Soon you will see the words “partially produced with genetic engineering” in the fine print on many food packages. Activist groups have spent millions of dollars fighting for that tiny text, and food companies have spent millions fighting back. And none of that effort had anything to do with your health.
There are things to be concerned about with GMOs, but those things have to do with business practices, not the inherent danger of the products. Labels aren’t so much a red herring as a red elephant (bigger, noisier, and much less relevant to the real issues).
When Vermont became the first state in the country to mandate the labeling for the use of Genetically Modified Organisms in food products in 2014, numerous companies vowed to sue to block the law. Now, many are beginning to label their products accordingly to comply with the law, which goes into effect July 1st.
Sincerely, I don’t see the problem with this, and please, don’t bring up the slippery slope argument. To the manufacturers, a couple of words on the package will not change the cost in any significant way (and they can even now market it as “better food” for anti-GMO advocates, as wrong as they may be). To informed people, is absolutely indifferent. To people that care about this, well, since it won’t cause any significant strain to the rest of society, good for them! How is this any different of labeling food as kosher or halal? All are labeling food based on personal beliefs lacking any scientific ground.
Scientists at North Carolina State University are bringing an 18th century wound treatment into the 21st century. They’ve genetically modified maggots to secrete a human growth factor to promote healing while they clean people’s wounds.
The news about benefit for leg and feet ulcers is something those of us with blood clotting issues experience too. It’s gross, I don’t recommend searching for images of it. But those pictures led me to wear compression socks. Not medical grade currently – commercial grade socks can be difficult on their own.
Unlike humans, plants only react to infections when they sustain specific kinds of damage. Now we know that the solution is to get them to produce special “decoy” proteins that can be damaged, in order to get the plant to spring into action.
An ongoing investigation at the University of Naples in Italy is looking into allegations that some studies of genetically modified crops included data that was manipulated to make it appear that the consumption of GMOs is harmful to mammals. Frederico Infascelli, the researcher who led these studies, claims that the allegations are false, but evidence has surfaced of widespread image manipulation in his work.
I have no problem with GMO crops… they’re probably necessary if we want to keep food prices reasonable in the face of global population growth. We can increase the number of non-GMO farms, but we’d likely be doing so at the cost of the environment. Sure, we need to be careful about what we feed people, but the amount of attention paid to GMOs needs to be reasonable and proportional to that paid to new pesticides, fertilizers and other potentially toxic farming tools. Turning an issue of food and agriculture into a political debate that brings in the public is recipe for waste and nonsense.
Everyone from Chipotle to the Food Babe rails against genetically modified ingredients, and laws to label GMO foods are making progress in some states. But the laser focus on GMOs is misguided, because most of the concerns people raise about them aren’t really about GMOs.
Some people are using the term “GMO” as a proxy for a bunch of (sometimes) correlated agriculture practices that had nothing to do with whether the seeds were genetically modified with the modern methods or with older methods.
In a recent New York Times column, Mark Bittman compared consumers to lab animals subjected to an experiment. “Stop Making Us Guinea Pigs,” the headline of his piece lamented. The experiment? Genetically modified organisms lurking in the nation’s food, filling our families’ bellies, and maybe doing something to us, or maybe not. Bittman’s solution? Labeling all foods containing GMOs, presumably so consumers can avoid them.
The term “GMO” refers to how a food ingredient was bred, not its content.
I agree with the idea that content is the most prominent issue on the table. After all, this blog/website/etc focuses on the amount of a particular vitamin to aid people like myself for minimizing medication impact/counteraction. Where something comes from is still important – this helps us with pesticide/chemical exposure, as there are people with sensitivities to full blown allergy.
Genetically engineered bacteria can prevent mice offered a high-fat diet from overeating. The beneficial effects of the bacteria last for about four to six weeks, suggesting that they temporarily take up residence in the gut.
Researchers developed the anti-obesity therapy to test a new way of treating chronic diseases. Sean Davies, a pharmacologist at Vanderbilt University, is modifying bacteria that live in and on the body—known collectively as a person’s microbiome. The hope is that engineered microbes could secrete drugs to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, or other conditions over the long term, eliminating the need to remember to take a pill. Another benefit is that many drugs—including the one tested by the Vanderbilt group—cannot be administered orally because they wouldn’t survive digestion. Bacteria could make it easier to administer such drugs.
Many people have strong opinions about genetically modified plants, also known as genetically modified organisms or GMOs. But sometimes there’s confusion around what it means to be a GMO. It also may be much more sensible to judge a plant by its specific traits rather than the way it was produced – GMO or not.