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Submitted by bpmccarthy on Wed, 10/02/2019 - 14:36

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been very prevalent in recent years in the ongoing debate about what foods we should be eating and how different foods affect us. For a while I didn't really know what GMOs do or how they affect us, until last semester in my genetics class. My professor, Professor Loomis, told us how scientists have been able to modify the genomes of certain crops, like wheat. These genetic modifications have allowed the crops to survive being sprayed with pesticides. This is great for farmers because they can easily rid their crops of insects/pests while increasing their yield; however, this has detrimental effects on the populations who eat these crops. The pesticides get absorbed into the plant and the plant doesn't die, but the chemicals in these pesticides remain in the crop all the way until they are consumed, poisoning whoever consumes this product.  Professor Loomis then told us that this is a big reason why many people in the US have gluten insensitivities, or so they think. People with so called “gluten insensitivities” are just responding to the pesticides that are in their food, that have traveled from the wheat fields to their plate. She stated that people who have what they think are gluten insensitivities can go to Europe and eat the bread there just fine, because they’re not made with genetically modified wheat crop that has been sprayed down with pesticides. While this is still all I really know about GMOs, I think they could be potentially useful if implemented correctly. GMOs could help fulfill food needs of a steadily increasing world population. In their current state, GMOs need a lot of improvement before their use is practical and efficient (and doesn’t poison people), but many people recognize their potential, and are working towards better GMO solutions.