The Plastic Surgery of Ecosystems

Genetically modified organisms have allowed the production of plant resources to expand within the control of the human population. However, while this expansion may be in our control, how it may suffice is not up to us. When Schneiderman came to Monsanto with new biotechnological ideas he insisted that the result will create a market that is “less dependent on raw material costs”. This meant that since the company was the modifier, they were the ones making the conditions instead of having to respond to them. They claimed that it will reduce the need for fossil fuels when farming, but the major reductions that did occur took place before GM crop adoption had flourished, and once they were more popular no large energy saving could be proven. While with good intentions GMOs were supposed to require less work and chemicals for farmers, but it actually resulted in the requirement of more things like herbicides. This problem-solving circle shows how even humans are unable to control all of the organisms around us because we all belong to a larger ecosystem. In reference to this week’s Sapiens reading, we now know that organisms such as rabbits are able to be genetically modified with intelligent design. This discovery can allow us to question how this may one day impact humans. If GMOs in plants and produce are not able to solve the problem of world hunger, are we possibly capable of genetically modifying humans to metabolize food in a way where we require less? It is hard to imagine as GMOs have had their fair share of side effects on not only the environment, but us an entire human population. GMOs as they are being used now I do not believe are capable of solving world hunger as they seem to require the same amount of resources without them, so is it a question of quantity? Or is it a question of distribution and the transportation of these goods that may one day limit the crisis of hunger in our world?

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