151 MC: Genetic Engineering in Agriculture Part 2 – Assignment 1 + 2

So after re-reading my last post, I realised I had failed to mention something that can give some more clarity on the situation. The terms GE, GM and GMO are used on a day-to-day basis without any thought at all about what they may mean, nor do we question which term is used correctly.
So I asked myself: Am I using the right term as well? In the last post I continuously used GMO when talking about the subject, so I wanted to make sure I was being correct in my terms.

Technically, both the terms GE and GM are technically similar according to Bill Freese, Science Policy Analyst for the Center for Food Safety, who claims they are just really synonyms. The only difference is the geographical location in which they are used: GM is more used in Europe, whereas GE is more common in America. So what is GMO then?
Well according to the USDA, it is just an organism produced through GM techniques. So looking up at all of this has helped clear some things up, more so that I know I am using the right terms!

Moving back onto the main area of thinking; is organic food really that better for you in the first place? With the organic stamp on some food, consumers tend to think that the food is natural and safe. But  according to Urvashi Rangan, a senior scientist and policy analyst with Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, he says that “I wouldn’t necessarily assume it is safer.”
And we don’t have to look much further then the problems with organic peanut Butter in the US that caused an outbreak of Salmonella. There were major problems with this incident (most notably 9 deaths) and it was only after a period of time was the “organic” label taken away from it.
So it’s interesting to note how with non-organic food, there is labels telling the public that they are free from X Y Z, yet with organic food there is a lack of these warnings.
So we have to ask then: Surely then GMO food is safer? As by law they have to say that they have been tested and free from contamination. Yet with organic food there is a lack of this. So is it that better for you?

In the NY Times, they made an article actually talking about this very thing. The main focus in this article is to tell the audience/reader that rather then focusing on what is organic, we should focus on what is more healthy to us as a person. The public in the sense that they believe anything with “organic” as safe, whereas GMO food is a potential health risk, nowadays misunderstands the word.
To me, I would rather be safe with a product that even though it may have been changed, it is still safe to eat.

So it comes back to the question: How can we tell the difference between the two? On face, it’s quite hard. The same food, looking the same. It’s an impossible task without some sort of  able to tell us. Yet really it comes down to more scientific reasoning to see the difference. To me, they both are food.
So even with this research, I feel like I have become much more knowledgeable in the area. Yet when it comes down to my photos for Assignment 1, I am struggling to think of something that would be relatively interesting to look at.

I wouldn’t want a series of pictures that documented two pieces of food together as that just seems boring in my eyes (although could be interesting for the viewer to guess which is which.)

After some thinking, I have decided to slightly change paths of themes and idea. I started to do some basic research into GMO food being sold at food markets, when I was struck about Coventry Market being close by.

I started to think about was GMO food sold here, and the reactions it had brought. Yet no research I found linked to their being any GMO food at all.

So I had to re-draw my plan slightly, which was when this came to mind: After failing to find some links, I decided to have a quick look at Coventry Market, in which I found that it was destroyed and built up again after being bombed in World War 2.
So like the change is made in food, I began to think about how the market has been changed and tinkered with. Research ahoy!


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