In the first post about the Heirloom Exposition, I touched lightly on some of the issues with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), at least as they were discussed at the Expo. What’s the big deal with genetically modified organisms anyway? Haven’t we always been genetically modifying organisms through selective breeding?
Well, yes and no: through selective breeding, we can encourage traits in organisms that we find to be beneficial: grow faster, stronger, healthier. With genetically modified organisms, we tweak the genetic code directly to get a desired result.
The net effect may be the same: producing an improved organism. In fact, genetic modification can introduce traits that otherwise cannot be found in the organism, giving it an extreme advantage in its environment. Why on earth would this be something that people are opposed to?
Because it’s scary as hell.