GMOs have their time and place. Here's the when, the where and the how.
Photo: Golden rice vs white rice. UBC
Before we jump into anything, let's make one thing clear: Click & Grow DOES NOT use genetically modified seeds or organisms in our products. The following is a scientific view on the processes taking place in nature and plant breeding.
We have always been dependent on plants. In big picture, absolutely everything in our lives has more or less been made possible because of them. It also means that we are pretty good at draining this resource. If the population keeps growing at the same speed as now, then by 2050 we'll need 75% more food to survive. With natural resources not being able to pick up with our consumption habits, we have to find new ways to produce food cheaper and more efficiently. By now the best-found solution is to recombine the genetic codes of the plants to create stronger, hardier, better (and cheaper) offsprings. It might sound artificial, but it's actually what often happens in nature, and even the hated/loved GMO methods are inspired by this natural recombination aka traditional breeding methods. Here's how it happens.
Traditional plant breeding
Using new gene transfer methods, we can take only a specific part (one responsible for scab resistance) of the genetic code of the scab resistant apple and introduce it to a genome of the great tasting apple. A couple of years of lab work, and we reach the same thing as with traditional breeding. But this also means that we skipped a lot of the randomly generated genetic material on the way. From the point of view of Charles Darwin, it is not necessarily a good thing. And this is what we call genetic modification (GMO).
From a scientist's point of view, this is how things are supposed to happen - first we spin a dog around the orbit to verify the rocket's safety, then we sell Virgin Galactics tickets to outer space. However, just like your new hybrid car uses less gallons of fuel, gene modification techniques provide faster and more precise methods for creating plants with neat features. Can fuckups occur during the development process? Does the pope shit in the woods?
So what to take from here? Like in all technologies, advancements need to be done. Electricity is deadly and we're sure people preached to get rid of this misery back in the day. But we can assure you that most scientists dealing with plants actually take the conditions of our home planet very seriously. Are GMOs good or bad? Information exists to help you make up your mind. And as Bob Marley once said, "have no fear for atomic energy, cause it can't stop the time".