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We're Planting Ourselves Into a Corner

By KJ Mullins     May 28, 2007 in Environment
We have heard how genetic agriculture will "save" the planet by being able to produce more produce for the world. The negatives haven't had a lot of press though. And there are many.
The first is the fact that we are altering the very nature of the produce that is being grown. By altering the basic plant DNA we have started the process of eliminating whole species of plants in favor of the genetically produced ones. As with the honeybees when only one species is there to produce massive amounts of something they become stressed. Simple viruses can wipe out an entire species and then there is nothing to turn to. The other older and natural plants are no longer part of the ecosystem. Are we setting the planet up to elimination by being too scientific for our own good.
One complication is the fact that soil is not designed for the genetically designed produce. When you enter foreign matter into soil, it rebels. The biology of the soil is altered and can affect the fertility. The Bt toxin is in every part of a GE plant with the Bt genes. It has been proven the toxin persists in soil and harms the soils micro-organisms.
"Up to now, living organisms have evolved very slowly, and new forms have had plenty of time to settle in. Now whole proteins will be transposed overnight into wholly new associations, with consequences no one can foretell, either for the host organism, or their neighbors.... going ahead in this direction may be not only unwise, but dangerous. Potentially, it could breed new animal and plant diseases, new sources of cancer, novel epidemics."
Dr. George Wald. Nobel Laureate in Medicine 1967. Higgins Professor of Biology, Harvard University.
Adding antibiotic marker genes to produce has an even more serious potential hazard to the human population. It has been proven that this practice has contributed to making people more prone to be antibiotic resistant. With the growing predictions of a world pandemic this very practice could prove to be catastrophic.
Genetically manufactured foods have no safety testing. There have been instances in the past where the food produced sickens thousands. A case in point is the Showa Denko Tryptophan disaster that started in the 1980's ending in the 1990's. The tryptophan food supplement produced by the Japanese firm Showa Denko created a poison within the supplement. By the time it was stopped it had killed 37 and permanently disabled 1.500 people in the US in a disease called eosonophil myalgia syndrome.
While in the future it may become necessary to add genetic engineering to plants, we are simply at this stage too young in the field to risk the world's produce.
There have to be more controls and safety tracking before we can take the chance of eliminating our food sources.
More about Foods, Dangers, Soil fertility
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