Monday, November 29, 2010
Biotechnology or Genetic Engineering in Malaysia as seen through the MAHA show.
Let's watch some of the photographs which I managed to collect, not just from the MAHA 2010 show but from other sources.
Are you impressed?
How huge is the papaya, the jack fruit, the pumpkin and the star fruit! What about the chickens with no feather, just flesh so that you can just pop them into the oven or cut them up as you please on your dinner table. What about the goat which is almost as tall as a man or the black beast that you see which is neither a goat nor a horse. I didn't take a picture of the huge cows for they are already too familiar.
These genetically engineered vegetable, fruits and animals are already here in Malaysia, some of which are the product of our own scientific research endeavors in biotechnology. Even years ago we already have mangoes the size of a coconut called mangga harum manis. I did grow them once but few of the huge fruits could be enjoyed since the skin and flesh broke open while still too young to pluck and stow away to ripen.
Genetic engineering or biotechnology holds a lot of promise to become the science that will save human beings from hunger in the future with food production of fruits, vegetables, and farm animals that are huge and one unit itself can feed so many people ( like the ostrich egg). You will need only one papaya or starfruit to serve as an appetizer or dessert for maybe ten people at a dinner table. One pumpkin or a jack fruit would be able to serve a whole commumity of people.
Would that be nice?
Would it be nice to eat an apple as big as a pumpkin?
Would it be nice to eat rice with the grains as big as a groundnut seeds?
Obviously there are those who are opposed to the genetic engineering of food products and farm animals. One result that has been known is the spread of certain herbal strain that will resist weed control. It will just grow and grow and maybe overcome other herbal or vegetable growth. The effect on animal can be seen in the huge goats and cows that now exist, some with real ugly faces and appearance ( the chicken in the picture for instance). What if the transgenes in the genetically engineered vegetables and animals also affect human beings that consume them?
Genetic engineering on a human being might produce a frankenstein. I wonder what woudl happen to us if the dogs, horses, bulls, even the cats and chickens started growing to become bigger than we human beings. The age of the dynosaurs might yet return if genetic engineering is not property controlled and supervised.
These were some of the thoughts that filled up my mindght as i walked through the throngs of people visiting MAHA 2010 show ar Serdang. Other concern includes the crazy traffic jams, the great distance that you must walk without trams that can pick up people from anywhere at all in the expo area and drop them anywhere they want. The animals on display can do with a little bit of animal shows to attract the cowd and entertain the children.
As far as agricultural implements are concerned. the MAHA expo shows that only the simple and light inventions such as the oil-palm fruit cutter, the coconut husking device etc seemed to have been produced locally. The heavier machines are all produced overseas. I couldn't even find a small ride-on lawn mover which i needed very much. Only the light tilling machines are available and they are made outside the country.
The most obvious improvement made by our entrepreneurs seemed to be the packing and merchandizing of local food products. Yes the packing has certainly reached a standard suitable for overseas marketing. The variety of food products now commercialized is indeed very encouraging. You can have a free tasting of them all at the MAHA fair. Where else can you do such a thing?