Backlash against GMOs goes against science



Ronny and the Daytonas recorded a feel-good song in the 1960s about their favorite car, the Pontiac GTO. The song painted a word picture describing the size of the engine, type of transmission and body style. General Motors was a big winner as GTO sales were through the roof.

Fast forward to the present day and we have a product called a GMO which stands for genetically modified organism. It basically describes plants that have improved traits that affect yield potential, disease resistance and other positive attributes. With a hungry world to feed, these are all considered good things for both farmer and consumer.

But there is almost always some resistance to change. I recall the first time I heard of GMO resistance as France refused a shipload of American GMO soybeans. Europe, in general, is still slow to accept GMO products.

During the Industrial Revolution, there was resistance to change in factories as workers feared that the modernization of machines would put people out of work. In parts of Europe demonstrators, sometimes referred to as Luddites, went so far as to break into factories and destroy the new machines.

In the 1850s it was discovered that many lives could be saved if physicians would wash their hands before childbirth delivery or surgery. It took time for this new revelation to gain acceptance. Today, we can’t imagine life without handwashing although most of us have witnessed folks rushing out of public restrooms skipping the soap and water station.

Gardeners are generally thought to be a peaceful lot of people — folks who just like getting a little dirt on their hands in exchange for raising their own vegetables or favorite flowers. I count myself in that group. Many of us order seeds in late winter or early spring from colorful catalogs describing their products. It surprises me to see the words at the top of each page in bold letters “No GMOs.” This claim must be there to bolster sales but with no reason given to back it up. I prefer to order seeds that offer improved disease resistance, higher yields or increased plant strength.

I sent an email to Ronny and the Daytonas asking them to get the band back together so they could come up with a feel-good song about GMOs. I’ll let you know when I hear from them.


Jim Crawford
Retired Dairy Farmer
Minerva, Ohio


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