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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

OPINION: GMOs are part of the solution, not the problem

Makenzie Miller

GMOs are controversial around the world. Twenty-six countries, including most of the European Union, either ban or severely limit the genetic modification of foods. The United States requires food manufacturers to label genetically modified products.

This fear of genetic modification isn’t based on any legitimate scientific concern. In fact, the scientific consensus is in favor of GMOs.

In 2012, a group of Italian scientists analyzed over 1,500 individual studies on the health effects of GMOs – including the environmental impacts, potential gene contamination and toxicity to humans. The researchers found that “the scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazards directly connected with the use of genetically engineered crops.” 

The Italian analysis wasn’t an outlier. The safety of GMOs has been repeatedly researched and confirmed worldwide.

The World Health Organization says that “genetically modified foods currently available … have passed safety assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health.” The American Medical Association argues that “there is no evidence that unique hazards exist either in the use of rDNA techniques or in the movement of genes between unrelated organisms.” 

Common concerns regarding GMOs including allergens and cancers are repeatedly tested for by the FDA. There is zero viable evidence that genetic modification has increased the frequency of allergies or cancer.

Beyond not causing harm, GMOs provide numerous applicable benefits.

Many GMOs are resistant to insect damage and plant viruses. This means farmers growing genetically modified crops use fewer pesticides, and that the pesticides that are used hurt the environment a lot less.

Genetically modified foods can reduce food waste by reducing cosmetic traits like browning that cause good foods to be thrown away.

Other genetically modified foods can survive droughts and floods, allowing for crops to be grown in more regions of the world and for our food supply to be more resilient to the effects of climate change. 

GMOs vastly increase farm yields and profits. They have been endorsed by the American Farm Bureau for their ability to keep food affordable and struggling farmers afloat.

Foods have been modified in African and Southeast Asian nations to provide more vitamin A, which can improve health outcomes in regions where vital nutrients can be deficient.

Caution is certainly warranted for any product that we put in our body. From corn syrup to excess sodium, the American diet is beyond unhealthy. Genetic modification isn’t part of the problem. It’s part of the solution.

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About the Contributors
Jacob Unruh
Jacob Unruh, Assistant Sports Editor
Jacob Unruh is the assistant sports editor for The Sunflower. He is a junior at Wichita State, majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. This is Unruh's first year on staff. He goes by he/him pronouns.
Makenzie Miller
Makenzie Miller, Illustrator/Designer
Makenzie Miller is an animation major and a first-year illustrator on The Sunflower. She is from Eureka, Kansas, and enjoys not only art but also cartoons, video games, softball, and literally any type of animal. She hopes to one day be a storyboarder/concept artist for an animation company.

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