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Haigh 1

To: Larsen
From: Alexandra Haigh
Date: 3/30/15
Subject: MWA 1
Rhetorical Situation
The purpose the MWA was to introduce the reader to the topic of GMO's. It is a national issue
but I wanted to explain how it relates to New Mexico. I used a variety of rhetorical devices
throughout the paper, specifically logos and pathos. Most of the paper included logic based
arguments that pointed out the flaws in genetic engineering. However, some areas included
pathos, or the appeal to emotion. For example, when I discussed the fact that antibiotics may not
be as effective. I appealed to the emotion of fear in readers. No one wants to think that antibiotics
and medicine will not cure a disease or illness that they could come into contact with. The
intended audience was people, specifically New Mexicans, who care about what they eat and
where their food comes from. I also wanted to interest people who maybe didn't know much
about GMO crops. Hopefully this paper would interest them in learning more.
The Writing Process
The writing process went pretty well. I have always been really interested in this topic, I've
grown up hearing all about it from my mom. I really enjoyed writing and doing the research for
the topic. While I went in already having quite a bit of prior knowledge, but I also found a lot of
information that I just discovered. Learning more about some of the insecticides associated with
GMO crops was extremely interesting. Citing the sources was a little difficult simply because I
did so much research that I ended up with so many sources that needed to be cited. Overall most
of the paper went very well, the only other issue I had was that of editing the paper before
turning it in. I usually have a more difficult time editing my own work because it's harder for me
to pick out my own mistakes or grammatical errors.
The SLO for this MWA was "use multiple approaches for planning, researching, prewriting,
composing, assessing, revising, editing, proofreading, collaborating, and incorporating feedback
in order to make your compositions stronger in various mediums and using multiple
technologies." I accomplished this by completing the first two LSA's then doing a rough draft of
the MWA. In class it was really helpful to collaborate with other students to see their thoughts
and comments on the rough draft. The editing my classmates did, especially for grammar were
really helpful. I also really liked to hear the things that they thought I needed to expand. That
made it much easier to know what i should add to the paper and what could be excluded.
Focus of the Reader
While reading this piece I would hope the reader would focus on the major ways that GMO
crops could impact their daily life. I want the reader to see how this issue is extremely relevant to
New Mexicans because of the recent use of GMO's in our chile crop. I would also hope the

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reader would take notice of the things they can do to avoid GMO's or to help get them labeled in
New Mexico. I want to know if the reader found my argument convincing or if they were at least
open to learning more about this topic. I would like feedback on how well the paper flowed. Was
it easy to read and understand? After reading I would like to know if the reader agreed with me
or if they disagree what was their reasoning?

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New Mexico should not use or grow GMO crops. GMO crops are defined as organisms
(i.e. plants, animals or microorganisms) in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in
a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination. (Online Dictionary)
It is said that almost 80% of current crops in the world have been GMO modified. Some key
crops that are being modified today are corn, soy, wheat and now green chile.(Edwards) Over
the years New Mexico has lost almost seventy-five percent of its total green chile crop due to
extreme drought. With this shortage, and the demand for our famous green chile as high as ever
New Mexico is looking at an alternative to growing chile the old fashioned way (Kaye). This
alternative is genetically engineered chile. In theory this may sound like a good idea, however
there are many dangerous associated with GMO crops.
With an ever increasing population, the issue of starvation is becoming even more of a
problem and some proponents of GMO crops believe that they are the solution. While GMO
modification is a way to mass produce crops and get food to these starving third world countries,
there is much debate if GMO crops are even safe for human consumption. The effects have not
ever been thoroughly tested and the long term side effects are not even known. A study was done
on corn in a variety of stores, and the results found that modified corn intended for pig food was
found in FDA "approved" foods (Edwards). Therefore, GMO crops are not the answer to world
hunger, they are simply a quick fix. It would be irresponsible to "help" these starving countries
by sending them food that may not even be safe for consumption.
. GMO's contain allergens such as Bt toxin which was originally designed to kill pests
that eat crops (Edwards). "Bacillus thuringiensis" (Bt) is a soil bacterium that produces
insecticidal toxins. Genes from Bt can be inserted into plants to make them capable of producing

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an insecticidal toxin. However, Bt corn pollen is dispersed by the wind, it lands on other plants,
including milkweed, the exclusive food of monarch caterpillars. According to a Cornell study,
fifty percent of these caterpillars' and their larvae died after consuming contaminated milkweed
(Friedlander). Bt modified crops have also been hypothesized to be linked to increased allergies.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, "food allergies in children under 18 years
of age jumped from 3.4 percent in 1997 to 1999 to 5.1 percent in 2009 to 2011."(Colbert)
However, no conclusive scientific evidence links the food allergy spike to GMO foods, further
study is needed to measure any relationship. GMO crops have also been found to contain trace
amounts of properties used in antibiotics. This decreases antibiotic efficacy in our bodies by
building up an immunity to antibiotics. This is highly dangerous when we have a serious health
condition that only antibiotics can cure.
Supporters of GMO foods say that they are valuable because they are more resistant to
weeds, bugs, and diseases. If crops are not lost because of these environmental factors, even
more food can be produced. If plants are not being killed because of insects, weeds etc. there is
no need to clear more space for planting; thus, GMO crops create a more effective use of land
(Edwards). Despite these claims, GMO crops are not safe for the environment. As GMO
supporters claim, these plants are indeed more resistant to insects. This is because neonicotinoids
such as Imidacloprid and Clothianidin are being used to control bugs in GMO fields. These are
nicotine based insecticides that are meant to be sprayed on top the plants to deter bugs. However,
neonicotinoids are water soluble and are usually absorbed by the plants. When bees try to
pollinate these contaminated plants they then contaminate and kill the bees. GMO corn was
linked to the death of nearly 37 million bees in Canada. (Sarich, ) Cross pollination of GMO
crops is another major environmental danger. Cross pollination is when pollen from modified

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plants spreads and infects other plants, creating "superweeds" with herbicide-resistance. That
means that as plants get more pest and disease resistant so do weeds. Therefore, genetically
modified produce causes an increased need for pesticides such as roundup. GMO soy fields need
an average for three times more roundup than regular soy fields (Edwards). Ironically, Monsanto,
the largest supplier of GMO seeds, also is a major distributor of the herbicide, Roundup. In fact
in Canada, an organic crop field was contaminated by Monsanto's genetically modified rapeseed.
In these situations Monsanto is legally able to seize or even sue the small farm because
Monsanto technically has a patent on these seeds. If cross pollination of GMO crops continues to
happen there will not be any small farms left because Monsanto will have seized them all.
Those who support GMO crops argue that they are stimulating the economy. The
International Service For the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications ( ISSA) did a study of
increased farm revenue since 2012. They found that since 2012 GMO crops have increased
income by 18,769.4 million. The highest sources of revenue coming from corn ($6727.8
million), cotton ($5,331.30 million), and soy ($4797.9 million) (Pocket K No. 5). Despite these
promising economic gains there are also many negative financial effects associated with genetic
modification. One study said that "GMO crops have cost the United States an estimated $12
billion in farm subsidies, lost sales and product recalls due to transgenic contamination."
(Edwards). In another instance almost two hundred million dollars was invested in GMO corn,
originally it was a massive failure, and almost none of that original investment will ever be
recovered (Edwards). GMO crops have brought in millions of dollars but this is nothing
compared to the nearly 12 billion dollars that these genetically altered crops have cost us. Using
GMO seeds or crops also promotes monopolies. Monsanto, the biggest producer of GMO seeds,
owns approximately eighty percent of the worlds seeds. As more people rely on GMO crops,

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Monsanto gets wealthier and more powerful, as small family owned farms are lost or sold. It is
extremely dangerous for so many of the worlds seeds to be owned by one company. Since
Monsanto owns and has patents on their seeds, they will be able to effectively control how much
the nation has to pay for produce, by inflation or even illegal price fixing.
Many believe that GMO modification also opens the door to many other scientific
breakthroughs. For example, scientists have hypothesized that GMO crops could be made into
edible plant vaccines. This would be a way to cheaply distribute basic vaccinations to third world
countries. So far scientists have managed to use GMO potatoes to deliver an immunization
against Giardia (Edwards). If scientists can already do this there might one day be a way to
immunize people against even more devastating diseases such as Cholera or AIDS. While this is
an amazing breakthrough, the lack of testing of GMO crops is extremely concerning. Genetic
engineering is a new field, and long term results are unclear. GMO testing has also "only showed
positive results." However, this testing is not done by independent sources, it is testing that has
been funded exclusively by the industries that are producing and selling GMO's. Genetically
modified crops should have been extensively tested by independent industries, before they were
allowed on store shelves and especially before these crops were distributed to countries in need.
With these concerning findings consumers who oppose GMO crops can do many things
to avoid or protest them. Helping to pass legislature or ballot initiatives by spreading the word,
collecting signatures, and donating is a major way to stop GMO production. For example, in
2013 New Mexico tried to pass a law that GMO products must be labeled (Prop. 37). Proposition
thirty seven did not pass, due to lack of support, but with more support a similar bill may be
passed in the future. New Mexicans who oppose GMO produce should write, call, or email our
state representatives telling them that they oppose GMO crops and want them labeled. In fact, in

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May 2014, Vermont became the first to pass a law that requires labels on any foods produced
entirely or partially with genetic engineering. Maine and Connecticut also have similar bills
pending, but unfortunately they could take years to pass. GMO labeling legislation is also
pending in twenty eight other states, but they would require additional legislation to pass before
any real action could take place. While New Mexicans wait for legislature to pass, GMO's can be
avoided by buying products that contain organically grown corn soy or wheat. ("What are We

Current research on GMO crops have proved that they are not safe for ourselves the
economy or the environment. If New Mexico continues to produce and sell unlabeled and
untested GMO crops, including green chile it will eventually have countless negative effects.
These genetically modified crops are clearly unsafe for consumers, and it would be a mistake to
test the long term effects on ourselves. Cross pollination of GMO to other crops will also occur
and cause even more of an environmental problem than we already face. New Mexico could also
face economic hardships as a result of GMO crops. Revenue earned from GMO crops will never
be enough to replace the money the state would need to spend to even continue to implement
GMO crops. To promote a safe environment and a more stable economy, New Mexico should not
use or produce unsafe untested GMO crops.

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Works Cited
Colbert, Treacy. "GMOs: Pros and Cons." Healthline. N.p., 15 Sept. 2014. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.
Edwards, Terrell, Jon Faerber, Andre Goenawan, and Shogo Osawa. "Negative Impacts on GM
Foods:." GMO. N.p., 2005. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.
Friedlander, Blaine. "Toxic Pollen from Widely Planted, Genetically Modified Corn Can Kill
Monarch Butterflies, Cornell Study Shows | Cornell Chronicle." Toxic Pollen from
Widely Planted, Genetically Modified Corn Can Kill Monarch Butterflies, Cornell Study
Shows | Cornell Chronicle. N.p., 19 Apr. 1999. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.
Kaye, Leon. "A GMO-Free New Mexico? Land of Enchantment to Debate Labeling." Triple
Pundit People Planet Profit. N.p., 23 Dec. 2012. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.
"Online Dictionary." Online Dictionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2015. <>.
"Pocket K No. 5: Documented Benefits of GM Crops." Documented Benefits of GM Crops.
ISSA, Aug. 2014. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.

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Sarich, Christina. "37 Million Bees Found Dead in Canada After Large GMO Crop Planting."
Natural Society. N.p., 9 Nov. 2015. Web. 30 Mar. 2015. <>.
"What Are We Eating?" Label GMOs. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.