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for The Infowar: Holy Orders

11/22/2008 c1 48Michael Panush
Very interesting. Unlike the previous reviewer, I don't really know that much about genetically manafactured food, so I can't say if it has reached the level where it is safe to be exported to countries around the world. The US and its corporations do have a long history of forcing unsafe products on the Third World (poisoned Nigerian baby food, anyone?) so I guess it's a legitimate concern. Still, your writing style was great and I look forward to see more about the Inforwar.
5/30/2007 c1 28Erisah Mae
Again, nice with the modern fable. Definitely a good way to get your views on the subject across.

I'm not sure, however, that I agree entirely with your assessment of the GM food law. Yes, there is a percentage of the seeds that have been altered to be nutrient rich. Yes, these particular seeds might seem to be a good solution to the hunger crises. For this reason, the law should be bent slightly.

However. There has not been enough research on the long-term effects of these geneticaly modified foods for them to be simply let loose on the market. I mean, sure, there have been ten year studies, and possibly a few that are slightly longer, but the fact remains that this technology is too new for all of the after effects to be definitively listed.

The trouble is, that when genes are altered in these plants, undiscovered and unaccounted for byproducts have a tendency to spring forth. An example of this was when scientists altered a species of bacteria to produce more quickly a specific chemical used in sleep medication. They produced the chemical alright, but they also produced a deadly toxin, that was undetected in early studies. 51 people died before the product was discovereed to be the cause, and was taken off the market.

To take a simplistic view on it, screwing around with nature has a bad tendency to create nasty side-effects. I find it overly egotistical to think that humans can "improve" nature and not inadvertently create any unforseen side-effects.

And this is assuming that the genetic modification is occuring to improve the nutrients.

Here in Australia, GM foods are to a certain extent legal. This means that we have the good fortune to be able to eat watermelons all year round, and feast on tomatoes that have unusually long shelf-lives. This does not in any way improve the taste of said fruits, let alone the nutrients. Due to Genetic modification, Citrus fruits have been found to have up to 80% less vitamin C.

Furthermore, what if these GM foods get into the food chain? There is a species of GM peas from France that cause the bugs that would normally eat them to starve to death. What has not been fully charted is the effects that this has had on the birds that eat these insects... so far, the outlook is not cheerful, with thinner eggshells and stillborn chicks becoming more prevalent.

You make a good point about a good use for the GM crops, and where the technology should be used, but the fact of the matter is, that until the effects have been fully mapped out, and until the technology is not being used simply as a gimmick for retailers and consumers, a ban on GM foods is not as bad a decision as you portray it.

Love your work, though. Finally, someone who gives a damn about what is going around them!


p.s. If you want to read some of my opinions about a "perfect world setting" my stories "Finding Utopia" and "Far away, in a distant filing cabinet" give a fair insight into what i think is wrong with the world, anf the direction that I think it should go.
11/5/2006 c1 24sincerely disregard
Thank you. I thank you not only in writing this and it being brilliant but also because it means a lot to me that Catholics are not always put in with the religious right. It pains me to talk to a new group of friends that when the subject of religion comes up, I get the so your mass is in Latin and your priests rape small boys. I don’t know if you are Catholic yourself but if you are, thank you for putting this out here and if your not, thank you for knowing your facts first.

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