The whole story, however, is classified in the horror genre.
The GMO industry (genetically modified organisms, used in agribusiness and the pharmaceuticals) usually tries to make sure their fodder does not kill people right away. (The great eco-ag champion Charles Walters called this attitude the “make it to the door” provision. That is, if the patient leaves the room without collapsing, the doctor can wash his hands of responsibility.)
The long-term effects of animal or human ingestion of engineered organisms are utterly unknown. To introduce such unknowns into the environment is morally indefensible. It’s not sound science, but technology run amok.
Industry will continue to uncover long-term effects as a result of the planet-wide experiments now in process. If you got past the first paragraph of this piece, chances are you’re among those people building up a huge load of resentment over serving as an inadvertent, unpaid guinea pig. Governments and universities are aiding and abetting these travesties, so it’s up to us free-range chickens to restore sanity.
Tips for uppity lab rats and their friends:
- Need help imagining how bad it could get? Read Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, and keep your barf bag handy.
- Need a clear statement of the Precautionary Principle to be able to remind people whenever the opportunity arises?
- Need a thorough, reasoned briefing on agricultural genetic engineering? Read Don Lotter’s two-part article on the Genetic Engineering of Food and the Failure of Science (part 1 and part 2). After delivering this indictment, Dr. Lotter took a break from academia and is now serving as farm manager at a widows and orphans center in Africa.
- Need to keep posted on how fast the unintended consequences of genetic engineering are showing up – by the perps’ own admission? Follow the Nature Institute’s laudable effort to track nontarget effects.
- Need a refresher on the theoretical work that consigns the whole concept of genetic engineering to old-paradigm uselessness? Dr. Raoul A. Robinson has posted several free articles on line. See especially the first part of Self-Organizing Agro-Ecosystems for good explanations of general systems theory, complexity theory, emergent properties and resilience. Dr. Robinson’s brainstorm is that decentralized, democratic clubs of plant breeders can succeed where corporations fail.
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