Posted at 10:50 AM on April 23, 2008
by Sanden Totten
Remember that tomato that scientists mixed with fish genes? The one that was made to stay fresh longer, look better and bounce like a tennis ball when dropped? That tomato freaked out a lot of people, myself included.
But to be honest, I almost never stop to check if my tomatoes are natural or one of these genetically modified "Frankenfoods". In the U.S. there is no mandatory labeling of GM veggies so being picky about my produce takes time and money. I'm usually short on both.
And it looks like I'm not the only one.
Global food shortages have forced many previously picky countries to start importing modified crops. Japan and South Korea have been using GM corn for soda and other products. Even Europe, who has been a long time protester of modified crops, is talking about deregulating the Frankenfoods. All this after the FDA recently approved the sale of food derived from the offspring of cloned cows.
There is a strange upside to all of this. It might be good for the US economy. We're one of the top producers of these crops and a boom in the market is a boon to our farmers.
Still, the idea of a genetically enhanced diet leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But I guess I better get use to it. In the future, genetically engineered food will probably be old hat. I'm sure we'll have a whole new set of ethical quandaries to worry about.
I believe that you are quite wrong to assume that a crop that is good for the economy would be good for farmers. Yes, it does sound logical, but it is not true. The farms that produce GM foods are typically huge corporations. These farms are obviously farmer operated, but not farmer owned. Though it is possible that our GDP would increase with enough exports of these crops, farmers who own their land would NOT be the noticing their bulging pocket book.
Good point. I guess that aspect of our agro-economy slipped my mind.
I also found out recently that the idea of genetically modified crops ending world hunger may be bunk as well. A recent study suggests that modified soy plants actually yield less food than a regular plant.
"It might be good for the US economy." That has to be one of the stupidest things I've heard in ages. Unbelievably irresponsible.