Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's)
Genetically modified foods are altered at the genetic level by various methods. Their basic premise is based on taking genes from one plant, animal, bacteria, virus, etc... and putting it into another. The concept has gained widespread application and favor in the United States where the vast majority of corn, cotton, soybeans and beets are gmo varieties.
Gmo's have been prescribed by many as being the next "green revolution", providing increased yields, nutrition and resistance to pests and diseases. However, opponents to gmo's argue that they lack long-term studies to test the claims of biotech companies, as well as long-term safety tests on humans, animals and pollinators. Critics of gmo foods have also argued that the patenting of plants by biotech companies is unconstitutional and ignores the fact that humans have collectively bred and shared plants for ten thousand years. Cases of accidental contamination have often resulted in lawsuits against non-gmo farmers for patent infringement . Also, gmo products such as terminator seeds have created a climate of fear for many, due to the fact that farmers cannot save those seeds to plant the following year as they are made to be sterile after one year so that farmers are forced to buy more each year.