Well, here's a new one on me. I received an e-mail from the Center for Food Safety regarding nanotechnology and it's use in food and food packaging.
Just thought I'd post this and see what folks had to say. I'm including a link that was given. It's rather long, but I wanted to include some info in case there were others like me to whom this is new territory.
Well, I'm still trying to digest that long article, but my gut reaction agrees with you - I'll grow what I can, and since that is limited, I'll buy locally from farmers I know and whose operations I can observe.
I don't know... this stuff scares me
application of nanotechnology to
is predicted not only to manipulate the
genetic material of humans, animals and
agricultural plants, but also to incorporate
synthetic materials into biological
structures and vice versa (Roco and
I've been aware of the term... there's even NanoSolar... but I don't know enough to have an opinion except I don't like anyone messing with my food. Our bodies, given good nutrition, function in a wonderfully cooperative internal world. Creating particles that pass, for example, the cell walls where they were not designed by the Creator to do so... does not sit well with me.
I got the same newsletter and set it aside until I have time to study and digest it.
Here is a link to the Wiki entry on the Borg (cyborg race from Star Trek series). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borg_(Star_Trek)
Note the reference to nanoprobes:
[quote]In Star Trek: First Contact, the method of adult assimilation is depicted with the more efficient injection of nanoprobes into the individual's bloodstream through a pair of tubules that spring forth from the drone's hand. Assimilation by nanoprobe is depicted on-screen as being a fast-acting process, with the victim's skin pigmentation turning grey with visible dark tracks forming within moments of contact where presumably blood vessels once existed. Within hours the victim is converted into a more or less complete drone. Because assimilation depends on nanoprobes, species with an extremely advanced immune system such as Species 8472 are able to reject assimilation.
Borg nanoprobes, each about the size of a human red blood cell (RBC), travel through the victim's bloodstream and latch onto individual cells. The nanoprobes rewrite the cellular DNA, altering the victim's biochemistry, and eventually form larger, more complicated structures and networks within the body such as electrical pathways, processing and data storage nodes, and ultimately prosthetic devices that spring forth from the skin. In "Mortal Coil", Seven of Nine states that the Borg assimilated the nanoprobe technology from "Species 149".
The capability of nanoprobes to absorb improved technologies they encounter into the Borg collective is demonstrated in the Voyager episode "Drone", where Seven of Nine's nanoprobes are fused with the Doctor's futuristic mobile emitter, creating a 29th century drone with capabilities far surpassing that of current drones. Fortunately for Voyager, this drone's enhanced capabilities are not disseminated throughout the collective; the drone, in fact, sacrificed itself to save Voyager's crew. [/quote]
This is all very interesting - and scary. As a person with a medical background and having celiac disease I am well aware of the consequences of substances (nano-small or otherwise) passing through cell walls when those cell walls were not designed to allow such passage. I thought we (globally) were finally getting to the point of realizing that nature needs to be respected and heeded. I am going to increase the size of my vegetable garden immediately. Has anyone read The Omnivore's Dilemma?
A few years ago I was made aware of nanotechnology being used in sunscreen. I read about concerns regarding the chemicals being able to pass thru cell walls. I became concerned because the companies that use the nanotechnology were not(and as far as i know still are not) required to put that information on the label. Out of curiosity I started calling the 1-800 numbers to (politely) inquire about the use of nanotechnology. It seems the common consensus was that beacuse there was no evidence of negative side effects the companies felt there was no need for concern. My complaint was that no real testing had be done to determine side effects if any. Apparently companies have the mentality that it is more profitable to rush something to the market and risk potential negative consequences. When i asked why they had not done testing to ensure there product was safe i was told that it was the responsibility of the FDA to determine such things. I couldn't believe what i was hearing. It was a complete lack of responsibility. Basically we are unpaid Guinea pigs... as a matter of fact we are paying to be their test subjects.
I know it is alot of work... but ever since that experience i have put forth considerable effort to inquire about products i use. I find that the majority of companies will divulge information regarding their use of nanotechnology. It is usually followed by a speech about how great it blends with the skin, how it makes the product softer, etc. We must always keep in mind that the companies goal is to make money... unfortunately, sometimes, it is at the expense of the consumer. With any luck i won't be a part of the statics about the ill effects (if any) of nanotechnology.
On a side note (some what related) i recommend a book called Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. One of my favorite parts is a discussion of the law of life. Basically stating that there are rules to nature (as well as all aspects of existence) and violating those rules causes consequences. I am not suggesting that we limit progress... i just feel that we need to do so within the limitations of the "law of life". Patience in such matters truly is a virtue.
Shellsort - violating the laws of life and nature is not progress so no one should accuse you of wanting to limit progress. Good for you for taking the trouble to check out the products you use. I am guilty of being too lazy to so that!
I couldn't find the article from the original link. With regard to genetic manipulation I think so far it has a bad record as practiced by Monsanto et al. However, I can see that many people are facing shortened and low quality lives because of defective genes. I can see that they might want their genes tweeked, or altered so that their children don't face the same genetic diseases that themselves had. In the past, people with defective genes were mostly advised not to have children. Genetic modification could help them get around that conundrum if the see it as such.
On the other hand, the more we learn about ordinary nutrients, we learn that genes are not set was we thought they were just a few years ago. A person living a healthy life can alter his own genetic heritage without nanobiobiotechnological intervention.