Infographic on Commercially available GMOs
Conviron Scholars Independent Project
Nothing gets my goat quite like shopping at the grocery store and seeing a food label that boasts "Non-GMO!" on a food for which there is no GMO variety available. It seems to me that if we really want to empower consumers, the first step is to spread the word about how many GMOs there are and what species comprise them. The more I dug, the more I realized that these data are not necessarily easy to find or navigate. Luckily I love spreadsheets, so I easily found what I needed in the data-rich 2016 ISAAA brief (http://www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/briefs/52/download/isaaa-brief-52-2016.pdf) and USDA NASS Annual Summaries. However, there are prominent gaps even in these public databases, including information on smaller-scale crops and on certain genetically engineered traits. In talking to friends, family and strangers, I get the sense that GMOs have a reputation for being sort of insidious and sneaky. I wonder how much of this is due to the fact that we are not disseminating more data on GMOs in a consumer-friendly way.
This simple infographic is my first foray into graphic design, but I don't intend it to be the last. I plan to continue working on this graphic and/or others like it, including reaching out to experts who have direct access to these data.
Note that in this graphic I am only discussing those crops that were actually subject to government regulation as genetically modified crops; CRISPR modified crops that lack a transgene, for example, are not included. Specifically, the crops shown here are those that have achieved non-regulated status with USDA/APHIS and are being grown and sold in the U.S.
Thank you to the Conviron Scholars program for giving me the resources and the motivation to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new!