Introduction to Sociological Implications


Potatoes with waxmoth genes
Tomato juice with flounder genes

Fresh catfish with trout or virus genes
Scalloped potatoes with chicken and bacteria genes
Conrbread with firefly genes

Rice pudding with pea genes
Cantaloupe with virus genes and apples with bacteria
(Menu of trangenic foods, from the Gene Exchange, 1991)

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have brought about many possibilities for the future. Great optimism exists among individuals, mostly American, who believe that the world's millions of hungry and mal-nourished people have the potential to be fed with undue harm to the environment and third world economies. Industries and others argue that improvements to the environment can be made by the reduction of pesticides applied on crops. There are individuals who are skeptical about GMO technology, as there are potentially many grave dangers deriving from GMOs. Bioethical dilemmas revolve around the technology due to concerns that many citizens have. Issues, such as gene patenting frighten people. Citizens are asking how it is possible to patent life when the genes within living organisms are a product of nature and are not man-made. A movement is also occurring for the "consumer's right to know" what they are taking into their bodies.

Are the concerned citizens irrational for asking corporations to label foods, which have possible negative health effects and could severely deteriorate the natural integrity of the environment? Is it right for corporations to privatize scientists, as if to filter the kind of results they least want to hear? Negative implications are most severely felt by individuals in third world countries,whose environment, economies, and people who are not as able to recover from many of these potential disasters. Most of the individuals who are educated about the discrepancies in GMO technology reside in Europe. Media plays an important role in this grand social movement, as there have been many misrepresentations of GMOs and their benefits to the world. Americans have not had the same dosage of fear instigating media, and as a result there are many conflicting interests. Due to the pretty picture we are often painted, this web site is an effort to cover as many sides of the impacts of GMO technology as possible.

I. GM Ethical Implications:

Developing Countries
Unethical Practices
The Future
Gene Patenting
Solving the Hunger Problem
II. Health Hazards:
Toxins and Poisons
Nutritional Qualities
Unknown Effects and Safety Issues
III. Media Coverage:
Coverage on Third World and Environmental Impacts
Trusting Science
Reviewing the Monarch Butterfly Case

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