My Reaction to Agricultural Biotechnology
On December 3, 2013, Rick Welsh, a professor of food studies visited Monmouth College to speak about agricultural biotechnology, along with how it has been developed and the impacts that it is having on society. After hearing Professor Welsh mention that he was going to be speaking about agricultural biotechnology, I instantly thought of the documentary film that I watched a couple days ago, The World According to Monsanto. Monsanto is a food company that is one of the largest advocators of agricultural biotechnology, and both Welsh and the documentary explain how Monsanto’s actions have been controversial. Another connection that I made from watching Professor Welsh’s presentation was to the AP environmental class that I took my senior year of high school. Agricultural biotechnology is one of the topics that we devoted a lengthy amount of time to studying, which is why I thought of the class while Mr. Welsh was speaking. One part of Professor Welsh’s presentation that I thought was interesting was we he discussed a U.S. Supreme Court case, Diamond vs. Chakrabarty. The decision of this case made it legal to patent living organisms, which provided huge boosts to the biotechnology industry. In a 5-4 ruling, the court ruled in favor of Chakrabarty and upheld the patent. I thought that it was interesting to hear that it is possible for living organisms to be patented. In my opinion, living organisms should not be able to be patented. It seems inhumane for someone to own the rights of another living being. Discussing the Diamond vs. Chakrabarty U.S. Supreme Court case also made me make a connection to the American Government class that I took my senior year of high school. Obviously, since it was government class, we talked about various court cases. It is possible that at some point we even covered the Diamond vs. Chakrabarty case, but I do not remember. Another part of Professor Welsh’s speech that I thought was...
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