Saturday, March 22, 2014
A cranky opinion for
CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY
This Saturday’s cranky opinion differs from most in that I not only have very little knowledge on the subject (nothing different there) but my opinion is also subject to change. This week, opposing opinions are not only welcome, but might even change my thinking. As always, in all comments, no name calling please, and that means you, you big stupid head.
The FDA is about to allow production of GMO salmon (genetically modified organism.) This would be the first non-plant GMO food allowed for general consumption. Environmentalists are steadfast against GMO salmon. The new salmon is modified to grow quickly in fish farms.
I have read several complaints against this so-called Frankenfish. One is that it could be released into the wild and decimate the wild salmon population by being more competitive for natural resources. The second complaint is a legal issue. Would corporations hold the patent to these fish? The third is how do we know these fish are truly safe for consumption?
The developers claim that since these fish are all maintained inland there is no chance of them disturbing the wild population. I would think that there is very little chance, but certainly not “no chance,” but I am not sure how they could decimate the wild salmon anyway.
The legal issue doesn't really bother me. Let the developers patent their fish. I’m not sure why that is a problem. They spend the money to create a superior food, they should profit from it just as the developers of a better mouse trap would profit from their invention.
I would hope the FDA would test these fish to determine if they are safe for consumption. It is not as if they are radioactive or fed chemicals. It seems to me that all organisms via evolution are products of very slow genetic modification. I understand that 90% of corn and soy beans are genetically modified to resist disease and grow faster. If corn is corn and soy is soy, then salmon would be salmon.
I don’t understand the big worry about GMO food. Is it hysteria over anything not “natural?” I understand people wanting to eat organic food. I understand the concern about food treated with chemicals and pesticides. I am not sure what those concerns have to do with genetic modification.
Luther Burbank was a genius who gave us hundreds of different varieties of potatoes and other fruits and vegetables. He did this through cross breeding, grafting, and hybridization. I’m not sure what all those processes are about, but they sound a bit scary, and they don’t sound natural, but we have been eating his varieties and thousands of other varieties of foods produced with these processes for over one hundred years.
Genetically modifying organisms just sounds to me like altering organisms with the ability to use more beneficial characteristics then are currently available through traditional crossbreeding.
What is the danger of GMO food? Why the hysteria in some circles? Is it political? Is it economic? Is it scientific?
Is corn just corn? Is salmon just salmon? How difficult is it to test for differences which could be dangerous? What is the problem?
I believe these GMO foods are and will be safe. They are easier to produce and will have beneficial characteristics. They will grow faster and require less fertilizer. They will be disease resistant and require fewer pesticides. They will grow faster and have a smaller carbon footprint.
It seems to me that GMO foods are full of pluses with no drawbacks. That is my opinion. It is subject to change. Go ahead, enlighten me.
The preceding wishy-washy opinion is that of a cranky old man, and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.