6 comments on “Imitation Or Mutation? Pass the Modified Organisms, Please.

  1. Great article. This is an important issue. You make a compelling argument against GMOs. Although I still have mixed feelings regarding the whole issue, especially regarding in vitro meat. As a vegetarian in vitro meat has a certain appeal and admittedly I don’t yet know enough to make a truly informed opinion about it. How ever on the surface in vitro meat seems like it has the potential to cure many of the meat industry’s problems. The meat industry has a terrible environmental record ranging from massive deforestation to water pollution. What impact in vitro production will have on these, I don’t know, but it is at least reason to be slightly optimistic about in vitro.

    On a last note regarding your mention of the “end hunger” rationale for GMOs a good counter point would be that since about the 1960s all famines and food shortages have been caused by politics and economics and not an actual lack of food. Thanks for the great article.

    • Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts, Aherenhoff, it is appreciated.
      My concern about the in vitro meats is quite simple really; the labs have already begun testing the alteration of DNA on some species, so we must wonder with the lack of labelling standards, how much of this genetic meat will be altered, or have other dangerous chemicals added?
      My comment for ending world hunger is on your side of the fence for sure. The scientists claim that this was the reason they began GM .. well, let the politicians step aside, and perhaps the developing countries would begin to thrive. Frankly, I wish they would keep the greedy and selfish noses out of it, and allow the general population solve the issue!

      Cheers,
      Amma

  2. Organic foods remain an area of growth even with the rising cost of grocery items and tougher economic times. Turns out organic cooking is really not that complicated once you know a few basics. In fact, it’s way easier and healthier.

    • Thank you for haring your opinion, Amy. It is appreciated.
      I agree, if we eat healthier, it may be somewhat more costly, but is eating all the garbage out there worth the cost of our health?
      It is far wiser to eat better and organic.

  3. The difficulty with organic foods is that they might in fact be less organic than people think they are.

    Have you ever stopped to consider the root stock, the seeds, the hybridization of the plant that bore the organic fruit or vegetable?

    Monsanto is in the business of genetically modifying the seeds that will eventually be used by farmers and hobbyist to grow their crops. While the farmer or hobbyist in all earnest has raised the crops by definition of “organic” (spraying of plants and chemical fertilization) has the genome of the plant or seed really been traced?

    Far be it for the onus to be on the farmer or hobbyist to know that. They do not have the capacity or resources to be able to do this with frequency and consistency. As a responsible society we defer the moral obligation to our Governments through appropriate legislation to protect the greater good and health of the people that they are enacted to protect.

    As conscientious individuals most of us are, we have the right to ask our governing bodies, “what have you done to speak to the issue ensuring the health and welfare of the people you were put into power to protect”?

    Apart from hinging on cliche catchphrases like “certified organic”, “bio best”, “no GM”, we need to elevate the issue to a higher standard. How much is being put into health studies, tracing and certifying genome of plants, population control, or protecting the farmlands of the world?

    We need to stop stealing our lands to build oversized homes that will house mother, father and baby. Why do we celebrate individuals with phenomenal wealth owning 2, 3 or more mansions that might remain vacant 10 or more months of the year if not more?

    We need to stop raping our lands by cutting down the trees that once stood gracefully, poisoning her soil and failing to properly rotate the crops that she bears to avoid plague and famine.

    Our world has become too core focused on monetary policies, individual wealth and immediate band aid solutions to much longer more deeply entrenched problematic issues. “The world” in the broadest sense called “a society” has lost some of its way when we pursue the interests of individualism vs. the greater good.

    • Thank you for your insightful views, Ant. As always, it is a pleasure to hear your viewpoint.

      I think the point you make about us not knowing how organic our ‘organic food’ is, was an excellent one. The fact that our meats are labelled organic is misleading, when the animals are fed non-organic feed and grains. The farmer raises and sells animals as his livelihood, to support and feed his own family, and when the competition is selling faster than he is, at reduced cost, he has to do what he can to keep up. He must rely on the same feed as his neighbour, or starve his own family.

      The farmer’s seed is sold to him under the pretence that it is organic, and may not be as ‘pure’ as he believes it is. He has to rely on the word of the supplier, because he does not have the resources to verify this for himself. He may not be able to guarantee that what he is selling to supermarkets and wholesalers is ‘unsullied’ meat, because he cannot prove it. He makes the claim, and is aware that he may come under fire for misinforming the purchaser. However, he is also aware that under the laws, he faces no real threat of backlash. This is because he is informed his feed is pure, and he can plead innocent of any contrary knowledge.

      With the lack of regulation over labelling, the farmer is free of guilt. On the flip-side, suppliers of modified seed, such as Monsanto, know what they are supplying is in fact, modified. They know this, because that is their business. It is what they produce, and what they sell.

      Yes, I agree that the Government needs to step it up and start mandating labels for these foods .. but it will never happen in our lifetimes. They financial ramifications for doing so are too great, in their eyes. They will not put regulations on food labels because the public will be made aware of just exactly what they have been eating all along. These fancy labels that claim “No GMO’s” can only say this because they have the green light to do so, if their own suppliers have made the self-same claim.

      We have to be more aware of what we are eating for our own health. To do this, we need someone to commission the use of these products. For the interim, we, as a society, must rely on the honesty of our Governments. That is not saying much is going to change, unless we make a lot of noise about it, and even then it is doubtful, as long as the Government and chemical producers are shaking each others tails.

      I will not say too much about the irresponsibility of the higher levels of Government, and their policies on the health and welfare of the public they are responsible for. I think we all understand that as long as companies such as Monsanto are lining their pockets, we have little or no voice, or say over what we are putting in our bodies. Fair? Not by a country mile in the Bermuda Triangle, is it fair, but we have no alternatives if we want to continue to eat. Food that Nature gave us to nurture our bodies has long been tampered with, unbeknownst to the general public.

      Another powerful point you made here is the misuse of our lands. As someone who has lived in the general vicinity of farmlands for five years, I have seen too much of what is supposedly ‘progress’ ruin and replace our vital farming lands to argue your point, but to add to it. In a short five years, I have watched several farms being levelled and replaced with stores that sell imported fruits and vegetables. Gone are the livelihoods of these farmers, along with opportunity to eat the freshest foods possible. Their lands have been taken from them, and new luxury homes built in their places. New neighbourhoods, sporting homes no one can afford have taken the place of mother nature’s beauty.

      Sadly, there are too many people that have put their own interests and twisted values above the rest. Monetary value has been placed above the value of human life, by too many people with too much power over the rest.

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