March, 29 2016

(The Hill) A Hungry World Should Look To GMOs

A Hungry World Should Look To GMOs
Charlie Stenholm
The Hill

The world’s population is growing and will reach 9 billion by 2050. The rate of productive land loss globally is estimated at 1 hectare (2.471 acres) every 6.74 seconds. Arable land (i.e., land that is suitable for growing crops) remains constant at 3 percent of the earth’s surface.

How is that possible?

Deforestation — the result of a developing world striving to feed itself. The unfortunate reality is that one out of every nine people on earth today does not have enough food to maintain a healthy life. And while fossil fuels have nothing to do with this form of climate change, you would never know that based on what world leaders have been, and continue to be, fixated on.

I have a question for those religious leaders who have bought into the masterful public-relations effort by environmental groups that fossil fuels will be the ruination of the earth, but completely ignore the plight of today’s poor and hungry masses (almost 1 billion men, women and children).
How is the world going to feed itself on less land and the same amount of water, with 2 billion more people, without fully utilizing technology? I do not argue that man has nothing to do with climate change, but I do argue we should be smart about our solutions.

As a predominantly Christian nation, we profess to be concerned about the poor. How are the poor helped by making food and energy more expensive? Organic food is 47 percent more costly than conventional food. For those who can afford and want to purchase organic food, I hope the market grows from the current 8 percent and continues to be profitable for those who produce it.

The hungry of the world though, have a major problem. The so-called “environmental movement” has convinced the political leaders of the world that technology is bad, but neglect to present a sustainable alternative. The science is clear: Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not harmful to anyone; in fact, 2,000 studies have found GMOs to be as safe as non-GMOs. But do not believe me, ask your family doctor. And if your doctor says she/he does not know, ask her/him to check it out. If genetically modifying insects to control the spread of vector-borne diseases are permissible, perhaps genetically modifying our food to make it more abundant, more nutritious and safer has merit also, especially for the poor?

Polls show that one out of every four Americans does not know what a GMO is, and over 50 percent know very little, yet over 70 percent want GMOs to be labeled. That signals a problem that is easily exploited by those with an anti-technology agenda. Labeling will increase the cost of food, especially if industry moves away from genetic engineering technology, giving in and raising their costs, again affecting those who can least afford it. Why not just label those products that are GMO free, similar to organic? If you want to pay more, the market will provide you with that opportunity. And everyone is happy!

Read more here.


About the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food

We are a broad-based coalition representing the entire American agriculture food supply chain – from farm to fork. We are committed to increasing the public’s understanding about the science and safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and advocating for science-based policies that keep food affordable for every American.

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