By Julie Vrazel

These days anyone with an opinion is considered an expert, especially when it comes to food discussions on the Internet. But I think the real food experts are the farmers and ranchers who grow our food and fiber.

And genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are no exception to their expertise.

General Mills recently announced its original-flavored Cheerios will now be labeled as “Not Made With Genetically Modified Ingredients.” As great as that might sound to food activists, that’s not an official certification.

Plus, those original-flavored Cheerios aren’t really made with GMOs. That’s because oats, the main ingredient in this popular cereal, are not a genetically modified food, because oat research and development has not yet yielded a biotech version. The sugar and corn used, however, could be from biotech crops, so the company is choosing to use non-GMO sources for those ingredients.

We embrace technology in our every day activities, so why fear technology in our crops?

Honestly, there isn’t a good reason. This irrational fear has been sparked by Internet discussions with so-called “experts.”  Only recently have farmers found their voice on this issue and are starting to talk about how biotechnology benefits consumers.

The genes of these GMO seeds have been altered to perform more efficiently and effectively, allowing for a higher yield with less pesticides and water. Just like technology has improved classroom instruction, it has benefited agriculture.

So, is this just a marketing ploy by General Mills to improve their bottom line? I think so.