Target: Barack Obama, U.S. President
Goal: Immediately and forever cease research on synthetic organisms to protect public health and the planet.
Synthetic organisms are the next generation of GMOs. This latest version is equally unregulated and likely to be even more dangerous. While GMOs currently being used involve swapping DNA from two existing organisms, synthetic engineering involves swapping DNA in existing organisms with computer generated DNA and other man-made mutations.
The full impacts of GMOs in our food supply and environment are still unknown; synthetic engineering brings with it brand new dangers. These wholly unnatural organisms are designed to reproduce, often rapidly. They have the potential to inter-breed with naturally occurring organisms and overtake the biology as new invasive species. There is no way to control their spread and once released into an environment can never be recalled, and they have the potential to mutate in unpredictable and unprecedented ways.
This could lead to an entire ecosystem in disarray and would likely have a devastating effect on life as we currently know it, including humans at the top of the food chain. Tell the President that the risk of harming Earth and us is too great and that all research into synthetic organisms must be immediately and forever cease.
Dear President Obama,
The potential use of synthetic organisms could lead to disastrous results for the environment and public health. Combining naturally occurring organisms with man-made mutations such as computer generated DNA is something out of science fiction, yet it’s being researched and contemplated as a way to sustain the ever-increasing global population.
Proponents have lost sight of the significant risks. These organisms are designed with the intent that they will reproduce and behave like other naturally occurring species. As such, it is probable that they will swap genetic material with naturally occurring species in ways never intended and could take over as a new invasive species with impacts rippling through the food chain and decimating life as we know it.
Added to this probability is the fact that, as life forms out of human control, once they’ve been introduced to the environment, they can never be re-contained or managed. They will be free to mutate and evolve in a completely unpredictable and limitless fashion.
As citizens concerned about our future, we demand you work with all appropriate cabinet leaders to ensure research and testing of synthetic organisms is immediately and forever ended.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Chrisoph Brock