By Tina Kafka
Pharming: the ailment or the medication? -- Genetically engineered meals: whose urge for food do they fulfill? -- From textile to gas -- clothier infants -- severe genetic engineering: the long run
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GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS Aqua Bounty has engineered salmon with a growth hormone gene so the fish will be market-ready in only eighteen months, a full year ahead of conventional salmon. Medium-Rare and Grown in a Vat If the concept of genetically engineered corn and fish raises some hackles, the reaction is mild compared to the passions enflamed by some other foods. One day, slaughtering an animal may not be a prerequisite for consuming a steak or a chicken nugget. Some scientists are working to bypass the animal altogether and grow meat in vats.
The towns of Santa Cruz, Arcata, and Pt. Arena as well as Mendocino, Marin, and Trinity counties have all banned genetically engineered foods from their markets. The ban of GE foods by entire towns illustrates a widespread mistrust of these products. Many people are willing to pay extra to guarantee that the foods they buy are GMO free. Some Obstacles to Overcome Though the FDA does not consider public opinion when it makes decisions about the safety of food, public opinion does impact research.
No, I’m not being snarky. Pesticides brought the cost of vegetables down dramatically; so many more people could afford them. I think we have to trust ourselves, and the next generations, to use the huge power of genetic engineering more-or-less wisely. Free consumers will choose better products; free voters will de- mand that government provide reasonable protections. It won’t work perfectly (it hasn’t so far), but it will do more good than harm. ” —“lilnev,” atheist-humanist, scientist. Quoted in John Tierney, “Whole Foods v.