Genetic engineering of crops and food animals could be the solution to famine or the greatest health threat ever to face the human race. On the corporate front, a couple of mega-corporations think they are the future of food and are working very hard to get their engineered and patented genes into every crop in the world.
Farmers who refuse to buy genetically modified seeds will soon find their heritage crops contaminated by wind borne pollen with the predictable result of being sued by the company for patent infringement.
A compliant (and corrupt) judiciary has already ruled that it matters not how such genes got into an adjoining crop; if it is present, the farmer is guilty and will pay dearly.
Jeff Smith is one of the most prolific authors around on the subject of genetically modified crops and his books are readily available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble. Two of them, Seeds of Destruction and Genetic Roulette, are highly recommended are shown in the images. Just click on their images to review or buy from Amazon.com.
Traditional recycling of seeds that has been practiced for centuries is now illegal wherever GM crops are found and the icing on the cake is that there is now a suicide gene that sterilizes seeds after the first harvest is completed. So far it has not been deployed but just the fact that it exists is a good bet that it will be commercialized.
The pattern is also seen in food animals where genetic engineering is now commonplace in dairy herds, poultry, beef and hog production.
The predictable result is a world of monoculture crops and a vastly reduced gene pool in food animals.
If some new blight, super insect or fungus comes along and wipes out the entire crop or animal species, there will be no alternatives available to save the world from the devastation. Could this be the future of food? It gets worse.
Genetics is the brave new world of farming and to some, it is one of the greatest threats facing the future of our food supply. To others it is the answer to how we will feed the world.
The Great Courses company has created two offerings that cover the issues very well in that they do not take one side or the other, but present an unbiased look at what is happening on the farm and in the lab.
The two courses are:
Click on the Great Courses button link below and it will take you to their landing page where you can navigate to the courses by entering the name in the search box.
The first course is Dr. David Sadava's journey into the science of genes, chromosomes, DNA, the genome and manipulating them via genetic engineering. Applications such as forensics, medicine and cloning are presented, wrapping up with Genetics and Agriculture and Biotechnology and Agriculture.
In the second course, Dr. Gary Sojka takes us from the original domestication of animals and grains to the engineering of those domesticates. Then he goes into the age of industrial farming and the path forward.
Neither course is meant to be entertainment, they are serious treatments of some serious and controversial issues.
In the next page we will look at how genetic engineering encourages the overuse of pesticides and herbicides and the dire consequences now facing the extinction of our pollinators.
For more on genetic engineering and GM food visit the Health-Choices-for-Life website.
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