"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." ~Albert Einstein

“Monsanto rose to dominance via its genetically engineered Roundup Ready seed line, which was in 93 percent of the soybeans and 82 percent of the corn produced in the U.S. last year. The gene Monsanto adds to the seeds allows crops to withstand use of its Roundup weed killer.” – Alison Fitzgerald, “Monsanto 7-State Probe Threatens Profit From 93% Soybean Share” Bloomberg Businessweek March 10, 2010

Pros:

  • GM corn and soybeans are genetically engineered to last longer and be in a better condition than regular crops, this can bring down the price of corn.
  • GM corn and soybeans are genetically engineered to resist harsh conditions like weed killers (Roundup) and weather, allowing more of the crops to survive.
  • Since corn and soybeans are used in so many products as well as feeding livestock (both are huge building blocks of the food industry), the extra GM corn and soybeans produced can be used to help the impoverished.

Cons:

  • Farmers are free to use chemically-rich weed killers to kill all other plants except the GM corn and soybeans, leaving these chemicals on the surface of the crops.
  • GM corn and soybeans mate just like all other corn and soybeans, with all other corn and soybeans. This causes problems by widely spreading the GM corn and soybean DNA before we know its effects on the environment and human health.
  • Patented, so it effects small farms who don’t have the budget to buy the rights to the GM seeds, when it can easily be introduced to their normal corn crops, naturally (again a problem with the widespread pollination of corn and soybeans). Companies, like Monsanto will come after small farms and sue them for more than they can pay if they find out they are using even a small portion of the GM crops in their fields, even if by accident.

So the questions raised are: Do the pros of genetically modified corn and soybeans outweigh the cons? And can we patent life?

What do you think?

Thank you,

Caroline  :)

Source: Fitzgerald, Alison. “Monsanto 7-State Probe Threatens Profit From 93% Soybean Share – Businessweek.” BusinessWeek – Business News, Stock Market & Financial Advice. Bloomsberg Businessweek, 10 Mar. 2010. Web. <http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-03-10/monsanto-7-state-probe-threatens-profit-from-93-soybean-share.html&gt;.

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