GM Crops – Dan Severson Lecture

Despite popular belief that GMOs are taking over the food industry within the United States, there are actually only ten crops that are approved to be genetically modified and produced within the country.  These ten crops include corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, sugar beets, potatoes, papaya, squash, alfalfa, and apples. More than 90% of acreage dedicated to soybean, cotton, corn, canola and sugar beet is GMO, but most of these commodity crops aren’t sold directly to consumers anyhow, but to other disciplines such as the production of ethanol.  While only ten crops are approved and produced by GMO, there are over 120 varieties of GM crops, and it can be difficult to find processed foods that don’t include a GMO ingredient. Furthermore, while many people are under the impression that these ten GM crops pose a threat to their health, it is actually the exact opposite; the most recently approved GM crop is the potato, which was approved due to its resistance in bruising and the fact that it produces less of a cancer-causing chemical than non-GM potatoes.  A lot of these facts come as a surprise to many people who aren’t well-educated about genetically modified crops, including myself, but are vitally important to learn and understand.

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