will genetically modified foods be the inevitable future?
Actually most of our food is already genetically modified, through years of land cultivation and breeding. Corn has been altered to produce certain species, that grow high and produce sweet tasting food. Cattle has long been altered from its original state, now made to be fatter and bigger.
The talk now is focused towards laboratory alterations. While I have concerns over the safety and quality of our food, I'm willing to allow the industry to take slow, progressive steps towards implementing these new alterations. They food would be produced quicker, with lower cost, and less use of chemicals. I could see the concern over the homogenizing the crops, and that there would be no variety in food.
what alternatives are there?
As I said before, our food is altering altered genetically. They just want to change the methods. I think with the less hospitable we make this Earth through Global Warming and deforestation, we'll see the need to go more towards laboratory produced foods. I think people will still grow food of their own, for the freshness and the feeling of self reliability, but its only inevitable that we start our path towards the labs.
what will the wide spread of genetically modified foods do to agriculture in the world?
I definitely see America losing its focus on agriculture, and perhaps losing the market hold as well. Companies are opting for developing nations now, with little to no regulation being imposed on them, and cheap land being worked on by even cheaper labor. I think to protect the interest of all people, we as a consumer base and we as a nation will need to step in and create stringent regulations on imported food within the next 5 to 10 years. Maybe even go so far as to force companies, that operate or sell in the US, to follow US guidelines even if the product is produced elsewhere.
We need to strengthen our regulatory agencies as well. The FDA rarely focuses on food, and the jurisdiction has been severely confused with the USDA. For instance, if a frozen cheese pizza is made in the US, the FDA has oversight on that. If that pizza contains any meat products, the burden is then shifted to the USDA. We need an agency that does both jobs, rather than splitting the work. We also need to put more pressure on the meat packing industry to slow their process lines and create cleaner environments.
and what impacts does the current trend/attitudes about agriculture have on developments in such an area?
Developing nations see incoming Agriculture as a new source of food and income, though this rarely is the case. The company shows no loyalty to the nation, nor the people it’s harmed. There are countless cases in Africa where companies have destroyed land and culture, just to simply uproot to the next poorer nation. We must send a message to the companies that we will not accept these practices.
thoughts about agro-terrorism or food-terrorism?
We see it on the news and in our streets and don't realize it. Hunger, and the depravation of food from those hungry, is the most basic form of terrorism. Its why crowds in Somalia lined themselves with ruthless killing regimes, just to get the cup of rice these groups controlled. We see it every day in congress, when some rogue conservative threatens to cut off funding to homeless shelters, unless his agenda is met.
I know you were looking for spraying crops with viruses(Japanese used the bubonic plague on the Chinese rice crops during WW2) or infecting cattle with mad cow(Although if I were a Muslim terrorist, I think the pork industry would be my real target, given that I wouldn't be eating it), but these are what we consider "unacceptable," while the previous is somehow accepted.
Oops. That needed a little more proof reading. Sorry :-)
2005-05-08 04:29 am (UTC)
Re: Yay for someone posting!
Yeah, I hate conservatives because they are responsible for everything. They're the real terrorists.
I believe you’re missing my point. I did not say all conservatives are terrorists, otherwise I would have no prefaced it with “rogue.” However, any member of Congress who would willfully deny funding to feeding the hungry until their demands are met could certainly be compared to a terrorist demanding money.
2005-05-09 12:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Yay for someone posting!
Point Taken, and I agree.
thank you for this, adn yes you have raised an interesting aspect concerning food-terrorism, that "when some rogue conservative threatens to cut off funding to homeless shelters, unless his agenda is met" can also be classified as food terrorism.... i had never thought of it before.
also yes with the increase of world population , the demand for food will increase, apparently, currently we do produce enough food, but companies aren't prepared to lose profit to transport them to poor countires, adn so those people don't have food
2005-06-06 11:15 pm (UTC)
on agriculture and its link to the oil industry
Check out this link and consider the correlation between the U.S.'s current take on the agriculture industry / how our dependence on oil will create a new challenge within our lifetimes...
Here's a teaser (quoted from the article, which is essentially an interview with doomsaying author James Howard Kunstler):
Q: You also point out that the mainstream American diet is essentially predicated on "eating oil."
A: Yeah, industrial agriculture is another extremely problematical thing. We've now consolidated all of our food production into a very small fraction of the population and our agribusinesses rely on pouring oil byproducts -- pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides -- on the soil. We've got this cheese-doodle and Pepsi-Cola form of agriculture where large companies like Archer Daniels Midland and ConAgra are producing huge amounts of corn and byproducts like corn syrup to create junk food. It's generally understood that most of the food we eat travels [about] 1,500 miles. So we've got all these 1,500-mile Caesar salads winging or wheeling around America to get to our dinner plates. That won't be able to continue when the cheap-oil era ends.http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2005/05/25/little-kunstler/