Dr. Loretta Collins
GMO’s in our daily life.
Science and technology have become a very important part of our societies, economies and everything else, since we tend to rely on science for our daily processes. Scientists have been making experiment since the early days but recently genetics has been gaining popularity among them.Through science and new technologies we have been able to produce and create different things to aid our daily living, and as to continue making our lives easier and productive scientists have entered in this pursuit of changing and modifying almost everything that it is known to us, our nature and our environment.
A little before 1990’s big pharmaceuticals and companies started research in themanipulation of the genes of different organisms to make them more “efficient” to us. These big companies started manipulating from seeds that produce a variety of plants, to animals and everything else we eat, or better said, consume. At a first glance these genetically modified organisms may appear as if there were all good for all other organisms living in this planet. But we, all of us, have aright to know what really goes down when talking about GMO’s.
GMO’s are genetically modified organisms which have had been induced changes directly into their DNA by genetic engineering and not like the rest of the organisms that experience these changes through either natural selection, mutations, etc. In other words we, humans, are manipulating nature to its core. Genetic engineeringinvolves doing crossings between organisms that would not cross in nature. By manipulating organisms we can make them “do” whatever it is we need them to do, for example, if we have a crop that’s being infected with a plague of insects we would need a very strong insecticide to eliminate it, but it is obvious that if we want to kill an organism this would also affect the crop we’re trying to protect. Inthese cases is when genetic engineers come in handy, a perfect example of this is what the company Monsanto does to its crops, they make a new kind of seed, which is resistant to the insecticides that they also produce to make the crops more “efficient”. This way the crop can keep on growing without major problems. If you look at this from the producer or the seller point of view it is veryconvenient since by this means it’s like guaranteeing no loss and all profit. In the capitalist world we live in it’s essential, in most parts of the world, at least for this big companies, to gain the most from less “effort”, that’s what’s called good percent yield. It’s clear that we can produce without the major misfortunes that were faced in the past, but at the same time it has to be evaluated allthe side effects that all these technologies can have and all the harms that are associated with GMO’s. To give a few examples of the damage done to nature it has been observed that the lifespan of ladybugs was reduced to half when they ate aphids that had fed on genetically altered potatoes in Scotland, but this wasn’t the only thing the ladybugs also laid fewer eggs which in the long runcould become a concern to the ecosystem. Another real preoccupation is the damage that can be done to people who suffer of certain allergies since we no longer know what is inserted in what we eat. It is important to have in mind the harms done to the environment because all of these GMO’s could become a threat to it since all of these new crops or organisms are more apt for survival, in otherwords these crops could become plagues and exterminate the wild life.
Some of the changes that have been made to a variety of organisms can be viewed in many ways; it just depends in which position you stand. For example a Monsanto official told the New York Times, October 25, 1998, that the corporation should not have to take responsibility for the safety of its food products. "Monsanto should...