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Humans are genetically modified organisms

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Green activists have long gained fame and fortune by campaigning against genetically modified foods, which they denounce as “monster foods” that can ruin traditional agriculture and decimate the human race. They claim scientists that splice genes from one organism into another are committing crimes against nature and creating Frankenstein monsters.

This is a mix of superstition and pseudo-science parading as real science. The campaign against GM crops has succeeded in scaring many politicians and judges into acting against genetically modified crops. Genetic splicing has produced some of the most high-yielding crops in the world (including Bt cotton in India). Indian farm leaders like Chengal Reddy constantly emphasize that GM corn, soybean and wheat are grown perfectly safely in dozens of countries, boosting farm income even while raising consumer supplies.

The US does not curb GM crops, so Americans have eaten a trillion meals of GM crops — without a single demonstrable health risk. Ironically, Europeans who fear GM foods happily visit the US as tourists and eat GM foods there, with no adverse results. If even a trillion cases cannot convince the activists, nothing will. Theirs is a triumph of ideological faith over common sense.

Scientists have for many years established the existence of gene flow, or horizontal gene transfer, between species. So, genetic transfers are not a human invention at all — nature has been doing it for millennia. This is one reason that led Mark Lynas, one-time campaigner against GM crops, to make a U-turn and denounce the activists instead.

As long as genetic transfer was thought to be a man-made invention, activists could call it unnatural and dangerous. But if humans have simply started doing what nature has done for millennia, how dangerous or unnatural can it be?

Humans are genetically modified organisms - TOI Blogs

I do worry that science has outpaced our value system. We have to add these new products and practices to our value system. Similarly there is a movement to buy only "organic" items, these products are more expensive.

Similarly there is a movement to use "natural" products as opposed to synthetic.

How much is hype and how much is required? I suppose it is debatable.
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