Genetically modified crops have been around for a generation and they will continue to be a part of our food supply for many more generations. New developments in genetically modified crops have been called the “Super Crops” of the future due to the emerging traits that scientists are working on. (Ontario Farmer) With the developments in plant genetics and breeding it is very possible that the majority of the products we purchase at the local grocery store will be genetically modified or contain genetically modified ingredients.
The newest developments in genetically modified plants include more pest resistant plants including blight resistant potatoes, plants that take nitrogen out of the air and deposit it in the soil, plants that gather more energy from the sun through photosynthesis, as well as drought resistant plants. These developments will allow for a decrease of inputs of nitrate fertilizers which are harmful to the environment. These developments will also allow a manipulation of plants so they grow more than once taking away the need for reseeding.
I believe this is a very important step for the future of food production because with the increased risk of invasive species and the mutation of diseases technology will need to be able to have a handle on the genetics of plants to provide continued food safety and quality. With this in mind, the topic of labelling came up in a seminar this week and some of my classmates believed that more information and labelling, the better. I played devil’s advocate and mentioned that there will be more and more products that are genetically modified or have ingredients that have been genetically modified on the shelves of our local grocery stores, so labelling might become redundant. Whether products are labelled or not, I truely believe that GMOs will provide the food security and quality to support the growing population on our planet.