Toledo water crisis

2014-08-06_1146According to U.S. News on August 4, 2014,

Toledo, Ohio, just spent three days without water. It’s unlikely anyone in the town noticed. Five hundred thousand people couldn’t drink the water because an algae bloom in Lake Erie produced a toxin called microcystin. The toxin is so poisonous that that you couldn’t use Toledo’s water to bush your teeth or take a bath and it would kill your pit bull if you put it in his dish. You couldn’t boil the water because that would increase the concentration of the toxin. Exposure to microcystin results in abnormal liver function, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, numbness, and dizziness.

Discuss how the cause algae bloom and how it is related to industrial agriculture practices.

The controversy about Genetically Modified Food

Experts say 60% to 70% of processed foods on U.S. grocery shelves have genetically modified ingredients. The most common genetically modified foods are soybeans, maize, cotton, and grapeseed oil. That means many foods made in the U.S. containing field corn or high-fructose corn syrup, such as many breakfast cereals, snack foods, and the last soda you drank; foods made with soybeans (including some baby foods); and foods made with cottonseed and canola oils could likely have genetically modified ingredients. These ingredients appear frequently in animal feed as well.

Yet, the genetically modified foods are banned in EU and more than a dozen countries around the world have latched on to the technology, including Argentina, Canada, China, Australia, India, and Mexico.

Discuss the pros and cons of the consumption of genetically modifies food.