Kansas industry’s reliance on GMOs

Farming (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

GARDEN CITY, Kansas – Supporters of GMOs say we can’t get by without them.

“It’s the only way we’re going to be able to feed the world,” said Chris Lobmeyer, a member of the agriculture industry and a supporter of GMOs.

However, genetically modified organisms continue to get negative attention, most recently Chipotle’s position “G-M-Over it”.

In a statement the company said, “A lot of research is still needed before we can truly understand all of the implications of widespread GMO cultivation and consumption.  While that debate continues, we decided to move to non-GMO ingredients.”

The American Farm Bureau supports GMOs and the process in which foods are tested for consumption, but Director of Congressional Relations Andrew Walmsley said people don’t understand how much GMOs have helped with the options available today.

“One of the neat things about our modern ag production today is that consumers have more choices than they’ve ever had, whether they want to choose organic or non-gmo, but we have all of that because of ag innovations that are out there,” Walmsley said.

“We all respect everybody’s opinion,” said KSN Ag expert John Jenkinson, “just don’t tell us how to do our job and do it effectively.  We’ve been able to produce enough safe affordable food for many, many years.”

Supporters say if big names continue to speak out against the technology farms and consumers will struggle.  Some say dry places, like western Kansas, wouldn’t be able to achieve the same output consumers now expect, putting a strain on small farmers and potentially increasing prices.

For now, those on both sides say education is key to understanding the process.

“They should read up on it and they should look at the science behind it,” Lobmeyer said.

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