Throughout this past semester many important ecological dilemmas have come to my attention. The most striking environmental issue that I have noted this semester has been agricultural Biotechnology.
A reputable definition of Biotechnology would be the means or way of manipulating life forms (organisms) to provide desirable products for man’s use(www. biotechknowledge. com). Scientists are pleased due to the arrival of biotechnology, believing that it will replace original, conventional breeding methods.
After all, it seems like it is a smarter, less expensive way to grow our worlds food supply. But lets note that this scientific practice is really not that new. The word biotechnology was introduced in 1919 by a scientist by the name of Karl Ereky in showing mans interaction with biology using modern technology. But, Biotechnology in its agricultural aspects is only one of the many fields of this study. Some other areas in this study are: recombinant DNA, rDNA or gene splicing, enzyme systems, meristem culture, mammalian cell culture, immunology, molecular biology, fermentation, and others. But, humans are beginning to see the not so perfect traits of biotechnology, and even recognizing it as a type of biological pollution(Nill, 03).Order now
Biological pollution, as viewed by Michael Pollan, can even be seen as a disease(Pollan, 186). There are many reasons why we should stick to our conventional ways of growing food, these reasons are because biotechnology is producing effects that are unfavorable to the health of humans and of our ecosystems. Using the biotech way, we could be putting ourselves at risk of numerous health problems. With conventional breeding methods, pesticides were sprayed on the outside of the fruit, where they can be easily washed off. But, biotech foods are not that easily rid of chemicals. When the pesticide is placed inside a fruits DNA makeup, it literally becomes part of the fruit.
You cannot wash this away. Potato grower Pollan reported that in the Grower Guide also brought news that my potato plants were themselves a pesticide, registered with the Environmental Protection Agency(Pollan, 184). Would you honestly eat a piece of fruit or a vegetable that can kill all insects on contact? We are not talking about something with just a waxy film on the outside; it is actually containing a chemical that itself can kill life. Conventional breeding methods would allow washing the fruit four times to be safe, but this is not an option for Biotechnology. Biotechnology is not only bad for our health, but it is also capable of really messing up our ecosystems.
We are ready to plant fields of vegetables that can wipe out an entire species of insect in a designated area. Insect-fighting capabilities of Biotechnology are even seen to be futile in the future. The insects will have built a resistance in time and this is only money out of farmers pockets. It cannot completely wipe out all the bugs anyway, because bugs are really responsible for the process of pollination. No pollination would mean no flowers, no flowers would lead to fruit, that would bear seeds to start off a whole new generation of plants.
It also brings up another issue. Just what if some bugs managed to make it, and then started spreading around pollen from plants that are resistant to bugs. We will end up crossing the wrong bugs together, and they could soon develop a resistance to the Bt chemical. The theory is that when a Bt-resistant bug does show up, it can be induced to mate with a susceptible bug from the refuge, thus diluting the new gene for resistance, (Pollan, 187).
This means that if we have a bunch of super bugs flying around, they will be immune to even crops that dont use biotechnology, they will be immune to the organic ones that just use Bt sprays. Besides all the immediate, obvious threats, let us not forget the fact that the government is and has been trying to hide the fact that Bt products are already being sold. You would figure that in the land of the free we would have the freedom of choice. How do we know if this Bt stuff is safe, and if it is so safe, then why arent we told .