Genetically Modified Organisms: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Concerned Parent: “Until they know for certain it won’t harm our children, they shouldn’t use them as guinea-pigs to save money and test their genetic experiments on human children.”

Farmer:  “You may be particularly interested in the last article, as it is written by the owner of a farm that does not plant GM seeds. The second article does a good job of discussing which foods are actually “GM” and the first one is a good general article about GM. This last article has links to scientists who “talk nerdy” as the blogger says. I’m not asking you to change your mind on GM foods, just take a moment to contemplate the “fear marketing” that goes into some of the claims against GM foods.

http://janiceperson.com/…/what-are-gmos-why-do-farmers…/

http://www.mnfarmliving.com/…/okay-feed-family-gmos-2.html

illinoisfarmgirl.wordpress.com

slowmoneyfarm.wordpress.com

janiceperson.com

Farmer: “And let us not forget that genetically modifying plants (picking those with desirable traits, cross-breeding to produce plants with higher yields, etc) has been practiced since our distant ancestors moved to an agrarian society. And don’t forget the work of Gregor Mendel and other early geneticists.”

Concerned Parent: “I am aware of Gregor Mendel’s work, and of graftage, and crossbreeding, and you are absolutely right that everyone should be wary of the “fear marketing” that occurs in various controversies – like GMO foods, global warming, species extinctions, deforestation, over-fishing, etc. However, I also know we should not be playing God for profit – i.e. altering the DNA of vegetables, because none of us yet know what potential long-lasting side-effects could occur from such folly. Likewise, we should not be turning a blind-eye to cataclysmic global changes humans are causing across the planet. Thus, if some “market fear” to combat the secret deals behind closed doors, between politicians and big corporate farmers, or between politicians and big corporate fish companies, or between politicians and big corporate logging companies, then they do it, because fear has become the only weapon they have to influence change in a political and economic environment who has barred their opinions or concerns from consideration.  Why? because such opinions, concerns, and complaints detrimentally impact the corporate financial “bottom-line.”

When David is fighting Goliath, and stones are being “banned” at the same time Goliath is paying off everyone to get his way, then fear, or “Chicken Little” pronouncements are often all some have left, other than praying to God to intervene. And I don’t know about you, but I haven’t tasted a descent ear of sweet-corn in years. That is the real travesty here!

I fear I never again will taste the sweet, succulent, and savory flavor of Southern sweet-corn grown on a small family farm to sustain the family and it’s livestock. Corn with no genetic modifications, and no added herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers. As they say on that zombie show, “We will never get things back to the way they used to be.”

However, I will read the articles you have provided me when I get the chance, because I for one would always rather resort to reason than fear to get my point across. I’m sure some GMOs are harmless, but I worry our arrogance will someday get us all into trouble if we are not very careful as well. I think the arrogance of previous generations has already proven that fact.

Farmer: “Thanks for agreeing to read them. I agree with you on so many issues that negatively affect our environment and the mess we’re leaving behind for our children and grandchildren. BOTTOM LINE: It is our job to insure our footprint is as small as possible, to leave this world a better place than it was when we entered, and protect it for future generations. No, we shouldn’t play God for profit. Our world’s population is exploding and we must be able to provide safe, nutritious food for consumers. Unfortunately, that won’t mean every person will have access to locally-grown foods – it just isn’t possible. Biotech or bio-engineered crops can help us produce more CROPS (the amount of GMO crops approved for human consumption is actually quite small) with a smaller footprint (less water, less land, less pesticides), or produce food (ie. carrots with higher beta carotene levels) to combat health issues in developing countries…. Here in the blessed U.S.of A. we do, thankfully, not only have the ability to make choices – grass vs. grain feed beef, GMO or non-GMO, “organic” or not, Coke or Pepsi – we have the freedom to discuss the science behind a topic, the pros & cons of an issue and then use the facts, personal preference, and monetary resources to make the choice we feel is best for ourselves and our families.”

Concerned Parent: “The U.S. is still a virtual land of plenty, and there is nothing like spending nine months in an over-populated Third-World country like the Philippines to remind me of how well we have it over there. The quality of the food over here is directly determined by the quality of the soil in the area, the cleanliness of the river or sea, and other factors that make it more challenging to live like we do in the U.S. They spray so many pesticides and herbicides on their produce here that I am afraid to eat some of it, and I’ve found glass in the rice from the way they dry it on the roads. They are running out of fish to eat as well due to over-fishing, and China encroaching on their traditional fishing areas. There is no refrigeration in local markets, so meat must be purchased early in the morning to avoid spoilage and the possibility of maggot larvae. People spray whatever they are sold to get the best yields on their rice and other crops, because they want the most they can get for the work they do, regardless of what the impacts may be someday. They trust the chemical companies to do the right thing, after all, why would they not?  People are just too trusting of those who will sell them anything to make money.   Even if the product may cause cancer, or other unforeseen horrors, they willingly buy it.  Why?  If they don’t readily see the danger, or if it takes years for the threat to materialize, then most people go on being blissfully unaware that their naive trust in corporate products killed them and their families.”

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