Engineered Versus Natural – the GM Food Question

Engineered Versus Natural – the GM Food Question

By Diane Dandeneau

This opinion is in response to the articles by Steve Wratten and Kayann Short in the Lyons Recorder on the question of GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) foods.  I highly respect both of them as they share their views from their experience and perspectives and their belief that they are for the highest good.  As I share my perspective and beliefs, I am not going to site any scientific studies, as they are not necessary, and in fact distract from what I want us to consider.

On October 18th, the Town of Lyons had a workshop with John Todd Ecological Designs on “ecological” wastewater treatment plants.  The purpose of this presentation was to introduce this concept to the town to consider as an option to implement into our wastewater treatment system over just using traditional industrial treatment processes.  I mention this here as I was reminded that this system relies on biodiversity to operate.  This design utilizes beautiful natural ecological systems such as plants and living organisms that use waste as food, and then recycles it into safe clean water and many resources for re-use.  The bottom line is it uses natural systems to work.

I hold a deep-felt belief that GMO’s are not the direction that we want to go in for our food system.  I believe this because no matter what, it can not be proven safe or not – as it is impossible to completely understand what will happen once this technology is out into the world, but more so that it is not a natural system.  The earth has naturally evolved in a way that uses biodiversity to support life.  Humans have focused on reducing to biodiversity in our food production causing problems that we are now trying to remedy with GMO’s instead of looking at the source cause and using our greatest resources.

We must use solutions that work with nature instead of battle with it.

When I bring up this concept, what I usually hear from those in the industrial food camp is that this is unrealistic. I agree that it is not an easy problem to solve – as we have created a monster. But, the question really is a larger one.  Do we continue down the path of short-term growth and profit being the focus? Or do we focus on quality of life, humane practices, and the long-term health of the system that we live in?

I hold the perspective and belief that if we are to survive as a species, we must reconnect with our deeper wisdom, and re-partner with nature and the biodiversity that has created us in the first place.  We are playing roulette as we tamper with our food system and are truly risking life on earth.

I believe that if more people could see the imperativeness of this perspective (look beyond profit) and we paid our brilliant scientist and engineers (like Steve Wratten) to focus on understanding how we can partner with nature versus focusing on how we can re-engineer it, we can solve our problems in a truly sustainable manner.


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