I’m Swinging Like Tarzan Pro-GMO

After this homework assignment, I’m leaning pro-GMO.  We need to differentiate between GMO and Monsanto, rather than heap our fear and loathing on a believed-to-be potentially carcinogenic (not proven) technique which, in reality, is not solely controlled by agribusiness.  Millions of potential cases of starvation and malnutrition have been prevented with new crops such as the “Golden Banana” or flood-resistant rice.  In these instances, human ingenuity and manipulation are creating rejuvenating relationships between people and the Earth.  Celebi is happy.

celebi

You can see the plea oozing out of her streamlined facts and powerful examples of beneficial GMO practices.  Her credentials don’t lie: she’s speaking from the beating heart of this endeavor.

One of the concerns she addresses is the fear of eating something tampered with and potentially harmful.  She emphasizes that, although there is always risk at the unknown edge of science, we should look at the tremendous benefit genetic modification can provide by producing edible food rather than frass in vulnerable regions of the planet where people’s lives are at stake. Furthermore, she addresses the concern that GMO’s are solely in the hands of corporations such as Monsanto, which is an illegitimate fear since much of the seed is provided freely through foundations and government agencies.  In these cases, there is no commercial profit involved in its distribution.

I have reversed my opinion on GMO’s and now support their selective use when the seed is provided in an open, free way. My reservations before centered around the control that agribusinesses exerted over the global food system by providing seeds that needed to be repurchased annually, rendering powerless farmers in developing countries GMO-seed dependent. These agribusinesses also proliferate pesticide-resistant crops that contribute to the myriad woes of conventional agriculture in addition to unintentionally breeding superweeds.  My belief in the inherent purity of nature was frayed by the interviewer’s point in the premise of a question.  Nature (at one level) features a chaotic mingling of genetics on a scale few people have much of a grasp on. That unknowing is likely the source of a lot of unfounded fear, in myself included.

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We are co-evolving with the natural world.  Human preferences impress themselves on the environment over time.  For instance, as seen below, corn has significantly altered in form over the last 10,000 years through selective breeding.  Is the spindly, tough cob at the far left the “purest” corn?  “Corn” is just the form we know it as today, which will continue to morph according to environmental pressures and human interaction (into a dildo).

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I hope that GMO’s can be utilized for the great potential they hold to stabilize food supplies in developing countries and veer us off chemical dependency, without ending up in the hands of the agri-axis-of-evil.

 

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