“Agriculture surrounds my life from my dad’s trucking company to 4-H projects to employment at a produce stand. I would love for more people to be involved.”
Bailey was selected as the 2018 Miss Maryland Agriculture, so she will be be representing the agriculture in her county and the state throughout her year as a Miss.
The Truth About GMOs
By: Bailey Riggs
You see it on food packaging and hear about it on the news, but do you really know what a GMO is? GMO stands for genetically modified organism. A genetically modified organism is anything that has been engineered using DNA from other organisms in order to control the presence of certain traits. The process of genetic modification is commonly used in agriculture and in food products. Products that include GMO’s are not something you should try to avoid, they are a widespread and highly regulated commodity with many benefits.
The largest reasons that crops are genetically modified is for disease resistance, insect resistance, and herbicide tolerance. There are several other advantages of GMO crops. These include higher yields, water conservation, fewer pesticides, and less usage of farm equipment which all result in more environmentally friendly farming.
75% of all processed foods contain at least one or more GMO. This fact leads many consumers to believe that many edible goods and ingredients are likely to be genetically modified, but this is exactly the opposite. In fact, there are only 10 commercial GMO products that are available in the United States. They include corn, soybeans, cotton, potatoes, squash, canola, alfalfa, papaya, apples, and sugar beets. The testing of GMO seeds for approval in the United States is highly selective and very extensive.
Lots of people are skeptical about GMO’s and their safety for consumers based on conflicting information in the media. Farmers, scientists, and food safety experts who approve GMO’s have the health of the public as a priority. Meticulous testing has been and continues to be completed regarding GMO seeds. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concluded that there is no substantiated evidence that GMO organisms are less safe than conventional non-GMO crops.
GMOs have numerous benefits, are highly monitored, and are safe to consume so why not embrace this new technology in our modern world?