Friday, June 22, 2012

The Right to Non-GM Foods... Better Seeds

Bill Gates has spoken on the need for "better seeds."
But what makes one seed better than another?
Gates would say genetic engineering,
 a modified seed made in a lab,
that leads to a pest-resistant or drought-resistant plant.

But others would say that "better seeds" are the "heritage seeds" 
that have evolved over centuries, 
genetically changing over a long time through natural processes.

Field of Wheat

The division on this issue leads to huge controversy. 
Can we feed our growing population of 7 billion humans 
without GM (genetically modified) seeds?
Will farmers be obligated to buy GM seeds, as they are in many places now,
dependent on a corporation, such as Monsanto, driven by profits from seeds?
There have been many farmer suicides recently in India for this very reason.
Additionally, a recent study in India suggests that the toxins 
inserted in pest-resistant seeds is making the soil toxic.
One African nation actually refused food aid for its hungry people,
because they did not want the GM food that the United Nations wanted to give it.
A Texas farm had 12 cattle die from eating grass that had produced
cyanide-- the grass was a hybrid created in 1988.

What do you think?

I declare the Right to Non-GM Foods.


Past blog post on this issue includes research links:


Update: Commenter JLH wrote what may be a picture of our future world:
"We are headed into a world of "genetically modified." The word "natural" is soon to be nonexistent. Artificial and synthetic are becoming the norm. Our preservation of "original" is on its last leg. 


43 comments:

Anonymous said...

People have to right to eat whatever they like.May it be genetic or not.We all need food to survive and I know if I was starving I would eat anything I could find but in today's world everyone is so worried about healthy foods and what is good for you, they don't want to give anything a try. What can it hurt? S.A.

Anonymous said...

These days I believe the safe way to go is organic. Wheter the seed is genetic ,or the plant has pesticide, these chemicals can be very dangerous. I think we should have the right to choose if we want to use the seed or not . This way each indiviual will make there own choices for there health. - CA

Anonymous said...

My believe on this subject is very simple, can we afford one day to eat regular seeds don't think so. One day and it will come regardless of what many people think, we are not going to have a choice, either eat genetically alter seeds or don't eat, choices is yours. Also were is the proof that does genetically seeds are actually causing more harm than good. LEG

Anonymous said...

I say don't mess with mother nature, find a way around it....... what are the side effects...... there are always side effects. If not now then later.MB

Anonymous said...

This goes to show that man cannot create life. I agree with CA on the belief that we should have the right to choose whether we want the GM seed or not. - Slade

Anonymous said...

This is why we have organic markets and food because people choose not to eat GM foods. We all have a right to eat what we please. The fact that one African nation chose to starve over eating genetically enhanced food sounds ridiculous, but that's their choice. Yes there are side effects, but what doesn't have side effects nowadays? - S.C.

Anonymous said...

Creating a genetic seed serves as a helpful idea to places that don't have the ability to produce. These seeds may be harmful over time to our body. Food today over time is harmful to our body even with the technology we have, making us diabetic, over weight and much more. I believe these seeds with more advancement in technology can be made natural and organic. And eventually they can serve with healthy benefits as well. -B.A

Anonymous said...

well i think we should take advantage of what technology give us. If we can manage to make seed that would require less water for plant growth, why not. RG

Anonymous said...

I declare the right to Non-GM Food, until independent scientific researchers show that GM seeds are safe for human consumption, and these seeds are not going to make the soil toxic, among other dangers and consequences are confirmed to be minimal or non-existent at all. I do not feel safe living on a planet where billionaires buying the power to influence and decided what people eat, and more important, the quality of the food that is produced. They have so much power already that they can hire the best lawyers in the world to rewrite international laws and rules get passed in some nations. I think more researches must be done on those seeds before more damage is done because if we are to follow one of Darwin’s most important discoveries, meaning the need of the pass of time to notice changes in nature, then we will agree that down the road we may get some new diseases, viruses and secondary or side effects from those seeds. We do not know yet the side-effects those seeds may provoke on people and nature in general. Corporations are interested in making money today, even if the future is at risk.
Dowel

Anonymous said...

Why must we change a natural thing like farming for food to try to make something that you may think is better? There is a 50/50 chance of it being better but you already have signs of it being defective. Say we let this happen and it starts to ruin the human body and the soil how can we fix it. How can we plant in bad soil? With the right material we can plant natural seeds to feed the whole population. Instead of trying to take things over they should look on helping each other to make something good and turning it great. JLS

Anonymous said...

I think they can be a very dangerous thing just like these so called safe pharmaceuticals, that later on are found to be killing people. Bottom line is we don't know how these foods or seeds will affect us in the long run. So why risk it, for a so called advantage when it is really just an educated guess that they are better for you. Like nature i say stay natural.- dgon4321

Anonymous said...

I believe there should not be a controversy on that aspect. Why not have both types of seeds on the market? I know natural seeds take longer but I believe it could flourish. I think we should not choose the natural seeds over the “GM seeds” nor vice versa because people have the right to eat one or both type if they wanted. IC

Anonymous said...

We are headed into a world of "genetically modified". From our personal appearance to the foods we eat. The word "natural" is soon to be nonexsistent. Artificial and synthetic are becoming the norm. Our preservation of "original" is on its last leg.-JLH

Anonymous said...

I'm fine with genetically modified foods as long as it is tested before it hits the market. However, I think the FDA should put stronger regulations on what can be inserted into our foods. Just like many parts of Europe were they don't even allow hydrogenated oils in their food. Would be great if we all had access to cheap organic foods.
-JH

Anonymous said...

The domino effect comes into play in this situation. Due to the lack of water in many parts of the world these types of GM seeds were created. The ideas of these seeds may not be favored by some, but they work wonders for others. It depends on which side of the grass you are standing. R.R

Anonymous said...

Everyone should have the right to choose if they want to eat genetically modified foods or organic foods. Either way its a choice that we as an individual have to make when it comes to putting healthy or unhealthy things into our bodies. I agree with the right to non-gm foods...better seeds, but who else does?
AA

Anonymous said...

We are and will always be guinea pigs and lab rats. C.N.J.

Anonymous said...

I am very liberal person when it comes to new scientific idea. Genetically modified seeds are just another extraordinary discovery human kind has created. Take for example the car mobile, it is one of the most astonishing human creations, yet it causes millions of deaths every year. So why not be open minded? After all we will all end up dying from something!

JDD

Anonymous said...

I feel that scientific innovation should always to be pursued but some things can and will be dangerous if not taken with care. These seeds need many, many years testing before they should be used. JB

Anonymous said...

The right to GM seeds is directly linked to our progress and quite possibly our survival. If our environment is suffering which in turn causes casualties, why should we not use our intelligence to create and promote seeds that could possibly be the answer in avoiding starvation? If we begin to close the doors on the possibilities of GM seeds, we begin to also end hope for those that live in the harshest climates on earth. Obviously those same people will need to be educated on the potential of GM seeds. MMSEAWOLF

Anonymous said...

Historically, advances in plant genetics have provided new knowledge and technologies. Plant genetics remains a key component of global food security, peace,and prosperity for the foreseeable
future. Millions of lives depend upon the extent to which crop genetic improvement can keep up with growing global population, changing climate, and shrinking
environmental resources. While there is still much to be learned about the biology of plant–environment
interactions, the fundamental technologies of plant genetic improvement, including crop genetic engineering, are in place, and are expected to play crucial roles in meeting the chronic demands of global food
security. However, genetically improved seed is only part of the solution. Such seed must be integrated into
ecologically based farming systems and evaluated in light of their environmental, economic, and social
impacts—the three pillars of sustainable agriculture. Clearly, one could understand my opinion. AF

Anonymous said...

I believe it does not even matter if the genetically modified foods or organic foods, human beings are going to eat what they want to eat. Regardless if its healthy for them or not. If they are hungry, they are going to eat it.


A252

Anonymous said...

I believe that people have the right to choose what they want to eat. Some people would not care whether the food is genetic modified seed and others prefer the food to be organic. For me I really don’t care as long as I get the proteins and nutrient my body needs.
-Y.M

Anonymous said...

I believe this is a matter of one's own personal choice. If you know GM seeds carry certain harm in eating them but still eat it because it's availability and lower cost than that is your way of rationalizing that choice. On the other hand, if you are more content with eating the way seeds are meant to be for centuries, than you might have to sacrifice more to obtain it but you may be happier once you've realized, " hey, this was worth it."-eherr

Anonymous said...

Sooner or later nature won't be able to keep up with food supplies for our constantly growing population. Therefore, we need to rely and get used to GM Food, if we want to keep the human species alive. Of course,you have the right to choose Non-GM Foods,but to be realistic, pretty soon that choice won't exist anymore. SZ

Anonymous said...

Like MB mentioned, mother nature is not a force to be tampered with. By adding unnatural chemicals to our seeds, we are killing not only ourselves, but also our animals and the world as we know it. Say no to GM food and yes to organic!
~MMB

Anonymous said...

There is no way to avoid a world polluted by GM food. Whether it is a large or small percentage of the food being distributed. After all, a GM crop has to be better for the population, they defy the flaws that the normal crops have. The issue of farmer suicides actually have nothing to do on whether or not a GM crop should be purchased or the old-fashioned crops, it is simply a personal choice based on one's morals. GM CROPS ALL THE WAY.

-Patrick Bateman

Anonymous said...

Change is good, now should change be mandatory i don"t belive it should we should have the right to produce whichever seed we'd think would benefit us.
-OM

Anonymous said...

This is indeed a controversial subject, because we all feel we have the freedom to eat what we please. However, there should be as much if not more regulation from the government to provide adequate testing of these " Better Seeds". Pharmaceutical companies come out with new medicines everyday to cure all sicknesses, but without fatalities. Who's to say 20 years down the road we won't hear news reporting a mass cluster of some new form of cancer due to "Better Seeds"? We do have the freedom to eat but I think we should have the right to Non-GM food. *KPG*

Anonymous said...

I understand people's concern for something that isn't natural and has to go through a long process that involves various chemicals. But what are we doing now, there are plenty of products and food that we use and consume that most people don't know what 80% of the ingredients are on the label. Through more research I'm sure that we can find a healthier way to create gm seeds that will be increasingly beneficial for everyone. ~ vm

Anonymous said...

people should be able to eat whatver they want, whether its GM seeds or not. Also the way this population is increasing in the world today how will they be able to feed everyone. I think they should leave mother nature as it is and just appreciate whats given- UF

Anonymous said...

I believe that the best food is the organic. There are too many risks involved in the use of GM food, and its removal from the agricultural and biotechnological industries will benefit human health, the environment, and global economy. LS2206

Anonymous said...

Monsanto is a monster that needs to be destroyed! I am 200% against Genetically-Modified Foods. It's not healthy for the soil, for the humans, animals and environment. I traveled throughout Georgia, Alabama, and the Carolinas recently and they had their billboards all over the place. I though if "I could only take them down and burn them". Placed strategically in the highways where farmers and wholesalers can see them. Advertising a positives outcomes out of their monstrous creations! NDF

Anonymous said...

Side effects in genetically modified foods may be irreversible, but everyone has the privilege to choose what to eat. Organic food is too expensive; most people are unable to spend that much money in organic food that is why GM food is the most consumed by humans.-G.S.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said…
I also declare the right to none GM-Foods; this food industry is already corrupt enough. How can we manage to further infiltrate it by genetically modifying seed plants that have proven to be more harmful than helpful? I understand there is the question if we can serve a mass population all natural food. However, then there is the issue of mass producing GM-seeds which in turn leads to a danger in our economy. To sum up, my main argument in this issue is that we must focus on the quality of the product not so much the quantity. -S.MR

Anonymous said...

I think that you should not tamper with nature in any way, even if it were to better it, because everything in life has a balance. You are what you eat and the more that science gets involved in what we put into our bodies, the less natural I believe it is for you. Genetically modified foods and nongenetically modified foods are not one in the same. If the government wants to feed this to people, they can, but I think that the consumers should at least be told what they are eating from the start.

-RaRa

Anonymous said...

If we have the technology to make better plants that give more fruits and vegetables faster, then we should do it. If some people have a problem with this then can go buy organic, no one is forcing them to buy GM food. -bonzi

Anonymous said...

The unnaturality of GM seeds will eventually have negative consequences on all which it comes into contact with. These products may appear to be/act the same way as the real thing but trying to recreate nature in a lab has gone terribly wrong before. Do the benefits out way multiple deadly outcomes? I believe in the right to uncontrolled, healthy seeds.
-I.E.G.

Anonymous said...

I agree with JLH. The people of this world are just trying to make money, sell quantity instead of quality. In the long run the toxins are going to catch up to everyone and it could be a world of zombies. All joking aside when we look back in time, the Indians didn't have machines to make food it was all natural. They lived longer than most Americans nowadays. Let's not genetically modify anymore let us live healthy and longer. -RCT

Anonymous said...

The world’s population is only increasing, that only means we need more food to feed the people. I believe that if GM seeds will help us feed the world than so be it, obviously we should try to make them safe and without any side effects, but we can’t feed seven billion people the old way, the way it was done thousands of years ago because thousands of years ago there weren’t seven billion people on Earth. YB

justuff said...

Even Heirloom seeds are "genetically modified".
the natural process of several generations planted in a different type of soil, or fed a different water of fertilizer with particular quality, then the farmer singles out the hardy strains and propogates that to expedite the changes... either we do it naturaly or scientifically.
the fact is that we need higher yield more quickly and our pace exceeds the need... read the blog on population. what should we do?
implementing strict guidelines and requirements is a start...
I prefer natural, but as one blogger said... what is natural? Original? besides at some point its starve or eat.

Anonymous said...

Genetic seeds are being used because the world population has grown immensely, and we need to be able to feed everyone. This is the short term fix, but are we looking at the long term? The illness of humans, the extinction of plants, animals and the destruction of the environment are all on the rise. Are the planting and the consumption of the genetic seeds contributing to this? If so, why have we not stopped producing genetic seeds? We are paying millions of dollars daily on health care, fighting the extinction of animals and plants and saving the environment. Perhaps we can channel the money to come up with something better than creating genetic seeds to fix the short and the long term problems.SAM

Anonymous said...

When you live in a country where you have the ability to choose what you want to eat, organic, non-organic, or regular food, junk food or whatever is easy to enter in a controversy. What about if you live in one of those countries that you do not even know if you are going to eat tonight? or the next day?
Then, food is just food. No adjective. Food is a blessing.

MCC