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During the colder months, before the farmers' markets open, we buy most of our groceries at Whole Foods (I know, I know, they're the devil for a lot of reasons that someone will probably leave in my comments or harangue me about at a party). But then we thought, with money being a little tight these days, why not get regular apples and flour and juice instead of organic?
Well, here's a good reason:
Scientists have begun putting genes from human beings into food crops in a dramatic extension of genetic modification. The move, which is causing disgust and revulsion among critics, is bound to strengthen accusations that GM technology is creating "Frankenstein foods" and drive the controversy surrounding it to new heights.
In the first modification of its kind, Japanese researchers have inserted a gene from the human liver into rice to enable it to digest pesticides and industrial chemicals. The gene makes an enzyme, code-named CPY2B6, which is particularly good at breaking down harmful chemicals in the body.
But...scientists caution that if the gene were to escape to wild relatives of the rice it could create particularly vicious superweeds that were resistant to a wide range of herbicides.
I mean, holy fucking hell! There is nothing about this story that isn't terrifying and deeply wrong.
The majority of the grain grown in the world goes to feeding livestock. So the more meat people eat, the more grain needs to be grown to feed cows and pigs and chickens, which means organic farming gives way to agribusiness, which means more pesticides need to be developed to grow grains as quickly and cheaply as possible, which means more weeds and bugs develop immunity to the poisons already in use, and more scientists have to genetically modify the grains and create new poisons, which means we end up with frankenfoods that can (and definitely will) contaminate the "regular" crops, until we end up with our own frickin' genetic material in our rice! Because we know how well cannibalism worked for the cows.
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