Just governments ought to ensure food security for their citizens



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Just governments ought to ensure food security for their citizens

Table of Contents


Topic Overview 1

1AC 5

Aff Evidence 11

1NC 15

Neg Evidence 18

Additional Readings 21

Author: Duncan Stewart

Editor: Kyle Cheesewright


Topic Overview


Just governments ought to ensure food security for their citizens

In 2008 Mexico, Italy, Morocco, Indonesia, Burkina Faso, Egypt, and the city of Milwaukee all saw food riots. In 2011 Algeria, Tunisia, and Yemen joined them, and we are still watching as the vestiges of the Arab Spring continue today. Entangled in a web of economy, ecology, and international realism lays food security, and as the international community more sharply adjusts its focus to ecological security, rising temperatures, and dwindling biodiversity it is no surprise the resolution at hand is found on this year’s topic list. Before the person engaging in this topic begins to think about debate strategy it is important to render some terms in the resolution more intelligible.



First, food security, in the broadest sense, is one’s access and/or ability to meet their daily caloric needs. Scholars such as Raj Patel and Marion Nestle expand this conversation by exploring the effect governments’ and corporations’ produce in the global food system. There is enough food produced on the globe annually to feed the world’s daily needs two and a half times over (Patel and Nestle). If there is enough food why are people starving? The topic seeks to navigate this paradox. Each year the planet experiences a historical first. Annually more and more food is produced, while at the same time more than 800 million starve (Patel). Simultaneously the number of obese individuals rises. Record food production, record starvation, and record obesity. Authors who criticize this global food regime argue that obesity and starvation are both symptoms of the same catastrophe-food insecurity. Food security is not only about a distinction between stuffed and starved, food security is determined by a persons access to not only food, but a persons ability to have nutritious food if they desire so.

Eric Holt-Gimenez explained at a University of Utah lecture that it is not only a matter of food-security, but also of food-justice. Eric Holt-Gimenez began with what he calls the crisis. “Seventy percent of the world’s one billion hungry raw food producers are producing half of the world’s food.” (Holt-Gimenez, 2013, lecture) The hands which make the food spatially available to some belong to the stomachs that starve by the same product of spatial difference. The year 2013 had record harvest yields, record profits, and record hunger. “Nearly 50 million people in the United States are food insecure.” (Holt-Gimenez, 2013, lecture) Food insecurity is not only a force of economy but also of market ideology. The value of Monsanto stock is dependent on scarcity. If the material which is food was available to all, value would no longer climb. The affirmative demands some form of intervention upon such a structure. The summation of Eric Holt-Gimenez lecture focused on the root causes of food insecurity, which are the institutions that shape our everyday lives. Negative offense can be located in these institutions participation in the food system. It was the relentless drive for profit and production that simplified our agriculture to five crops. It was the agro-corporate complex that flooded markets with grain and backed the IMF’s policy of forced-privatization. It was the corporate food regime of the USDA, WTO, and NAFTA that pushed an 11 billion dollar deficit onto the global south, effectively colonizing their stomachs to feed the gains of venture capitalists. In the words of Holt-Gimenez “if we are to understand the food system we must also understand capitalism and [economic] liberalization.”



***Aff strategy

The crux of the affirmative offense rests in reasons why food security is important in addition to the intrinsic morality of alleviating starvation. The affirmative must ask themselves before case writing why food security matters. What are the long term benefits of having a food-secure population? Further, the affirmative must investigate the obligations of a just Government. The 1AC should answer the question of what a just government provides, and food security should be found some place within those obligations of justice. The affirmative should argue that assuring citizens have access to a secure and healthy diet is a moral/ethical obligation, then explain the advantages of affirming such an advocacy. The affirmative also has substantial ground within the mechanism of providing food security. For example, there is a plethora of research to suggest that the creation of small agriculture programs reverses soil erosion trends.

***Neg Strategy

The negative should find its offense nested in the affirmative actor. There is significant research to suggest that governments are the root cause of food insecurity. Further, key ground is to argue that governments have no obligations. The negative can also find critical ground in the works of Barbara Kappler and Judith Butler to argue that abstracting individual responsibility to the government turns the affirmative. Last the resolution calls for governments to provide for its own citizens. Literature from Gloria Anzaldúa and Giorgio Agamben is rife with offense against the notion of citizenship. If a government provides for all of its citizens all of the resources necessary for survival, and only its own citizens, then competition for resources among nations is inevitable. This sets up the neg for a realism bad debate. Other arguments can be found in offense against how a government will provide food security. For example, the negative can argue that the only means to provide for that many people is GMOs, then read evidence as to why GMOs are destructive.

1AC


I value morality as the word ought in the resolution offers a moral obligation or duty.

The governmental obligation must maximize the greatest good for the greatest amount of people.
Goodin 1990 (Robert, Fellow of philosophy at Australian National University, The Utilitarian Response)
Whatever its shortcomings as a personal moral code, there is much to be said for utilitarianism as a ‘public philosophy’. Utilitarianism of some form or another is incumbent upon public policy-makers because of the peculiar tasks they face and because of the peculiar instruments available to them for pursuing those tasks. Given those substantially inalterable facts about the enterprise in which they are engaged, public policy-makers have little choice but to batch-process cases, acting through rules, principles, and policies, which are broadly general in form and substantially uniform in application. When looking for general, uniform public rules, principles, and policies, the premium is upon doing the right thing on average and in standard cases. In that context, utilitarianism seems to be a highly attractive proposition.

Thus, the value criterion must be minimizing suffering based on the ethical system of utilitarianism:

First, Morality must treat everyone equally to avoid arbitrariness. It is through equality that we are able to achieve a true moral basis.

Singer 1979 (Peter, Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne, in his textPractical Ethics)

From this point of view, race is irrelevant to the consideration of interests; for all that counts are the interests themselves. To give less consideration to a specified amount of pain because that pain was exper- ienced by a member of a particular race would be to make an arbitrary distinction. Why pick on race? Why not on whether a person was born in a leap year? Or whether there is more than one vowel in her surname? All these characteristics are equally irrelevant to the undesirability of pain from the universal point of view. Hence, the principle of equal consider- ation of interests shows straightforwardly why the most blatant forms of racism, like that of the Nazis, are wrong: the Nazis based their policies only on.



States have a utilitarian obligation to provide necessary resources to their citizens
Woller 1997 (Gary BYU Prof., “An Overview by Gary Woller”, A Forum on the Role of Environmental Ethics, June 1997, pg. 10)

Moreover, virtually all public policies entail some redistribution of economic or political resources, such that one group's gains must come at another group's ex- pense. Consequently, public policies in a democracy must be justified to the public, and especially to those who pay the costs of those policies. Such [but] justification cannot simply be assumed a priori by invoking some higher-order moral principle. Appeals to a priori moral principles, such as environmental preservation, also often fail to acknowledge that public policies inevitably entail trade-offs among competing values. Thus since policymakers cannot justify inherent value conflicts to the public in any philosophical sense, and since public policies inherently imply winners and losers, the policymakers' duty [is thus] to the public interest requires them to demonstrate that the redistributive effects and value trade-offs implied by their polices are somehow to the overall advantage of society. At the same time, deontologically based ethical systems have severe practical limitations as a basis for public policy. At best, [Also,] a priori moral principles provide only general guidance to ethical dilemmas in public affairs and do not themselves suggest appropriate public policies, and at worst, they create a regimen of regulatory unreasonableness while failing to adequately address the problem or actually making it worse. For example, a moral obligation to preserve the environment by no means implies the best way, or any way for that matter, to do so, just as there is no a priori reason to believe that any policy that claims to preserve the environment will actually do so. Any number of policies might work, and others, although seemingly consistent with the moral principle, will fail utterly. That deontological principles are an inadequate basis for environmental policy is evident in the rather significant irony that most forms of deontologically based environmental laws and regulations tend to be implemented in a very utilitarian manner by street-level enforcement officials. Moreover, ignoring the relevant costs and benefits of environmental policy and their attendant incentive structures can, as alluded to above, actually work at cross purposes to environmental preservation. (There exists an extensive literature on this aspect of regulatory enforcement and the often perverse outcomes of regulatory policy. See, for example, Ackerman, 1981; Bartrip and Fenn, 1983; Hawkins, 1983, 1984; Hawkins and Thomas, 1984.) Even the most die-hard preservationist/deontologist would, I believe, be troubled by this outcome. The above points are perhaps best expressed by Richard Flathman, The number of values typically involved in public policy decisions, the broad categories which must be employed and above all, the scope and complexity of the consequences to be anticipated militate against reasoning so conclusively that they generate an imperative to institute a specific policy. It is seldom the case that only one policy will meet the criteria of the public interest (1958, p. 12). It therefore follows that in a democracy, policymakers have an ethical duty to establish a plausible link between policy alternatives and the problems they address, and the public must be reasonably assured that a policy will actually do something about an existing problem; this requires the means-end language and methodology of utilitarian ethics. Good intentions, lofty rhetoric, and moral piety are an insufficient though perhaps at times a necessary, basis for public policy in a democracy.

Contention 1:
Hunger is on the rise even in America, all indicators are that the problem will only get worse.

Knowlton 2009 (Brian "Hunger in U.S. at a 14-Year High," originally appeared in The New York Times. Copyright © 2009 The New York Times URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33975517/ns/us_news-the_new_york )

WASHINGTON - The number of Americans who lacked reliable access to sufficient food shot up last year to its highest point since the government began surveying in 1995, the Agriculture Department reported on Monday. In its annual report on hunger, the department said that 17 million American households, or 14.6 percent of the total, “had difficulty putting enough food on the table at times during the year.” That was an increase from 13 million households, or 11.1 percent, the previous year. The results provided a more human sense of the costs of a recession that has officially ended but continues to take a daily toll on households; it describes the plight not of a faceless General Motors or A.I.G. but of families with too little food on their children’s plates. Indeed, while children are usually shielded from the worst effects of deprivation, many more were affected last year than the year before. The number of households in which both adults and children experienced “very low food security” rose by more than half, to 506,000 in 2008 from 323,000 in 2007, according to the report. Overall, one-third of all the families that are affected by hunger, or 6.7 million households, were classified as having very low food security, meaning that members of the household had too little to eat or saw their eating habits disrupted during 2008. That was 2 million households more than in 2007. In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack emphasized the administration’s efforts to combat hunger by creating jobs, providing job training, extending unemployment benefits and taking other measures. He called hunger “a problem that the American sense of fairness should not tolerate and American ingenuity can overcome.” During his campaign, President Obama promised to eliminate hunger among American children by 2015. The administration has yet to offer a detailed plan to do so, and the report on Monday underscored the daunting dimensions of the challenge. Problem understated? Vicki Escarra, president of Feeding America, a nonprofit organization with a national network of more than 200 food banks, said that the Agriculture Department probably understated the problem. With unemployment and other economic indicators continuing to worsen [since] in 2009, she said, “there are likely many more people struggling with hunger than this report states.” In September, the group found a sharp increase in requests for emergency food assistance; the food banks in its network reported an average increase in need of nearly 30 percent this year over 2008. “National socioeconomic indicators, including the escalating unemployment rate and the number of working poor, lead us to believe that the number of people facing hunger will continue to rise significantly over the coming year,” added Ms. Escarra.



Contention 2:

Food insecurity is the most important impact and even out weighs the survival of the human race.
WATSON 1997 (Richard, Professor of Philosophy at Washington University, World Hunger and Moral Obligation, p. 118-119)
These arguments are morally spurious. That food sufficient for well-nourished survival is the equal right of every human individual or nation is a specification of the higher principle that everyone has equal right to the necessities of life. The moral stress of the principle of equity is primarily on equal sharing, and only secondarily on what is being shared. The higher moral principle is of human equity per se. Consequently, the moral action is to distribute all food equally, whatever the consequences. This is the hard line apparently drawn by such moralists as Immanuel Kant and Noam Chomsky—but then, morality is hard. The conclusion may be unreasonable (impractical and irrational in conventional terms), but it is obviously moral. Nor should anyone purport surprise; it has always been understood that the claims of morality—if taken seriously—supersede those of conflicting reason. One may even have to sacrifice one’s life or one’s nation to be moral in situations where practical behavior would preserve it. For example, if a prisoner of war undergoing torture is to be a (perhaps dead) patriot even when reason tells him that collaboration will hurt no one, he remains silent. Similarly, if one is to be moral, one distributes available food in equal shares (even if everyone then dies). That an action is necessary to save one’s life is no excuse for behaving unpatriotically or immorally if one wishes to be a patriot or moral. No principle of morality absolves one of behaving immorally simply to save one’s life or nation. There is a strict analogy here between adhering to moral principles for the sake of being moral, and adhering to Christian principles for the sake of being Christian. The moral world contains pits and lions, but one looks always to the highest light. The ultimate test always harks to the highest principle—recant or die—and it is pathetic to profess morality if one quits when the going gets rough. I have put aside many questions of detail—such as the mechanical problems of distributing food—because detail does not alter the stark conclusion. If every human life is equal in value, then the equal distribution of the necessities of life is an extremely high, if not the highest, moral duty. It is at least high enough to override the excuse that by doing it one would lose one’s life. But many people cannot accept the view that one must distribute equally even in f the nation collapses or all people die. If everyone dies, then there will be no realm of morality. Practically speaking, sheer survival comes first. One can adhere to the principle of equity only if one exists. So it is rational to suppose that the principle of survival is morally higher than the principle of equity. And though one might not be able to argue for unequal distribution of food to save a nation—for nations can come and go—one might well argue that unequal distribution is necessary for the survival of the human species. That is, some large group—say one-third of present world population—should be at least well-nourished for human survival. However, from an individual standpoint, the human species—like the nation—is of no moral relevance. From a naturalistic standpoint, survival does come first; from a moralistic standpoint—as indicated above—survival may have to be sacrificed. In the milieu of morality, it is immaterial whether or not the human species survives as a result of individual behavior.

Contention 3

Food insecurity produces cyclical poverty.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 2014. (" Poverty, Purchasing Power & Food Security." Indian Experience on Household Food and Nutrition Security. Web. 06 July 2014.)

However, while providing a reasonable standard of living to all may take some time, at least adequate food to all individuals has to be quickly assured. Without adequate food, people cannot break the vicious cycle of poverty. Thus, in our country, poverty has greatly influenced food insecurity and we have, therefore, to determine the poverty line with relation to calories to be consumed. Accordingly! those people who do not have a daily calorie intake of 2100 kcal or more in urban areas and 2400 kcal or more in rural areas are said to be living below the poverty line. These calorie requirements are converted into per capita consumption expenditure i.e. "minimum money requirement of a person, which, considering a person's consumption pattern, will ensure sufficient food intake for satisfying average calorie needed." (Gupta SP in India's Econ. Dev. Strategies, Ed. Mongia, 1986). In 1987-88, the rural poverty line, in terms of percapita monthly expenditure was Rs. 131.80. Families found, during surveys, to be having consumption expenditure less than the required are considered to be living below the poverty line. Of course, the ideal thing would have been to measure poverty against a set of parameters which go to make a "life of good quality", at least a life with minimum standard of living. In other words, not only food and nutrition security for all but also good healthy drinking water, choice of a balanced diet, a reasonable house, proper clothes to wear and access to education, health and employment. This is, of course, beyond the scope of this presentation. However, the average incidence of rural poverty conceals wide interstate differences which suggests that greater attention needs to be paid to the regions which have greater concentration of poor. (Eighth Five Year Plan, Min of R.D.). The figure below shows the proportion of people living below poverty line, both in various states and in India as a whole:

AND

Poverty is genocide.

Gilligan 2000 (James, Former Director of the Center for the Study of Violence at Harvard Medical School. Violence: Reflections on Our Deadliest Epidemic. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd. pp. 195-196)

“In other words, every fifteen years, on the average, as many people die because of relative poverty as would be killed in a nuclear war that caused 232 million deaths; and every single year, two to three times as many people die from poverty throughout the world as were killed by the Nazi genocide of the Jews over a six-year period. This is, in effect, the equivalent of an ongoing, unending, in fact accelerating, thermonuclear war, or genocide, perpetrated on the weak and poor every year of every decade, throughout the world.



Last, Food Insecurity slowly exterminates entire family lines and cultures by DNA deterioration. I out weigh on duration and magnitude.

Taylor2014 (Marisa, Journalist "Poverty ‘ages’ Genes of Young Children, Study Shows” Al Jazeera America)

During their analysis, they [Research has] found significant associations between [impoverished individuals] the disadvantaged boys and shortened telomere length, compared with their advantaged counterparts. For example, doubling a family’s income was associated with telomeres that were 5 percent longer. Kids whose mothers had completed high school had telomeres that were 32 percent longer; if the mothers had attended some college, the boys’ telomeres were 35 percent longer. [..] Furthermore, the researchers took saliva samples from the boys to test[ed] for the presence of genetic markers for sensitivity to dopamine and serotonin and discovered that that genetic tendency exacerbated the telomere shortening effect among disadvantaged kids.



Aff Evidence



Access to food supply more important than the survival of the human species.
WATSON 77

(Richard, Professor of Philosophy at Washington University, World Hunger and Moral Obligation, p. 118-119)


These arguments are morally spurious. That food sufficient for well-nourished survival is the equal right of every human individual or nation is a specification of the higher principle that everyone has equal right to the necessities of life. The moral stress of the principle of equity is primarily on equal sharing, and only secondarily on what is being shared. The higher moral principle is of human equity per se. Consequently, the moral action is to distribute all food equally, whatever the consequences. This is the hard line apparently drawn by such moralists as Immanuel Kant and Noam Chomsky—but then, morality is hard. The conclusion may be unreasonable (impractical and irrational in conventional terms), but it is obviously moral. Nor should anyone purport surprise; it has always been understood that the claims of morality—if taken seriously—supersede those of conflicting reason. One may even have to sacrifice one’s life or one’s nation to be moral in situations where practical behavior would preserve it. For example, if a prisoner of war undergoing torture is to be a (perhaps dead) patriot even when reason tells him that collaboration will hurt no one, he remains silent. Similarly, if one is to be moral, one distributes available food in equal shares (even if everyone then dies). That an action is necessary to save one’s life is no excuse for behaving unpatriotically or immorally if one wishes to be a patriot or moral. No principle of morality absolves one of behaving immorally simply to save one’s life or nation. There is a strict analogy here between adhering to moral principles for the sake of being moral, and adhering to Christian principles for the sake of being Christian. The moral world contains pits and lions, but one looks always to the highest light. The ultimate test always harks to the highest principle—recant or die—and it is pathetic to profess morality if one quits when the going gets rough. I have put aside many questions of detail—such as the mechanical problems of distributing food—because detail does not alter the stark conclusion. If every human life is equal in value, then the equal distribution of the necessities of life is an extremely high, if not the highest, moral duty. It is at least high enough to override the excuse that by doing it one would lose one’s life. But many people cannot accept the view that one must distribute equally even in f the nation collapses or all people die. If everyone dies, then there will be no realm of morality. Practically speaking, sheer survival comes first. One can adhere to the principle of equity only if one exists. So it is rational to suppose that the principle of survival is morally higher than the principle of equity. And though one might not be able to argue for unequal distribution of food to save a nation—for nations can come and go—one might well argue that unequal distribution is necessary for the survival of the human species. That is, some large group—say one-third of present world population—should be at least well-nourished for human survival. However, from an individual standpoint, the human species—like the nation—is of no moral relevance. From a naturalistic standpoint, survival does come first; from a moralistic standpoint—as indicated above—survival may have to be sacrificed. In the milieu of morality, it is immaterial whether or not the human species survives as a result of individual behavior.

Food insecurity causes war.
Calvin 98

(William, Theoretical neurophysiologist at the University of Washington, Atlantic Monthly, January, “The Great Climate Flip-Flop,” p. 47-64)

 

The population-crash scenario is surely the most appalling. Plummeting crop yields would cause some powerful countries to try to take over their neighbors or distant lands -- if only because their armies, unpaid and lacking food, would go marauding, both at home and across the borders. The better-organized countries would attempt to use their armies, before they fell apart entirely, to take over countries with significant remaining resources, driving out or starving their inhabitants if not using modern weapons to accomplish the same end: eliminating competitors for the remaining food. This would be a worldwide problem -- and could lead to a Third World War -- but Europe's vulnerability is particularly easy to analyze. The last abrupt cooling, the Younger Dryas, drastically altered Europe's climate as far east as Ukraine. Present-day Europe has more than 650 million people. It has excellent soils, and largely grows its own food. It could no longer do so if it lost the extra warming from the North Atlantic.



Expanding food security programs have a positive impact on state budgets.
MLRI 2009

(Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, “Food Stamps/SNAP: A Fork-Ready Stimulus,” March, http://www.mcoaonline.com/content/pdf/ForkReadyStimulusMarch2009.pdf)


Increased food stamp/SNAP participation has an added beneficial impact on the state budget as well. By providing federal nutrition benefits to low income households, a significant portion of family income that would otherwise be spent on food would be spent on taxable items, thereby adding to sales tax revenue in Massachusetts. In 2004, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office developed the following premise to estimate the impact of food stamp increases on the state budget: “Research shows that low-income individuals generally are not able to save money because their resources are spent on meeting their daily needs, such as shelter, food, and transportation. Therefore, for every dollar in food coupons that a low-income family receives, an additional dollar is available for the consumption of food or other items. Research done at the University of California and elsewhere indicates that individuals with income low enough to be eligible for food stamps would, on average, spend about 45 percent of their income on goods for which they would pay sales tax. The state (California) General Fund receives about 5 cents for every dollar that is spent on a taxable good. Local governments and special funds receive the remainder of the sales tax revenue (generally about 2.25 percent). Because additional food coupons would result in low-income families spending more of their other resources on taxable goods, the receipt of federal food coupons helps to generate revenue for the state and for local governments.” xv Massachusetts also receives about 5 cents for every dollar spent on a taxable good, although, unlike California, we do not tax clothing. However, there are many essential purchases made by low income households that are indeed taxable and generate state sales tax revenue. By increasing the Food Stamp/SNAP caseload by more than 110,000 in FY2010 to leverage an additional $340 million in federal revenue, Massachusetts has the potential to realize an additional $5 to $7 million in state sales tax revenue – not counting the sales tax generated by the ARRA 2009 SNAP benefits increase- which revenue may offset the state’s admin costs. ►THE BOTTOM LINE: Food stamp/SNAP benefits have a positive impact on families (increased food), retailers and growers (increased demand for food-related products and services), local and state economies (“multiplier effect” of food stamp dollars) and state budgets (increased sales tax revenue). Massachusetts needs to leverage these dollars, now more than ever.

1NC


I negate and value justice since the resolution is a question of what governments owe their citizens. The standard is governmental obligations because the word “ought” in the resolution implies an obligation.

I will contend states do not have moral obligations.

First, The government is made of multiple actors so it can’t be held morally culpable. It would be illogical to hold a Senator morally culpable for actions taken in Senate if they voted against it. Even if the affirmative says that accountability is important this would not be sufficient to prove why moral culpability itself is (1) possible for government and (2) more important than the culpability that the government has to its other obligations.

Velleman 2006 agrees

(David, “Self To Self” 2006. Cambridge University Press)

As we have seen, requirements that depend for their force on some external source of authority turn out to be escapable because the authority behind them can be questioned. We can ask, “why should I act on this desire?” or “why should I obey the U.S. government?” or even “Why should I obey God?” And as we observed in the case of the desire to punch someone in the nose, this question demands a reason for acting. The authority we are questioning would be vindicated, in each case, by the production of a sufficient reason. /p What this observation suggests is that any purported source of practical authority depends on reasons for obeying it—and hence on the authority of reasons. Suppose, then, that we attempted to question the authority of reasons themselves, as we earlier questioned other authorities. Where we previously asked “Why should I act on my desire?” let us now ask “Why should I act for reasons?” shouldn’t this question open up a route of escape from all requirements? /p As soon as we ask why we should act for reasons, however, we can hear something odd in our question. To ask “why should I?” is to demand a reason; and so to ask “why should I act for reasons?” is to demand a reason for acting for reasons. This demand implicitly concedes the very authority that it purports to question—namely, the authority of reasons. Why would we demand a reason if we didn’t envision acting for it? If we really didn’t feel required to act for reasons, then a reason for doing so certainly wouldn’t help. So there is something self-defeating about asking for a reason to act for reasons

Since governments can’t reflect on the reasons for actions they can’t be held morally culpable. Even if providing food security to citizens is a moral act on its own accord, the government doesn’t have the ability to be held morally culpable for the action of providing food or not.

Second, Consent determines moral obligations but the government cannot consent to morality as a whole. Therefore it is not bound to the same obligations of upholding morality as an individual is. Even if the affirmative gives reasons why the government acts consistently with morality, it would have to prove that the cause of the actions is morality-if they don’t then it would simply be correlation.

The intent of the action is morally relevant, but a state cannot have intent

Gerson 2008

(Lloyd P. Gerson. Author Aristotle’s Politics Today 2008 Albany: State University of New York Press)



Intentionality refers first and foremost to the self-awareness of the presence of the purpose and the self-awareness of the mental states leading to its realization. That is, of course, precisely why we refrain from claiming that someone is responsible for her actions when she is unaware of what she is doing, especially when she could not have been aware. The acknowledgements of self-awareness is necessary for the attribution of moral agency. I would in fact argue that all and only nondefective human beings have this ability to be self-aware. But that is not my point here. There may be agents other than human beings that are moral agents. My present point is that a group of human beings, such as the group that comprise a nation cannot be self-aware in this way and therefore cannot be a moral agent.

Third, The government physically can’t self-reflect, moral theories that relate to rationality and reason then do not apply to governments. This preempts any means based moral theories, as governments cannot act in accordance with them. In order to access a rationality-based moral theory the affirmative would need to prove that a government is a rational actor capable of self-reflection.

Without a unity of intention and awareness, an agent cannot be held to moral standards

(Lloyd P. Gerson. Author Aristotle’s Politics Today)



It literally makes no sense to say that a nation is morally responsible for an action, although it makes perfectly good sense to say that all those persons who contributed to the action’s coming about are morally responsible. Another way to look at this point is to consider that in cases of genuine self-awareness, the subject who is aware of having that intentionally object, say, a purpose, must be identical with the subject who is aware of having that intentional object. But when the nation has a purpose, as expressed, say, in a resolution of a governing body, it is not the nation that is self-aware but the persons who comprise it. And that self-awareness is not of each individual’s own purpose, since one’s own purposes may be in conflict with those of the nation. Even if they are not in conflict, that is, even if there is 100 percent support for a motion, the awareness of the nation’s purpose as expressed in the motion occurs in the individual persons and not in the nation. Unless you can put purpose and self-awareness of purpose in the identical subject, you cannot have a moral agent. And in the case of group action, you can never have the identical subject that both has the purpose and is self-aware of having it. Knowing that my nation has declared war is different from the act of declaring war and occurs in a different subject. Indeed, the nation or the nonmoral agent that declares war cannot know that it declares war anymore than the chess-playing robot can know that it won.”








Neg Evidence



GMOs are the only method for govs to feed all their citizens

Coren 13

(Michael, Journalist, “Scared Of Genetically Modified Food? It Might Be The Only Way To Feed The World” Coexist, 2013)



The math is simple. As land to clear dwindles, and the crop yield growth falls, we will still need to grow 70% more food by 2050. That’s what the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization figures is necessary to feed the 9 billion humans expected by mid-century. Last century’s technology will not be enough. Remarkable gains from the Green Revolution during the 1960s--petrochemical fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation, and improved strains--are now nearly tapped out. One of the next "revolutions" on the horizon,genetically modified (GM) crops whose genes have been altered with DNA from other plants or animals. It is battling controversy even as it slowly spreads around the world. since the U.S. biotech company Calgene introduced the first genetically modified tomato in 1992, the use of GM crops has exploded. AGRA reports 29 countries permit commercial production of GM crops, while 10% of cropland around the world is planted with GM crops: three quarters of the world’s soybean crop, half the world’s cotton, and a quarter of the world’s maize, is mostly in the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, and Canada. But fears of GM crops’ unknown health, environmental and economic risks remain. So far, there is no conclusive evidence, but no major studies have found genetically modified plants pose a great danger, particularly when compared to the toxic chemical and destructive farming practices we employ today (a recently trumpeted French study [PDF] showing tumors in experimental rats fed GM food was shown to be seriously flawed). Yet those risks have kept countries in Europe and Africa (except South Africa) almost completely GM-free for decades.  Now there is a new push to develop GM crops for the developing world that may recast genetically engineering as the best path out of hunger for billions

Overfishing to feed all citizens = GMOs

BBC 2k

(BBC News, 9-23-00, “GM solution to over-fishing,” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/948307.stm)

Genetically modified farmed-fish will feed the world by the year 2025 as global catches decline, predicts a US scientist. GM fish farms will be the only way to supply enough seafood amid the continuing collapse of commercial marine fisheries, believes Professor Yonathan Zohar, of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. He says biotechnology will lead to stronger, faster-growing, more nutritious fish that can reproduce all year round. But critics argue that GM fish may offer a temporary solution to providing food but will not address the problem of over-exploitation of our seas and oceans. Declining stocks The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation reports that 60% to 70% of fisheries in the world's oceans are threatened by over-fishing. The agency estimates that at some point between 2015 and 2025, half of all fish consumed in the world will be farmed. New molecular and biotechnology tools will be required to bring fish farming on a par with farming of other livestock, says Professor Zohar.

Extinction

PNS 2k

(Purdue News Service, 1-30-2000, “Genetically Modified Fish Could Wipe Out Natural Species” http://www.monitor.net/monitor/0001a/transgenicfish.html)

Researchers have found that releasing a transgenic fish to the wild could damage native populations even to the point of extinction. A transgenic organism is one that contains genes from another species. The research is part of an effort to assess the risks and benefits of biotechnology and its products, such as genetically modified fish. Purdue animal scientist Bill Muir and biologist Rick Howard used minute Japanese fish called medaka to examine what would happen if male medakas genetically modified with growth hormone from Atlantic salmon were introduced to a population of unmodified fish. The research was conducted in banks of aquariums in a laboratory setting. The results warn that transgenic fish could present a significant threat to native wildlife. "Transgenic fish are typically larger than the native stock, and that can confer an advantage in attracting mates" Muir says. "If, as in our experiments, the genetic change also reduces the offspring's ability to survive, a transgenic animal could bring a wild population to extinction in 40 generations." Extinction results from a phenomenon that Muir and Howard call the "Trojan gene hypothesis." By basing their mate selection on size rather than fitness, medaka females choose the larger, genetically modified but genetically inferior medaka, thus inviting the hidden risk of extinction.

GMOs alter DNA and cause cancer

Walia 2014

(Arjun, Journalist “10 Scientific Studies Proving GMOs Can Be Harmful To Human Health” Collective evolution July 2014)



In a new study published in the peer reviewed Public Library of Science (PLOS), researchers emphasize that there is sufficient evidence that meal-derived DNA fragments carry complete genes that can enter into the human circulation system through an unknown mechanism. In one of the blood samples the relative concentration of plant DNA is higher than the human DNA.  The study was based on the analysis of over 1000 human samples from four independent studies.PLOS is an open access, well respected peer-reviewed scientific journal that covers primary research from disciplines within science and medicine. It’s great to see this study published in it, confirming what many have been suspected for years Our bloodstream is considered to be an environment well separated from the outside world and the digestive tract. According to the standard paradigm large macromolecules consumed with food cannot pass directly to the circulatory system. During digestion proteins and DNA are thought to be degraded into small constituents, amino acids and nucleic acids, respectively, and then absorbed by a complex active process and distributed to various parts of the body through the circulation system. Here, based on the analysis of over 1000 human samples from four independent studies, we report evidence that meal-derived DNA fragments which are large enough to carry complete genes can avoid degradation and through an unknown mechanism enter the human circulation system. In one of the blood samples the relative concentration of plant DNA is higher than the human DNA. The plant DNA concentration shows a surprisingly precise log-normal distribution in the plasma samples while non-plasma (cord blood) control sample was found to be free of plant DNA.” This still doesn’t mean that GMOs can enter into our cells, but given the fact GMOs have been linked to cancer (later in this article) it is safe to assume it is indeed a possibility. The bottom line is that we don’t know, and this study demonstrates another cause for concern.

Additional Readings


Glassner, Barry. (2007) The gospel of food. New York: Harper Collins.

Gottlieb & Joshi. (2010) Food justice. England: Cambridge.

Holt-Gimenez, Eric. (2009) Food rebellions! Crisis and the hunger for justice. UCT Press.

Kirschenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara. (1999) Playing to the senses: Food as performance medium. Performance Research 4,1-30.

Nestle, Marion. (2013) Food politics. University of CA press. Berkeley, CA.

Spurlock, M. Cindy. (2009) Performing and sustaining (agri)culture and place. Text and Performance Quarterly, 29,1,5-21. doi: 10.1080/104629308025145305



Winnie, Mark. (2008) Closing the food gap. Boston, MA: Beacon.



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