Monday, July 12, 2010

Advocacy on a Full Belly

Sometimes I really wonder about some of the activists out there.  Okay, maybe I wonder all the time.  Things that could contribute greatly to progress (in my opinion), such as nuclear power, are being halted because of activists.

One of the things that's irked me for a while is the whole uproar about so-called "Franken-food" or (more properly known as) genetically modified food.  From what the advocates say, it's something out of a real bad miniseries on the SciFi (sorry, SyFy) network.  You'll eat it and freaky stuff will start happening to you or something.  Although if the comic books are right about that, I wouldn't mind.

If Franken-food means this, gimme my lab-engineered corn now.

BBC columnist Jonathan Jones wrote an interesting piece about the great benefits that "Franken-food" could provide the world -- if only those damned activists would get off it's tail.  To me, it seems highly pretentious of us in the first world lording over the rest of the globe telling them that their people have to starve because it makes us feel icky on the inside to genetically modify crops which could save millions of lives each year and greatly improve the quality of life tenfold.

Sure, there's some argument to be said where once we start dicking around with plant genomes and stuff, eventually we're going to get to the point where we're engineering the optimal human for god knows what sort of immoral purpose we could concoct.  While that is a remote possibility, the fact remains that we're A) dealing with plants and B) speeding up processes that would naturally happen. We're not making hybrid pig-humans here.  We're finding plants that'll survive in hardier conditions and selecting them for reproduction, something that botanists and agriculturalists the world over have been doing through sheer trial and error for a while.  

Man-Bear-Pig: Not cool.

So until scientists have developed some sort of genetic abomination that's a cross between the Yeti and a sunflower, don't sit there with your full belly and tell me that Franken-food is wrong.