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GMOs - Rhetorical Analysis Essay

            During a time when genetically modified foods was rarely a topic discussed by the average everyday citizen, Johnathan Rauch, the national journalist and Yale graduate, wrote a piece on the potential and future necessity of genetically modified foods, a topic that he had no genuine interest or investment in. With careful consideration of his hostile audience, Rauch uses his firsthand experience and numerous applicable examples to thoroughly support his claim that "as goes agriculture, so goes the planet" if means are not taken to alleviate current environmental and humanitarian concerns. He appeals strictly to the concerns of those who oppose the use of biotechnology, and acknowledges opposing viewpoints, but fails to provide a strong counterargument that addresses the numerous potential consequences of the implementation of transgenic practices. The failure to address these issues crumbles the foundation of the strength of the argument he tries to make.
             Taking initiative to establish credibility and a convincing argument, Rauch seizes the opportunity eradicate any intermediaries by directly interacting with farmers and scientists who have successfully utilized transgenic crops to improve total average yields and significantly reduce negative impacts on the environment. Rauch travels with two Virginia state soil-and-water-conservation officers and an agricultural-extension agent to an area near Richmond, Virginia to observe farmers who have developed a no-till method of farming which, according to Rauch, make ploughing "Obsolete" (1). Going to observe these farmers' techniques firsthand was a solid way for Rauch to establish credibility in his writing and a good way for him to show that his personal experience was at least authentic. Rauch furthers his investigation by driving to southern Virginia to visit Dennis Avery, the director of global food issues at the Hudson Institute, to discuss why biotechnology will be a "necessity" in the near future due to the limits of current farming methods (4).

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