Harvest of Fear Essay
There are many benefits GMO’s. One of the pros of genetically modified crops is a better taste, increased nutrients, resistance to disease and pests, and faster output of crops. Also farmers can grow more food on less land with genetically modified crops. Genetically modified animals have certain genes inserted into their genomes so that they can produce ‘better’ milk, eggs, and meat. In theory, genetically modified crops and animals are also more environmentally friendly because they conserve water, soil, and energy. Farmers can also produce more nutritious food. Rice, for example, feeds 50 percent of the world’s population, so genetically modifying rice to have more vitamin A would reduce vitamin A deficiency in developing countries. However no one knows what happens to these plants and animals that have been genetically modified or what happens when we eat these foods. So we turn to the reasons why that genetic modification may not be a good thing. Here are some of the controversies associated with genetically modified foods. One of these controversies are the potential health risks, including allergies, antibiotic resistance, and unknown effects. Other negatives that stem from GMO’s is that scientists are tampering with nature by mixing genes and no one knows what this is doing to the animals or the environment. Additionally, agricultural food industry claims that GM foods are tested rigorously, but the food companies conduct all their own testing. The FDA never reviews the studies, just the conclusions that agricultural food companies provide to the FDA. When studies were conducted by non-agricultural food organizations, they found serious health risks with GM foods and the way they tested for safety. Some questions I have after watching “Harvest of Fear” would be: What percentage of papaya plants are the transgenic papayas (resistant to ringworm virus)? How does Europe/Europeans view GMO’s now, 15 years after the video was made? Have they accepted them? Is the Earth Liberation Fund (against Biotechnology) still active and operational? Have the police cracked down on the culprit of the office arson? Have they prevented future violent anti-GMO activities? Is Starlink Corn still in our food supply? Has it been approved for human use? Was the company sued for this leak? In general, what percent of our food, as of 2014 is genetically modified? Has the population of monarch butterflies/caterpillars been compromised by contaminated milkweed? Does Monsanto continue to dominate the GMO world? What percent of intellectual GMO property do they now own? In general, despite its drawbacks, I believe that GMO’s are helpful to the environment and the economy. In reality, there is almost no way to avoid eating GM plants and animals, so I think it is best to accept this change. Although I for one prefer to eat organic food, for both taste and quality reasons, as well as the fact that the “natural” concept is attractive to me, the majority of the US and the world cannot sustain on organic food; this is partially because of the price and partially because of the growing population, of which small organic farms cannot sustain. In addition, much research has been done on GMO’s to confirm that they are safe, as well as the fact that there are no instances of anyone getting sick from them. Overall, I am pro-GMO’s, because I think that biotechnology is where the future is headed. It is the nature and right of humans to shape their future and the world around them to their benefit and to fit their needs, and I believe that GMO's are the next step in that. As we progress, we will continue to make better and better GM plants and animals that will both coexist well with the environment and humans, as well as satisfy all our needs.