I have been wondering why there is such a difference in the perception of genetically modified and irradiated foods between European countries and the United States.
On the one hand, most of the people of the US have few concerns about genetically modified foods. Yet they react very strongly against Irradiated foods. Just the opposite is true in Europe.
From the standpoint of the consumers, I have to side with the Europeans. Irradition is actually a very simple technology, which has been thoroughly tested, and really can't offer a lot of surprises. There can't be any residual radiation or others toxins in the food as a result of the radiation. I have read that if fresh strawberries are packed in Mylar and irradiated, they can last for 6 months on the shelf without refrigeration. Less spoilage and no refrigeration costs translates to more food getting to the people who need it. The only concern I have about irradiation is for the safety of the employees at the food processing end.
Genetic modification, on the other hand, especially if done at the DNA level, provides an almost infinite number of possible recombinations. The odds of accidentally producing something detrimental to humans are extremely high. Right now we are taking an Alchemist approach to the science of Genetics. We just dice and splice, and see what happens. Even if we learned enough to be able to accurately computer model the results before we splice, the science can never be perfect.
What do you think?
We Are Not Delicious
8 years ago