Look up “hot topic” in the dictionary and you’ll find a definition of GMOs. OK, maybe not, but given the attention GMOs have received of late, it’s entirely plausible.
One five-second internet search on GMOs returns hundreds of results supporting both sides of the issue — and, trust me, it’s a divisive one.
So, what if you’re looking for general information that you can use to make your own decision on this hot button topic? You can search the internet — and you’ll find some good information — but it takes some time to weed through the ‘everything else.’
And that’s why we decided to provide some of this information in one spot. As a farm organization, we have pretty definite ideas about GMOs and the benefits they provide. But we know that not everyone subscribes to that idea. And we know, if you don’t subscribe to that idea, you want the chance to make up your own mind rather than having someone make it up for you.
So, here are a few valuable resources that give you some additional information in your search:
- Janice Person knows GMOs. After all, she’s spent her life working in the agriculture industry. In this personal blog entry, G is for GMOs — What are GMOs & Why Do Farmers Plant GMO Crops?, she addresses some common questions and misconceptions.
- How about hearing it straight from the farmers’ mouth? Check out this entry on Common Ground, a blog dedicated to opening conversations between farmers and consumers.
- Or, maybe you would like to hear from other consumers — specifically urban, Illinois moms — who have had the chance to speak with Illinois farmers on why they use GMOs. If that’s the case, check out the blogs on the Illinois Farm Families blog.
- An excellent source of information on biotechnology, agricultural biotechnology and pharmaceutical biotechnology, http://www.bio.org can answer a bevy of questions about GMOs and agricultural biotechnology.
- The Council for Biotechnology Information is a non-profit organization that communicates science-based information about the benefits and safety of agricultural biotechnology. And, they have videos!
- Probably the most general and informational website on GMOs and biotechnology.
- Several universities have compiled information about GMOs, too. Check out the University of Illinois, Colorado State University and Iowa State University.
- Want to know what food companies think of GMOs and biotech? Here, several food companies and organizations compiled information on biotechnology and the contributions it can make to our food system. It also has useful (and simple!) definitions of biotechnology and provides examples of new products coming online through biotechnology.
- Straight up science your thing? Check this out.
- And, finally, an interesting take on the process companies must go through when they introduce a new GM product to the market – The GM safety dance: What’s rule and what’s real. Grist writer, Nathanael Johnson, is doing a series on GMOs, and after reading this piece, I’m looking forward to reading the rest!
Again, these links are not meant to be a be-all, end-all list. In many cases, these links provide a good deal of positive information about GMOs. Some provide information that weighs both sides, and some provide information in the context of farmers who use GMO seeds, or moms who have talked to those farmers.
In a nutshell, you probably will still want to do your own research — as you should. Just remember, to look at it through your own eyes, not someone else’s.