What Would Mary Shelley Think of GMOs?
GMOs. Now that’s a scary word. Or is it? Guess it’s time to ask ourselves: WWMST? ...For those of us who don’t constantly ask ourselves “what would Mary Shelley do,” there’s this video.
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After all, her doctor Frankenstein stitched a bunch of human body parts together and brought
them to life. In reality, a GMO is, well, an organism whose
genetics have been… modified.
It may be to increase its resistance to disease…
…think: implanting insect DNA into a banana…
…or to increase its output…
…think: making a tomato bigger than ever before.
So far, no one has done anything drastic, like… splice together a Brussels sprout
and a badger…
…but what would Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein… aka that book about the horrors
…think of genetically modified organisms? Well, she’d probably think we’d need to
research the heck out of them first.
Frankenstein wasn’t just about a creating a monster… or a monster’s wife with a
crazy dye job…
It was about questioning the limits of scientific inquiry.
Where does science end and ethical dilemma begin?
Who are we to be playing God?
After questioning the science behind GMOs, Shelley would probably decide we needed to
ban them immediately.
As we read in Frankenstein, she likes to take these dilemmas to their most horrific extremes.
We saw Shelley’s Frankenstein kill a child…
What if genetically modified hormones in milk turned children into… giant cows?
Or what if genetically modified peas got together and…. stampeded across the country?
However, using GMO’s allows us to produce food in greater quantities…
Would Shelley have considered the possibility that they might be used to wipe out hunger?
A Brussels badger, if subdued, could feed a family of four for at least two days.
So, if scientists donned their WWMSD armbands… What Would Mary Shelley Do about GMOs?
Would she want to conduct extensive research?
Or ban them immediately?
Or use them to feed the world? Shmoop amongst yourselves.