Saturday, March 8, 2014

Renowned NYU Professor: GMOs Could Literally Destroy the Planet

Renowned NYU Professor: GMOs Could Literally Destroy the Planet

Nassim Taleb, a renowned New York University (NYU) professor recently raised eyebrows when he said genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have the potential to cause “an irreversible termination of life at some scale, which could be the planet.” Taleb, who specializes in risk engineering, has outlined the dangers of GMOs in The Precautionary Principle, a paper recently made available to the public.

Often, GMO seeds are favored because of their ability to yield larger harvests and avoid certain pests or weeds that usually eat up some of their productivity, reports Daily Finance. Taleb’s primary concern isn’t that ingesting GMOs is necessarily bad for people; rather, he’s focused on what effects the genetic manipulation of nature will have on the worldwide ecosystem. While Taleb concurs the risk of any one GMO seed ruining the planet is incredibly small, he argues that people are underestimating the domino effect of risk that’s involved.

For example, if one genetically modified seed produced holds a 0.1 percent chance of causing a catastrophic breakdown of the ecosystem, then the probability of such an event will only increase with each new seed that’s developed. Taleb writes that given enough time the “total ecocide barrier” is bound to be hit despite incredibly small odds. The argument hinges on the fact that GMOs represent a systemic, and not localized, risk. As GMO goods continue to be exported to countries throughout the world, the idea of being able to control GMOs in nature is impossible to guarantee.

As Taleb says, “There are mathematical limitations to predictability in a complex system, ‘in the wild,’ which is why focusing on the difference between local (or isolated) and systemic threats is a central aspect of our warnings.”


There are those who claim people warn about GM seeds simply because we wish to get Monsanto. Great scapegoat, but no. The reason why many are against GM seeds as am I is exactly the reason pointed out by Professor Taleb. The technology upon which these seeds is based is not sound. It is not linear. It has no natural function within our environment. Nature has a rhythm all its own. It has a symbiosis in which all organisms interact to make one circular system of life and death, naturally. It is a system that when used respectfully and in awareness of The Precautionary Principle yields infinite benefits for all species.

However, to cross the line- to dare to play God as if man alone has power over nature disrespecting that symbiosis will in the end reap nothing but catastrophe. Monoculture, worldwide famine, biodiversity loss. These are effects that cannot be dismissed as small when considering the cumulative effects on the entire ecosystem and all species that inhabit this Earth and interact and interconnect with each other.

Example: One seed eaten by a corn borer worm that then dies sees that worm eaten by a bird. The bird is then eaten and so on and so on. A cow eats GM feed. It settles in the gut and the cow is then eaten by a human passing it on into the biosphere to another place and perhaps to other generations. Genetic pollution travelling in the wind to contaminate other crops over time will reach saturation. Over time the effects upon our entire world multiply to a point where they can no longer be pulled back. There is no knowing the effects on the biosphere or humans and other species on the whole over decades of use regarding what species would be stronger, weaker or whether some would undergo genetic mutations or other effects that would lead up the food chain.

Also, if a gene from a bacteria injected in a seed is exposed to environmental stresses (primarily more frequent and severe droughts and floods due to climate change) not taken into account the effects upon the world could well bring on a famine worldwide as monoculture seeds failing would effect all places on the globe that were planted. It has always been the excuse of chemical companies in putting out these seeds and the chemicals that are used with them that they only wish to "target" a certain "pest." This is disingenuous and unscientific because once you put this out into the world the entire world becomes the target.

This is why we need to see GM seeds banned if we are to preserve the biodiversity we still have left. There is no reason to believe these chemical company monstrosities are needed to feed our world. Matter of fact they may well in some areas already be proving that their effects on nature are a red flag. Monarch butterflies, bees, certain nematodes and other soil dwelling organisms are already being affected by these seeds and chemicals.

If we do not pull back but instead plow ahead in our arrogance, greed and hubris we may well as Professor Taleb explained see our world forever changed resulting in the irreversible termination of life.

Makes one wonder why the Bill/Melinda Gates Foundation has joined with Monsanto, Syngenta and the Rockefeller Foundation to invest millions in the 'Doomsday' Seed Vault in Svalbad. What exactly do they already know about the plans to unleash these seeds upon mankind without respect for nature and the ecosystems that have sustained us for eons and their effects? Why should the world's poor be at their mercy?

A worldwide cataclysm or the cumulative effects of GMOs on our biosphere leading to famine- will these scenarios both lead to the population of the world then being under the control of the few rich who would then control all seed? This thought is truly frightening. I used to think it a scenario that could only be seen in a sci-fi movie. Now, it is real.

Seed Banks

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