Nuclear proteins. DNA. Phyto-plasic rudimentary combustability. All-live-nudes.
There’s a lot of dangerous stuff out there. And you need to be prepared with the facts. So just what the heck are GMOs? What does “organic” really mean? What is the impact of changing technology on our food supply? The truth is … we have no freaking clue.
If you read old science fiction, like the really old stuff, astronauts wore asbestos suits. Hat manufacturers used to use mercury to shape felt. Dentists used to actually promote fluoride IN the water supply to fight tooth decay. We have done a lot of dangerous stuff in the past because we didn’t know any better, we didn’t understand the impact of science on our lives. What happens? People get sick and die. And take it from me, dying sucks.
Genetically Modified Organism. GMO. That’s the name we give foods that have actually had their genetic code modified by science. What is the impact of these changes? The fact of the matter is … we don’t know. As we understand it, there should be no difference. As far as we can tell, this stuff grows and processes like normal. Most of the changes involve moving around a single protein, one found naturally in other plants. And it gives us higher plant yields or more fruit or better taste.
And then there’s pesticides and food additives, hormones and dyes. We add these chemicals to our food, and we don’t really know the impact. Statistically speaking, only a small number of people are likely to get sick from a lot of the older chemicals. So we take a calculated risk — higher profits are more important than a very small risk. Right? That was sarcasm, not my opinion (BTW). The problem is, what constitutes a small risk? Is it a small risk for everybody? Or is it a small risk for the healthy and a larger risk for the ill or immunocompromised?
The answer is that we don’t know the answer. And we KNOW that we don’t. Based on statistical analysis, most of the stuff we’re doing to our food supply should be low risk. But we’re making so many changes, using so many chemicals. How many chemicals do we each get exposed to in a day? 10? 20? 50? Individually, the science might say that they’re low risk. But what happens if just one chemical has a long-term delayed effect? We know that a lot of substances don’t cause problems until YEARS later … how many are we being exposed to?
A few years back, studies showed that illicit drug use could contribute to changes in the DNA that could be passed down to our children. And then we find out that industrial chemicals used in water bottles can do it too. We ask questions about our individual health, we ignore the fact that we could be people with compromised immune systems could have problems our tests don’t see, and now, what? Now we know that the chemicals that save us a few dollars in farming expense can be changing our very genetic code? Altering the species and the very fabric of what it means to be human?
Possible impacts (as far as I’m concerned):
– Or sick people getting sicker, dying off sooner
– Or a certain percentage of healthy people contracts illnesses that are unexplained (Asperger’s, seizure disorder, gluten intolerance, etc)
– A certain percentage of healthy people contracting new diseases
– Negative modification to the genetic code of our entire species, nay our entire planet, possibly making subraces (like elves, dwarves, etc)
– Positive modification to the genetic code of our entire species, resulting in wondrous mutant powers like telepathy, laser eyesight, and adamantium skeletons
Maybe the answer is to regulate organics? Maybe we divide our food into two camps: naturally grown (non-modified) organics and OTHER? I don’t support banning the stuff outright, not without proof. I mean, I want a chance at an adamantium skeleton as much as the next guy. But people should have the option, right? On one side, we can protect ourselves and our children, hopefully live a life with maximum health and an optimum life span. On the other hand, we can save a few cents and hope for the best, maybe growing butterfly wings and flying off to the summerlands, leaving our children far (FAR) behind to defend a dying world against an army of animated corpses. Maybe they’ll win, and humanity can continue in a post-apocalyptic agricultural hunter-gatherer society. Maybe not. But it should be my choice, right?
We’re made up of a lot of complex stuff! History tells us that our current understanding of science is both dangerous and incomplete. How much trust should we really have in our current scientific body of knowledge?
Farewell my potentially mutated friends,
– Assistant Steve