Letter: Beware the new wave of genetically engineered crops

January 17, 2014 

Beware the new wave of crops

With the news covering things like glowing genetically modified pigs and tomatoes that grow in desert climates the truth about genetically modified organisms is coming out.

Billions of dollars spent on research of genetics has created an industry of scientist looking for the next brilliant innovation that will revolutionize plant life in the world. But this new frontier of man made evolution has its drawbacks. Since the advent of genetically modified plants, farms have become victim of invasive seeds that cross pollinate with century old seed. The result is tremendous. Every year more land that once was home to plants that had grown and evolved with the changes of the earth for hundreds of years have become invaded by genetically modified crops. Now, for many farmers, the only option to keep their crops is to buy from the major companies, like Monsanto, the keys to the new GM crops growth and pollination.

Without much hullabaloo our federal government has allowed for the highest ranking officials to become infiltrated by lawyers and planners from major organizations who reap their profits from uncertain modifications to the natural order. One could argue this is just another step in the evolution of man and his influence; but at the price of losing hold of age old crops that have fed the nation is the pace of evolution advisable. Many are finding that without the consent of major organizations they are unable to even grow a crop.

South Carolina does not only produce tobacco. Chickens, cows, swine, and many crops are grown and taken to market in South Carolina every year. But the future of the men and women who bring these staples to the market is in danger because major companies are fighting in the highest places of government to control the dissemination of seed and the ownership of those seeds. Two examples: a genetically modified fish cross bread with salmon could grow faster, and fatter, but if let out into the wild could completely eradicate the natural evolution of wild salmon through breeding. New laws that are being passed state if one of the GM crops cross-pollinates with a local, natural seed, the company that created the GM crop owns the rights to those crops. Like a cancer taking over the body, the companies extend their reach over the breadbasket of America and enforce their lobbied laws to gain the profits.

As a people we should be appalled at the measures being given to these large companies that know full well that their products are reaching into ancient crops and farmlands and taking them for themselves. If we do not stand up for the integrity of the foods we eat and the crops we produce then so much more is on the table to be taken. Please research and craft your own opinion on the future of our country’s, and world’s, livestock and crops before our elder’s ways are left in the hands of a few major companies.

Matthew Ellise

Fort Mill

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