The Real Reason People Are Still So Confused About Genetically Modified Crops

Amidst the clamor over genetically modified crops, there’s an underlying point that’s still being missed: Nobody really knows what constitutes a genetically modified crop.

Source: The Real Reason People Are Still So Confused About Genetically Modified Crops

Some think the difference between genetically modifying something by cross-pollinization in a greenhouse, or modifying via gene splicing in a lab, is that the former is fairly natural while the latter is not.

No, one is just more sophisticated than another. By picking and choosing and having humans decide which crops get planted and which don’t you’ve already tossed “natural” out the door.  You know what else is natural? Cancer

The Number of GMOs Worldwide Just Dropped For the First Time in Two Decades

For the past two decades, the number of genetically-modified crops has been steadily skyrocketing around the globe. Until 2015, when the number saw its first recorded drop. What’s going on?

Source: The Number of GMOs Worldwide Just Dropped For the First Time in Two Decades

Why I hate GMO labeling?  Because it tells the consumer absolutely nothing. If a tomato is labeled “GMO”, it might mean “modified to resist pesticides”, in which case I would probably avoid it, or it might mean “modified to stay resist freezing”, in which case I would be willing to pay extra for it.

I oppose GMO labeling because to people who actually understand what GMO is (or can be), they provide no useful information, whereas scaring away people who do not understand it. It is a lose-lose.

GMO Labels Won’t Make Your Food Safer

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.

Source: GMO Labels Won’t Make Your Food Safer

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).

After Vermont Mandated GMO Labeling, Companies Are Starting to Comply Nationwide

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.

Source: After Vermont Mandated GMO Labeling, Companies Are Starting to Comply Nationwide

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.

This Genetic Alteration Could Prevent the Next Potato Famine

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.

Source: This Genetic Alteration Could Prevent the Next Potato Famine

But could anything grown with this in the genome be sold in the EU?

This is a GMO. Kudos to the folks who came up with and implemented this idea.

Anti-GMO Research May Be Based on Manipulated Data

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.

Source: Anti-GMO research may be based on manipulated data

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.

GMO Rice Makes More Food, Less Greenhouse Gas

No word on how the rice tastes 😉

When it comes to major anthropogenic sources of methane (an important greenhouse gas), livestock and leaky natural gas wells and pipelines might come to mind. However, rice cultivation is also among the largest sources. Microbes in wetlands, where water saturation leads to low-oxygen conditions, produce most of the world’s methane, and rice paddies are essentially human-controlled wetlands.

Source: Genetically modified rice makes more food, less greenhouse gas

For the more biologically minded, you may want to go read the paper because it isn’t clear from the article that the “barley gene” is actually a transcription factor. Which is way cool because of all the genes I would expect to fail when moved from one species to another, transcription factors are pretty high on the list.

For the non-biologists in the room, transcription factors are the “volume knobs” of the gene world and it looks like these folks added a new one that goes to 11.

Be aware that arsenic has been found in rice.  But you can do stuff with burnt rice

It Turns Out That GMO Warning Labels Didn’t Work

A new study released just days after the U.S. House passed a bill that would prevent states from requiring labels on genetically modified foods reveals that GMO labeling would not act as warning labels and scare consumers away from buying products with GMO ingredients.

Source: New Study: Consumers Don’t View GMO Labels as Negative ‘Warnings’

Can’t say I’m surprised.  Most don’t know or care about additives

I don’t mind eating genetically modified foods but I was for the GMO labels because I think we have a right to know what our food is. Eat GMO foods if you want. But you should always know what your eating and whats in it. That goes for all food GMO or not.

The Biggest Concerns About GMO Food Aren’t Really About GMOs

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.

Source: The Biggest Concerns About GMO Food 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.

Is the GMO Labeling Movement Just a Long Con to Get You to Buy Organic?

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.

Source: Is the GMO Labeling Movement Just a Long Con to Get You to Buy Organic?

The irony of the concern over GMO in foods, yet packaged food in general is far more scary.  Consider the additives used

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.