Regulate or abolish GMOs

Tycho Von Thun, guest columnist

Huge issues in agricultural trends are different for everyone, but one that many people see as the biggest are genetically modified organisms or GMOs. I personally want them to either be regulated or abolished.

To start with what is genetic modification? Well, simply put, an organism that has been changed. But haven’t we done this for thousands of years? Isn’t selective breeding the same? Not really, according to multiple sources including Mother Nature Network, Center for Food Safety, and many others. For example, in selective breeding, it takes hundreds of years for cross breeding to really show its effect. This sounds like a plus for GMOs, which don’t take nearly as long, but it’s really not. The reason breeding takes so long depends on what you want and what you have. Let’s say I have a weather-resistant bean plant and another that has an especially high yield. If you breed them you get a slightly more weather-resistant, and slightly above-average yielding bean. If you breed these the effect will keep getting stronger until, POOF! A super crop. This is completely natural and proven to work.

With genetic modification you can get the same result as selective breeding in a shorter time, as well as combine more than 10 crops, even crops from separate species. If I had great yield on seven cornstalks but excessive resistance on three other plants — maybe pumpkin, bean, and watermelon — I could get a few samples some technology, and POOF! A super crop. But is it really a super crop? Along with all the good sides let’s say one of the cornstalks that happens to have the highest yield also dies a lot sooner — this would also go into your crop.

Even if GM saves time, with any mistake everything can be changed or ruined. This isn’t the only reason, though, there is another variable: price.

I hope you see that even with the downsides of time, maybe genetic modification isn’t the answer unless we do more research or even make some adjustments or some advances. Until then, GMOs just can’t be trusted.

• Tycho Von Thun, 14, doesn’t like the spotlight, and commonly enjoys being left alone, recognized but not praised.

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