Viewpoint: Don’t pass the corn, please

By Diana Ashjian
April 6, 2006

Flowers mated with rodents and pigs mated with sheep. Although it sounds sick, that’s what gene modification is doing today. The seemingly limitless world of science and technology has combined leaving naturally grown produce and vegetables behind with all that is outdated, but not all that is unnatural.

I’m not a very picky eater, but I feel a bit strange eating the end-result of an actual living thing that has been pierced apart, unnaturally multiplied, arbitrarily patented and finally commercialized. The next time I eat roasted peppers I’ll have no clue whether they were nourished by the sun and the rain or unauthentic proteins that were manually injected into the ground.

It wouldn’t be such a big deal to me if there were assurance that it was safe to eat such products that somehow seem more fit for, say, Frankenstein than myself. The fact is that the long-term effects of eating genetically modified foods are unbeknownst to anyone. That means they could be hazardous to the environment, to public health and who knows, maybe even evolution.

According to, IGF-1, a genetically produced growth hormone that is found in certain crops, is directly correlated with extremely high risks for breast, colon and prostate cancer. Who wants some corn?

Sixty three percent of American farms use genetic modification and soon no farmer will be able to afford not to. The profits are huge, but most of us don’t even know we’re eating anything artificial. Europeans demand that genetically modified foods be labeled, but not everything is or realistically can be.

I don’t want to eat food that could potentially destroy me anymore than I want to eat manure. Genetically modifying the food we eat is simply violating the laws of nature. Sure, it’s a short term answer to world-hunger but I’d rather starve than chance mutation. The cons of endless possibilities are just as fruitful as the pros so I’d at least like the luxury of knowing what I’m eating.

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Diana Ashjian

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