The Ethicality of GMOs (Academic Article)

In the article I chose called, Genetically Modified Organisms in Peasant Farming: Social Impact and Equity, the author Stephen Brush addresses GMOs not only in relation to the environment, but also how they can effect people on a social level as well. Brush argues that genetically modified agricultural goods can help to sustain larger and poorer populations such as in foreign countries while still acknowledging the adverse effects of this industrialization to the already low income farmers in these countries.

I think GMOs can be such a touchy subject for people because we don’t necessarily have the proper idea of it. Most people might think of liobams and rakunks, but genetically modifying our food sources is something that has been going on for much longer than we give it credit for. Even prior to the rise of technology, many farmers practiced cross breeding plants to creae better and stronger crop, without which we wouldn’t have foods like corn, papaya, zucchini, and many other fruits and veggies.

While I agree that GMOs can sound scary in a certain context (mostly in relation to animals), I do believe that improving our crops is something that can benefit a wide group of people. However I do think it is very important to consider the other implications of GMOs as well such as how they effect the environment (ex. depleting nutritious soils, directly/indirectly killing preexisting animals/plants), and especially how this effects people of lower economic status where these crops are being grown who are all too often ignored (how corporatizing “third world” agriculture can take away the livelihood of the majority of the population).

Genetically Modified Organisms in Peasant Farming: Social Impact and Equity
 Stephen B. Brush
(JSTOR)
Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, Vol. 9, No. 1, Symposium: Sustainable Development, Agriculture, and the Challenge of Genetically Modified Organisms (Fall, 2001), pp. 135-162
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