05 Mar The GMOs And Organic Food Production Debate
Plants grown with the help of genetically modified organisms could be allowed to carry an organic certificate in upcoming years. This rather controversial statement has been made by Greg Ibach, USDA Undersecretary of Agriculture. Plus, plants grown with the help of gene editing could have the same fate. However, there is an entire debate concerning the use of gene editing as a means of boosting the massive production of organic crops. The controversy is also tied to varieties that can withstand diseases and drought issues. At the moment, organic standards do not allow genetic engineering and the certification of GMOs under that label. Moreover, US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order requesting federal agencies to be more permissive when approving genetic crop modifications.
GMOs and Organic Farming
The controversy around this topic comes from the fact that organic certification requires products to have an organic label that lacks any forms of antibiotics, artificial colors, synthetic pesticides or genetically modified ingredients. Since GMOs are not naturally found in the environment, they have been included on this list. Things have changed during recent years, and policymakers are thinking about including GMOs on the list of acceptable practices for organic farming.
However, consumers might not be as eager to embrace the new crops containing GMOs. According to a study conducted by the Hartman Group in 2018, almost 50 percent of respondents would decline to buy products with GMOs in the ingredients’ list. Moreover, 60% of consumers in a different study stated they are not very familiar with the effects of GMOs on their health. Nevertheless, this has not stopped lots of food manufacturing companies around the world to stop including GMO ingredients in their products.
As for the practices used by worldwide agriculturists, around 12 percent of the fertile land is taken by crops that have been modified genetically. In the United States alone, around 75 percent of the available products are made with genetically modified crops. Ninety percent of the corn, soybean and sugar beet crops are genetically modified.
Why are GMOs Taken into Consideration?
Why are these percentages so high? It’s simple; GMOs are extremely practical to use. Since the world’s population is expected to reach the 10-billion threshold by the year 2050, we need to see some immediate changes in the way we produce crops and manufacture food to comply with the upcoming changes.
Among the solutions that are being debated by world leaders, boosting the number of bioengineered crops appears to have a leading position. We are talking both in terms of quantity and species. The organic farming community is looking for ways to feed the entire planet, while consumers continue to express their reticency to buy and use GMO-containing products off the shelves of stores.
While there is a predominant consensus at a scientific level that claims GMO food is safe and just as nutritious as non-GMO food, lots of voices continue to speak against it. Someone who likes to have homemade popcorn while trying out new casinos online from the comfort of their home might more easily notice the product’s label and any GMO additions. They may stop buying the respective product and start paying more attention to product labeling. This is particularly true for those consumers who are in favor of 100% transparency when it comes to product labels and that could cause backlash once the changes in the labels will turn into reality. While two-thirds of consumers might not notice GMO labels on the products they want to buy, those consumers who will notice the change will be tempted to give up their purchases. Plus, USDA may also have trouble keeping track of these alterations, given the large number of since GE procedures. Organic shoppers are encouraged to buy more organic products, given the decreasing prices for these products. Producers may consider not adding the use of GMOs to their practices, even though they are allowed to do it.
It is important for consumers to know that the organic food they buy is free of any GMOs, given the fact that the new labeling laws that will soon come into effect will not include all GMO-containing products on the same list of requirements. To be able to buy an organic product that is the synonym to “free of GMOs” is a must for those consumers who wish to keep buying food that has no added modifications in it.