Beth Wethington: Unnatural praise

January 4, 2014 

Large companies that make money can’t give away their technologies. This is the “nature of the beast,” according to Mary-Dell Chilton, “Tar Heel of the Year,” featured in a Dec. 29 news article.

While Chilton’s personal goals relate to feeding the world’s populations, her work in genetically modified organisms seems to feed the bottom line of multi-national biotech firm Syngenta. The true costs of this technology affect us all on a global scale that undermines such altruistic impulses.

Genetic engineering interrupts natural processes in ways we cannot begin to anticipate. Misplaced genetic matter is wreaking havoc through cross pollination and disease/pest resistance. When we humans manipulate nature, we play God at our peril.

Contrast this approach with that of another woman featured in the Dec. 29 edition: theologian Ellen Davis (“God save the land,” Arts & Living article), who calls us back to a reverent respect for God’s creation and an ethic of sustainability. To deny the sacred in the food we grow, prepare and consume is to deny our connectedness with all life.

The monster that is biotechnology lures us down a path of no return, one that disrupts the holy balance of God’s natural laws.

Beth Wethington


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