The U.S. Agency of Agriculture say 93% of soybeans and 88% of corn is engineered with this technology. That meansfrom cereal, to chips to cookies--or any other products containing corn syrup, canola and soy--the vast majority of processed foods on grocery shelves contain GMOs. But since labeling isn't required in the U.S., there's no way to knowfor sure.
Seeing for Ourselves
We visited two Vermont farms that couldn't be more different. One uses GMOs, the other is against them.In Vermont, 96% of dairy farmers use GMOs--like Bill Rowell, who plants GMO corn at his dairy farm in Franklin County."We're producing a quality product, with something that science says is quite acceptable," Rowell said. There's one big reason so many farmers like Rowell have jumped on the GMO bandwagon: efficiency."We use the seed that's genetically modified because it produces a greater yield. It's been developed to be drought-resistant, it uses less pesticides, less herbicides,less fuel, less labor," Rowell said.In other words, it's a sort-of insurance policy against attacks on his crop."We have to battle the weather, we have to battle a variety of different insects, pests, rootworm, cutworm, that sort of thing." And he pays a pretty penny for that peaceof mind. A bag of GMO seed corn retails at $375, and can plant 2.5 acres of corn. A non-GMO seed bag of the same size costs less, but Rowell says it would yield himless crop."You'd reduce your crop by as much as half," he estimated.Organic farmer Jack Lazor disagrees."I think my yields are just as good as anybody who's using GMOs," he said. Lazor has literally written the book on organic farming. The Organic Grain Grower (http://www.amazon.com/dp/1603583653/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=31650324997&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=16496287468536118222&hvpone=29.38&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_7dkuf0grwi_b)is a product of decades of experience at Butterworks Farm in Westfield, Vt. "I grow corn and beans and small grains, wheat, barley, oats, spelt." His dairy farm uses the traditional method of crop rotation, which promotes biodiversity."Your soil is teeming with life, and for me, I don't think GMOs are really about promoting life in the soil."
Meet our Scientist
We enlisted the help of Dr. Deborah Neher to sort out the facts about GMOs. She chairs the Plant and Soil Science Department at the University of Vermont, and has