Genetically Modified Organism is a downright dirty word among many environmentalists and food activists. People oppose GMOs for health reasons and because it’s mostly giant corporations like Monsanto that profit from the creation and distribution of GMOs in our food system. My guest today has a slightly different take on GMOs, though.
Fredrick Kaufman is a journalist who writes for Harper’s and Slate. This week on Sea Change Radio he posits that the real problem with GMOs is not the genetic modification per se, but the model by which these genetically modified foods are conceived, produced and distributed. He points out that a lot of innovation has come out of the open source movement in the technology world, and asks, why not apply it to food? Would open sourcing the genetic modification of foods enable food activists to turn this dirty word into a sustainable solution? Find out in Part One of host Alex Wise‘s two-part discussion with journalist Fredrick Kaufman. And here’s a link to Kaufman’s piece in Slate about open-source GMOs.
Last week on Sea Change Radio, influential progressive and cognitive linguist George Lakoff laid out the principles of linguistic framing as they relate to environmentalism. This week, part two of host Alex Wise‘s discussion with Prof. Lakoff, where they delve into the framing of topics such as genetically modified organisms, greenhouse gas emission legislation, and what’s wrong with approaching ecological issues through a cost-benefit lens.
If you can’t get enough of Dr. Lakoff’s insightful views and would like to hear some of the more politically-focused parts of the discussion, listen to our podcast exclusive here.
Like it or not, genetically engineered foods make up a significant portion of our nation’s food supply. Approximately ninety-three percent of all U.S. soy and canola and eighty-six percent of our corn are genetically modified. There are informed positions on both sides of the debate around genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, pertaining to the health and long-term safety of these food products. But many assert that as long as this debate still rages, consumers deserve to know whether they’re eating and serving foods that have been genetically modified.
Have you ever tasted a strawberry whose DNA was altered to include fish genes? In the United States, genetically modified foods are not generally labeled as such. This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio is Charles Margulis, Communications and Food Program Director at the Center for Environmental Health and former lead for Greenpeace’s Genetic Engineering Campaign. Margulis believes that American consumers have the right to know when they are eating genetically modified organisms, or, as he calls them, unlabeled experimental foods. Listen as he speaks with host Alex Wise about the rise of the GMO, the movement pushing for more regulation of GMOs, and the substantial resistance that proponents of GMO labeling have encountered.
In Part I of Alex Wise‘s Sea Change Radio conversation with Stewart Brand, Brand makes his case for expanding nuclear energy. In Part II, Brand takes an unexpected position on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), one which calls into question fundamental assumptions that underlie environmentalism itself. Stewart Brand is an American writer best known as the editor of the Whole Earth Catalog. He founded a number of organizations including The WELL, the Global Business Network, and the Long Now Foundation. His most recent book is Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto.