Organic Food and Beverages
Buy Organics: Where and How?
Against GM Foods
Agriculture Engineering: There is a Price to Pay
Why are environmentalists and organic food proponents against GM foods? Because genetic engineering in agriculture is harmful to our environmental health. Understand the impact of agriculture engineering and genetically modified plants.
What are genetically modified foods? Genetically modified produce and GM crops are growing more readily available yet they are not good for the environment.
There are many reasons why a growing number of people are against GM foods. Impact on the environment. Impact on animals and other wildlife. Impact on humans. These are just a few reasons why genetically modified foods are finding resistance, instead of acceptance.
When companies, or research projects for that matter, genetically modify foods, they typically test the effects of the modified food on animals. Not good.
But it is even worse when the testing of GM foods occurs directly on young children.
A recent event with the testing of genetically modified rice on children has even the scientists protesting. A formal letter of protest was sent by 22 scientists to the Tufts University School of Medicine in the US; they were protesting that the trials of Golden Rice were a breach of the medical ethics code.
Medical ethics codes, such as: the Nuremberg code wherein it is defined that children are not legally capable of giving consent to participation in experiments; and the Belmont Report guidelines which define children as one of a group that are potentially vulnerable and require special protection) are in place to protect.
Against GM Foods; For Organic Food
The recent protest is over genetically modified rice (known as 'Golden Rice' because of the introduction of enhanced levels of beta carotene) that was tested on children under the age of 10 in the United States (US) and China.
Children cannot give informed consent. And some parents are willing to consent to testing on their children.
However the scientists who have raised this issue believe that
Not surprisingly, the Golden Rice Organization has a different perspective. They've resorted to name calling; on their site's home page they talk about "unwarranted attacks by die-hard luddites" on their project.
(I actually had to research the word luddites: the definition is those who oppose technological progress - rather a one-sided perspective against scientists and environmentalists who are opposed to unethical testing and opposed to genetic modification).
The Golden Rice Organization press release talks about how
But I'd argue that by anyone's ethical standards, it must be apparent that children would not understand what they were ingesting and what the risks, or rewards, of testing the modified foods were to them individually and on a long term basis.
The Golden Rice Organization claims no breach of ethics, saying the experiment was reviewed by an ethical review panel.
However the 22 scientists who signed and sent the protest letter state the following concerns:
Ironically, this agriculture engineering experiment was funded and administered by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Against GM Foods:
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