In light of the news splashed across this week’s papers that the rise in food prices worldwide is forcing genetically modified foods onto the marketplace to cope with demand, one wonders why, exactly, GM foods are perceived to be so bad.
Image from gaymay
Scientifically, they haven’t been proven to be. But then again, they said that about lexan, too. The reality is, you may have already been eating these foods without knowing it: in the US they are FDA-approved, and in most major grocery stores.
Proponents of GM foods claim that the environmental movement is largely motivated by anger over the profit that drives farmers and researches towards this end, and that we simply are taking out our rage without cause. These are, I imagine, the same folks that believe that global warming is a plot to bring on the world socialist government.
The reality is, that taking in vast amounts of foods that have been subject to gene splicing and irradiation may or may not be dangerous: we simply don’t have enough information yet.
The fallacy my science teachers would accuse the GM advocates of using is too small a sample size. In addition, the new foods have yet to be around long enough to see how they affect a person during their entire lifetime.
The policy, then, of approving them and allowing all of humanity to act as a guinea pig is not necessarily evil so much as it is dumb: the packaging isn’t required by US law to be marked, and most of us may not know the difference.
The good news, of course, is that food may cheaper – we simply don’t yet know at what cost.
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