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1984 has long since arrived and in more ways than one, and we are now embarking upon a Brave New World. Gene tampering whether it be with flora or fauna is a dangerous thing. I don't think it should be dispensed with altogether, but we definitely need to slow the process down.
For the past decade we as North American consumers have been and are continuing to be guinea pigs for bio-tech labs which are implanting foreign genes into our produce in order to do various things like fight pests in the fields without chemicals and sustain shelf-life in our supermarkets. Good ideals on the surface, but it is being done with no regard for the effect that these plants will and are having on the environment and humans - creating super bugs and weeds, contaminating surrounding fields of non-engineered crops, killing species of beneficial insects which normally feed on the pollen, introducing unknown allergens into foods, reducing nutritive value and introducing animal genes into foods which vegetarians normally thrive on, just to name a few.

Some would have you believe that this is no different than the hybridization and selection of plants that has gone on for centuries, but there is a great difference. Just by its very nature of having to be done through microscopes in a laboratory is but one indication that this is not a natural process.

Organic farming without the use of pesticides and herbicides is an area which needs to be developed and regulated more rather than this Frankenscience, but unfortunately this type of natural farming does not make millions of dollars for the corporations which are producing these mutant seeds. These companies have succesfully managed to work with U.S. and Canadian governments to escape all liability for any future problems that may occur, and deny that any exist at the moment. Recent ads for bio-engineered crops come across as benevolent, but a closer look at the ads and one sees an eery similarity to Double Plus Good propaganda.

These scientists don't just stop at plants of course. They are continuing a long standing tradition of animal experimentation - which has in the past achieved medical breakthroughs, granted - but recent developments in genetics are just too God-like in my opinion. Cloning of animals, for one, is a slippery slope to human Eugenics. It is already being done to a minor degree with things like eye color and sex determination in the womb. Of course it can also be used to eliminate certain diseases, etc. But, this can also be done if they were to focus their attention and study on the natural prevention of certain conditions, as they have already done in some cases. But, as with organic farming, this does not generate the same kind of revenue for certain parties.
Farm animals have also been subjegated to genetics, which is now showing detrimental side effects in humans - never mind all of the horrible conditions the poor animals themselves have developed. We already know of the harm of the over-use of anti-biotics in cattle, given to them to offset the inhumane and overcrowded conditions in factory farms. As well as our own over-use of them, it has caused diseases to become reisitant to our best known cures. But now, the hormones given to cattle to produce more milk than is natural are now a major contributing factor to the extreme early onset of puberty in girls.

Of course there is just as much denial about this as there is with the side-effects of the Frankencrops, both by the bio-technicians, and farmers who use the seeds and hormones, and as well by a certain and too large segment of the population who are uninformed of the facts and are likely to be easily swayed by the condescending and falsely altruistic advertising these companies have employed as damage control.

Some Recent Articles On The Subject.

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February 2001