruits and some veggies. Mostly apples, pink lady for example.

          • hyperzombie

            Good news Percy Schmeiser can grow all the GMO canola that he wants now, it is off patent.

          • Damo

            I don’t understand, did they sue each other? Do you have a casename?

          • Eliza Dalton

            Monsanto sued them.

          • Damo

            Usually cases are named Somebody v. Somebody Else.

            I can’t find a case where Monsanto v. either of those two individuals. I am not trying to be facetious, it is just I think you may have been misled.

            There is a case of Monsanto v. Schmeiser in which Percy Schmeiser admitted that he collected seed that had cross-pollinated, when he intentionally used RoundUp to spray the plants and harvest the seed which exhibited the RoundUp Ready trait and then replanted that seed.

            However, that was a case of patent infringement, where he intentionally tried to isolate soybeans with the patented trait. He was not sued for selling the soybeans.

          • hyperzombie

            to isolate soybeans

            Canola.

          • Damo

            Sorry, you are correct, it was canola. Mental slip there.

          • Damo

            Also, having worked with organic farmers, I can tell you they do not use special machinery to farm. They only do so when they farm both conventionally and organically.

            They certainly don’t do any tests. That is not required for organic certification (although it should be).

          • Eliza Dalton

            Actually many many tests are done, and required by the government, in order for the farmers to claim they are certified organic. Or else anyone could say that and charge higher prices.

          • Damo

            No, no tests done. Or paperwork. And a third party checks the paper work. Might want to read up on organic certification.

            Edited to clarify language that my phone autocorrected rather bizarrely.

          • Eliza Dalton

            If there is a possibility of cross contamination with organic and GM seeds, the farmers HAVE to test the seed in order to prove that it hasn’t been contaminated. How else are they supposed to prove it’s organic?

          • Damo

            Is that in the organic regs? Because I work with many organic farmers and this is the first I have heard of such a thing.

          • hyperzombie

            How else are they supposed to prove it’s organic?

            No proof is needed, as long as the seed bag does not have a GMO sticker on it, it is good for Organic farming. Organic farmers buy seed from the same place that conventional farmer get seed. Organic farmers just buy seed without the GMO trait, or they are supposed to anyway.

          • Eliza Dalton

            Many organic farmers keep seed from previous years in order to save money. However with cross pollination it’s not guaranteed that it’s still organic after 3 generations.

          • hyperzombie

            No farmers save seed for 3 generations, gardeners maybe. Too much genetic drift in that amount of time to make it viable.
            Farmers buy seed because it makes them more money on average, new seed is better and grows a bigger crop.

            Once again farmers are not stupid. They buy seed for a reason.

          • hyperzombie

            Many crops you cant even save seed, corn, cotton, and others. They are F1 hybrids and the saved seed does not give you the same variety the next year.

          • hyperzombie

            Plus some crops take over a year to go to seed, like beets and brussel sprouts. So you cant harvest the crop and the seed, one or the other.

          • Damo

            I work with small farmers. They do not have time to save seed. They haven’t saved seed for a long time. They pay someone to do that for them.

            Even the organic guys don’t do it. The reasons are, one, seed companies (actually seed farmers) are really good at getting the seed they want. They are specialized. The guy growing corn will never be good enough to do both.

            Nobody wants to dedicate land to the seed, they care about the yield they are going to sell.

            They want the newest and best varieties. Organic or conventional, this is what people want from their seeds.

          • hyperzombie

            I don’t understand why people think that saving seed is free? It is a huge pain in the ass.

          • Damo

            Because, it is the way Grampa did it.

            Well, not really, maybe Grampa’s grampa.

          • hyperzombie

            No tests are done, it is all based on paperwork. When they do test Organic for banned pesticides about 45% of organic crops test positive for banned pesticides.

            They do not test for GMOs, if they did the whole organic cotton industry would fail, just my opinion. That is why they never test organic cotton, they are too scared of the FAIL.

  • Svein Michaelsen

    Beware, this site is pure GMO-propaganda.

    Reality:
    Why is the use of chemicals in farming increasing, as well as a growing resistance in bugs and weeds? Thank GMOs.
    Why is there still no GMO-labelling, even if the majority of the population want it? Thank the GMO industry, which fights labelling with massive disinformation campaigns (using lies and fake quotes).
    Cheep food? I want safe food.
    World hunger? The population growth is stagnant or negative in Western World (only upheld by immigration). Are people dying because of a lack of food in Europe right now? No, of course not. And still USA is pushing for GMOs in Europe. Poor third world countries already have GMOs, because the GMO industry bribes the corrupt governments.
    Keep drinking the Kool-Aid and keep getting those paychecks from Monsanto and co, but don’t force this GMO crap on me. This is about greedy corporations wanting world domination of the food production with patented seeds, and not about consumer health, world hunger or cheep food.

  • Arlinda Henderson

    As pests become resistant to GMO produced food, the economic reason to use GMO’s loses footing. Not to mention that the extreme similarities for efficiency in produce can also lead to widespread vulnerability. Also, I have noticed, even with the poor exchange rate, that food is cheaper in the UK, where they don’t use GMO’s, than in the US. I’m sure there are many reasons for this, but it still detracts from this simplistic and, I think, shortsighted concept that GMO’s necessarily equal cheap food.

  • THe onaLY chILKEn

    GMOs have nothing wrong with them! I challenge all followers of the Non GMO project to name one scientifically proven fact that GMOs are bad.

    • Eliza Dalton

      Perhaps the fact that GMO prices are increasing all over, they are unreliable for smaller farmers, especially in 3rd world countries, many health issues associated with them (yes, there is sketchy data out there, but there are also valid studies), GMOs are genetically dominant, meaning when they cross pollinate, the organic seed is gone, and the fact that, um, our food is patented (AKA one or two HUGE companies have control over 90% of all the food in the US – my head is screaming “monopoly!” – and 26% of food globally). I have evidence and sources to back that up if you’re interested.

      • hyperzombie

        I dont think you know what a GMO plant is.

        A GMO plant just contains a trait that was isolated by man. They are not a different type or variety of plant, just trait/s. They take the same plant that grows well in the area and use conventional plant breeding methods to backcross the GMO trait into local varieties of crops that farmers in that area are already growing. The local farmers get the same plant that they were growing before with an additional useful trait. This is all that a GMO is. The local farmers can choose to grow the crop with or without the GMO trait or traits, it is their choice.

        they are unreliable for smaller farmers, especially in 3rd world countries

        Umm, no. They would be just as unreliable as the crop that they were growing before GMO. Once again GMO is just a plant trait/s. For example in India they only have one approved GMO trait (Bt and only for cotton) but they have over 1050 varieties of approved Bt cotton with the GMO trait.

        GMOs are genetically dominant, meaning when they cross pollinate, the organic seed is gone

        Untrue, and organic is a marketing term not a type of seed. If plants cross pollinate that easily why are there still over 30,000 distinctive varieties of corn, just in North America. Farmers have been dealing successfully with cross pollination issues for over 1000 years now, this is not a problem.

        one or two HUGE companies have control over 90% of all the food in the US

        Well there are about 6 big seed companies, but they grow 0 food, just seed. (they don’t even grow most of this seed, professional seed farmers grow most of it) The big seed companies just develop new varieties and market them.

        • Eliza Dalton

          So actually, by definition, a GMO is a plant that, in a lab, has had an alien gene inserted into its genome so it can have its side benefits. “Organic” can be hybrid or whatever, as long as it hasn’t had it or its parent plants messed with in a lab.
          So the problem with GMOs in 3rd world countries is that the added benefit of the GMO plant doesn’t always work. Farmers buy the GM seed up to 4x more expensive than their local ones, along with pesticides and herbicides and all that in order to get their plants to grow. Since you referenced India, I’ll use that example. Hundreds of local Indian farmers bought Bt cotton seed, expecting it to resist the bollworm pest that ate the cotton. Well it worked for the first few weeks of harvest, but then the bollworm pests came back. The farmers lost all their crop, they couldn’t get out of debt, and suicide rates skyrocketed. I think a lot of people would agree that GM seeds need to be tested more before being introduced to the market for farmers whose lives and lives of their families depend on the success of their crops.
          Cross pollination is WHY there are thousands of varieties of seeds, however GMOs are decreasing that. Ok so as I explained before, organic means the plant and its parents can’t be GM. When an organic seed pollinates with a GM seed, it’s no longer organic and organic farmers lose their right to farm organic seed because its all been cross pollinate by GM seed. Over time we will have almost no Organic seed left.
          Ok well food comes from seeds so I guess if you want to be technical, then yes, big companies don’t own the food, they just own the way to grow it.

          • Damo

            Where did you hear this. I am afraid you are misinformed. You may want to check the validity of your sources on everything you said, starting with the definition of GMO.

          • Eliza Dalton

            “A genetically modified organism (GMO) is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques (i.e., a genetically engineered organism).”

          • Damo

            Yeah, but that wasn’t what you said.

          • Eliza Dalton

            I said that a GMO is a plant that has had an alien gene inserted into it in a lab.

          • Eliza Dalton

            That’s what genetic engineering is.

          • Damo

            Which is not the same thing as you quoted. And is not true. A GMO just means that it had its DNA altered. There are GMOs that have alien genes (not sure what your definition of alien is–but I am going to assume it is a gene from anotehr species), but there are GMOs without alien genes.

          • hyperzombie

            has had an alien gene inserted into its genome so it can have its side benefits

            Alien gene?

            There is no such thing, no genes in these plants are from space, they come from nature.

            “Organic” can be hybrid or whatever, as long as it hasn’t had it or its parent plants messed with in a lab.

            Plants have been modified in labs for over 100 years now. What do you think they do in all those Ag universities all over the world? Ever hear of a nuclear garden? The only modified crops that are not allowed in “Organic” are GMOs, all others created in a lab are allowed. Patented or not.

            Farmers buy the GM seed up to 4x more expensive than their local ones

            Nope, Gmo traited seeds are only 25%-50% more in developing countries, up to 100% more in developed countries, depending on the traits.

            along with pesticides and herbicides and all that in order to get their plants to grow.

            GMOs are just plant traits and NONE require more pesticides. GMOs survive with LESS pesticides, that is why farmers buy them. Do you think farmers are stupid?

            Well it worked for the first few weeks of harvest, but then the bollworm pests came back. The farmers lost all their crop

            The it was NOT GMO Bt cotton. Bt cotton works very well on bollworms. The Bt crops do not work on other insect pests. It only works grubs and some caterpillars.

            suicide rates skyrocketed.

            Nope, they went down because farmers make more money with GMOs 25% more according to science.

            Hundreds of local Indian farmers bought Bt cotton

            Millions Indian farmers buy GMO cotton today, over 98% of all cotton farmers in India buy GMOs.

            tested more before being introduced to the market

            They are tested for years.

            When an organic seed pollinates with a GM seed, it’s no longer organic and organic farmers lose their right to farm organic seed because its all been cross pollinate by GM seed.

            Nope, not according to Organic rules and regulations. Plus if you are an Organic farmer you need to have buffers to prevent cross contamination.

            don’t own the food, they just own the way to grow it.

            Nope, you can grow GMOs however you want. Grow them in a planter box outside your window if you want. Plus all the non GMO crops are still around.

          • Eliza Dalton

            By definition, an alien gene is something that is not normally found in the gene. You don’t need to make me sound stupid, I think most people reading this understood.
            I’m pretty sure biotechnology in foods hasn’t been around for 100 years. GMOs are really recent.
            BIG companies make more money when they grow GMOs, smaller farmers do not. And yes, GM seed is more expensive to buy, whether it’s global or not, it’s still more expensive.
            When the GM seeds that are supposed to produce their own insecticide don’t work, then the farmers have to spend even more money buying the stronger chemicals in order to kill the pests.
            Organic crops are disappearing. I’ve explained this so many times. It’s science, it’s cross pollination, it’s how genes work.
            GMOs are making it harder to grow organic food.
            Could you give me a list of your sources? Because a lot of what you’ve said I have never ever heard of in my extensive research.

          • Damo

            You don’t know any small farmers, I gather. They love GMOs.

          • hyperzombie

            By definition, an alien gene is something that is not normally found in the gene.

            All genes mutate, this is evolution. There is no such thing as a static genome in plant breeding. The whole point of all plant breeding is to change the genome.

            I’m pretty sure biotechnology in foods hasn’t been around for 100 years. GMOs are really recent.

            Well it has been going on since Gregor Mendel in 1866, when he discovered inheritable traits.

            When the GM seeds that are supposed to produce their own insecticide don’t work, then the farmers have to spend even more money buying the stronger chemicals in order to kill the pests.

            No the worse that would happen is that the farmer would have to buy the same pesticides that they would have used before GMOs.

            Organic crops are disappearing.

            Once again Organic is a marketing term, not a type of crop. And no conventional crops are not disappearing, they are just not grown as much anymore. Seed banks and universities save all the ol seed varieties and they can be brought back at anytime.

            GMOs are making it harder to grow organic food.

            Nope, that is just marketing from Organic growers trying to justify why they charge 2x more for the same thing.

            Could you give me a list of your sources?

            USDA, seed cataloges, Indian Government, Indian Cotton growers Association.

          • Damo

            “Well it has been going on since Gregor Mendel in 1866, when he discovered inheritable traits.”

            Mendel may have been the first to write it down, but I am sure that people have had it figured out in some way for a long time before him.

            After all we successfully modified wheat, corn, squash, tomatoes, apples, dogs, cats, cows, horses, etc. etc. for thousands of years.

          • hyperzombie

            So true.

  • Ash

    GMO food is cheaper due to the fact that you can mass produce food that is more resistant to pests and herbicides also drought conditions. people are worried about pests becoming more resistant to these plants. certain safety measures have been taken already to help slow down these pests. Farmers are required to plant none GMO crops along with the GMO crops this will produce Genetically resistant pests mating with non Genetically resistant pests. This will in turn produce offspring that are not immune, but yes over time you will have pests that are resistant. This concern however will not be immediate.

    • Eliza Dalton

      So we’ll leave it to our grandchildren to starve because the concern “is not immediate.”
      GMOs are genetically dominant. Over time, there will only be GM foods (which btw are controlled by a monopoly and patents) so heads up and lets cross our fingers to the scientists in the future to keep making stronger and stronger and stronger and more toxic chemicals to spray our foods with so they can kill the pests. Until we can’t. Then we don’t have any food. Well, our grandkids won’t cuz.

      • Ash

        I get your concern, but even today scientists have already produced ways of controlling pests. They release sterilized males to mate with females thus not reproducing offspring. Eventually leading to a decreased pest population.

        • Eliza Dalton

          Do you know how expensive that is? For a huge group of scientists and individuals to be in charge of sterilizing billions and billions of bugs? I’m pretty sure there are way more bugs out there than we can control.
          And to your comment that eventually there will be a decreased pest population… Ok we don’t want to get rid of all pests. Not only do pests eat other bugs (like spiders eat crickets) but they are food sources to so many animals! If we sprayed aphids, we would have no ladybugs. If we sprayed ants, crickets, or any kind of worm, we lose birds. You can see where this will go. It’s better to leave mother nature alone than to tamper with food.

          • hyperzombie

            there are way more bugs out there than we can control.

            Not really. Humans have eliminated certain bugs in the past. The North American screwworm for example.

          • Eliza Dalton

            Ok but realistically, do you think we can get rid of all the bugs? You’re missing the big point: we don’t want to get rid of them for above reasons.

          • hyperzombie

            rid of all the bugs
            No one wants to get rid of all the bugs, just the Agricultural pests in Agricultural areas. Or lower the pest load so that pesticides are not needed.

  • Pete

    This doesn’t make any sense we need to grow more food because the world population is going to increase to 9 Billion by 2050. How can the population increase to 9 Billion if there is not enough food?