Congratulations on winning this tumultuous and hectic election. Your position as the world’s most powerful leader carries responsibilities and choices, that will all leave enduring marks on the future of America. As you swear to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States in a few short months, it is imperative to remind you of the role science has played in this country. As science has progressed, from allowing man to fly to instantaneously granting them access to information, America has been on the front lines of testing and implementing these exploits so they may improve the world. Today, America has a chance to do this once again with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). A chance to end world hunger, to preserve the environment, to solve health problems that have haunted scientists and humanitarians alike for decades. But this chance is jeopardized if inappropriate labeling of the products of this stupendous science is allowed during your duration as president.
Manipulating genetic characteristics through selective breeding is the mechanism that tamed cows from ferocious Aurochs and domesticated crops of sweet corn from the weedy Teosinte over hundreds of generations. GMOs represent the same concept, biologically adding, detracting, and relocating genetic materials to achieve a precise trait, but instead of unsystematically breeding generation after generation to change a few measly genes, biotechnologists today can manipulate a multiplex genes in just one generation. This brief allotment for significant alteration has allowed GMOs and their applications to develop rapidly.
How might modifying the genetic makeup of any old plant or arachnid revolutionize the world? It will nourish the world by generating GMO crops that, “could feed an additional 21 million people” (7) using drought resistant genes of cacti, ending the torments of malnutrition and starvation in nations where these are no stranger. It will sustain the world by creating GMOs that, “reducing the use of and reliance on chemical control of pests” (3), eliminating dependence on pesticides that poison the ground, the air, and the water and everything that subsists. It will remedy the world by creating GMOs that can, “accumulate β-carotene in the endosperm” (6) to cure the Vitamin A Deficiency and other diseases that haunt those nations in their infancy. GMOs, no matter how complicated or simple, will alter the world.
This relatively young science hasn’t yet been pervaded by the bureaucracy and regulation threatened by the U.S. Government, with the labeling of GMOs. To remain an effective tool in the hands of future Americans it must remain this way. This movement bursts from Anti-GMO groups use of F.E.A.R., False Evidence Appearing Real. Anti-GMO groups claim these organisms are precarious and must be labeled as such, but many scientifically prestigious societies have found no evidence to support these claims. "The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and every other respected organization that has examined the evidence has come to the same conclusion: Consuming foods containing ingredients derived from GM [genetically modified] crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques," (1). Forcing GMO farmers to label such products will cost extra and they might be forced to completely eliminate their genetically modified ingredients and crops (4). If GMOs are abandoned pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers use will all increase, causing a multitude of environmental and economic issues. It is vital the science of GMOs is not infringed upon, otherwise bureaucracy and regulation will render it an empty promise to the future.
GMOs can be the future. They can be the foods that provide a balanced diet in a single bite. They can be the crop that doesn’t need the spraying of chemicals to stay alive. They can be the plants, that not only grow in the deserts of Africa, but strive. Or they can be a concept in the waste basket made too expensive to be practical by unnecessary labels and regulations. These next four years will be a crossroads in the decisions of the future of America, don’t waste Genetically Modified Organisms.
Board of Directors. "Statement by the AAAS Board of Directors On Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods." Statement by the AAAS Board of Directors On Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods (2012): 1. Www.aaas.org. American Association for the Advancement of Science, 20 Oct. 2012. Web. 03 Nov. 2016. <https://www.aaas.org/sites/default/files/AAAS_GM_statement.pdf>.
Davis, Chelsey. "Mandatory GMO Labeling: Pros and Cons." Mandatory GMO Labeling: Pros and Cons. N.p., 27 Mar. 2015. Web. 01 Nov. 2016. <https://www.tracegains.com/blog/mandatory-gmo-labeling-pros-and-cons>.
International, CropLife. "Genetically Modified Crops: Insect Resistance | Benefits & Safety of Biotechnology Database." Benefits Safety of Biotechnology Database. Croplife International, 2012. Web. 01 Nov. 2016. <http://biotechbenefits.croplife.org/paper/genetically-modified-crops-insect-resistance/>.
"Labels for GMO Foods Are a Bad Idea." Scientific American. N.p., 08 Aug. 2013. Web. 03 Nov. 2016. <https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/labels-for-gmo-foods-are-a-bad-idea/>.
Lallanilla, Marc. "GMOs: Facts About Genetically Modified Food." LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 11 Jan. 2016. Web. 03 Nov. 2016. <http://www.livescience.com/40895-gmo-facts.html>.
Mayer, Jorge. "Golden Rice Project." Vitamin A Deficiency. Golden Rice Humanitarian Board, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2016. <http://www.goldenrice.org/Content3-Why/why3_FAQ.php#Everything_about>.
Shoo, Elizabeth. "Can Genetically Modified Crops End Hunger in Africa?" DW.COM. Deutsche Welle, 24 Jan. 2014. Web. 03 Nov. 2016. <http://www.dw.com/en/can-genetically-modified-crops-end-hunger-in-africa/a-17385964>.