GMO, a Powerful Technology
Opinion by Dennis M Karpiak, MD
Walter Ritte represents a highly vocal activist movement staunchly opposed to GMO foods for various undisclosed reasons that have no scientific basis. The most relentless of these groups are at the forefront of anti-science advocacy using any means at their disposal to disrupt agribusiness and use third party funding to support their activities.
This activism prevents lifesaving foods from reaching market because activists continue to call for more tests, overly precautionary regulations and there are confirmed cases of crop study vandalism (Aug 8., Philippines). The activists impede this product demand by consumers and farmers by constantly demanding “more research” and intimidating politicians along the way.
In the case of genetically modified golden rice, two genes have been inserted into the rice genome by genetic engineering, resulting in Vitamin A being moved from the leaves to the grain in high doses. Vitamin A deficiency compromises the immune systems of 300 million children under the age of 5, and according to the World Health Organization, this biotechnology would save a million unnecessary deaths a year.
Monsanto and its Molokai workforce are engaged in similar genetic modification of corn as much a food staple as rice in much of the world. Their work is continually threatened by unfettered activism and the pervasive campaign of fear.
Recombinant DNA, or GMO, is a powerful technology for designing crop plants that can help humanity tackle our food supply shortages and reduce our environmental footprint. Monsanto and its Molokai research facilities can help us use less fertilizer and dramatically reduce pesticide applications and reduce our exposure to climate change through the genetic modification process into drought and heat tolerant crops.
GM is the epitome of technological and human progress in agriculture. The Ritte anti-GM movement is a backward looking reactionary ideology clinging to the concept of pre-industrialized agriculture. There has never been a single reputable peer-reviewed study that has found any link between the consumption of genetically modified foods and adverse health effects and these crops continue to be grown worldwide.
The activism that impedes GMO research has spilled over to Kauai and Hawaii Island counties and must be overturned by state legislature otherwise it remains offensive to the scientific method as stated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
We should let Monsanto and their talented workforce continue their scientific advancement in agribusiness which will allow them to continue to feed the world.