Genetically Modified Foods
“BUT, DAD, THINK OF THE LONG RUN!” Kyle Deaver protested to his father as they sat in the cab of their 2001 pickup on the way to the feed and grain. “Even if you don't care about the principle of biodiversity, you must care about the birds and the butterflies! There are studies that already show a decline in bird and butterfly populations from using genetically modified seed.” Kyle was a fourth-generation farmer in Midland, Missouri, home from agricultural school for a few weeks of summer vacation.
“So you've told me, son,” Jack Deaver replied. “But you admit that the findings are very preliminary, that long-term studies haven't been done yet. What I do know for sure is that if I use this, or some other genetically modified organism [GMO], I don't have to worry about the insects eating the corn crop, because as soon as they chew a leaf, or an ear, they die before reproducing. And with a GMO crop, I can use less herbicide and apply it anytime the weeds begin sprouting. I don't have to time it so it doesn't damage a particular stage of crop growth. That means the GMO corn is easier to take care of and less expensive to grow. You've been against heavy pesticide and herbicide use; I thought you'd applaud these GMO crops.”
“No, Dad,” Kyle said. “The results of our experimental fields at school point to high potential for reducing both plant and animal diversity as a direct result of these GMOs. Ours were initial experiments; more controlled