Sunday, 22 September 2013

What about GMOs?

I read this article recently on GMOs.

I thought it was very well written and neutral, considering what strong viewpoints are had on either side. You've got the die hard fellow hippies who believe that GMOs are evil, evil, evil , then you have the others saying they're progress and will help feed the world. I used to be totally in the former group, and even now I lean more towards that. GMOs are relatively recent, we don't know their long term effects on human bodies or the environment. They are mostly controlled by Monsanto, who I think we can all agree are an evil corporation who are all about greed and money. They patent their seeds and sue farmers, they hide evidence and encourage monoculture crop growing - none of which is good for the environment or people (especially farmers). Furthermore GMOs reduce biodiversity of the food we eat as well of the animals/plants in the ecosystem.

However, in the hands of responsible ethical scientists, GMOs could be used for good. They could be grown in places where they wouldn't contaminate non GMO crops. They could be used to create nutritionally superior food for starving countries (eg golden rice) or to create trees/plants that improve the ecosystem . If we knew what genes were altered,, and there was more accurate information and less deception, maybe we could accept the potential for some genetic modification to help society and the world as a whole ; the current overpopulation of humans, pollution, factory farming etc is surely in need of change.

I still avoid GMOs because of my corporate anti-sentiment, as well as the fact I have no idea what the genetic modifications actually entail and what their long term health effects are, as well as ethical issues (eg I avoid non organic meat as most is fed GMO soy which is grown on massive mono-culture farms which are created by destroying rainforest in the amazon). But I understand that in an ideal world, where GMOS were handled by ethical, progressive scientists, and used with certain regulations and rules to benefit society, I would be much more accepting of them. Unfortunately that's not the current situation. Who knows, maybe things will change. But for now, I'm doing my best to stick to  local veggies and organic meat!

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