One of the biggest ironies of our time is that food has never been safer while at the same time people have never been more afraid to eat. Every day consumers around the world safely consume billions of meals. And there is a myriad of food safety regulations and organizations ensuring the safety of the food we purchase.
Here in Canada, we are globally recognized for having one of the safest food supplies in the world. Consumers are fortunate to be able to walk into grocery stores stocked full of food with more choices than ever before. And they can be confident that whatever food they choose to put in their grocery carts is safe to eat.
If we look at GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in particular, there is no product in history that has been more thoroughly researched and tested. Regulatory bodies and scientific agencies around the world agree on the safety of GMOs.
We grow herbicide-tolerant corn on our farm, which allows us to apply a weed-killing herbicide to our crop that destroys the weeds and leaves the plant healthy. This has allowed us to use a practice called conservation tillage.
Before we had access to this GMO crop, we would have to plow the field to remove the weeds, which takes time, burns fuel and can be damaging to the soil. It also allows me to plant another crop, called a cover crop, after the corn is harvested to return organic matter to the soil, conserve moisture and minimize erosion. I have significantly reduced my carbon footprint using this practice. Ultimately, we can grow more on fewer acres of land using less resources.
The argument can be made that Monsanto, the first company to develop herbicide-tolerant crops, has saved more topsoil than any other company in the world. GMO and Monsanto (along with all the other companies that develop genetically modified crops) are not four letter words in my books.
I plan to be in this business of farming for some time. I have been tending this soil and feeding cattle on this farm now into its third generation. I would never adopt a practice that would jeopardize its viability and more importantly its sustainability.
Dave farms in Lynden, Ontario with his brother and nephew. They milk 400 Holstein dairy cows and grow 800 acres of corn and alfalfa to feed their cows.