“What’s a GMO?” asks Jimmy Kimmel

by Steven Parker, Sustainable Plant Systems – Agronomy major

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) is a term that we hear a lot these days – usually we hear about the problems with GMO’s.  We hear about how they can cause numerous health problems, like cancer or you could insert any other disease and I’m sure GMO’s have been blamed.  In my mind the media has jumped on the bandwagon with those the people against GMO’s.  The average consumer has also let emotions make the decisions, more than logic.

I believe though what the real problem is that the public is not informed what GMO’s are.  I  saw a segment on Jimmy Kimmel Live were he sent a group to go out and ask people about GMO’s at a local farmers market.  Out of all the people on the segment that were asked only one person knew what the letters GMO stood for.  None of them knew really what GMO’s are; mainly their response was they are something bad.  One man even said that he avoids them because he gets bad vibes about them.
View segment

This segment shows what the problem really is; it is that the public is uninformed about their food.  This is what I believe is the real problem that we face in trying to get GMO’s to have less of a negative connotation.  As an industry , growers and producers need to be more transparent with their practices and need to educate the public on what their food really is.  As a grower, though , I know how tough this can be.

This blog post was an assignment for Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.

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