World faces many problems– why talk about GMOs?

| | September 15, 2015
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Why are we still talking about GMOs? These “food fights” feel meaningless compared to so many issues facing the world today, but GMO issues are important in the short, medium and long-term.

Short term, the more we share facts, the more we reduce unnecessary fears of parents just trying to feed their kids. Marketers and activist groups spread misinformation about perfectly healthy foods, and not everyone has the time to do the research to verify those claims.

Medium term, the more we can help families make purchasing decisions based on facts, the less grocery stores and restaurants will fall prey to the marketers and activist groups. I want farmers to be able to farm how they want, within reasonable regulation. But today options are decreasing, not increasing. I hope we can keep reasonably priced food around along with expensive options for those who want them.

Long term, food is a national security issue. People with enough food are far less likely to make war. As a veteran and as a humanist, the issue of food security is very concerning to me.

Yes, it’s a trope when pro GMO people say we need GMOs to feed the world. But farmers DO need diverse methods (both high and low tech). GMO policy in the US may seem irrelevant to food availablity in Africa and Asia. But, anti GMO sentiment here can lead to policies that keep needed technologies from being developed. It can also affect export markets, so even if  countries allow GMO cultivation, their farmers wouldn’t have a market for their products.

I hope that my small science communication efforts, in combination with others, can mitigate misinformation. The possibilities of disease resistance and stress resistance in crops are too important to leave on the shelf.

Read full, original post:  Why do GMO science communication?

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