Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to class to see Dr.Mayonado lecture, but being able to watch it after the fact was a huge help. First off I want to say that I think Bayer is a great company. I really like the work they do and the different types of field education classes they offer to the public. The best part of the presentation for me was being able to here about what it is like working in a company. It was very interesting to learn about how there were 30 industries developing new herbicides and products like that and now over the span of a few years that number has dropped to just 4. Which seems weird because you would think that as technology advances and continues to grow that getting your hands on that type of technology would be easier. But, I guess that with all these flare ups of false allegations that it probably helped a lot of these companies fail and discouraged anyone from trying it. It probably has made it just that more difficult to start up a company that creates pesticides and herbicides by means of paper work and regulations. It is crazy to me that people can make a case out of the little information they have that RoundUp causes cancer. Especially, when all of these other trusted organizations are disagreeing with that. It would be like if a organization in Europe said 1+1=3 but all these other organizations were saying no it definitely equals 2. But the public and the court are saying well they said it equals 3 so it must equal 3. It just doesn’t make sense to me how our judicial system just seems like there are suspending logic on these cases.
I have recently started learning about GMOs (genetically modified organisms) as much as possible. I am starting to realize how important it is to do your own research about a topic instead of passively taking in information. Before learning about GMOs in this class, I thought they must be terrible for you. I would walk into a super market and see the non-GMO label on as many products as the producer could place the label on to. I assumed that if a non-GMO products were being sold at a higher price, then I should try and avoid GMOs at all costs. Dr. David J. Mayonado discussed in his lecture that GM crops present no more risk than those that have been developed by conventional breeding techniques. This was definitely something that has stayed with me. This part of his lecture reminded me of the speech we had to listen to that was given by Mark Lynas about GMOs. Mark Lynas talked about how he assumed that the GMO crops would increase the use of chemicals, when in fact pest-resistant crops need less insecticide. There is still so much for me to learn about GMOs, but I am excited to gain the knowledge needed to make an informed decision about my food choices.
Dr. David Mayonado from Monsanto provided great insight on what exactly GMOs are and why they are so important. He explained how intensive research and the adoption of new technologies constantly help to improve and increase production. With the implementation of always improving mechanical, chemical and biological tools, US crop productions have increased greatly. He explained to us exactly what a GMO is – the making of a copy of a gene for a desired trait from one plant or organism and then using it in another plant. These products have found to increase yields while directly decreasing the need for pesticides, herbicides and insecticides. The best part about GMOs that is often misunderstood or mislead, is that they are completely safe for human consumption – with over 2000 research studies to back this up. Dr. Mayonado also covered RNAi Technology and how gene silencing presents the possibility of turning off specific genes – which could potentially have many practical agricultural applications. It was fascinating to get a scientific lesson and perception behind GMO’s and this lecture helped me to further understand them and their importance.
Our class was fortunate to have technology development representative David Mayonado lecture about Industry and Agriculture. This lecture was different than most others we have had because it comes from the perspective of someone who has worked his entire career for an agricultural force: Monsanto. Dr. Mayonado made it abundantly clear during his lecture that GMO safety has been proven repeatedly and GM crops are no riskier than conventional options. I found it interesting that companies like Whole Foods and Chipotle employ more people than Monsanto. Dr. Mayonado also described how crops are not only modified, but now specific traits in genes can be manipulated. Imagining traits in a specific crop able to turn on and off like a light switch is truly incredible and certainly seems to be the future of GM crops. Before the semester I was very skeptical of Monsanto due to my lack of knowledge and the companies often demonized public image. Dr. Mayonado’s lecture was able to shed light on what exactly GM crops are and their benefits in a global society.