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We'll need to evolve to accommodate our technologies

Perhaps some highly allergic individuals will react to GM foods. But we must create technologies to address the food needs of our still-expanding global population. It's likely that GM foods will cause some health challenges, but so does starvation. The anti-GM population is calling for years of safety testing and massive infrastructure change; we don't have time for it. We must move forward despite some collateral damage.

If you read that far, hopefully you caught that it was dripping with sarcasm. I'm a highly allergic individual myself. In all pragmatic seriousness, the pro-GM set hopes that people like me eventually fade away (die off). My guess is that we're canaries in the coal mine though. Large scale evolution occurs over millions of years. The human species is STILL adjusting to its broad adoption of grain-consumption 10,000 years ago. GM companies want to introduce a massive change to the proteins of all staple foods in a matter of decades. Do the math.

The human immune system will not have time to adjust to the large scale modifications to food proteins... Plus many modified and chemically nourished foods grow very well in nutritionally poor soils. That seems a selling point till you consider that these foods can look healthy while not providing the mineral base that the body needs.

We've already seen an increase in osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease among cultures that adopt Western diets--and that's simply due to a shift toward more processed food. Can we spend the next 20 years doing research into truly sustainable and healthy approaches for addressing the food crisis? It's vital that we set aside short-term greed and think long-term right now--both nutritionally and economically--especially for the developing world.

Posted by Anna Bjorklund
04 February 2013 | 21h17

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Back to: Genetic engineering: It’s a technology, not an ideology

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