Magazine article Alternatives Journal

Modified Organisms for Lunch

Magazine article Alternatives Journal

Modified Organisms for Lunch

Article excerpt

It's summertime, and I've been splashing around in the shallow end of the gene pool, trying to stay cool. And this isn't easy, with all the heat that's being generated over genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. When I was a child in school everyone seemed to be genetically modified at one time or another, although we didn't use exactly that terminology. Of course, now the concern isn't the OMO who might be at your dinner table, but the GMO that might be on your dinner table, and eventually working its mutant way through your cellular membranes. It might be the canola oil from a plant with a gene that resists a particular herbicide, or a potato with a fish gene to keep it from freezing in winter, or a tomato with antlers.

Of course I'm kidding about the tomato with antlers. Nobody would buy it. Well maybe if it had enough little plastic stickers on it. And it would be easy to carry around.

I lament the passing of genetic weirdness as good clean fun. You might have seen the famous schlock film Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, in which huge, round, red fruit of the vine run amock ("This, God help us, is a cherry tomato!") and can only be stopped by really bad singing. We should be so lucky. There's enough depraved warbling on the airwaves now to stop an entire studio of films like Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. But nobody around here is making much noise about GMOs.

This is particularly odd because in Europe there's a fierce battle going on over genetically altered food. …

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