This post is a continuation of my review of the recent National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). If you’re interested in that review, you can find it by clicking on the image below.
That image was what I used to convey terror in my previous post by using iconic scenes from films and art. Since this post is a sequel, its featured image includes sequels from the same works depicted in the previous post. And like most sequels, this one is likely to be not as good as the original. Now, I’m not claiming that the original was all that great. I just know it was better than average because I received comments like the following from a real-live scientist who is neither related nor in debt to me:
“Great balanced article!”
There were positive comments through other channels as well and this wouldn’t be noteworthy were it not for the fact that the usual feedback I get is “You stink!”, “Ron Paul 2012!” and “Buy V!@6R@ Direct from Candada!” Yes, that’s right, Candada.
But, while I can’t promise to maintain the same level of quality in this post, I can commit to making it scarier. Because in this post, I divulge what I actually think about GMOs. And even more horrifying than my divulging my opinion, I’m going to inflict a concept from The Karma Sense Eating Plan upon you known as…
The Save the World Model
My goal with Karma Sense Wellness is to help you be healthier, happier and, oh yeah, save the world. That last one is a hugely ambitious goal. How can I aim for a saved world in a book meant to appeal to all lifestyles when I know that people can have vastly different views of what a saved world looks like? For example, a vegan may have a different view than a hunter.
In The Karma Sense Eating Plan, I use a unified model to normalize everyone’s opinion. The Save The World Model categorizes all things and gives priority to what each person finds most important. Here are the categories:
- You – “You” means the entire corporeal instance of the person reading this as well as that person’s spirit.
- Your Loved Ones – These are the people most important to You.
- The Population at Large – This is all people.
- Other Sentient Beings – All other living creatures with nervous systems, including mammals, fish, birds, reptiles and insects. Since many of these creatures depend on things like plants and single-celled entities to live, you can include those too or move them into…
- The Planet – This is everything else that encompasses your world view.
Moving from the top of the list down, each item can be considered a subset of the item below so that graphically you may get something like this:
Now suppose you’re concerned about each of the categories in equal amounts. In other words, if something good happens to you, you perceive it as positively as if something equally good happened to all the creatures on the earth. The model may look like what you see in the figure above.
The size of each circle can change based on any individual’s priorities but if you really want to learn more about the model, you should read The Karma Sense Eating Plan (I donate all profits to charities that fight poverty and hunger). There’s no need to go into all those details in this post because it’s about MY opinion of GMOs and the instance of the Save the World model that best represents me is the “All Things Being Equal” version you see above.
And all of this relates back to GMOs because, as you learned in this post’s predecessor, proponents of GMOs argue that we need them to help save the world.
Do We Need GMOs to Help Save the World?
GMOs are nothing more than technology. Whenever there are attempts to demonize or glorify technology, we have to remember that technologies are amoral. So whether we’re talking about personal defense (Guns Don’t Kill People. People do), alternative energy sources (Windmills don’t destroy the view from Donald Trump’s golf course. People do), or GMOs (Killer Tomatoes Don’t Kill People. People D0), we have to remember technology is not the problem. Applied technology is the problem.
In The Karma Sense Eating Plan, I do a review of the world-saving potential of people eating more vegetables and I do it from an inside-out perspective of the Save the World model. There is no reason to do it that way and for a GMO analysis, I’ll do it from the outside-in.
The Planet, Other Sentient Beings and The Population At-Large
After pouring through all available research, the NAS uncovered no proof that GMOs are a danger to the planet or the creatures that occupy it. Science says GMOs have the potential to improve world nutrition and to reduce dependency on substances that can damage the environment.
I believe the science. I’m confused by people who look down on climate change deniers because they “ignore the science” while they look down on GMOs because they don’t believe the science.
Furthermore, we already depend on GMOs for that other class of substances people put in their bodies, medicine. The ebola vaccine, insulin, human growth hormones and chemotherapy drugs are all made with GMO technology. Why is it that between ebola, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, cancer and malnutrition we only get skeeved out about using GMOs for the last one?
I understand when people are skeptical of all the science and all the applications. I don’t agree but I understand. It’s hard for me to understand when that skepticism is applied inconsistently.
But I only trust the science to a point. And that is why I also agree with the NAS’ careful optimism. I say it’s careful because they call for improved regulation of GMO research, usage and packaging. Existing regulations, such as those that prevent monopolistic practices, have to be updated to protect small farms. There also should be careful monitoring of the evolution of superweeds and superpests. Yes evolution is another one of those crazy scientific theories I believe.
Yes, I know. Regulation means government interference. In my view, food security is one of the most welcome places for that interference. Look at the wild wild west that makes up the supplement industry and you see what happens with either no regulation or industry self-regulation. I’ll take the half-a$$ed efforts by the government every time.
I also want to emphasize one more point from the report. Even though the NAS said GMOs have the potential, they also said that GMOs alone would not be a solution to world hunger. GMO increases the supply of food but supply isn’t always the problem. The biggest problems are often logistics (e,g, distribution, storage) and politics (e.g. inefficiency, corruption).
My Loved Ones and Me
I’ll do anything I can to avoid eating GMOs. Here’s my rationale:
- I have the luxury of easy access to foods that don’t depend on GMOs.
- I can afford non-GMO foods.
- People who take this stance ensure there’s an ongoing market for the biodiversity inherent within non-GMO foods.
- It also ensures support for organic and smaller farms who can’t afford to buy from or comply with GMO manufacturers.
These reasons are emotional and an exercise of my free will. They also support my Save the World model that values the outer circles. Maybe when regulations and label laws catch up with the current state of technology, my choices will change. But for now, I’m sticking to this seemingly hypocritical stance.
What about you?
This Post Was Brought to you by The Karma Sense Eating Plan.
If you want to support this blog and its attempt to save the world, please consider purchasing The Karma Sense Eating Plan. Your purchase is a vote of confidence for our mission of “Be Happy. Be Healthy. Save the World!” And of course, I donate all profits to charities that fight poverty and hunger.
(black and white)