Saturday, February 28, 2004

Franken food in our stores?

I am not sure how many of you have been following the Seventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 7) which was held from from 9 to 20 February 2004. KL was also the venue of the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP-MOP 1). The discussions were really interesting (Well I guess many may find it kind of boring) but mind you, all the issues discussed may affect our lives and that of our future generation. Forgive me for sounding so dramatic.
Initially I was one of those who greatly supported biotechnology and genetic engineering because it was my belief that it would be the magic wand to get rid the World of hunger and diseases. However, my beliefs have changed as I read more about the issue and now I think that manipulating and playing around with things we don't have enough knowledge about, may not be such a good idea. I know my friends working in Biotech firms including one in Monsanto, will not be happy with my comments. I am not sure whether its true but one friend mentioned that some of the products carried at our stores may contain genetically modified ingredients. According to this site, 60-70% of the food on grocery store shelves in the US, such as cereal, soup, tortilla chips, infant formula and soda contain genetically engineered ingredients. In fact, studies to see whether genetically engineered foods or Franken food (from Frankenstein) are harmful to humans and the environment are still in the test stage.
That’s why I really support one of the biggest developments of the recent meeting. This was the adoption of documentation requirements and other procedures for promoting the safety of international trade in living or genetically modified organisms (known as LMOs, or GMOs respectively), by 87 member states of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. By the way this protocol entered into force in September 2003.
At least, I will know what product contains LMOs or GMOs and choose those without. If others want to go ahead and consume those products, well that’s your choice.

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