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Who owns life?Tiki looking at DNA molecule

What's wrong with genetic engineering?

It's back to speed again. People want results fast. Big companies want to make lots of money out of GE.

Penguins have no use for money but I understand why people need it since few people can find their own food any more. And I don't see anything wrong with making money either… unless making it means damage or death to other people and wildlife.

Most companies like to make lots of money and they like to make it fast. This is what companies are for but some don't care much who or what gets trampled on in the process. The GE companies would really like to have everyone everywhere eating food made from their genetically modified plants. These seeds are mine!Then they'd make huge amounts of money because they own the technology needed to produce the seeds. Once they have changed plants by GE, companies can patent them. This means that any farmer who wants to sow that seed must pay money to the company which owns the patent. It means that the farmer has to buy new seeds every year. She can't save her (many small farmers are women) own seeds any more as farmers have done since the start of farming. The company, not the farmer, then has control over who grows what food. Many poor farmers won't be able to afford to buy the seed. Patents on living things has also linked in with a new sort of piracy: biopiracy.

Open Source — the opposite of patents
The biotech companies want to control genetic technologies because they can make big money from charging for their use — if they own the patents. But, as in the world of computer programs, more and more genetic information is becoming freely available for anyone to use. That's because much of the science is done by government institutes (especially in countries like Africa, China and India) funded by public money or big charitable foundations in the rich world. The aim is to increase food production by making useful GM seeds available to poor farmers.

But GE is a potentially risky business. How safe will it be if most people end up eating GE food most of the time? What effect will growing all these plants with funny genes have on other plants or animals over time? Maybe nothing will happen - or nothing much. Nobody knows for sure but... fingers crossed!... so far, so good. People have been eating GM foods since the early 1990s and there have been no calamities.
Fishy tomato ...
... mmm! very useful! ...
... But is it safe to eat?

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