Why Do Some Farmers Use GMOs?
GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are generally not talked about in the media or public forums without polarizing comments. Some question whether they are safe for us to consume. Others are comfortable with the fact that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the American Medical Association, National Academy of Science and others have concluded GMOs are safe and just as nutritious as non-GMO products. We have both non-GMO and GMO crops in our rotation – they each have their respective place in crop production. Without question, we have more economic value with GMO cropping practices. We also have less cultivation and use fewer chemicals, allowing for optimum use of inputs to increase production. These environmental benefits to the land often do not get talked about. When we look at a crop that gives the most return on investment, we don’t find an alternative to GMOs, so we embrace the use of GMOs on our farm. Non-GMO crops still find a place on our farm, but the cost of production is higher due to the additional cropping practices needed and regulations that attempt to protect the integrity of non-GMOs. Finally, regarding product labeling, if you have “non-GMO” on the label, then the burden of proof and overall cost for the products are increased for farmers and consumers alike.
– Kirk Mathis, Wilkes County farmer