What would happen if GMO foods were banned? Purdue finds out

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Many people are concerned about genetically modified organisms, especially when it comes to their food. Purdue researchers found out what life would be like without GMO foods.

To some people, genetically modified organisms represent a scary technology.

“You’re taking a gene from one organism and you’re putting it in another organism,” explained Purdue professor of Agricultural Science Wally Tyner. “It’s not something that people understand.”

However, Tyner said what scientists understand about GMOs aren’t scary at all.

“All of the scientific evidence so far is that it’s not a problem,” said Tyner.

He said what could be a problem, is what would happen to the United States if GMOs were banned from the country.

“We lose quite a bit,” said Tyner. “We’d have higher food costs around the world. We’d have more poverty. We’d have more pesticide use and more harmful pesticides. And we’d have higher greenhouse gas emission so more contribution to global warming.”

The research shows without GMOs, consumers would pay somewhere between $14 and $24 billion more per year for food.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels took this research to the USDA annual conference Thursday night. He is urging leaders in science and agriculture to push back against those attacking GMO crops.

“A lot of people came up and said, ‘Yeah, go get ’em.’ I said, ‘No, the point is you need to go get ’em, you’re more credible than I am,’” Daniels said.

With the population expected to grow to more than 9 billion people in 2050, Daniels says GMOs are the best hope for the future.

“If we are going to feed a hungry world, we need them,” said Daniels. “Therefore, it’s not just anti-scientific, it’s inhumane, it’s callous, it’s heartless. For rich people to say, like Marie Antoinette, you know, ‘Find something else to eat.’”

Daniels said Purdue is leading the world in making food more abundant, safer and even more environmentally friendly. He hopes their example will lead to more knowledge and general acceptance of GMOs

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