I’m going to come out and say that I am anti genetically modified food. It’s been a difficult journey since I am not against the study and application of genetic modification. I am specifically against it in the agriculture industry though. There’s a number of reasons why I’m against it.
The first reason is the case of the Rape flower (where we get canola oil). The company that makes Round up decided it would be a good idea to modify seeds to make them immune to round up. Thus being able to sell both seed and round up to farmers. For those who don’t know, round up is a kill all herbicide. So creating crops that were immune to this meant that we could go ahead and use Round Up on our crops without worrying about our crops dying. Seems reasonable, what’s the problem? Other than my own preference for Organic farming there are other reasons why it’s a bad idea. For starters Rape flowers themselves have become particularly hard to kill weeds. Since a weed is just a plant growing in the wrong place at the wrong time. The other problem is gene flow. Immunity to herbicides will flow to other plants making more plants immune to herbicides. Yes, ironically I’m saying that this could force farmers to use organic farming methods to combat herbicide immune weeds in their fields.
The second reason I’ve come to be against Gene modded seeds for agriculture is the creation of 1st generation only seeds. These are plants that will still create seeds but their seeds are duds. So that you have to keep on buying from the corporation that made the seeds. Gene flow means that this no second generation ability will be inherited by others possibly destroying our ability to grow in the first place. I don’t feel I need to comment any further about this. The problem should be pretty obvious.
The third reason is traditional farming methods. Here’s the thing, I’ve heard people say things like ‘we’ve been genetically modifying food since we started farming, just look at the banana or the large apples in Japan.’ Here’s the problem with that statement; you’re not talking about genetic modification when you say that. I don’t know the specific term but the reason the apples in Japan are huge and sweet instead tiny and sour is because the farmers have been favouring seeds that produce large sweet apples. A big issue with the GM seed industry is that they are going into contracts with farmers so that farmers are no longer the ones that can choose their seeds. We are stopping that traditional breeding the fruit to be tastier. You may say well that’s the farmer’s choice. Sometimes though it isn’t. GM crops next to non GM crops contaminate that crop. In the cases of the no 2nd generation seeding problem mentioned above it means the non GM farmers are forced into getting GM crops because they can no longer get their hands on good seeds. Especially as GM seeding companies buy up more and more seed companies and distribute their inferior product.
Just my thoughts and views on the matter. Organic non-GM for as long as I can since one day it may not be a choice at all.