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Okja, the third and final piece of recent cinema offering a solution to overpopulation delves into the topic of genetically modified food and the ethical considerations for this. The most highlighted ethical issue of genetically modified food in the 2017 AdventureSci-Fi is greed and exploitation in the strive for industry dominance. These are existing issues that can be seen today as corporate control over genetically modified seeds and the produce markets in general have proved pose threat to small-scale and independent famers in the industry. Many sustainable food organisations are against genetically modified produce; Slow Food International is just one example. As an organisation, they believe that ‘Patenting genetic material has shifted the balance of economic power towards big business in their aggressive pursuit of profit’, consolidating the concerns of this issue in Okja (2017).

The entire GM food chain is under the control of multinational companies such as Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta, and Dow, which concerns anti-GMO organisations such as Slow Food greatly. This means that these corporations ‘control majority of the seed market and often also produce herbicides and fertilizers’ (Slow Food International, 2015). It is also recognised that small-scale farmers are targeted by these large corporations in various ways: farmers can be sued for producing crops that have been ‘accidentally contaminated with patented GM crops. Farmers are crucial for the preservation of the land and surrounding local areas, therefore both consumers and governments should be in favour of these vital, small-scale, local farmers who are slowly being over-taken by these ‘demanding’ big businesses (Slow Food International, 2015). Wynne, 2001 argues that the ethics of GMO’s are a fresh topic of discussion and takes a closer look at an ethical concern dubbed ‘public alienation’. This refers to the way in which the public respond to things such as GMO’s, which may present an ethical issue. The concept that ‘ethical concerns might be interwoven with knowledge-issues’ entails those areas of weakness surrounding GMOs prove to cause the ethical issues such as public mistrust which are a prevalent topic when discussing the ethical ‘risks’ of mass producing genetically modified crops for human consumption. Due to the gaps in knowledge of crucial long-term effects that GMOs might have, it is questioned whether human purposes for genetic modification are of enough significance to ‘justify taking on such unpredictable possible effects’ (Wynne, 2001).

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An additional concern as suggested by Wynne is as to whether the public interest can be defended sufficiently by the forms of promotion and innovation used in the research and practice of GMOs. Perhaps the largest ethical concern of GMOs is the effects they have the potential to have on human health. Disease and allergies caused by GMO’s are a big concern as some of the crops that have been modified have been done so with various virus and bacterium, both of which have the potential to lead to new diseases in humans. GM crops are often carriers of antibiotic-resistant genes, which scientists fear can and will be spread to other microbes. This could prove to be detrimental to existing research of antibiotics known to be effective in treating disease. Accompanied with the knowledge that antibiotic resistance is already a widespread issue, genetically modified crops ‘could be disastrous’.

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Ethical Dilemma of Genetically Modified Food Essay.
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