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Remakin' Bacon: Should We Make Bad Food Good? (3)

Second: we don't have a shortage of omega-3. It is found naturally in readily available foods like walnuts and fish, as well as in supplements and nutritionally supplemented foods like Smart Balance Peanut Butter. We do have a very serious problem of obesity and nutrition in this country, but neither are problems science needs to solve. We are fat because we eat too much, and we are unhealthy because we choose to eat the wrong foods. We don't need new foods; we have all of the foods we need to be well-nourished at the proper weight. Plus, none of science's other recent "answers" to our obesity or nutritional woes have done us any good. We have Olestra, Snackwells, Splenda, and NutraSweet - and we are still fat and unhealthy. Offering us genetically modified pork to provide us with a plentiful nutrient is an obvious attempt to drum up a need that justifies the science.
Third: unlike research on peanut butter, omega-3 pork requires extensive research on animals. At a time when Americans are increasingly concerned about the general use of animals in scientific research, the animal biotechnology industry needs to limit its work to projects necessary for the achievement of important health, safety, or medical goals. There are surely worthy goals to pursue in biotech agriculture, but this isn't one.
Finally, there is something profoundly amiss in our unreflective stampede down the biotech path. We are now able to alter sentient life radically and rapidly by directly manipulating a living being's genome. The level of the change now possible, the speed at which we can make these dramatic alterations, and the potential consequences for animals, the environment, and ourselves - for the world as we know it - ought to give us great pause. We need to ask fundamental questions: who are we becoming, and how are we changing the world we inhabit? It is naive to think that this research, unbridled, will have only a trivial impact. Will we still recognize ourselves or our world if we stay on this path, if we allow any and all modification of animal life for any and all reasons? One scientist commented about the omega-3 pig: "People can continue to eat their junk food. You won't have to change your diet, but you will be getting what you need." We are altering the genome of animal to enable Americans to continue in their reckless, self-destructive ways. What kind of people are we that this seems reason enough to manipulate sentient life?








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