LUKE SOMMER/ Staff Writer
Juice Smoothie on Twin Peaks and Espola makes a delicious smoothie. First they take the finest fruits available; they want nothing but the best to benefit their customers. Then they chop the fruit up into chunks that are not too big, not too small, but just right. The employee will then load the chunks of the fresh and delicious fruit into the blender. Finally out comes a smoothie like no other. Simple ingredients go in and out comes an amazing blend of fruits that are good by themselves, but excellent together.
Genetic Engineering is like a very complex smoothie. Since the days of hunters and gatherers people have been modifying organisms to benefit themselves including cross breeding animals or grafting plants together to try and get the desirable traits they want. Through this process humans are able to separate desirable qualities from the undesirable ones. This process of separating the good from the bad is examples of genetically modifying organisms.
The connotation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is often quite negative, but with all the good that it has done for mankind and the environment it is clearly something to celebrate. Scientists can now select specific genes in a genome and move that gene from one organism to another. This extraordinary power enables scientists to help save people and save the environment.
Students who join the bandwagon of not liking GMO’s are extremely misinformed. The fact of the matter is that there are hundreds of pieces of real evidence that point to GMOs not being bad, but actually being good. Without evidence, real concrete evidence, there is no argument. That is the situation that non-GMO people are in, they don’t have an argument based off of real evidence. An example of real evidence would be Golden Rice.
In lesser developed areas of the world, or “third world countries,” there is a often a lack of nutrients due to a restricted diet, specifically Vitamin A. This vitamin helps mainly with eyesight and is found in high quantities in carrots. Sadly, more than 500,000 children per year go blind, and more than half of that number dies due to Vitamin A deficiency. Genetic Engineers have found a way to supply those children in need with necessary nutrients. They carefully took out the DNA from a carrot, which provides Vitamin A, and put it into rice, now giving rice that same trait. Now these children do not have to suffer the unimaginable difficulty of going blind from lack of nutrients.
Over the past 40 years, scientists have produced amazing new products that benefit us and the environment, and during this time period there has never been a case of human harm. A study conducted over 20 years by every major credible scientific organization in the world has concluded that food on the market is safe for our consumption.
The environment also greatly benefits from genetic engineering. Scientists have made a genetic smoothie that makes it so crops can grow closer together and produce more than they used to. As our world’s population grows, we continually need more food, and without sufficient places to grow it we turn to cutting down the rainforests and destroying other natural ecosystems. Since we now can grow crops more densely and produce a higher yield of product, we don’t need to keep destroying the habitats of so many creatures to feed our growing masses.
With so many benefits it is hard to imagine why someone would be anti-GMO. Helping the less fortunate by giving them nutrients, preventing blindness in children, protecting the environment and saving species from habitat loss, there hardly seems like an argument against genetic engineering. Dr. Brian Fitzgerald, who has a Ph.D. in toxicology, says, “Whenever we have tested GMO’s, we have never found them to be toxic, for us or for the environment,”
With no harm being done, and with the benefits so great to the people of the world and to the environment that surrounds us, it should be crime to try and suppress genetic engineering and all the good that is brought about by it.