Wild GMOs


Genetically modified organisms will mix into our wilderness

Whether for the sake of crops or for the sake of saving species, there will be artificially inserted genetics spreading into our natural world. This is going to happen no matter how we closely we regulate. By intention or by accident, by companies or by individuals, some will escape into the wild. It is already happening with invasive garden plants, escaped genes, endangered species artificially inseminated with diverse genetics, and genetically engineered mosquitoes. So we must figure out what it means to live in that world. I haven’t read it yet, but the book Strange Natures seems like an incredible dive into this question for the near-term future. (I really want to read it!)

Perhaps it will mean nature will be over, defiled forever and with no hope of returning to a state of true wilderness. Or nature never meant “non-human-influenced genetics,” and instead is some other sort of entity. “The end of what it means to be natural” has happened before. It once meant “untouched by human influence” as a definition, which has already been broken everywhere on earth. First with pollution being found in the corners of the Antarctic. And now with climate change affecting every habitat on earth. Perhaps “natural” ended back then, or perhaps it is ending now, or maybe it still has not ended?

I don’t have a claim here. I’m not sure. I just know genetically modified organisms are going to be out there. It’s going to happen. And we have to come to terms with what that means going forward.