Tag Archives: GMO Wheat

Genetically Modified Crops

Genetically Modified Crops

Since 1994, GM foods have been permitted to be sold in Canada. Currently, Canada’s growing of genetically modified crops is limited to canola, soybean, corn and sugar beets of which most are exported to foreign countries. The country is one of the largest exporters of GMO crops in the world. Recently, field tests have begun on growing GM alfalfa in Ontario and Quebec that have raised concern over the probable contamination of Canada’s naturally grown alfalfa crop through cross pollination.

Appearance of Genetically Modified Crops

Genetically modified crops were first produced in 1982 and by 1986; the first field trials were done on tobacco for herbicide resistance. In 1994, the United States approved its first food crop, a tomato. Since then, GM crops have exploded in variety and availability.

Claimed Benefits of GMOs

GMO crops do have their advantages:

  • Because they have been engineered to be more drought resistant, they can be grown in borderline areas and places that might not have been usable previously.
  • They can provide more nutrients such as the vitamin A in rice exported to countries with poor populations and malnutrition issues.
  • There is also a larger yield per acre with some crops and they are much more resistant to disease, herbicides and insect infestation.

Why is There Concern over GMOs?

Much discussion  has ensued over GM crops and whether they are environmentally safe. While the subject has been widely researched, there continues to be controversy over whether there has been enough proof found to be certain that GM crops are safe. It is not so much safety for human consumption, as it is safety for our environment.

The biggest issue appears to be cross-contamination of adjacent natural crops, which is almost impossible to control. Is this going to cause the eventual extinction of natural crops within a few decades? No one knows, as there has just not been enough long term research to determine what the outcome will be.

Barr-Ag

 

Contact Barr Ag to get more information on any of our crops including Alfalfa, Timothy, Mixed Hay, Canadian Grains and Pulse crops.

GMO Wheat

GMO Wheat

While many people have heard the term “GMO,” some do not know what it really means. The acronym GMO stands for genetically modified organism. There has been plenty of controversy surrounding GMO wheat and other GMO foods, since many claim that they are unsafe to consume and negatively impact the planet. In fact, it is illegal to grow GMO wheat in Canada and the United States.

Wheat is one of the most widely consumed crops on our planet. It is used in bread, GMO Wheat and Breadnoodles, cereal, beer and several other products. Unfortunately, the supply of wheat can’t keep pace with the ever-expanding number of humans. Some believe that genetically modified wheat is the solution, since massive amounts can be grown in a short period of time compared to traditional wheat. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of this type of wheat.

Pros

GMO wheat can be grown in large volumes, since it is resistant to infections and parasites, which are major threats to conventional wheat. Proponents argue that we should opt to devote our limited farmland to this type of wheat, since it is highly efficient compared to relatively slow-growing traditional wheat.

Some argue that genetically modified wheat is of higher quality because it carries extra nutrients that boost the crop’s nutritional value. Scientists alter wheat’s genetics to make it much healthier to consume. It is also worth noting that this type of wheat can withstand some severe environmental conditions, including brutal cold spells and drought.

Cons

Humanity has yet to experience the long-term results of genetically modified wheat consumption, leading opponents to argue that it is potentially dangerous to human health. This type of wheat might have a negative impact on consumers’ bodies, but the real consequences are still unclear. Opponents believe that genetically modified wheat compromises antibiotic resistance and even affects allergies.

Those against GMO wheat also believe that it harms the environment. Arguments pertaining to GMO wheat’s negative environmental impact are extensive. Some state that this wheat causes a decline in biodiversity where a single crop emerges into dominance. Others say it is responsible for cross-pollination in which other crops are forcefully replaced.

There are also social consequences to genetically modifying wheat. Since improvements in GMO wheat are expensive to implement at this point, only wealthy farmers are able to take the GMO route.

Contact Barr Ag to get more information on any or our crops including Alfalfa and Timothy Hays, Mixed Hay, Canadian Grains and Pulse corps.