More than one billion acres worldwide have been planted with genetically modified seeds, the product of advances made in biotechnology.
Biotechnology broadens the scope of genetic changes that can be introduced into plants used for food. Advances in the field have allowed the agriculture industry to successfully fight pests without killing crops, increase yields, reduce irrigated acreage and improve quality.
Are genetically modified seeds safe?
The United States Department of Agriculture continues testing genetically modified seeds and has determined that these foods are no less safe than those produced by other techniques.
Modifying the genetics of a seed might make it less susceptible to pests or ensure that it is resistant to glyphosate. These changes do not alter the overall safety, allergenicity, toxicity and nutrition of the plant necessarily.
Biotechnology in crop production has been around for some time, but the first plantings of GM crops for human consumption were done in 1996. There are now varieties of corn, sugar beets, squash and papaya. All of these crops have been assessed for food and feed safety in producing countries, and many more countries have approved the import of food or food ingredients that contain these products. There has not been a single substantiated instance of illness or harm associated with GM crops.
Biotechnology in Georgia
In Tifton, GA, scientists are working to continue developing varieties of cotton, corn and soybean seeds that thrive in the Southeastern United States. These developments could be milestones for the agriculture industry in Georgia, since they can save a farmer tens of thousands of dollars and create “high tech” jobs in rural areas of the state.