Writing Samples- Stacey Bevan

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    20-Mar-2017

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  • Bevan 1

    Es la memoria hereditaria? El Caso Chileno

    El gobierno militar durante los aos setenta y ochenta cambi la vida para siempre en Chile. Aunque los jvenes de hoy no experimentaron por s mismos la poltica y sus efectos en la sociedad chilena, hay una presencia fuerte de las consecuencias de la poltica de Pinochet en este grupo. Por consiguiente, las caractersticas de los jvenes chilenos tienen races en los cambios del pas ante de su nacimiento, es decir en los aos del gobierno militar de Pinochet.

    Para empezar, los jvenes se caracterizan como a travs del consumo. Con el cambio de gobierno de Pinochet, hubo una reorganizacin del sistema econmico para introducir la teora del neoliberalismo. En consecuencia, la mayora del negocio fue privatizado de acuerdo con el sistema de los Estados Unidos. Aunque esta alteracin introdujo algunos problemas sociales que existen todava en el pas, la actitud consumidora fue una consecuencia del nuevo sistema econmico. Segn Roberto Mndez, los jvenes tienen una relacin fuerte con las maracas. Dice l que los jvenes comunican estatus y una visin de la vida a travs de las marcas en su vestimenta, tecnologa y comida. El vnculo entre el consumismo de los jvenes y los cambios del sistema econmico en los aos anteriores es claro, porque el valor que ellos ponen en las marcas es un producto que de manera sutil expresa el estado socioeconmico. De repente, la importancia del dinero est ms desarrollada que las tradiciones antiguas como las relaciones familiares y la amistad entre amigos. En otras palabras, la aspiracin de mostrar la habilidad de ser potente econmicamente tiene una presencia ms fuerte en la sociedad chilena que antes, especficamente en los jvenes.

    Por aadidura, existe una fascinacin en los jvenes chilenos por la cultura extranjera. Segn el mismo autor, el inters y tener experiencia internacional es necesario para el xito profesional, especficamente para los estudiantes que se acaban de graduar. Para enfrentar un mundo que est evolucionando a causa de la globalizacin, es importante desarrollar una perspectiva ms grande que slo de su propio pas. Las compaas multinacionales estn buscando a jvenes calificados en otro idioma o que hayan pasado tiempo en otra parte del mundo. Esta tendencia tambin se hace evidente a travs de los cambios en el gobierno en el siglo veinte. Durante este tiempo el sistema de gobierno y el modelo econmico fue importado de otra cultura, o sea la que existe en los pases ms desarrollados. Es fcil de inferir que la poblacin chilena habra incorporado no slo los aspectos de la poltica sino tambin los de la cultura. As pues los jvenes ponen valor en lo extranjero, a punto de que ellos estn obsesionados con desfamiliarizarse de las tradiciones de su propio pas. De este modo, los jvenes pasan a ser una parte aislada de la experiencia ms antigua de su cultura, por ejemplo, de la perspectiva de sus padres y abuelos.

    Desiado a la fascinacin de los jvenes por la cultura extranjera, este grupo se caracteriza por su desinters en la participacin poltica de su propio pas. Aunque los jvenes chilenos se han manifestado en las calles protestando por la condicin del sistema educativo y los violaciones de los derechos humanos, su representacin en el gobierno que se centra en estos mismos temas. Roberto Mndez agreg que en las ltimas elecciones municipales los jvenes representaban apenas el 3,3 por ciento del voto. Las explicaciones por la mala representacin de los jvenes en la poltica son muchas, incluso el problema de inscripcin que fue cambiado recientemente a un sistema de votacin voluntaria. Sin embargo, es posible que la irrelevancia de los jvenes en los

  • Bevan 2

    temas polticos est relacionada con la estructura que fue instalada bajo el gobierno de Pinochet. A causa de la reestructuracin del gobierno en los aos setenta, hubo cambios de la constitucin chilena que representaba las ideas polticas del rgimen. Por ende, no es posible que las peticiones de los jvenes sean a causa de las restricciones de la constitucin de 1980. A medida que la constitucin chilena representa los ideales del gobierno militar, los jvenes no expresarn sus peticiones votando porque no sienten que la posibilidad de iniciar cambios sea real. En vista de que las consecuencias del gobierno militar todava existe en la estructura del gobierno chileno, es probable que el desinters de los jvenes en la poltica se centre en esta presencia.

    Para finalizar, las caractersticas de los jvenes chilenos estn relacionadas de una manera fuerte con los cambios que haban ocurrido antes de su nacimiento. A travs de conversaciones con sus padres, quienes han experimentado los efectos del gobierno militar directamente, se nota de inmediato las consecuencias del golpe del estado y los hechos posteriores en su mentalidad y creencias. A su vez, aunque los matices no son tan obvios, el vnculo entre las caractersticas de los jvenes chilenos y el rgimen de Pinochet todava existe de una forma fuerte aunque no es tan claro al principio. Por todo lo dicho, los cambios del gobierno desde hace cuarenta aos se presentan en la sociedad chilena a travs de las tendencias y caractersticas de los jvenes. En ltima instancia, es posible concluir que la experiencia de la poblacin chilena durante la poca de la dictadura permanezca en la generacin que jams experiment los eventos histricos. Es decir, que la transmisin de la memoria de la gente chilena, con todo lo bueno y lo malo, entere a las generaciones no slo es posible sino que est sucediendo.

  • Bevan 3

    Impact of Food Technology on Poverty, Nutrition and Global Politics

    With the introduction of new and innovative biological systems and technology, comes many challenges on how these developments are used ethically and sustainably. From the debate of stem cells in medical research to research on genetically modified seeds, there are a number of complex issues that speak to the benefits and dire consequences associated with pursing new technologies. The development of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has a particularly rich history that has influenced consumers, farmers and corporations alike. Unfortunately due to the strong power attributed to large agricultural companies, most of the benefit of this industry has been disproportionally place in the hands of a few corporations, where the cost has fallen on internationally disadvantaged indigenous groups, farmers and consumers. Furthermore, the complex health issues, debate on patenting of GMOs, regulation, biosecurity concerns and corruption in US political oversight has plagued the Green and subsequently Gene Revolution with a series of unfulfilled promises and disasters in the global and national food supply.

    The worldwide disease burden is heavily associated with issues of food insecurity and malnutrition, with thousands of people dying from completely preventable conditions such as lack of Vitamin A. In light of these issues, a botanical laboratory during the genetic revolution created a GMO rice that contained beta-carotene, an essential nutrition for the human body. Much of the poorest populations in the world, particularly in Asia died due to lack of this vitamin, which contributed to a weakened immune system and caused blindness. Golden rice as they GMO food was named, promised to address this problem because it was fortified with the essential nutrient.

    While there were several issues with the product itself, the Vitamin A was not viable after storage and cooking unless certain precautions were taken, Golden Rice was the first transgenetic food to introduce the complicated debate over ownership and patenting. The product was produced in a highly competitive industry with thousands of patents protecting the funds that had been invested in laboratory research. For this reason, the original intent of giving the rice away for free to fight poverty would prove to be nearly impossible. The scientists that designed the product as a form of humanitarian aid were surprised and disappointed to find that the patented technology used to produce Golden Rice had partial ownership over their product through patenting.

    In the end, Golden Rice was attached to a web of industry, including the giant pharmaceutical company AstaZeneca. In all the years of research on GMOs, the Rockefeller institution had not developed a legal mechanism to ensure that the new food went to the poor as originally intentioned. Golden Rice serves as an example of the legal complexity of patenting a living organism and protecting the funding that is invested in research and development of these inventions.

    While Golden Rice was developed with the intention of directly benefiting the most impoverished in the world, the saga behind attempts to patent This Jasmine Rice and Indian Basmati Rice introduce the concepts of biopiracy and a business driven economy taking advantage of minority farming knowledge. In the case of both of these varieties of rice, companies in the United States claimed to have developed a completely new product after

  • Bevan 4

    modifying the genome of varieties that have been locally significant sources of food and export for hundreds of years. Not only were these companies claiming ownership through patenting of a food that has been planted in other areas of the world for a very long time, by harvesting the crop in the United States the companies opened a new market for the rice that crippled poor minority farmers across the world.

    The rice introduced the issue of biopiracy, and the controversy over applying for a patent and claiming the development of a supposedly new product that is already on the market and has been harvested for thousands of years. This issue also questions how the industry protects the rights of indigenous people that have developed agricultural knowledge for many years. The UN even claimed that US companies were silently stealing centuries of knowledge from impoverished indigenous communities that were already disadvantaged by a system that supports large corporations.

    For many of these reasons, including the discussion of biopiracy, the United States congress did not originally permit the patenting of life. However, in 1930 plant breeders were eventually given the right to patent their seeds but not the offspring of the cultivated plants. After the development of a microbe that was capable of eating oil that was released into the environment after an oil spill, the Supreme Court ruled that companies now had the right to patent living organisms that were the product of research and development, which enabled these subsequent patenting of any living organism and allowed corporations the power to own species that they developed.

    This change in the legal rights of companies that produce new living organisms though genetic manipulation of living species had serious consequences for the farming population, both in the United States and abroad. One example of the consequences of the new legal framework that favors large agricultural corporations over farming communities is exemplified by a Canadian farmer that was accused of planting Monsantos GMO canola seed when he did not. Once a genetically modified seed is released into the environment, it is very difficult to control the spread of the seed. This farmer lost his business due to the decision to fight Monsanto on the allegation that he was planting their canola, when it was probable that the seed drifted into his farmland from the road or another nearby field. The court ruled that regardless of how the seed ended up not the land, the farmer was legally responsible to uphold patent laws. The case begs the question of how the law system is protecting the people that are planning crops over the large companies that supply seeds and herbicide. The current system undoubtably favors multinational companies over small farmers, both national and international, in the way that it interprets patenting laws.

    Another example of the implications of promoting GMO foods on populations involves the health consequences of modifying the genome of consumable products. Numerous studies have suggested that GMO foods contribute to an increase in allergies in the human population, and may of the trials on rats have produced results that suggest that the food is unsafe for human consumption. Most of these studies have been hastily covered up by large corporations or ignored by the government agencies responsible for regulating the safety of food for humans and the environment. Among the many examples of the risk that GMO development poses for the human populations includes a number of recalls on products, including soy that was

  • Bevan 5

    contaminated by corn under trails for the development of a pig vaccine in the United States. While the development of GMO foods has serious consequences for the population in terms of health and rights of underrepresented communities in the agricultural industry, the larger issue of patenting and planting GMO seeds also plays a critical role in the worlds food supply.

    The effect that seeds developed and patented in the United States has international implications, as exemplified by the impact of subsidized GMO corn sales, both in seed and grain, in Mexico. Mexican farmers have a long tradition of saving seed and developing a large variety of seed that is viable on their land. Because the farmers plant many different types of corn, they are much less susceptible to the risks associated with monoculture because they have preserved the genetic heritage of corn from in the region for thousands of years. Because corn in the United States is subsidized to the extent that it is sold a price that does not cover production costs, it is cheaper for the Mexican population to buy exported corn from the US than local varieties. Regardless of the price difference, many Mexicans preferentially chose to purchase Mexican corn because it tastes better, has more variety, has not been genetically modified, and the corns production is supporting local farming communities. In this case, the rejection of the GMO corn from the US has maintained long established farming practices and continued the genetic variability that has been developed by Mexican farmers for thousands of years.

    Although there was a situation in which some of the GMO corn was planted and leaked into local fields, generally the traditional way of farming has been maintained in Mexico. While this has not been the case in other international communities, GMO foods are meeting increasing resistance worldwide. The rejection of US products and its unfilled promises to fight poverty and hunger by increasing the worlds food supply to the overwhelming advantage of large agricultural corporations seems to be more prevalent that it was 40 years ago. Especially in European countries, most of which require labeling products that contain GMO foods, civilian pressure has created rejection of American products, which is compounded by...

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