Finding Common Ground

There has always been debate over genetically modified organisms and their role in American culture. The media  draws attention to the views of extreme supporters and opponents of genetic modification, further polarizing public opinions. As discussed in the article, “Unearthed: Where Supporters and Opponents Agree on GMOs,”  there’s scant common ground between those for and against genetic modification. However, there are a few main points that opponents and supporters have come to agree on. 

Everyone can agree that GMOs have contributed to the rise of herbicide-resistant weeds and pesticide-resistant insects. This is a concern for both supporters and opponents of GMO use.  GMOs have led to the creation of resistant weeds and resistant weeds have given rise to resistant pests.  However, GMOs can also simplify weed control and farmers are finding ways to reduce the likelihood of resistance developing.

Perhaps more importantly, both supporters and opponents see the value in  evaluating GMOs on a case-by-case basis. GMOs tend to get lumped together, making it difficult to determine if some are more problematic or more beneficial than others. Genetically modified organisms have different effects on the environment and can be deployed for societal good or ill.

Through this blog, I have come to see  the importance in  looking  at both sides of an argument. As we discussed in class and observed in the article “Fighting for Our Lives,” we live in an argument-driven society, that rests on the assumption that opposition is the best way to solve conflicts. We have extremely polarized views and criticize others to prove ourselves right (Angeloni, 2013: 35). While I didn’t want to believe there were flaws in my original argument against the use of GMOs, I have come understand and even agree with points made by supporters of genetic modification. As a culture, we need to find greater common ground and turn the debate on genetic modification into a discussion.

Tamar, Haspel    2013 Unearthed: Where Supporters and Opponents Agree on GMOs. Electronic Document. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/gmo-common-ground-where-supporters-and-opponents-agree/2013/11/11/b91efcdc-47cc-11e3-bf0c-cebf37c6f484_story.html, accessed December 3, 2013. 

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