GMO’s: Harmful or Helpful? Everyone Has An Agenda.

In the novel, Ozeki mentions that “the rapid growth of the fast-food chains was the random factor that helped fuel the potato boom of ’74. In the 1980s it was McDonald’s introduction of the Supersize Meal. In the nineties it was Wendy’s Baked Potato” (56). This was interesting to me because it made me realize how the rise in consumerism of fast food restaurants led to more demand for potato’s, which in turn probably helped companies like Cynaco who produce GMO’s to expand so that they could fulfill this demand for crops that are bigger and more resistant to diseases and insects, and thus supply these restaurants with an efficient, cheap, and hearty potato. GMO’s in the novel are treated as evil entities while Lloyd’s way of farming is seen as being more personal and thus “more natural.”

However, even the Fuller’s use pesticides and chemicals to increase the yield of their crop, and it is even brought up in the novel how these poisons may have played a role in Cass’s miscarriages and inability to become pregnant. Still, without the use of these pesticides, the farming industry would most likely be wiped out and sustain major crop failures, resulting in a severe shortage of food. Although in All Over Creation Cynaco is presented as little more than a profit seeking company, what if their assertions that they are helping to feed the world not just a flimsy excuse for making money, but are indeed accurate? What if GMO’s are the result of using science to benefit humanity? Are GMO’s any more dangerous than the possible side effects of pesticides and other chemicals that are already necessary for farmers to grow their crops?

The Seeds of Resistance are presented in the novel as an extreme example of food activists, but how many people really take the time to research the foods they eat and even care that they are genetically modified? Even when presented with information concerning GMO’s, are consumers going to start boycotting their local supermarkets and stop eating at these fast food restaurants? In my opinion, it is highly unlikely. Ozeki does try to present the multi-facted sides of the food debate, but she clearly favors Lloyd’s way of farming and The Seeds of Resistance’s attitude. Because of this, I feel like her approach fails to represent all of the alternatives for growing crops and also the possible benefits that could be gleaned from GMO’s, and I believe that the novel fails to take into account the reality of the farming industry and the underlying consumerism that drives it.

This entry was posted in agriculture, consumerism, food, health, science & technology. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to GMO’s: Harmful or Helpful? Everyone Has An Agenda.