RALEIGH, N.C. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- More than 90% of the corn and soybeans grown in the U.S. are genetically engineered. However, many Americans still look for foods labeled ‘no GMO’s’ in the supermarket for fear of health risks.
So, are GMO’s a threat… or no?
These college students are testing a class on their knowledge of GMO’s or, genetically modified organisms.
“Two of these chips are organic and one of them is genetically modified, can you guys guess which one is genetically modified,” asked Hannah Zimmer, Sophomore, Wake Forest University.
Gloria Muday, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, Wake Forest University said farmers have been genetically engineering the foods we eat for centuries.
Muday stated, “95% of the corn in the U.S. is a GMO.” Muday studies the genetic characteristics that make tomatoes resistant to drought and heat.
“As climate change increases, the stress is a very real concern,” continued Muday.
She said crops can be genetically modified to withstand high temperatures and pests reducing the use of pesticides. And she said despite fears due to food labeling, studies show GMO’s are safe.
“Those have detected no negative health impacts of GMO’s on humans or animals,” said Muday.
She created a program where college students teach local high school students about the science behind GMO’s.
The college students say teaching the topic has changed their perception. In fact, only 46% of them favored GMO’s before and 97% after!
“I feel like there’s a lot of false rumors out there and a lot of people don’t know the true scientific reasons behind them,” said Zimmer.
“Having to understand it first before I go teach it makes you, first of all, learn it ten times better, and that’s kind of why we’re here,” stated Mark Sucoloski, Sophomore, Wake Forest University.
Interesting fact: almost all white corn chips are GMO’s but no purple chips are. Professor Muday’s study suggests students develop an informed opinion first through learning the science of genetic engineering and then teaching it to younger students.
Contributors to this news report include: Janna Ross, Field Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; and Kirk Manson, Videographer.