John Andrist: Benefits Worth The Risks Of GMO Foods

gmo

I’ve got a friend who has virtually no muscle control. He has Huntington’s disease, a genetic ailment that has affected other family members.

I was born with a defect that affects the architecture of my heart. I think that means I have a defective gene, but I’m not totally clear about what a gene is. All I know is they have been able to isolate some of them that cause defects, as well as some that represent a stroke of good fortune.

So what’s your defective gene? We really don’t care much about those genes that determine the color of our hair. Or baldness.

But the thought that they might someday be able to modify, remove,  or insert some gene so that none of my heirs would have to deal with a thick heart is pretty exciting.

Some might call it messing around with God, but how many million changes in medical science could extract the same assertion?

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]Sure, experience might teach us in the distant future that we have also changed something we like, but the benefits of not having traces of 2,4-D and all those other weed killing chemicals in our bodies, and adding more nutrition or higher yields to the foods we eat, seem to far outweigh any other risk.[/mks_pullquote]

That’s why I’m not afraid of genetically modified food. Sure, experience might teach us in the distant future that we have also changed something we like, but the benefits of not having traces of 2,4-D and all those other weed killing chemicals in our bodies, and adding more nutrition or higher yields to the foods we eat, seem to far outweigh any other risk.

After all, genes are constantly being modified in both our bodies by nature, and in our seed in the research laboratories of the world.

Nothing in life will ever be certified safe. But I don’t know of any farmer who would like to plant the same seed that was the staple of his grandfather.

A common language

I read the other day that there is enormous demand in China for English language teachers.

Resisted for decades by the cultural revolutionaries, China today is emerging as a big player in the business world, and the business world more than ever needs to be able to communicate internationally.

Why English? It probably is just a matter of convenience, rather than selection, because it is the predominant tongue of the business world.

Does that mean someday it will become a universal language? Maybe, maybe not. But we know it is the most important second language for the  majority of our developed world even today.

Student protests

Students seem to be protesting just about everything these days. In my mind that’s good. Youth is probably the strongest force for positive change in our lives.

But the nearly automatic acquiescence to their demands by our educational leaders is a bit scary.

A case in point is demonstrations at Princeton seeking to remove President Wilson’s name from buildings dedicated to the president, who was our commander and chief during World War I.

It seems he harbored some racist ideas. But who among us didn’t  in our world of a hundred years ago?

[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]Kids will be kids. But adults obsessed with political correctness need to be objective, responsible adults. Kids learn as much from the things they are denied, as they learn from being activists.[/mks_pullquote]

Washington probably harbored some funny ideas. Jefferson actually owned slaves. If we want to have only perfect people to honor with statues and naming rights, everything would be called Jesus or Mohammed or Buddha — and that would give us something else to fight about.

Kids will be kids. But adults obsessed with political correctness need to be objective, responsible adults. Kids learn as much from the things they are denied, as they learn from being activists.

Hard to be thankful?

It’s not easy to be constantly thankful.

Health and body deteriorate. Friends leave our lives. A peaceful world continues to be elusive.

And it’s human nature to dwell on what we don’t have, rather than on the things that make our lives better.

Thanksgiving is a reminder that thankfulness is worth it. It’s not just a part of our religion. An attitude of Thanksgiving is imbedded in one of our most essential human needs. I hope yours is one of thanksgiving.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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