Should We Allow Organics to be Genetically Modified?


Image via: RameshBabuKV on Flickr.com

Yep, genetically modified organics is the very topic of the next Food Chain Radio broadcast Saturday morning. This tense and testy topic sort of makes the hairs on the back of your neck when you first hear about it. Without knowing either side of the issue, there is just something about it that sounds frankly, well, wrong. So, before we jump to conclusions and assume we already know the answer, probably best that we check out Food Chain Radio to find out more. The Food Chain Radio is a weekly radio and internet cast that debates a variety of food topics from food scarcity to Indians selling off land to food pirates to the debate over farm raised versus fresh fish. Food Chain airs live Saturday mornings from 8-9am PST and anyone can call or login to interact with the day's guests. The show is moderated and hosted by Michael Olson, a producer for several major television programs, as well as author of MetroFarm, the award-winning book that looks at metropolitan farming.

So why should we even consider genetically modifying organic food? The two guests, Pamela Ronald, Director, UC Davis Plant Genetics and Raoul Adamchak, Instructor of Organic Agriculture, UC Davis Student Farm and they plan to discuss the pros and cons and how something like that might even work. This week's program is being billed as:

"They are married with children: She is the chair of the UC Davis Plant Genetics Lab and he teaches at the UC Davis Organic Farm. Their suggestion of a future filled with genetically-engineered organic foods leads us to ask... Should we allow genetic engineering into organic agriculture?

Topics include why genetic engineering and organic agriculture have been legally separated by the Federal government; what opportunities allowing the technologies to commingle would provide; and given the traditional antipathies involved, how such an allowance could be made."

Currently, to be labeled organic, a food cannot be genetically modified. While some proponents say genetically modifying food is the only way to feed the world's population, particularly with increasing natural disasters like floods, changing rainfall and weather patterns, and droughts. Others say genetically modifying food makes the entire strain homogenous and susceptible to superbugs and leaves us with a more vulnerable, weak food supply. Are there species that we should consider genetically modifying? If so, how do we do this without allowing genetically modified crops to wipe out all other strains? Hopefully Ronald and Adamchak will have some answers, or at least a lively discussion.

To find out how to get involved or where to tune in, check out Food Chain Radio online.

More on Organics and Genetically Modified
Genetically Modified Food: Why We Need More Information
GMOs to Go? China Approves a Locally-Developed Strain of Genetically-Modified Rice
Renegade Genetically Modified Flax Seed is Crippling Canadian Market
TH Forums: Is Genetically Modified Food "Green"?

Tags: Activism | Education | Farming