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GMO arguments must be scientifically based

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GMO arguments must be scientifically based

Photo credit: Google Images.

Photo credit: Google Images.

Photo credit: Google Images.

Photo credit: Google Images.

Aina Katsikas, Reporter

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The GMO debate was a contentious one in the recent Hawaii elections and continues to be a controversial topic across America.

Hard evidence validating connections between GMO foods and ill effects have not been found. The University of California at Davis reviewed over 100 billion animals’ health data between 1983 and 2011 evaluating their health before and after the introduction of GMOs. No ill effects, or any effects in general, were found as a result of the introduced GMOs.

Opponents of GMOs have no scientific proof for their unsubstantiated claims. Many theorize or profess their opposition based on emotions.

GMOs have not been proven to result in harmful effects on people and the enumeration of GMO-related benefits is extensive.

GMOs do not solely benefit the agricultural industry but also the human race in general. Some GMOs have been improved to prevent disease in plants or infection in humans.

For example, GM mosquitos can help in suppressing dengue fever by passing on genes that kill offspring of disease-carrying mosquitoes. Also, the organism responsible for sleeping sickness passed on by cows can be prevented from infecting humans. Even orange trees benefit because GMOs can make them resistant to citrus greening. In Hawaii, the papaya industry was saved with the GM-created resistance to ringspot. The list goes on.

GMOs should be supported not only for the sake of the agriculture but for the betterment of humanity’s overall health.

On a global scale, food-producing livestock consume 70 to 90 percent of genetically engineered crops. Removing GMOs, a crucial element, will create severe hardship for agricultural companies and suppliers. Farmers will have to readjust their methods dramatically and may not be able to recover. People need food to survive, and if farmers aren’t able to produce successfully again without GMOs, the country will be at a risk.

One may argue that GMOs prompt harmful effects, but that argument is merely unsubstantiated speculation. There is no hard evidence validating these ill effects. Animals are not harmed, and neither are the humans who eat the animal-produced foods. The unproven data does not provide evidence that GMOs are dangerous.

Genetically modified foods are a crucial element of the agriculture industry. They are a form of technology that helps to accelerate the evolution of its industry. Farmers and consumers alike rely on GMOs, our country can’t live without them.

Aina Katsikas, Editor, Reporter

Aina Katsikas is a senior and second-year member of the Ka Leo staff. She is an 11-year veteran of the Academy and is currently Student Body president....

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GMO arguments must be scientifically based