来源:www.putclub.com 2019-02-08

Why GM is good for us 

Farm-raised pigs are dirty, smelly animals that get no respect. Theyre also an environmental hazard. Their manure contains phosphorus, which, when it rains, runs off into lakes and estuaries, depleting oxygen, killing fish, stimulating algae overgrowth and emitting greenhouse gases.
Doing away with the pig is not an option. Pigs provide more dietary protein, more cheaply, to more people than any other animal. Northern Europe still maintains the highest pig-to-human ratio in the world (2-1 in Denmark), but East Asia is catching up. During the 1990s, pork production doubled in Vietnam and grew by 70 percent in Chinaalong densely populated coastlines, pig density exceeds 100 animals per square kilometer. The resulting pollution isthreatening fragile coastal marine habitats including mangroves(红树林), coral reefs and sea grasses,” according to a report released in February by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
As it turns out, there is a solution to the pig problem, but it requires a change of mind-set among environmentalists and the public. Two Canadian scientists have created a pig whose manure doesnt contain very much phosphorus at all. If this variety of pig were adopted widely, it could greatly reduce a major source of pollution. But the Enviropig, as they call it, is the product of genetic modificationwhich is anathema(忌讳) to many Westerners.
The Enviropig is one of many new technologies that are putting environmentalists and organic-food proponents in a quandary: should they remain categorically(无条件的) opposed to genetically modified (GM) foods even at the expense of the environment? Elsewhere, trees grown for paper could be made amenable to much more efficient processing, reducing both energy usage and toxic chemical bleach in effluents from paper mills. The most significant GM applications will be ones that help alleviate the problem of agriculture, which accounts for 38 percent of the worlds landmass and is crowding out natural ecosystems and species habitats.
In fact, although all commonly used pesticides dissipate so quickly that they pose a miniscule health risk to consumers, allergic food reactions to natural products kill hundreds of children each year. Genetically modified foods could greatly reduce this risk. U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist Eliot Herman has already created a less-allergenic soybeanan important crop for baby foods. Through genetic surgery, Herman turned off the soy gene responsible for 65 percent of allergic reactions. Not only was the modified soy less allergenic in tests but, as Herman explained, “the yield looks perfectly normal, plants develop and grow at a normal rate and they seem to have the same kinds of protein, oil and other good stuff in them.” Other scientists have reported promising results in shutting off allergy?causing genes in peanuts and shrimp. Should these advances be turned into products, organic soy or peanut products will be certifiably more dangerous to human health than comparable nonorganic products.
Unfortunately, this wont happen any time soon. Because no society has ever banned allergenic foods, conventional farmers have no incentive to plant reduced-allergy seeds. And many members of the public have been led to believe that all genetic modifications create health risks. In this climate, much of the needed research isnt being pursued. Chances are, farmers will continue to grow their polluting organic pork, their allergenic organic soy and their neurotoxin?sprayed organic apples. Worse still, they will make sure that no one else gets a choice in the matter of improving the conditions of life on earthunless, that is, others rise up and demand an alternative.

但是不养猪也不是办法。猪比任何其他的动物都能够提供更多的更便宜的食用蛋白质给更多的人。北欧地区依然是世界上人平均拥有猪的比例最大的(丹麦2:1 猪/人),但是东亚这一比例正逐渐赶上来。在20世纪90年代,越南的猪肉生产翻了一倍,中国则增长了70%——在人口稠密的沿海一带,猪的拥有密度超过了每平方公里100头。根据联合国食品和农业组织2月份的一份报告,这种情况所导致的污染“正威胁着脆弱的海岸生态,包括红树林、珊瑚礁和海草”。
事实上,尽管所有常用的杀虫剂都会很快挥发,对消费者的健康危害很小,但是对自然界食物过敏反应却每年都导致成百上千的儿童丧生。转基因食物将减少这一风险。美国农业部的科学家Eliot Herman 已经制造出了一种少一些过敏性的大豆——一种重要的婴儿食物。通过基因手术,Herman 将导致65%的过敏反应的大豆基因去除。这种改变不仅仅在试验当中少一些致过敏性,而且正如Herman 所说明的,“该产品看起来完全天然,植株的生长比例完全正常,并且似乎含有相同种类的蛋白质、油和其他的有益物质。”其他科学家也称在减少花生和虾的过敏性基因方面取得了积极的成果。如果这些技术进步被用到生产中,有机的大豆或者花生产品将比非有机的产品对人体的健康危害更大了。
但是,这不是会马上发生的事情。因为没有哪个国家曾经禁用过敏性的食品, 所以传统的农民没有任何动力去种植低过敏的作物。并且公众被引导认为所有的转基因都会产生健康威胁。在这种环境下,大多数需要的研究都没有进行。可能的情况是,农民将继续生产他们的污染环境的猪肉、过敏的有机大豆以及喷有神经毒素的有机苹果。更糟糕的是,他们将确保没有其他人能够有机会改进这地球上的生物状况——除非其他人站出来要求另外的选择。

deplete  vt.用尽,使减少;耗尽资源
stimulate v.①刺激,使兴奋;②激励,鼓舞
[真题例句] The rats (49:develop) bacterial infections of the blood, (50:as if) their immune systemsthe self?protecting mechanism against diseasehad crashed.[1995年完形]
(49) [A] develop[B] produce
[C] stimulate[D] induce
[例句精译] 老鼠患血液细菌感染,似乎它们的免疫系统——抵御疾病的自我保护机制——已崩溃。
(49) [A] 发展,开发[B] 生产,制造
[C] 刺激,激励[D] 引诱,导致
emit v.散发,发射
[真题例句] According the the theory, the universe burst into being as a submicroscopic, unimaginable dense knot of pure energy that flew outward in all directions, emitting radiation as it went, condensing into particles and then into atoms of gas.[1998年翻译]
[例句精译] 根据这一理论,宇宙的形成是由一团亚微观的、极其稠密的纯能量团从四面八方向外扩散,首先放出辐射线,浓缩成粒子,然后形成气体原子。
amenable  a.应服从的, 有服从义务的, 有责任的
dissipate v.驱散,(使)(云、雾、疑虑等)消散,浪费(金钱或时间)
allergenic a.[医]引起过敏症的

转基因食品(GM FOOD),就是指科学家在实验室中,把动植物的基因加以改变,再制造出具备新特征的食品种类。“转基因食品”如今已经在世界上多个国家成了环境和健康的中心议题。并且,它还在迅速分裂大众的思想阵营:赞同它的人认为科技的进步能大大提高我们的生活水平,而畏惧它的人则认为科学的实践已经走得“太快”了。