From GMO to GM[NO]!

Scary Thing About GMO That Nobody’s Talking About

source: https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2017/02/03/friends-earth-activist-campaigner-calls-increased-regulation-gmo-2-0-gene-edited-food/

“Science experiment”, “toxic” and “frankenfood”, these are a few terms that are associated with the term GMO, so it is to no surprise that we find another title that paints them as unsustainable and dangerous. In an article written by Chris Newman Scary Thing About GMO That Nobody’s Talking About, focuses on creating a “positive” screen around the term GMO (genetically modified organism). The author fails to do, I mean the title of the article already introduces the topic of GMOs as “scary,” primarily because “nobody’s talking about.” The article was found under the environmental and and sustainability tabs on Medium, but makes wide statements in terms of how GMO production can affect the environment. The author tries to persuade the audience by using language that appealing to pathos and then creating a frame which illustrates GMOs as a gateway to the future. However even the author fails to provide any evidence and sources which actually shows how GMOs are sustainable, in addition to not providing any support on its affects on human health. Attention audience of all ages, here is another article which attempts to paint GMOs as humanity’s last hope, despite the compelling scientific evidence on how the badly affect the environment, and the effects it has on human health.

Walk Down Pesticide Avenue

Workers must wear protective gear prior to opening any pesticide container. Must wear protective gear when spraying. Protective gear includes boots, masks, suit and eyewear.

In the article, Chris Newman states that, “Don’t Fight Against Engineering. Fight for the Continued Existence of the Miracle.” But according the Non GMO project, countries such as Japan, Australia, and all of the countries in the European Union deemed them as unsafe and have gone to the extent to ban any GMO product sales. The author uses the continued theme of illustrating vague and unsupported statements, such as “engineered food isn’t going anywhere. Not only because it’s profitable, but because it’s promising.” The statement was meant to point out that he is merely supporting the idea that GMO as a miracle worker because of how produce is can be tolerate drought, herbicides resistant and slow molding. However this magical miracle is merely an illusion, a mask which shields the truth about GMOs. Those promoting GMOs and it’s benefits are those who fueled by the money and protected by companies that manufacture these products. I wouldn’t want to eat something that still has pending approval by the USDA or barely met the minimum requirement.

The Recipe For Disaster

source: http://www.gaiahealthblog.com/2013/05/25/my-top-10-reason-gmos-are-becoming-a-horror-show/

These statements distract the audience away from the real question, are GMOs safe not only for the environment but also for the consumer? This is clearly not a concern for the author, “As for the long term effects on human health and the environment? Who knows.” The fact of the matter is we do know, studies such as the effects of glyphosate in genetically manipulated vegetation have been conducted, and concluded that the sales of toxic herbicides have skyrocketed by 16% since the introduction of GMO. But why might this be a problem? Currently more than 80% of GMO produces are herbicide tolerant, meaning that farmers need to use more in order for herbicide to be effective (Duke, 2009). So why is there a website which teaches farmers to wear protective gear, face mask and goggles when spraying pesticides? As a result, the term super bug has been created and this is directly correlated to the amount of chemicals being introduced in the field and the genetic altering in the vegetation itself. Another effect of GMO crops is that of the diversity it interrupts in crops and other vegetation. There have even been attempts in order to reduce the spread of horizontal gene flow, which reduces (potential) evolution of genetic material from parent to offspring (Non-GMO, 2010). These attempts by organic farmers included inserting buffer zones between different vegetation species, in addition to planting several different vegetation all in one patch in order to reduce potential super bug infestation. “Management strategies to control gene flow include avoiding the planting of genetically modified crops where wild relatives are present, or using buffer zones to isolate genetically modified varieties from conventional or organic varieties (Non-GMO, 2010).”

Money Over Moral

source: google images

The author neglected to point out that staggering statistic of GMO produce has been sold off the shelves. More than 87% of GMO produced food are not labeled in the supermarket, and websites such as the Non GMO project points out that ,“The U.S. and Canadian governments, though, have approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale.” Even though a survey conducted by the ABC News revealed that 95% of the public wish to know if the food which they are buying have been genetically modified. Labeling produce will cause a shift in sales of produce. The article continues to paint the illusion that labeling does not matter as it is a miracle and should be appreciated as such. The extension of this paper fails to point out anything promising to the environment such as the effect to how we farm in the future, our food security and the effects it will have on other species.

Sources

Duke, S.O., & Powles, S.B. (2009). “Glyphosate-resistant crops and weeds: Now and in the future.” AgBioForum, 12(3&4), 346–357.

Mortensen DA, Egan JF, Maxwell BD, Ryan MR, Smith RG. “Navigating a critical juncture for sustainable weed management.” BioScience. 2012;62(1):75–84.

Newman, Chris. “The Scary Thing About GMO That Nobody’s Talking About.” NewCo Shift. Medium.Com, 08 Mar. 2017. Web.

https://shift.newco.co/the-scary-thing-about-gmo-that-nobodys-talking-about-e067410aaf1b#3ca1

Non-GMO. “GMO Facts.” Non-GMO Project . N.p., n.d. Web. January 10. 2010.

https://www.nongmoproject.org/gmo-facts/

GMO-Awareness, GMO. “GMO Timeline — A History of Genetically Modified Foods.” GMO Awareness. N.p., 09 Oct. 2014. Web.

https://gmo-awareness.com/all-about-gmos/gmo-timeline-a-history-of-genetically-modified-foods/

GreenFacts, Scientific Board. “Glossary: Gene Flow.” Glossary: Gene Flow. GreenFacts, Feb. 2001. Web.

http://www.greenfacts.org/glossary/ghi/gene-flow.htm

Kustin, Mary Ellen. “Glyphosate Is Spreading Like a Cancer Across the U.S.” EWG. Environmental Working Group, 07 Apr. 2015. Web.

http://www.ewg.org/agmag/2015/04/glyphosate-spreading-cancer-across-us

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