“Isn’t organic food just safer than food from GMO crops?”


Recently, Voices of Montana talk show hosted biologist Rebecca Larson, PhD from Western Sugar along with three local farmers: Shane Strecker, Leroy Gabel, and Shawn Nedens. Aaron Flint, the talk show host, led a discussion surrounding Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Flint took callers from across Montana who posed controversial questions to Larson such as, “How can you avoid GMOs?”, “Aren't organic foods just safer to eat?”, and “Why don't farmers just grow non-GMO sugar beets if the market is demanding them?”


Sugarbeet producers and refiners alike have been hard hit with questions related to GMOS since Roundup Ready Sugarbeets were introduced in 2008-2009. Roundup Ready sugar beets are the most quickly adopted biotech crop to date1.In 2008-2009, genetically engineered varieties accounted for 60{62211894bbe3543ea27fa51e74e3ab79f2baeee0f4cbac9ff4b15b5bf1d81fd0} of the nations 1.185 million acres of sugarbeets. By 2009-2010, genetically engineered sugarbeets accounted for 95{62211894bbe3543ea27fa51e74e3ab79f2baeee0f4cbac9ff4b15b5bf1d81fd0} of the acres planted2.


 So, what are the pros and cons of utilizing genetically engineered crop varieties? Click the videos below to hear responses on four major questions other Montanans are asking on GMOs. The answers might surprise you.


1.  What is a GMO?  Where do you find them?



2.  How have GMO sugar beets influenced sugar production?


3.  Is organic food safer than GM food?


4.  Why are corporations opposed to GMO labeling?


Additional Resources:

1. http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/genuity-roundup-ready-sugarbeets.aspx

2. http://nationalaglawcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/assets/crs/R41395.pdf

© Northern Ag Network 2015

Image provided by Leroy Gabel

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