by Yonglin Chen
You thought humans are the only ones getting the bad end of the stick? Here’s more bad news for you. Straying away from your first schema about “modern technology”, let’s consider the effects of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). There’s more to the two lectures that middle school science teacher give in order to connect their useless curriculum to current events. We’ve been eating scientists’ lab projects for a while now ever since Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen manipulated genes back in 1973 and paved way for GMOs to be commercialised in 1976. While glowing jellyfishes are cool, allergies are not. Food allergies in children shot up from being 3.4 percent percent in 1997-99 to 5.1 percent in 2009-11 (National Center for Health Statistics) and scientists are looking at GMOs as the main suspect. Now on top of that, GMOs are killing bees...well, that was the false rumour that was circulating until another type of technology was found at fault—insecticides.
Not to steal Katniss’s line, but just in case you guys don’t already know, if the bees go down, we go down with them. A GMO Corn Field in Ontario, Canada was said to be responsible for killing 37 million bees after its establishment. Beekeeper, Dave Schuit, corrected the headline and pointed out that 37 million was the 2012 statistics and stated that he’s lost 100 millions by 2014. While neonicotinoids are the ones to blame, it’s worth mentioning that big companies like Monsanto are selling these pesticides genetically engineered crop farmers. Monsanto is one of the companies that are constantly being attacked for the making of their GMOs. About a few weeks ago, MIT graduate, Shiva Ayyadurai, calls Monsanto out for not having Safety Assessment Standards. You might be proudly boasting about being very capable of living without honey for the rest of your life, but can you really live without the fruits and vegetables that bees pollinate? According to a bee farmer, bees are responsible for “one out of three bites of food that [we] stick in [our] mouths.” Apple trees won’t have apples on them if all the bees died out. Now how you going to keep the doctors away when something like that happens? Over the recent years, the honeybee population have been dropping at alarming rates, many suffering from colony collapse disorder. Scientists and farmers pointed out that when bees are dying, that means that our entire food system is threatening to crash. Do you think that this foreshadow some possible drastic reform in GMO usage in coming years?
So while technology doesn’t kill us on sight, it is a crazy girlfriend who is drugging your morning coffee because she found out that you slept with her sister. Technology is pushing us closer to death faster than we would like and we keep ignoring the antidote that lies within our willpower.