GMOs for a better world

Taylor Cooper

Before I get to my point, here’s a little history lesson on the genetic modification of food. While not recognized as genetic engineering, humans have been altering the way food grows, tastes and looks for millennia. Known as hybridization or classic selection, this method has created all the food we eat today. One of the most-used examples is the orange carrot. Carrots weren’t always orange. They started out being either purple or yellow. The Dutch used early methods of hybridization to create the orange color. This was done in honor of one of the Netherland’s most revered rulers, Willem van Oranje. He’s more commonly known as William the Silent now. What this means is that no food you will ever eat is in its “pure and natural state.” It’s all been changed by humans throughout history, and for the better.

So what makes genetically engineered food different? Well, it’s done in a lab for one. It’s subject to much more strict safety authorization procedures, and done in a more sanitary environment with much more testing before it’s deemed suitable for human consumption. The products that come from these labs grow faster and in a wider variety of climates, have a larger yield than their non-engineered counterparts and offer more nutrients. Golden rice is a prime example, and could save the lives of millions of people with vitamin A deficiency and save even more that suffer from simple starvation.

That leads me to my point. If you are against the development of genetically engineered food, then I despise you. You are a terrible human being, and should be branded as such. Billions of people have been saved by the genetic engineering of food, and many of the pioneers into the field have been spit upon or worse by people that wrongly believe that it will harm them. There is no proof of properly regulated GMOs hurting anyone, any person that wants to kill GMO production is giving in to hysteria not unlike the vaccine scare a few years back or the Salem witch trials. Notice how I said billions of people have been saved? That’s not an exaggeration. It’s been estimated that up to two billion people have been saved from starvation thanks to food made in a lab that grows faster and yields more.

Let’s assume, for a moment, that GMOs were known to harm people. It would be a stretch to say that genetically engineered food has ever even caused a stomachache, so lets go with that. Would anyone really be so selfish as to condemn nearly a billion people to death because he didn’t want to deal with a stomachache? Let’s stretch it further and say that it cut 10 years off of the average American’s life. That’s still around a 70-year lifespan. Would you condemn nearly two billion people to die a slow and lingering death because of that? I’d gladly give up 10 years of my life for a cause like that, and I’d like to think that my fellow Americans would as well.