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Source: istock

Pros and Cons of GMOs: Is Eating GMOs Bad For You?


Genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs, have massively changed modern agriculture over the past few decades. And while those in the agriculture industry probably know all about the differences between GMO crops, non-GMO crops, and organic crops, the topic of GMO crops is quite controversial amongst consumers. If you’ve been wondering about the pros and cons of GMOs, read on for everything you need to know.

What Are GMOs, or Genetically Modified Organisms?

A GMO is an organism (typically a plant, but also an animal or microorganism) whose genes have been genetically engineered in a lab, ultimately yielding an organism with “desirable” traits that do not occur in nature, according to the Non-GMO Project. GMO crops were first invented in 1982, when scientists genetically engineered a tomato, according to the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) report Genetically Engineered Crops in the United States. A few years later, in 1985, the USDA approved additional field tests of GE organisms, and then in 1996, the USDA approved of commercially-produced GE crops.

As explained by the USDA, since 1996, most U.S. GMO crops in the U.S. have been genetically modified to have either herbicide tolerance and/or insect resistance, meaning they can be sprayed with pesticides or attacked by insects, and still thrive and grow.

Since then, GMO crops have grown exponentially. For example, more than 93 percent of corn and soy grown in the U.S. are GMO — and most of that corn and soy is fed to livestock in the factory farming industry (where 99 percent of our meat, dairy, and eggs come from).