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The Ignorance Of Media And Public About Genetically Modified Food

2407 words - 10 pages

The year is 2080. The world’s population has doubled while its production of food has not. Amongst the echoes of deprivation, the smell of starvation is rampant. Crime, driven by a need for nourishment and self-preservation is everywhere. They are desperate, desperate for anything to eat. It doesn’t have to be “organic” anymore.
In order to meet the demands of a growing global population, the world’s farmers have been required to grow more food, in less time, and with less land than ever before. This challenge has and will continue to be met by seeds that are more resistant to damage, durable to weather extremes, and ultimately more prosperous at harvest. These seeds are the product of genetic modification and are the potential solution to ensure that starvation will not be a consequence of global population growth.
When one thinks about genetic modification, what are the negative connotations associated with it? What are the possible consequences of using genetic modification in food? In the past century, the human diet has slowly been altered by the genetic modification of food in order to combat an increasing global demand. However, this onset has been followed by a deficient understanding of what genetically modified food is and therefore a negative connotation concerning its use. This deficient understanding is the direct result of an uninformed media representation. Therefore, my intention of this paper is not to demonize organic food, but rather to present the truth about genetic modification through presenting the true identity of what genetic modification is, its safety promoted through stringent regulation and science, and finally the inherent risks and benifits associated with it. By doing this I will show throughout the paper that the media, by failing to educate itself and its audience, has incorporated an ignorant perception that can cause more harm than good.
The prominent reason for the negative connotation associated with genetically modified food is a lack of knowledge. Today in the United States most people have a limited understanding of what genetically modified food is and therefore fail to critically discern the truth about its consequences. The history of genetically modified food can be traced back to the early twentieth century. According to Dr. Janet E. Carpenter, a United States Department of Agriculture consultant, the beginnings of genetically modified food originated with the discovery of genes by the Austrian monk Gregor Mendel in the early 1930s (Carpenter). Shortly after this discovery, growers began experimenting with the mutation of DNA in order to improve the performance of future crops and animals. This process, defined by molecular biologist Steve Osborne as crossbreeding, was the process in which “breeders selected a certain trait, such as size or color, and by carefully choosing the parent plants [or animals], came up with a new species of that organism” (Osborne). This process allowed for improved...

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