Genetically Modified Organisms (Gm Os): What Am I Eating, Monsanto?

1183 words - 5 pages

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs): What Am I Eating, Monsanto?"Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA's job."~ Phil Angell, Monsanto's Director, Corporate Communications [1]This was a dialogue between Phil Angell of the so called, "Sustainable Agriculture Company" Monsanto. Monsanto is one of many companies around the globe dedicated to the genetic modification of consumables in order to help farmers around the world produce more from their harvests. In doing so, simultaneously conserve the planets natural resources like water and energy. At first glance Monsanto might seem like some sort of revolutionizing humanitarian knight in shining armor, paving the way in the biotech food market. The truth of the matter is they are. But before you get on the biotech food wagon I would like to ask you one question: Should a patent be granted to own a species of plant, animal, bacteria, or any living thing for that matter? I think not. Companies like Monsanto should not exist. In the next few pages, I will argue against Monsanto's blatant failure to consider the intrinsic and extrinsic risks associated with the production of GMOs and attempt to bring to light the disturbing truth about what we consider to be "food". The Monsanto Corporation was founded in St. Louis, Missouri in the year 1901. By 1940 they had pioneered the industry of plastics, polystyrene, and other synthetic fibers. For all intended prepossess, they were a chemical company. In the decades that followed they would go on to be the first producers of the pesticide DDT and the herbicide we know by the name, "Agent Orange". Finally, dedicating many years of research and development, recombinant bovine somatotropin (a.k.a. bovine growth hormone) was in its final stages and the fate of its use would be eminent. If Monsanto hadn't done enough for the biochemical field, in 1983 it made its biggest breakthrough technology come into fruition, successfully growing its first genetically modified plant cell. This singular technology would later become the backbone of the biotech food revolution in America.The products of these breakthroughs in biotech food can be seen, and consumed, all over the globe. One such product is "Golden Rice". Golden Rice is the name coined for the genetically modified species of rice engineered to produce a higher level of β-carotene, or vitamin A, and has a characteristic golden color, rather than white. In Asia, vitamin A deficiency is associated with the poverty-related predominant consumption of rice, which lacks pro-vitamin A in the edible part of the grain (endosperm). Providing pro-vitamin A in a staple food such as rice could be a simple and effective complement to supplementation programs because, through farming, it would be ubiquitous and self-sustaining. [2] While this may seem like a giant leap in the fight against hunger, I personally have my...

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