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Are Organisms being Genetically Modified to benefit the profitability of you the producer or to benefit the health of me the consumer? You see, your statement that GMOs are safe to me means that they will not harm me now.. I want to eat food that will revitalize me, not not harm me

Submitted by: nevenante


Expert response from Community Manager

Moderator for

Friday, 17/01/2014 18:20

GM crops have been improved to help farmers reduce losses due to pests and disease and farm more sustainably.  The quality and nutritional value of the food derived from these crops has not been changed. Julie Howard, Chief Scientist at the USAID Bureau for Food Security addresses the benefits of GMO in a recent response; included below is an excerpt you may find helpful:


“…. to date, the majority of the benefits of GMOs have been realized by farmers, there are also important examples of direct consumer benefits. GMO commodities incorporating pest resistance can and have significantly reduced pesticide use and resulting pesticide residues.  This is especially important in low-income countries, where farmers frequently lack access to safe pesticides-- and may not be properly trained in pesticide use, or in post-harvest processing to reduce residues. Foods with reduced pesticide residues (either synthetic pesticides used in conventional agriculture or biologically derived pesticides used in organic agriculture) are healthier for all people, particularly for women and children who are very sensitive to their impacts. 


GE technologies are also increasingly being used to improve specific nutritional qualities of food.  For example, genetic engineering has been used to develop soybean varieties with healthier fatty acid profiles. Some contain more oleic acid—a monounsaturated fatty acid found in most oils but mostly associated with olive oil—and fewer saturated fatty acids than traditional soybeans. Another GE soybean has an increased level of omega-3 fatty acids, associated with heart health. The result of these types of GMOs is healthier cooking oils than are currently on the market.


In the developing country context, Vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of blindness, particularly prevalent among children. To combat this deficiency, one approach has been to use GE to enrich staple crops with beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A). “Golden Rice” is one example of how genetic engineering has made it possible to significantly increase the amount of beta-carotene in rice. A typical serving of the Golden Rice variety could provide half the required daily intake of pro-vitamin A for a one- to three-year-old child. Researchers are  using both conventional and GE techniques to introduce enhanced levels of other nutrients (e.g., iron, zinc, lysine) to develop “biofortified” varieties of sorghum and cassava, both of which are important staple crops in Africa.


The good thing about our food systems in the U.S. is that consumers have a choice about whether to purchase organic or conventionally grown food based on their personal preferences. What is important is to educate yourself about what those choices mean and understand their perceived vs. real benefits.”


To view the full response, click here: