would have imagined it? These GMOs are creating such confusion
one just can't ignore them. Everyone talks about them: the papers,
the TV... laws are being passed in parliaments.
Even I have started to read the labels on the products to see
if the things I eat contain GMOs.
like maize but I must confess I am a little troubled by the
thought it could be different from the maize I have always eaten
until now. However, I feel reassured by the fact that in Europe
there are laws that control the use and consumption of genetically
modified organisms. This is not the case in the United States.
Over there everyone is starting to use GMOs. They are much less
worried. They don't care that such organisms might prove dangerous.
knows who is right? The Europeans with their caution, or the
Americans with their nonchalance?
actually, I don't think I have heard of a single case of a person
falling sick as a result of having consumed GMOs. But I might
have missed that news.
are these GMOs, anyway?
It says here: "Transgenic food is derived from plants
or animals that have been implanted with DNA from other strains
or species that modifies their genetic code".
a matter of fact, those who support genetic manipulation claim
that by modifying the DNA of certain plants you can create varieties
more resistant to parasites or disease and thereby improve the
quantity and quality of the produce.
here: they have modified the DNA of some sort of nut and removed
a protein that causes allergies. This nut is now safer. Or take
soy as an example: it has been implanted with a germ gene that
makes soy more resistant to herbicides so the plant can be sprayed
with herbicides without suffering harm.
genetically modified maize produces toxins of a certain bacteria
and kills some harmful insects: this leads to the reduction
in use of pesticides that are noxious to animals and even to
it's not that simple. Those scientists and ecologists who are
contrary to the GMOs argue it isn't true that transgenic plants
have reduced the use of pesticides. What is more, they claim
we don't know enough about the consequences of the GMOs and
we can't therefore predict, at present, the damage that such
organisms could bring to future generations.
recorded a TV transmission with that biologist who is opposed
to the use of GMOs. There was also an international appeal concerning
the dangers of patenting living species.
"... it's called 'the principle of precaution': until
we are sure that the GMOs have no harmful effect, they shouldn't
be grown in open fields nor sold on the market. But the real
problem seems to lie just there: some biotechnological companies
and a few agricultural and food multinationals who sell transgenic
food, are strong supporters of GMOs."
how do you ask a company to stop making profits?
there is the problem of providing enough food for mankind. Transgenic
food could be a solution to this problem: is traditional agriculture
still an option at all? Today, we are 6 billion people on this
planet and going up to 8 in twenty years time. Already now,
800 million people suffer from malnutrition. Take China: with
23% of the world's population, as I hear, it has only 7% of
the arable land. The GMOs offer a much higher yield... and can
be improved at will.
was the vitamin issue? Here! 125 million people all over the
world suffer from vitamin deficiency due to bad nutrition. In
Switzerland, experiments are being carried out with transgenic
rice, so called golden rice, modified with the genes of jonquil
and some bacteria to make it richer in vitamin A. Well then,
this could solve the vitamin problem.
it just doesn't seem right.
does the Biologist say?
"...the problem with the GMOs is that in order to have
crops with constant characteristics, the transgenic seeds have
to be purchased every year from the producing companies. This
is partly due to the fact that the company doesn't want to sell
its seeds only once but wants the farmer to keep coming back
for seeds every year. So the company tries in every way to make
the traditional seeds useless."
does this mean for the farmer's freedom?
growers become heavily dependent on the agro-chemical company
that supplies them with seeds and other necessary chemicals,
putting their fate at the mercy of the company. One must know
that there are only a few, a very few, such companies. Those
in favour of the GMOs say that antitrust bills, similar to those
in the U.S., could be brought forward or competition could be
sustained through special funds. Is this really a viable option?
the real problem is gene patenting. In the U.S., 2000 patents
have already been issued and there are 6,500 requests deposited
solely by Celera Genomics, the famous scientific company that
has drawn almost the entire human genome map. More funds should
be granted for basic research and no gene patents should be
It is always the same problem: Is there a way to solve the problems
of the humankind with solidarity and mutual help, or must we
accept it for a fact that the system functions only if someone
gets something out of it?
the meantime, I keep checking the labels. But what if the patent
pros are right?
ask myself, is it appropriate to patent the genetic
patrimony of living creatures, or not?
DemoKino - Virtual Biopolitical Parliament - GMO.