The case for genetically modified foods

The term Genetically Modified Food (or GMO) often produces a knee-jerk reaction in people. There are certainly causes for concern about the impact the foods have on our systems and on the farming ecosystem. But this article from MiT Technology Review focuses on the need for GMOs to feed the coming generations. Fascinating article.



  • def4

    I have nothing against GM food as long as I am free to let you test it for the first few human generations to see how safe they really are. ;-)

  • http://300stations.com/ Mark D Wolinski

    I agree that the food supply will become more constrained as the population grows over the next several generations. I do worry about GMOs, however, because of the long term affects that are not measurable in the short term.

    In the 80s, we started using growth hormones in cows. While not scientific, it would seem like the younger generation is developing at a faster rate then when I grew up in the 70s/80s.

    The problem that we’re at is that the proponents of GMO can flood us with studies that prove their safe (some, most?, of which could hardly be called independent) to counteract studies against them. And in today’s business friendly government, the government is going to err on the side of business.

    Related issue is with the corn supply. Scientists were developing a genetically enhanced version of the pesticides that’s grown into corn to prevent a specific “bug” (I forget the correct term right now) from killing the crop. Problem is, that same pesticide is also harming the bees as well…

    And we should all know the effect of killing bees…

    Anyway, the scientific communities response is to genetically alter the bees to be resistant to that pesticide. So, we’re going to make super bees. That doesn’t seem like a good idea to me because where ever science steps in, nature seems to have the final say.

    • http://blog.nicholasmodesto.com/ DigitizedSociety

      Just like what happens with RoundUp Ready crop seeds, who owns the IP of the genetically altered bees?

  • alj_disc

    from said article :

    Yet it’s not clear whether that boom in transgenic crops has led to increased food production or lower prices for consumers.

    In fact, there is studies that show that current generation of GMO increases prices, because a big part of the costs, beside seeds, go in treatments. That is just enriching Mosanto, and is a big part of a current crisis in India.

    And the argument that we need GMO for feeding 9 billions is pure BS. We need it if we want to do it at the level of waste in the USA and most of Europe, as well as subsiding ethanol production. But just reducing meat consumption by 15-20% (which is less than what should be done for health reasons) solves that.

  • Orestes Peach

    No evidence that we shouldn’t be labeling GMO as such.

  • Moeskido

    The pesticide problem is only one result of the “magic bullet” thinking that under-regulated agro companies use to keep escalating environmental side effects… and therefore the need for new magic bullets.

    Another problem: companies that own GMOs criminalize farmers who try to grow non-GMO crops. This is a sick business.

  • http://blog.nicholasmodesto.com/ DigitizedSociety

    I have an idea.

    1. Stop paying farmers to burn crops.
    2. Feed livestock grass instead of crops that could be used to feed people.
  • a_dg

    Holy shit. The fact that this kind of flagrantly irresponsible misinformation is just being taken at face-value is terrifying.

    Let’s be clear: genetically modified foods are a virus that could threaten life on earth as we know it. They exist out of criminal corporate greed, pure and simple. Do your research on the health effects, including leaky gut syndrome, before regurgitating something like this.

    Echoing what @alj_disc:disqus said, reducing or eliminating meat consumption (one can dream, right?) will go a lot further than any other purported solution to feeding everyone. But the fact remains that the world is overpopulated, and we have created an unsustainable demand for food.