2014-01-14 14:32:20 - Daniels is the author of two fiction novels that address the issue of genetic engineering. Daniels believes the implications of genetic engineering, both now and in the future, are staggering
The genetic modification of plants, and animals, has been going on for thousands of years. From manipulating the color of a flower to introducing desired traits in breeding, both man and nature have participated in the influence of evolution. And few know genetically modified foods have been part of the American diet in the form of cereals, corn syrup and other additives in prepared and canned goods for decades.
Most of these adaptations have been on the macro level, such as the cross-pollination of plants or cross-breeding animals for size or stature, but advances in technology have allowed us to influence DNA on a cellular level, with ramifications yet unknown.
We can’t ignore the constructive nature that has come as a
result of these advances. Increased crop yields and resistance to disease and blight or even medicinal foods that can be used as vaccines and other medications, are only a few of the positives that will benefit the growing population of our planet.
But the negatives so far seem to be directed at short-term matters such as labeling and the introduction of allergens, e.g. using peanut genes to alter a vegetable resulting in possible toxicity when consumed by someone sensitive to peanuts.
“Our attention,” Daniels stated, “should also be directed to the possible long-term consequences of the consumption of these genetically altered foods by the masses. That doesn’t mean we should put an abrupt halt to all genetically modified foodstuffs, especially considering the aforementioned benefits. But common sense should enter into our considerations. Perhaps our priorities should include test, test, retest, and then test again.”
“This is probably obvious to most and there’s no doubt that genetically modified foods are tested much more vigorously than those supplied by nature. However our efforts should include extensive multi-generational testing. What mutations will our genetic manipulations provoke down the road several generations after Mother Nature has had her chance to view our creations? Will she slap us with her own, possibly toxic, responses? Currently, the companies involved in genetic processing say there is little, if any substantial difference between the modified foods and what Mother Nature offers. But if that is accurate, why are patents being secured by those same corporations? That should bring us to the next priority – the commerce of designer genes.”
“It is estimated that 90% of the worldwide market share of genetically modified crops is controlled by one company, Monsanto. This could create the prioritization of profit over concern for the general welfare of the population. We should also consider the elements of control by a single, or relatively few corporate entities, of a basic daily necessity by every human on the planet. The rules of supply and demand could be seriously compromised without the presence of healthy competition.”
Those future benefits and challenges of genetic engineering, as well as the social implications, are subjects addressed in a pair of novels by Daniels, the first entitled "Genetically Privileged", and the second, now in release, entitled 'Genetically Conflicted'.
In the storyline of 'Genetically Privileged', nature disappoints a young couple's aspirations of parenthood. They turn to a series of fertility experts and finally an old friend. Their friend, as it turns out, has been modifying the human genome for a government project and the couple becomes entangled in a web of deceit. ‘Genetically Privileged’ is a socially relevant read, addressing the advancements of technology and science as Daniels speculates on the social impact of those developments.
In ‘Genetically Conflicted’, the seemingly idyllic world of the genetically engineered students from ‘Genetically Privileged’ is shattered as they are confronted by a foe bent on destroying not only their lifestyle but also those responsible for their very existence. The students learn quickly that theirs is not the only reality on this planet as they find themselves in a fight for survival against an enemy that insist upon unconditional compliance in return for their lives. These demands become increasingly complex as the students find their adversaries to be from the same family tree as their own. The students are still as charming as they were in the first edition; they’ve just learned to become more lethal.
“There are many other facets to this topic,” Daniels emphasized, “not mentioned here that cannot be overlooked. Most of which have solutions that can be accomplished with labeling and proper regulation. Though the FDA will need to seriously examine, and update, their criteria to accommodate such advances in knowledge. But it should be deemed imperative that any long-term harmful consequences be eliminated before we accept the immediate benefits of a technology that will affect the populace on such a worldwide scale.”
A.W. Daniels is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at email@example.com
. Both books are available at Amazon, Smashwords and CreateSpace. More information is available at Daniels' website at www.AWDaniels.net
About A. W. Daniels:
‘Genetically Privileged’ and 'Genetically Conflicted' are the first two offerings in a series of works by A. W. Daniels. The author's ability to craft compelling stories has been honed by extensive travel and observation of the human nature. This allows Mr. Daniels to weave a tapestry that colorfully, and sometimes bluntly, exposes the good and evil humankind inflicts on each other daily.