Genetically Engineered (GE) Crops: A misguided strategy for the twenty-first century. Response Post

It took me a while to actually be able to find some time and go in and talk to my informants but I finally did it. A good point made by Chive (alias) was that nature has a way of evening things out. We talked a lot about the pesticide resistant and herbicide resistant part of it. Chive and a new informant, Bay (alias), agreed very much on this topic.  We discussed how a lot of these GE crops are being pulled off the market because of the effects that the pesticide and herbicide associated with them are having on the strength and tolerance of the weeds.  Often, before I could mention some of the major points in the article, Chive, Bay, and/or Rosemary (alias) made comments about them. The three that I was able to talk to today seemed to already be very knowledgeable on the subject, as expected. I did not know if they would be for or against the GE crops but they were against them for the most part. They commented on how there are different kinds of genetically engineered crops. They said that there are the chemically resistant manufactured seeds from the big companies and then there are the more conventional genetically engineered plants. I asked them what they meant by “conventional genetically engineered” plants and how they explained it was that some plants that are just naturally altered through ways such as cross-pollination, and they are also commonly referred to genetically engineered. These plants often have a bad reputation because of their misconception of being the same as the chemically injected seeds.

In conclusion, it seems that those included in the garden culture most likely are against the chemically injected genetically engineered crops. They agree with a lot of the point from Debbie Barker’s article on genetically engineered crops. It seemed that their two main concerns with the genetically engineered crops are their creation of “super weeds” and the biodiversity, or the lack thereof, and how its effecting soil fertility and crop production in the future. They informed me of something called “Safe Seed Pledge”.

The “Safe Seed Pledge” is a pledge that is signed by many different seed companies and businesses that pledges that they will not sell, to their knowledge, genetically engineered seeds or plants. The Council for Responsible Genetics sponsors the Safe Seed Initiative. (http://www.johnnyseeds.com/about-us/about-our-seed/safe-seed-pledge.html)

The pledge goes as follows:

Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners, and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy, sell, or trade genetically-engineered seeds or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families, or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing are necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically-engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems, and ultimately healthy people and communities.

They business that Chive, Bay, and Rosemary work at have signed the Safe Seed Pledge.

Article Citation (APA):

Barker, D. (2014). Genetically engineered (GE) crops: A misguided strategy for the twenty-first century? Development, 57(2), 192-200. dos:http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/dev.2014.68

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