I am doing a English 102 paper for college on GMO vs NON-GMO foods.
How many people say there are benefits to GMO's? and what would you say they are?
How many people say NON-GMO's are better? and what you say they are?
What would you rather grow and why?
We are trying to feed the world and without GMO corn (or any other crops for that matter) there is no way we will keep up. Do the research...don't quote me but I believe I read that in the next 40 years farmers will have to produce as much or more food than they have produced in the last 10,000 years combined to feed the exploding world population. Here is one benefit to note...huge yield advantage. For example, when we harvested our corn this year our corn with Corn borer, rootworm and ear worm protection yielded about 25 more bushels per acre than our refuge acres (required by EPA and Monsanto) that had just Roundup Ready technology with no extra traits to protect from all the pest. That is $200.00/acre more yield advantage and it only cost us about $24.00 per acre for the extra traits...pretty good return. It was a 170 acre field and you have to have 20% planted to refuge (with the product we used) so on that 34 aces that yielded 25 bushels less, using $8.00 corn it cost us about $6800.00 by not having the trait packed corn hybrid on those acres, plus it is about 850 less bushels of corn to feed the world just on that 34 acres. Now, the refuge is required but think if the entire field was planted to just the straight RR corn and start doing the math. We can't afford not to be planting the best GMO traits out there on our farm. Now RR is considered a GMO but it is about the lowest level you can get, so even our refuge acres were a GMO product and was still 25 bushels off from another similar product stacked up with more traits. Now what if we had planted a conventional hybrid on all of those acres and were not able to use Roundup to help with all of the weed pressure, there goes at least another 25-50, or more bushels/acre to the weeds. Anyway, I was a college student trying to write papers one day and I hated it, so I'm just trying to give you some insight from my perspective to maybe help out in your research from a real situation from 2 weeks ago. I'm sure this will start a GMO vs. NonGMO firestorm on this thread but bring it on, haven't had any good controversy on here for a while so someone might as well rock the boat, been kind of boring on here. LOL.
Non gmo crops are actually yeilding better. If you look closely at field trials you can see a trend. GMO crops are several generations behind non gmo varieties. Non GMO crops are still the "grandparent seed" for all gmo crops. GMO crops are bred from non gmo varieties. Seed companies try to hide this fact. Think about this if seed companies came out and told you upfront that you sacrifice yield for GMO traits how many would still buy GMOs? Seed companies have invested tons of money into GMO crops and like any business they need returns on their investment. The question is will seed companies sell non gmo seeds that are of high quality or are they purposely holding back til they can offer a GMO version? I personally only plant non gmo. I feel we have not seen the full repercussions of GMOs. I also do not want to back myself into a corner as many export countries trend towards non gmo only. GMO crops may become unsellable due to exports of the grains themselves and as feedstuffs for export market livestock. I caution those jumping on the GMO wagon as we now also see RR resistant weeds and bt resistant borers. As we try to outsmart nature she adapts and it is a losing cycle. The way I see it non gmo is the only way.
Its not the question of what genetics yields better... The question is what option can improve the farmer to grow a bushel of corn or soybean cheaper. Believe it or not recently some farmers have been able to reduce costs going back to non gmo seed because of the herbicide resistant weeds in some areas of the country. But GMO crops have become more popular because of the changing structural nature of agriculture. There are becoming fewer farms and the fewer farms are becoming larger. GMO crops give added value or convience to allow the largest farms easier manageablity. I did a research project while I was in college that suggested that extra GMO seed technology fee does not give a good return or benefit to the smaller farmer. We also have the lingering legal issues with monsanto however. Monsanto owns the copy rights to GMO traits. However how is a non GMO farmer or for that matter an ORGANIC farmer that does not wish to have contaminate their genetics in saved seed because of wind pollinated crops like corn, milo, and canola. There was a canola farmer in canada that was a non gmo farmer that was sued by monsanto several years ago because his canola had some gmo traits and the farmer had not pay technology fees. But the farmer insists that he had never bought monsanto seed before and that his seed had been containminated by pollen of neighboring fields lol you have alot of research to do.... ITS a bumpy subject, with strong opinions on both sides.
I had to write a paper the same thing
I have attached my paper so feel free to read it and comment on my nelifes
I wrote a pro GMO agricultural opinion column for the Iowa State Daily. Perhaps it will get you thinking as you write your paper!
Genetic engineering allows us to grow crops in places that nature wouldn't allow in the past, things like drought tolerant corn for example. I know there are lots of opponents out there against GM crops. They say genetically altered crops have health risks linked to them. But whats the answer? The world population is growing, and mainly in the equatorial regions of the globe where growing food is very difficult.
I personally grow what works for my farm. Parts of my farm get planted to nonGM oats, wheat, and barley. Other parts of my farm get planted to GM canola..... It's all determined by things like weed control, rotation, and markets.
Food for thought (no pun intended).......here is something to think about: If rich westernized countries had less wasted food....could the world get by without the use of GMO crops?.........Maybe??? Maybe not???
Good Luck on the paper.......hope my input helps :)