Last weekend, GMO haters decided to protest Monsanto. On Twitter, Monsanto sent out a Tweet that included my blog on the “research” that says glyphosate is to blame for every disease/health condition known to man.
Since the headline was “Let’s Blame Monsanto’s Glyphosate for Everything! (or not),” I got a few hate Tweets. Apparently anti-GMO protestors in the midst of blaming Monsanto for everything didn’t appreciate the irony of such a blog.
In this blog, I’d like to speak directly to the protestors. I don’t expect to change your opinion of GMOs. But, perhaps some folks on the fence won’t take your anti-GMO stance as the gospel after reading this.
First off, I can think of five large agribusiness companies off the top of my head that are producing biotech crops. Continually singling out Monsanto only reaffirms they are the market leader. Did you know DuPont (Pioneer’s parent company) had a total revenue three times higher than Monsanto in 2012?
The U.S. population has been consuming GMO crops since the mid-1990s. Despite your links to pseudo studies, I do not think these crops have caused any significant health problems. Any study linking the health conditions with food in the U.S. has to tip-toe around an 800 lb gorilla called the fast food epidemic. I just don’t buy that genetically modified corn, not America’s reliance on cheeseburgers, fries and a Coke as a square meal, is causing obesity.
Regardless of what you think, you cannot grow a crop without pest pressure. Be it bugs, weeds or disease, they all rob yield. Sure, you can hand weed a tomato plot and sprinkle it with magic dust composed of cayenne pepper and deer urine, but that just isn’t feasible for a 100+ acre field. At least not if you want food to remain affordable for everyone.
Howard Buffett made a terrific point in a recent speech. He said the anti-GMO crowd is terrific at protesting genetically modified crops. However, they aren’t bringing any new ideas to the table on how to feed the world’s growing population. I agree completely.
And, yes, GMO crops yield better and feed more people. As Holly Spangler pointed out, farmers aren’t stupid on this matter. They are willing to pay more for GMO seed because it yields better and has built-in insurance. I know it’s a crazy idea, but maybe the folks growing the food actually know what they’re doing. It’s almost as if Samsung and Apple know how to build smartphones. What a shocking idea!
And now, to the person who asked if I’m on Monsanto’s payroll. No, I am not.
Yes, Prairie Farmer is a trade publication with which Monsanto advertises. However, I do not receive any sort of payments or compensation from Monsanto or other advertisers.
It may be hard to believe, but I think GMOs provide a scientifically-viable way to feed the world’s growing population. I do not think placing naturally-occurring bacteria in crops as a way to fend off pests is causing cancer, heart disease or obesity.
I do think Americans are excellent at playing the blame game. Just look at the folks who sued McDonald’s for their weight problem.