The focus on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) has lately been intense. While GMO has given the world new medications and new foods, the science has also created a backlash to companies like the agricultural/chemical giant Monsanto, which controls and develops proprietary rights to GMO plant seeds.
But scientific plant modification is hardly a new phenomenon. For instance,
Genetically modified organisms have been around for over 20 years; The New York Times looks to the fields to see if the technology has lived up to its promises.
The controversy over genetically modified crops has long focused on largely unsubstantiated fears that they are unsafe to eat.
But an extensive examination by The New York Times indicates that the debate has missed a more basic problem — genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides.
“Genetically modified (GM) crops, foods, ingredients, and feeds produced from them have been very much in the news. In the United States, voters have gone to the polls in California and Washington to reject initiatives that would have required mandatory warning labels on foods containing even traces of GM crop-derived materials. Connecticut passed a GM labeling bill that will not take effect until five other states adopt similar legislation; such legislative actions are pending in about 20 other states.”
“Genetically modified ingredients have been eliminated from one of the best-known breakfast cereals in the United States after a year-long campaign from environmental groups.
Food industry giant General Mills says it took genetically modified organisms (GMOs) out of its Cheerios brand not out of safety concerns, but in response to consumer demands.”