J500 Media and the Environment

GMO: Friend or Foe by mstinawood

The debate over what is and isn’t sustainable is a complicated one. Keep in mind that the concept of sustainability rests on the principle of meeting present needs without compromising future generations from meeting their own needs. On one hand you have multinational companies, like Monsanto, that claim they offer farmers more sustainable growing methods in the form of GMOs. On the other hand, there are arguments that GMOs are anything but safe and sustainable. Because biotechnology is such a new field it is surrounded with scientific uncertainty. This uncertainty has created an arena of opportunistic arguments wrought with propaganda and marketing ploys.

We as consumers play a large role in GMOs. We eat them and purchase them, therefore we hold the economic power to stop their production or ensure their survival. In the United States, most consumers are completely unaware of what a GMO is, let alone whether or not the food they buy contains them. The most important source of power we as consumers can excercise is knowledge. We must take it upon ourselves to inform and educate those around us and make them understand why it is important. The problems that exist with GMOs must also be recognized by our government. We as a people must demand to know what it is that we are consuming. In order to obtain legislation requiring producers to label their products that contain GMOs would be difficult and expensive. A better tactic would be for GMO free producers to voluntarily label their products as such and we as consumers can then give them our economic support.

It is easy to feel helpless in these times of globalization and economic struggle. By simply using the power that we all possess we can bring about change and a healthier world.

Tina Wood

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3 Comments so far
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The European Union has banned GMOs in food for several years. Not that the Europeans are always necessarily correct, but do you think that creating legislation about an issue gets more people to discuss the issue? This type of legislation hasn’t been brought up in the United States, so do you think this hinders the conversation?

(kind of a chicken-and-egg question, which comes first?)

— Lauren

Comment by Lauren Keith

I think that attempting to pass legislation would facilitate a conversation and create more awareness, although multinational companies have so much money that they can coerce the process by possessing a large amount of clout and influence. Unfortunately votes can be bought in this country.

Comment by christinaw09

Legislation aside, I am struck by the fact that we don’t hear a lot about GMOs in mainstream journalism. Why do you think that is? Is it because of the complexity and ambiguity you address?

Comment by j500

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