Oftentimes there are debates in the modern world if GMO’s and pesticides are good for you. There has been long term research going on about how these products affect human health but no conclusive studies yet. I cannot give conclusive facts in this sense either without committing myself to years more of research. Yet I can give the perspective of someone who has been looking into this issue for sometime.
Pesticides have allowed the advancement of agriculture for many years now to become what we know as modern agriculture. This has been exponentially increased since the 1940’s when we started using synthetic chemicals to control more pests. These chemicals are essential to feed our growing world, although sometimes they can be abused, and even worse the effect on our health not fully known.
Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO’s technologies have been advancing since their creation about 25 years ago. While there has been many promises of the great things these new seeds will accomplish, like increasing nutrients and decreasing pests there are other products that allow for an easier use of more pesticides to protect their crops. These products like Roundup Ready crops have made life easier for farmers and more difficult for weeds. This doesn’t stop the weeds from evolving past this technology and the farmers depending more and more on spraying these herbicides to control these weeds.
This is where things get interesting. When these GMO products are becoming obsolete, the question becomes are these the best GMO’s to be using? Can we create products that allow our farmers to work better without the overuse of herbicides?
Especially with the gap widening of the use of herbicides for users of Roundup ready products to conventional farming practices, the question becomes even more pertinent. Shouldn’t we be utilizing sustainable practices that will allow our environment to stabilize for years to come? The use of these various herbicides may hinder this and create a bigger weed resistance than we have seen before. For some firsthand information on how the use of pesticides has changed, check out this article by NPR. I by no means have a perfect answer, nor does this article suggest one yet it is something that needs to be looked at more deeply. Further research must be done because of the unknown consequences to our own health.
I believe that GMO’s have a greater calling than allowing farmers to spray herbicides on them without killing them. They will be essential to making our crops more nutritious and our farming practices better, albeit this one may not be those answers.
For some others views check out the site GMOWTF.com. It has a bit more of extreme of views yet still is attempting to instill a safe food culture for all involved.
When some of these chemical pesticides, specifically organophosphates may have potential affects on humans it becomes much more pertinent. These products do have nasty affects on human development and here is an article detailing some of these scares. Along with other common products from our everyday lives.
America has moved away from using these classes of pesticides, but with lessening restrictions on our current overseeing boards this could change. This loosening of oversight paired with a lack of research on the impacts of these chemicals may come back to bite us on the ass.
If you would like to learn more about these two farming technologies check out this article by a Harvard plant scientist.
Pesticides have their place in advancing our society, but with many unknown effects of these on human health, we really need to think a bit more before using them. These chemicals also effect the ecology of the farm system creating an environment that is not friendly to many microbes that are essential for many plants and possibly even your gut microbial survival. This creates an uncharted territory of knowledge that we must approach with our minds wide open.
GMO’s can be our societies saving grace with less and less space and the need for more food. Creating environmentally and human friendly products with this technology is essential for our farming systems to thrive and give back to the societies they are producing for.
When we know more about how these synthetic products affect our own biology then we can more confidently grow products that will not have possible side effects on human health. Ensuring that we are growing the best crops and humans that we can.