Take Note: The Risks & Benefits of GMOs
About half of America’s farmland is planted with genetically engineered crops—principally corn, cotton and soybeans. Genetic engineering allows scientists to change the genes in some farm animals and food crops to make them grow faster or bigger and be more resistant to bugs, weeds and disease. Proponents say the technique holds the key to feeding an ever-increasing population in the most environmentally conservative way. Opponents say the science of biotechnology is moving too quickly with neither adequate study nor precaution and that we tinker with nature at our own peril. Do the benefits outweigh the risks? We’ll get one scientist’s perspective. Dr. Troy Ott works in the biotechnology field. He’s a Penn State professor of reproductive physiology in the College of Agricultural Sciences and associate director of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.