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What's the Deal with GMOs?

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A lot of people are hearing the words genetically modified organisms or the acronym GMO and wondering why this is such a big issue in the world of agriculture. The answer has to do with how we treat our food, and some of the complex science around what we’re able to do with plant growth.

What is GMO?

GMO refers to plants that have been have been genetically altered in some way in a scientific lab. Today's scientists have the ability to alter the DNA of plants, to get seeds that have some properties of other plants, or even animals.

Scientists can do all sorts of things with GMOs -- they can make plants more resistant to pesticides and herbicides. They can make them look different and taste different. They can essentially make ‘designer produce’ -- and while some of these have definite benefits for the food supply, people are also worried about any risks that can go along with changing the DNA of plants, and hidden dangers that may not be evident in current science. American regulators say that GMOs are safe, but there's still a lot of controversy about their use.

Regulations

GMOs are heavily regulated in Europe. The European Union doesn't allow GMOs in the food supply. Recent proposals may let member nations opt out, but America is still much more lax about GMO use. In America, GMO crops are allowed, and they don't even require labeling. Consumers are trying to get the program to label GMO foods so that people can at least know what they bought.

Herbicide and Pesticide Problems

Some of the other problems with GMOs are that many of these plants are genetically modified to resist stronger levels of pesticides. Then big agriculture growers spray even more herbicide and pesticide onto plants, and it goes into the food supply. This is a lot of what worries some people about GMO, not just the inherently unnatural practice of producing genetically altered plants.

Hydroponics is a great way to get around the GMO puzzle -- get natural, organic seeds and raise them organically in a small grow box, and you'll know where your food is coming from, and what's in it. You'll know that food hasn't been sprayed many times with potentially dangerous materials.

For more on how to do hydroponics the right way, check out Dealzer’s web site, and all of the tools that this company offers for beginners.

 
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