In today’s world, marketers are always looking for something to point to that gives them a leg up on their competition. In the U.S. and in Europe, that has helped to create a false narrative on genetically modified organisms or GMOs, particularly as it pertains to food products. Dan Hale is a professor and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Meat Specialist and Nutritionist.
“When you look at corn, that corn is the same whether it came from a GMO plant or a Non-GMO plant. The kernel is exactly the same. And so when you put GMO on there you actually saying well you can’t trust that one, you can trust this one, you’re trying again to market it differently.”
Hale says the important difference is that GMO plants require less pesticides, less water, and less resources and are better for the environment than conventional plants.
“So in the U.S. we have the luxury of having a plentiful food supply and that’s not the way it is throughout the world. And because of that, people are looking for marketing advantages in any way they can. In reality again it goes back to that trust model. You can’t trust them but you can trust me because I’m doing it this way. In reality, both ways are exactly the same from the standpoint of the actual food that that person is going to eat.”
Hale points to a rice product called Golden Rice that’s been genetically modified to contain a higher level of vitamin A.
“One of the biggest deficiencies there is in the world is vitamin A deficiency, particularly if you look at underdeveloped countries. But those countries have been convinced that GMOs are not as good and therefore they’re not allowing them to grow this vitamin A higher level of rice and feed their people this Golden Rice which would alleviate this vitamin A deficiency. Therefore, you see more people that are undernourished and more people going blind and all sorts of issues because of this marketing issue that has occurred here in the United States and Europe and other places.”