Great question. First of all, from a farm perspective not all of our seeds are genetically modified. We choose to use or not use GMOs based on the needs of our farm. When we do buy GM seeds, we are required to sign a technology contract where we agree not to save seed from year to year. This protects the research that whatever seed company we purchase from that year has put into the seeds. That being said, the seed is still viable. Technically, it could be replanted and grown the next year; however, we choose to abide by the legal restraints of our contract and do not save GMO seed.
GMOs are pretty unique in how they are made but aren’t all that uncommon when you think about how nature works. They are really a method of speeding up what is already naturally occurring in nature overtime. Plants and animals have to evolve to overcome obstacles that threaten their livelihood. This could take thousands of years. With GMOs, this process can be sped up as scientists pinpoint specific places in a plant’s DNA that can be changed to make that plant have a higher survivability rate.
As a farmer, GMOs make sense when it comes to sustainability. Sustainability is more than just seed availability. It’s the preservation of our natural resources and the reduction of waste. Through the use of some GMOs, we are able to use fewer restricted-use pesticides, choosing instead weaker chemistries that aren’t as harmful on the environment.