Structured Controversy Exercise – GMO’s

The controversial issue that my group chose to find perspectives on was genetically modified foods (GMOs). One of the perspectives we discussed was that of Australian organic farmers that did not support GMO foods because it interfered with their farming. Farmers opposed to GMO products called out to the west Australian government not to repeal legislation, which limits the use of technology. One organic farmer named Steve March had lost organic certification over 70 per cent of his land when genetically modified canola swathes blew onto his property from his neighbor. The Organic farmers in the area have also set up a GMO-free zone and have put up signs and other advertisements to grow awareness of GM-free farming zones in hopes the government will take this into consideration. Another perspective we discussed was scientists that encouraged gm products. Some of the evidence that supports their claim were a far-reaching report on engineered food and crops and in conclusion, they found no evidence that GM foods were less safe than GM foods. Scientists took comments and concerns into consideration as constructive challenges. Scientists have also concluded that GM foods do not cause cancer, kidney disease, obesity, diabetes, and autism also taking into the consideration of statistics and patterns of these diseases over time are generally similar with no changes over a course of time.

I personally believe that there is nothing wrong with gm foods; my opinion is based on the amount of gm food I have consumed in my lifetime without any serious health problems surfacing. I believe gm foods are healthy and know that they are filled with more nutrients that are beneficial. I also often think about a story told by a guest speaker in class that talked about how genetically modified rice packed with vitamin c was offered to china based on the large vitamin deficiency china faces. Although china declined the rice because of its yellowish color I still believe that it would have been largely beneficial to china to accept the rice that would of improved china’s health. However, even though I am pro gm food I do support the idea of supermarkets labeling which foods are genetically modified because It is important to take other people’s perspectives into consideration and would also want to know and be informed about what I am eating. When listening to other perspectives on gm foods my opinion still did not change although I did learn a lot and took into account why other people might be against GMO foods. An interesting opinion I forgot to consider was a religious perspective and how some Christians are against gm foods because it “plays god” because it is not grown naturally. An opinion like that and other perspectives really make you conscious of how other people think and where they are coming from which is important and really determines the educated stance you have. Although hearing a lot of interesting perspectives and opinions, mine stayed the same but I believe I have a more conscious view after hearing different sides. I didn’t change my mind because although the perspectives of those who were against gm foods were valid and understandable, none of them were widely relatable to my life and me. I don’t feel like I am negatively affected by gm foods and that’s why I have no problem with the production and consumption of it. For example, I am not a farmer and cannot relate to the struggles an organic farmer may face with growing organic crops next to a gm farm is like. Also, my culture, health, experience and well-being does not provide any barriers against GMO’s that would make me think otherwise.

Reflective Statement #1

The word innovation comes to my mind when I think about what it means to feed 9 billion people. As well as working and striving towards a goal collectively with like-minded people who share the same passions such as ending world hunger. I believe if we work together and also make more people more aware of global famines and barriers we could bring change to the world in the coming 30 years. I think some of the various parts and aspects of this challenge is going to be culture barriers and the consideration we will have to take in order to adapt and cater to a countries environment, ways of life, tradition, religion, and preference. I also believe we should take into consideration the local hunger we have here in Canada and how the hungry in 1st world countries like Canada are often not represented or do not have a perspective on worldly statistics that show world hunger. I think it is important to work within our community before we can move onto something bigger like the world. Like I said before I believe awareness is important and I think we need to educate people on situations and hunger around the world so we can gain more contribution in working to feed 9 billion people. Taking from my own experience with taking this class, so far I have learned about what is happening in Tanzania with pregnant women restricting their food intake to decrease the size of their babies head for a smoother delivery and how I didn’t know this problem existed until I learned it in this class and I know a lot of other people didn’t know this either. This got me thinking about how many other problems happening in the world that we are not yet aware of. This global challenge is vast and affects many people if not everyone. Not only does it affect those who are living in poverty directly but it also could affect you and the community you live within whether it is you, your family, your culture or how you feel by contributing to feeding 9 billion people. The most important consequence of this global challenge I think would obviously be the goal of this which is successfully feeding 9 billion people but also the sense of determination and discipline someone would gain with having a motivation like this and creating an action plan to turn ideas into action.