A giant scare cooked up by various radical environmentalist groups, the liberal media, the Green Party, and Majestic 12 *. The term frankenfood was coined in to link various grains and innocent agricultural products to one Frankenstein, actually a pretty nice character as horror stories go. Anyways, it stands for genetically modified food, normally a great achievement and one thing that could solve some of the world's hunger problems, but has since been targeted by the above-mentioned conspiracy.

The witch-hunt was mainly isolated in Europe, but has since spread to America and Asia, though not at such a radical degree. Call it American sensibility and more importantly, Asian hunger!

These so-called frankenfoods are about as harmful as the next piece of bread made from hybrid wheat, but environmentalists seem to object to the "manipulation of nature" of any kind. Strange, I wonder if they object to the cross-breeding of pets and animals. Anyways, the type of farming technique the vandals are protesting against have been practiced for thousands of years, we've just gotten better at it, which is most likely a good thing. What is so immoral about higher yields?

That aside, it has been observed by various European economists that the reason genetically modified food was so unpopular in Europe was that European farmers wanted to keep prices high and yields low, and obviously "frankenfood" would produce more food and lower their prices. Interesting, no?

It has been scientifically proven to be harmless, but it didn't stop the liberal media from pouncing like hungry vultures. Another fun point is that these "environmentalists" are really anarchists in disguise, their dogma is filled with frequent references such as "capitalist pig" and "corporate slavery".

From trespassing, vandalizing farm equipment, destroying crops, to assaulting shop owners, these "activists" have about as much scientific proof as Bart Simpson had for his science project.

* - A wild hypothesis. The Majestic 12 are too clever to involve themselves in a plan of such evil and let themselves be discovered. Be afraid. They are everywhere.

Genetic engineering of our foodstuffs doesn't in fact seem to have any adverse effects--yet.

The problem is we can't know what we're doing. There have been problems in the past with transported species or hybridization that have developed unusually pervasive plant and animal populations in their non-native regions. GM takes this a step further by removing some natural controls over what organisms create and grow--it may be possible to create an organism with no natural enemies, that may be very hard to contain in a farm, that may kill other beneficial organisms, or change the ecosystem in non-insignificant ways. No, I'm not saying it definitely will happen--I'm not even saying it's likely. It's a case of simple risk management. How much of a chance are we willing to take when the consequences could be environmental disaster?

Also consider the GM corn modified to produce the Bt toxin, which is a toxin usually created by bacteria that are inoculated into fields. This bacteria kills most larvae and grubs that feed on things like corn. In the form produced by bacteria, it is safe for humans and animals to be around and to eat. However, once it is pervasive in plant tissues, strange things happen. Monarch butterflies have been killed by pollinating corn with the Bt toxin in it. The toxin that used to be only on the surface of plant matter is now inside of it as well. Sure, I can eat an ear of this corn and not keel over, but who knows what might happen in 20 years?

After all that, I'm not against GM research. I just think people aren't taking it seriously enough. I think much tighter controls need to be in place until long-term safety testing is done, and until we understand more about genetics. We're making great strides in the latter, and I think with continued careful research, we'll actually be able to say with more certainty what GM plants will do in the wild. Until then, I'm buying organic.

I know a writeup should not be a reply but mrichich mentions monarch butterflies, everyone's favourite case against GMO's, and I feel compelled to reply. I agree that this experiment (yes, folks, it was an experiment in a laboratory and not something witnessed in the "wild") is noteworthy, but it is not proof that BT corn (and certainly not GMO's in general) is unsafe. The alternative to BT-engineered crops is to spray Bacillus thuringensis on fields, maybe we should examine the effects of that too.

I'm not kidding myself. Half of the foods I buy at the supermarket are going to give me cancer eventually anyway. GMO or not.

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