What Does Genetically Modified Mean Today?
Are you living a healthy lifestyle? Have you made exercise a regular part of you weekly routine? How about your diet, are you eating right? Well, the reason that I ask all of this is because perhaps unlike no other time during the last 25 years, a truly intense focus on healthy living is once again coming back in vogue. Whereas the abolition of P.E. as a normal part of the public school curriculum, and an epidemic of obesity sweeping the country, may have fueled the rationale which sparked the enormous growth of commercial spas and gyms a generation ago, today more and more people are becoming increasingly concerned with the genetic modification of the food supply. This is beginning to spark a greater interest in organic farming. Commercial practices that were once thought of as normal in the process of providing natural human sustenance are now gradually being revealed as inadequate and unhealthy. That which was once common place is now viewed as an aberration meant for a Frankenstein and not for human consumption.
This new focus on health has come in the wake of a nation struggling to re-establish its values and a government facing a dire need to re-establish its regulatory responsibility. Of course, the recent Salmonella outbreaks, years of commercial anxiety caused by Mad Cow Disease, and the widespread impression that the previous administration left a host of inept bureaucracies in the midst of its demolition of American culture, have only intensified the movement against Genetically Modified foods within the United States. However, the struggle for the abolition of GM foods has been a vigorous political cause amongst European Countries for many years now.
The controversy was first introduced to the public fifteen years ago with the production of tomatoes grown to be resistant to rot and put on the market in California. Since then, there have been strawberries genetically altered to be resistant to cold, soybeans, corn, and even cotton modified to be resistant to herbicides and pesticides, and a whole host of fruits and vegetables, plants and yes animals modified in ways that are simply meant to deliver certain aesthetic qualities along with affording them a longer shelf life. Proponents claim that this research is necessary as the world’s population swells beyond sustainable development. Critics claim that this argument is false; pointing out that there is more than enough farmland in the world to feed the entire planet many times over. The problem they say is with the politics of food distribution.
Moreover they claim that GM foods are dangerous. Although studies proving negative effects of consumption in human beings have thus far been inconclusive, opponents point out the deleterious effects that genetic modification has on the environment. Certain strains of genetically modified corn for instance have been found to be toxic to certain insects necessary for the ecological cycle to continue. Plants rendered free of insects may mean fields free of wild life, and strange creatures that end up wandering throughout the night into suburban areas in search for food where they have never been known to wander before. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!