Thursday, February 18, 2016

Journal 4: Film review - Antonio

The documentary GMO OMG by Jeremy Seifert is a film that attempts to raise questions about Genetically Modified Organisms. I have mixed feeling on the film because there are plenty of health concerns brought up, but in doing my own research I cannot find any real studies on the health risks, but plenty of reasons why there is nothing to worry about. These doubts come from the fact that humans have been genetically modifying food since the beginning of agriculture and have been eating genetically modified food for a long time. (A great YouTube video by SciShow called "Why are GMOs bad?" provided good information on genetically engineered organisms). From interviewing my girlfriend, she explained that genetically modified food is not a big concern, but should still require tests for health risks. A statistic that 5.3 billion pounds of pesticides was in use when the film was made, but I have a hard time equating statistics to reality without context, which the film does not clarify. What was most intriguing was patenting and soil erosion. The film explains that companies patent genetic sequences that they have incorporated into their seeds and so the seeds must be bought every year, saving these seeds is illegal. While I understand the economics of high research costs versus funds, it brings a strange idea into play, "These people are trying to patent nature." says one of the farmers from the documentary. Soil erosion was also introduced as being increased because of genetically modified crops, I could not find much about this from my own  research, so it does raise questions. While the maker, Seifert, makes overplayed use of emotions by having his own kids dramatize issues from the film, it ultimately is about questioning the unknowns of our lives. I would advise against taking this movie too seriously about every one of its claims, a healthy skepticism however on the producers part is appreciated.

Image result for healthy skepticism


  1. Something thats kind of scary to think about are Dr.Gilles-Eric Séralini's research on rats and the effect the chemicals and GMOs have on them. He found that by the second part of their life, 80% of rats fed with GMOs and round-up treated foods had acquired cancerous tumors which were sized monstrous in relation to the rats small body. If it is having this affect on rats, I can only assume it will cause the same time of genetic destruction on humans as well. The companies who are putting out studies stating otherwise are often times biased and being paid hundreds of thousands to counter these claims by the seed companies producing these GMOs in hopes that they will stay in business. It sounds really shady and as though this should be illegal and unable to occur but it is a reality we face and very much so legally done daily by these companies with no one stopping them. It has even gone to the extent where our senators and representatives are afraid to challenge them in fear of loosing funding or even being sued by the seed companies. Its interesting and sad to see what greed will drive certain individuals to do.

  2. I really enjoyed this review. To me, the film seemed to be claim after claim after claim and didn't show where or how he got most of the information. I have been taught that showing is better than telling and I think that the only part that left me a little worried about GMOs was the rat experiment. The one thing though is that they were rats and not humans and if in comparison to humans it will take 30 to 40 years for these affects to possibly take place then i'm not to worried because there are already chances that I can develop cancer by that point anyhow. Although, it is also good to be a little skeptical seeing as how Monsanto refused to talk to Jeremy Steifert during the film. Why hide something if there is nothing wrong with what you are doing?


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