There is nothing like sinking your teeth into a juicy orange straight from the grove. What happens, however, when the supply of oranges starts to disappear? For the past couple of weeks, students debated about possible solutions to saving the fruit in our #DoNowOranges post. We asked students, As Florida’s orange production diminishes due to citrus greening, do you think genetic modification of citrus trees is a good step towards a solution? Why or why not?
More than 80% of America’s orange juice comes from Florida. However, since 2005, nearly half of the orange trees have been infected with citrus green, an incurable bacteria disease from China that causes roots to deform and fruit to ripen unevenly. Researchers, along with the state and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, stated they are exploring planting genetically modified trees that are resistant to the bacteria to save Florida’s oranges. Some critics fear the health risk of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), while others state that GMOs are the future.
Students discussed whether or not it was worth planting genetically modified trees based on economic factors and health risks. Most students were split in the discussion. Half of the students stressed the importance to continue to produce oranges, while others expressed their concern over eating genetically modified food.
Save the Oranges!
Several students argued it is worth planting genetically modified trees to save the fruit.
— Madison S (@BioMadison) January 27, 2014
— Patrick Appel (@PatrickAppel13) January 29, 2014
Many stressed that using GMO would not only harm the environment, but also people’s health.
— Owen Grissom (@OwenGrissom) February 6, 2014
— Amari Johnson (@amarij_16) January 24, 2014
— Chloe Hwang (@Chloerhs) January 29, 2014
We Need More Consumer Knowledge
Other students raised the importance of consumers just being aware of what they are eating.
— Roland High (@wilespch) January 30, 2014
— Isaiah (@ASAP__Isaiah) January 29, 2014
What about the Economy?
Several students argued to save the oranges because it will save Florida’s economy.
— Franz O'Meally (@FranzOfauhs4A) February 10, 2014
— Sabrina (@sc_sabrina_) January 30, 2014
— Rebecca S-F (@jewishkid2k14) January 31, 2014
We Still Need More Information about GMOs
Some students said more information about the harms of genetically modified food is needed.
— ECM Precalc (@ECMprecalc) January 31, 2014
— kathy flores (@kathy_flores96) February 5, 2014
What Else Can We Do?
Some students proposed other ways to keep oranges in grocery stores.
— Karren Garcia (@KarrenGarcia3) February 5, 2014
— Jay Howard (@BioJay7) January 30, 2014