Genetically Modified Organisms: An Agricultural Students Perspective (part 4 of 4)

Two major alternatives to GMO’s are conventional agriculture and organic agriculture.  Many of the dangers associated with GMO’s are associated with conventional agriculture, such as: pesticide runoff, potential monoculture failure, and topsoil erosion.  These concerns are unacceptable as well.  The successes of organic agriculture in terms of yield and soil are clear. (Kremer, 2012)  The current successes of bio intensive agricultural techniques are intriguing as well.  I suggest the reemphasis of local agricultural communities reminiscent to the victory gardens of World War II.  I insist that individuals grow gardens for themselves and their community.  A shift toward the localization of agriculture would be beneficial on many levels. 

These levels include:

1.Healthier food choices through the decrease of mass-produced empty calories.

2.Increases in topsoil quality and decreases in erosion.

3.Increased food security through greater biodiversity of fruit and vegetable crops in the United States.

4.Greater national security through decreased dependence on petroleum products.  Agriculturalists can achieve this through decreased shipping distances of food as well as decreased pesticide use through organic pest management practices.

5.A general decline of chronic disease in the individual and a healthier medical system due to a healthier environment.

6.Localization would encourage decreases in farm size, which would lead to an opportunity for greater agricultural entrepreneurship.

The debate over the benefits of GMO’s will continue for some time.  The mainstream peer reviewed evidence itself has difficulty demonstrating the safety of GMO’s. Government economists refuse to state health benefits of GMO’s.  In contrast, there is evidence of side effects and harm to the environment.  The lax regulation of GMO’s in concert with the collusion of the leaders of industry and members of government allow speculation of the motives of those individuals involved.  Furthermore, there is strong evidence against any benefit of GMO’s in terms of crop yields. It is clear that GMO’s have yet to be studied thoroughly enough to quiet the concerns of the public. Therefore, for the health of this world, I believe in the removal of transgenic GMO’s from production pending further investigation. 

End of 4 of 4: References posted at end of 1 of 4

UPDATE: Since the writing of this paper I have discovered that Pamela Ronald (cited in the above paper) retracted two of her pro-GMO studies that have been cited by more than 120 other paper.  The article where I discovered this is here.

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