Everyone arguing for and against GMOs has it wrong. Genetically modified organisms in and of themselves aren’t the problem. As a species we’ve been cultivating and cross-breeding plants for centuries. Genetic modification speeds the process up. No additional chemicals are added; building blocks are just re-arranged.
The problem isn’t genetically modified organisms. It’s who is doing the modifying. Monsanto is the biggest company right now for GMOed seeds. Almost everything we, and our meat, eat comes from Monsanto crop. They’re big proponents of modifying stronger, more robust crops. (I’m not going to go into their business practices. That’s a whole other post.)
They also edit their product for consumer taste, which sounds great—finally, vegetables I like to eat!—but really isn’t. In general, people don’t like the taste of healthy things. We like cookies and donuts and ice cream cake. We don’t like mealy food, food that you really have to chew at, food that feels a little like a mouth full of chalk. Monsanto, and the other GMO companies, know this. So they take corn and turn it into little pellets of sugar. They take apples and make them more flavorful (which means more sugar). Americans want their food big. They want it cheap. And they want it now. Berries are modified to be twice their size with half the flavor. Tomatoes are almost tasteless. But, boy, look at the size.
We could be using GMOs for good, adding in nutrients and vitamins to our crops, but the process is being abused by consumerism. The point of genetic modification isn’t to “feed the people.” The point is to make money. Stronger crops make more food, are more resistant to disease, and last longer. But they aren’t better for us. The sad part is they could be, if only the modification wasn’t done solely for a profit.