In the following posts I will be writing about the debate about GMO’s that currently holds a crucial place in international politics. Although the technology is well underway, has been in place for over thirty years and continues to grow there is strong opposition coming from many sides. Europe for example, has been a strong opponent of American genetically engineered foods. Their fear comes from the difference in regulation imposed by the USDA within the food production itself and Europe. In essence, Europe fears the technology more than the United States. It is important to note that it is not the people who fear, but rather the institutions who import, although the people do fear as well; it is the political leverage of that fear that matters more in Europe than it does in the United States. The question I will be asking is, what is there to fear in the prospect of having genetically modified organisms enter into agriculture world wide?

Here is one view on the matter.

GMO’s are and have been the reason that the planet can support the 6.2 billion people it does today. Had it not been for the Green Revolution, the Malthusian Curve would have come at last and starvation would have been (even more) rampant. The fact that we can produce more food per acre using the same, if not less land is the miracle of the 20th century. Now that we face the prospect of even more overpopulation (with population estimated to grow to 9.1 billion in 2025) and the urgency to feed the planet, GMO’s are the solution to the problem of food productivity. If we can make plants that are resistant to harsh weather, perhaps even salt so that plants could be watered with sea salt, chemicals and pests, why should we even question the imperative of the technology for genetically modifying foods?

Here is another view on the matter:

The problems that have taken place in the most GMO intensive areas (i.e the U.S mostly) will be reproduced in all other areas of the world and particularly in developing countries where many farmers are already living under situations of dependency. One of the specific and most contested traits in GMO seeds is the dependency they create. When you buy a seed from a company that owns the technology with a patent, Monsanto for example, you are forced to return to them to buy more because you cannot save the seed. Because genetically manipulated seeds have been modified to resist X or Y, the second harvest will not necessarily yield the same kind of plants. The second argument against GMOs has to do with the possibility of losing unique strands of plans that act as possible deterrents to disease. If all plants have the same genetic combination and a pathogen attacks them, the chance of it wiping out an entire population is more likely.

What do you think?


One Response to “GMO’s”

  1. felix akelo otieno Says:

    crazy world indeed!

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