Monsanto is a company that receives a lot of negative attention for their use of bio-technology to make Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). I can understand to a degree. When you hear the word bio-technology, that is certainly something that most people are unfamiliar with. The first time I heard the term genetically modified organism, the first thing that came to my mind was the Incredible Hulk. Therefore, I can certainly understand the initial resistance to something we don’t understand.
When I was first asked by voters on my feelings of Monsanto, I honestly didn’t have an official position. I know it would certainly be easy for me to condemn Monsanto and say all they do is evil. I know that would have got me a lot of votes. However, I like to see things for myself before I pass judgement.
Therefore I visited the site in Kihei. Upon my visit, I went in with an open mind not trying to pass judgement until I had a better idea of what I was dealing with. I really wasn’t completely certain on how the process worked. It is really quite simple. The corn seed is injected with bio-technology to make the GMO. The purpose of the injection is to control pests without having to spray.
That makes farming easier and according to Monsanto, the food is safer to eat. I am not an expert at determining food safety, but one argument that really stood out and cannot be disputed is that GMOs have caused no deaths. Nobody has ever gotten sick from a GMO. That is after 15 years of use. The products have been tested repeatedly for side effects and have passed every time. Opponents of Monsanto claim that they were planting GMOs before they were USDA approved. Whether they were or not, the product appears to have stood the test of time in terms of safety.
Dan Clegg of Monsanto says that all bio-technology is is another farming tool just like natural compost or chemical pesticides. He says that to determine your stance on GMOs, the better question is is bio-technology a tool you would use? “Is it in the tool box?”
One controversy surrounding Monsanto’s products is the issue of food labeling. Clegg says that the reason there is no labels saying a product has GMOs is because that warnings like that are meant when a product has any kind of danger. GMOs aren’t dangerous so there is no need to label it.
Based on my visit to the site, I see no real danger with the use of GMOs. I know that is a hard stance for a potential councilman to take, but I have to go with my integrity. I do know that human nature is to be afraid of something that is new that they don’t understand. I also know it is a lot easier to just be against something rather than look for the truth. In the case of GMOs, I understand when we eat something we want to know it is safe. However, we should also want to know if something is healthy too. That makes it very important for people to educate themselves on the topic, rather that just jump to the quick conclusion.
Unless I see evidence otherwise, I see no danger in what Monsanto does and I support them.