Despite concern about GMOs, there's little credible evidence showing they are harmful to people, animals, or the environment. In fact, GMOs and modern agricultural techniques have helped expand the abundance of food Americans enjoy. GMOs are even helping end hunger around the world. Scientists estimate that if all agricultural production were to switch to organic, we'd only be able to feed half of the 7 billion people on the planet today.
It's a fact that neither people nor animals have been harmed by consuming food or feed containing GM ingredients. Even decade ago, we thought that people would be reassured as evidence grew, as it has, that GM crops are safe. But that's not what happened. Instead, more and more people have come to believe that they are dangerous.
Instead of pushing back against GMOs, scientists say people should embrace modern agriculture because it's the safest and best way to feed the world.
In developing countries, particularly in Africa, farmers can still grow much, much more. Organic farming is what most African farmers do now, and most of them are devastatingly poor. They need good seeds, fertilizer, agri-chemicals, training and information to triple their yields, not organic ideology that seeks to prevent access to modern farming inputs. They also need the entire infrastructure that supports modern food systems and the training to run it.
Proponents of organic foods argue scientific consensus is wrong. They point to a study which found that organic food contains more antioxidants than conventionally grown food. While not entirely conclusive, the study shows the method of agricultural production does affect the food's nutrition. It's clear we don't have a full understanding, and for some, they'd rather err on the side of caution.
The results are based on an analysis of 343 peer-reviewed studies from around the world – more than ever before – which examine differences between organic and conventional fruit, vegetables and cereals.
"The crucially important thing about this research is that it shatters the myth that how we farm does not affect the quality of the food we eat," said Helen Browning, chief executive of Soil Association, which campaigns for organic farming.
This graphic from the Guardian shows why people choose to eat organic food.