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Essay on Golden Rice Rhetorical Analysis

On August 8, 2013, a field of rice, called “Golden Rice”, was completely devastated by a group of angry Filipino protestors. However, this was no ordinary rice. It was genetically modified rice that was designed to alleviate some major problems in the world. One farmer passionately said, “we do not want our people, especially our children, to be used in these experiments. ” However, there were several people outraged by this act of vandalism. One of those people, Amy Harmon, decided to bury the notion that Golden Rice is detrimental to human health.

She attempted this difficult task in her article, Golden Rice: Lifesaver? I will be analyzing how she conveys her message to the readers of the article in this rhetorical analysis essay. I argue that Amy Harmon attempts to explain that Golden Rice is not harmful to the public, it has only been a target of “unfounded fears”, in several different ways. Summary/Rhetorical Situation Description: Amy Harmon writes about the controversial topic of genetically modified foods in her article “Golden Rice: Lifesaver? ” Harmon states that the actions of the people who destroyed the field of golden rice, only a couple weeks before her article was ublished, was unwarranted.

This action which she described as, “an act of vandalism,” incited her to explain to the general public about the rice. She explains that the rice was only modified to allow it to be a source of Vitamin A, giving it the golden color. This rice, now a source of Vitamin A, can help the many health dilemmas of the world in countries that lack a supply of this vitamin. Also, she quotes several knowledgeable professionals in the field of biology and genetics to convince her readers that the rice is not harmful.

She continues to explain that the rice has nly been advocated against by people who do not fully understand the genetic engineered part of it. The rhetorical situation that Amy Harmon creates is evident in the article “Golden Rice: Lifesaver? “. Harmon, a renowned journalist, published her article in a well-known and credible online newspaper, The New York Times. She clearly displayed her main purpose, which is to persuade her readers that Golden Rice is not harmful to the public in a serious tone. The article was published on August 24, 2013, in response to the destruction of a field of Golden Rice on August 8, 2013.

It was very timely when it was first published, and it is still current because there is a lot of controversy surrounding genetically modified foods now. The article was written for the general public, which is evident in the publication that the article was displayed in, The New York Times, which is read by a wide range of people. Also, the article was written in a very commonly understood diction, with no terminology that the general public would not be aware of. Another hint that led me to believe that this was written for the general public, was the length of the article.

The article was hort enough that the common person would be able to read without his/her attention drifting, while still conveying Harmon’s message. She also cites many professional and knowledgeable sources throughout her article. Analysis: Throughout her article, Harmon doesn’t blatantly state the type of argument she uses. However, as the reader goes through the article one type of argument becomes apparent. Harmon used a rebuttal argument to attempt to make her readers to see her point of view. She states the opposing view-points of the argument, then proceeds to systematically refute each one.

Harmon starts by stating that the main arguments from the those opposing the modified rice which include the thought that genetically modified foods are made to profit large companies at the expense of poor farmers. She continues and states that, “Golden Rice is being developed by a nonprofit group called the International Rice Research Institute”, and that “it will cost no more than other rice for poor farmers. ” This refutes the initial view point she mentioned that the rice was made to profit large companies, because the people making the rice are a nonprofit rganization, and the rice itself won’t cost more than regular rice.

She continually used this style to refute several other arguments which she clearly outlined in her article. One of the modes of persuasion that is less often used is the rhetorical appeal called ethos, or persuading someone with the use of credible sources, whether that be the author, or the author using other sources. Harmon builds her credibility from the beginning by her style of writing. Also, Harmon clearly recognizes that, although she is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, she is by no means a geneticist. That is the reason she quotes other knowledgeable professional in the field of Biology and Genetics.

She mentioned that Gerard Berry suggested that “attempts to discredit Golden Rice discount the suffering it could alleviate if successful. ” The reason that this actually supports her claim is all based on who Gerard Barry is. He is the Golden Rice Project Leader, and a former senior scientist and executive at Monsanto, an agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation. If Harmon, for example, got her information from me, her article would have lost a great deal of credibility ecause I am only a college freshman, and am not knowledgeable about the topic.

Some other people she cited to support her claims were Michael D. Purugganan, a professor of Genomics and Biology at New York University, and Nina V. Fedoroff, a professor at The King Abdullah University in Saudi Arabia. Combined, all of these professionals supply a lot of credibility to her article, and therefore make it more persuasive. A very effective type of rhetorical appeal is pathos, or appealing to someone’s emotions to persuade them. Harmon also masterfully incorporates this throughout her article.

She subtly appeals to emotion throughout the paper by continually saying that the rice was made to help those suffering from a lack of Vitamin A. Near the beginning of the text, Harmon states that “lack of the vital nutrient causes blindness in a quarter-million to a half-million children each year. ” This statement causes the reader to have a feeling of sadness thinking about the children who had the light taken from their eyes too soon. Then the reader continues to read and realizes, as Harmon points out, that those children don’t have to suffer. If the rice was grown for ass production, then the children won’t have to go blind.

This was one example of pathos that she used. She then states, several times, that this rice can alleviate multiple health issues in the world. The last type of rhetorical appeal is logos, or the appeal to logic to persuade someone to do something. Without logos, any argument made would not be very effective. That is the reason Harmon made sure to use plenty of logos in her article. For example, back to example about genetically modified foods being developed to profit large businesses, she logically explains why that is not the case with Golden Rice.

She explains that it was developed by a nonprofit group, and it will not cost more than regular rice. Therefore, this rice was not made to profit large companies, it was developed to help those with Vitamin A deficiencies in areas of the world where rice is a staple part of their food source. Another example is where she refers to the concerns about the risk of the modified rice. She does not say exactly that there is no risk, however, she states that the scientific community say that genetically modified foods “are not intrinsically more risky than other crops and can be reliably ested. Therefore, she is implying that the slight risk is worth all the good it can do.

She also uses logic to refute several other arguments made against Golden Rice. Claim/Conclusion: “Golden Rice: Lifesaver? ” by Amy Harmon, is a well-constructed article. She used ethos, pathos, and logos in her article to support the rebuttal argument she was making. Ethos was dem trated by the genetic professionals she quoted. Pathos was apparent in the way she reminded her readers that the rice would help millions of people without access to a steady source f Vitamin A, therefore reducing their suffering.

Also, logos is evident throughout the article in the way she introduced the argument against Golden Rice, then explained how that argument was wrong, or unsupported. She used these three rhetorical appeals to persuade her readers that Golden Rice is not harmful to the public, in hopes that Golden Rice will continue to be produced. This will supply Vitamin A to people in areas of the world where rice is a staple in their diet. This would lead to a decrease in the rate of child-blindness, and mortality rates due to low Vitamin A.

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