YUMA, Ariz. - In today's Home Grown we are talking about GMOs.
Take a look in your refrigerator or pantry and you most likely find something with a NON GMO label on it.
13 On Your Side reporter, Caitlin Slater received an award at the annual Yuma County Farm Bureau meeting. The keynote speaker at the event was genomics and biotechnology researcher at UC Davis, Dr. Allison Van Eenennaam. She presented on how GMOs are actually better for us and our environment.
GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. It is referring to a breeding method called genetic engineering.
For example, breeders will take a piece of DNA from a virus that infects a certain crop and inject it into that crop. It's like a vaccination, so now the crop builds immunity to that virus.
This allows farmers to not have to spray their crops with as much pesticides.
When asked if Dr. Van Eenennaam thinks GMOs are safe for consumers she said, "I would absolutely say it because I am a scientist and that’s what the data says, but more than that, I am a mother and I care about the safety of my children and I’ve looked at the data." "I know insect protected crops get sprayed with less insecticides so in fact they are more safe," she added.
Genetically modified crops are grown right here in Yuma. They help make it so that crops are disease resistant, drought tolerant, protected from insect damage and all of these are problems that farmers face everyday.
"I would argue that any technology that can reduce inputs like that and reduce the use of pesticides should be supported by people that care about the environment and it’s a mystery to me that so called environmental groups are so fierce in their opposition to a technology that’s demonstrably reduced insecticide use globally," she said.
Now that's some food for thought!