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21 August 2016 - We Need Technology to Feed the World

I don’t know if it is my advancing age or what, but my mind is beginning to generate some strange thoughts, some that may be dangerous. That dangerous part of my mind worked overtime following a phone conversation I had a few days ago with a lady in Chicago who raked me over the coals for my support over the years of GMO’s, genetically modified organisms. Because of my support for GMO’s I would probably cause the death of her children. Then she would sue me because of my support for those terrible GMO’s.

When I receive that type of call, and I have received many over the past decade, my first question to the caller is - “What is a GMO? What is a genetically modified organism?” I got the usual pause of silence and finally she said - “Well, I don’t know the scientific description, but I know they are dangerous.”

We went on to have a brief conversation. I told her that banning technology like Genetically Modified Organisms’s would deny food to millions of hungry people on the planet. I pointed out that GMO’s enabled us to grow bigger crops on fewer acres, and to produce more food without using the pesticides, insecticides and the other crop-protection products we used before GMO’s arrived on the agricultural scene. That didn’t even make a dent and when the conversation ended, she was still convinced GMO’s would be the death of all of us.

After I hung up, I got to thinking these dangerous thoughts - I have yet to see a death certificate that reads ‘Died from consuming GMO Food.’ But I have seen the latest report on traffic deaths in 2015. In the U.S. 32,500 people died in traffic accidents last year. So, should we ban automobiles because of that number? Or, should we ban swimming pools because of the number of people, particularly children, who drown in pools every year? Or, how about airplanes? Every time there is a plane crash, people die; should we ban the use of airplanes? Should we ban just about anything we do because it can be dangerous if we if we don’t do it properly?

As I said, my mind is beginning to think strange thoughts and the suggestions I made are not rational. But I come back to the point I made. I have yet to see a death certificate that reads ‘Died from consuming GMO’s. If you don’t want GMO’s in your food, that’s fine. But don’t work to ban the technology world-wide; let’s feed the world using the gift of technology.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.