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Blind GMO Advocates

Claude Morton
Column Editor

An uproar has been caused among the advocates of the technology...



Could be hurting the technology

Genetically modified foods

Genetically modified foods (or GM foods) are foods produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering. These techniques have allowed for the introduction of new crop traits as well as a far greater control over a food's genetic structure than previously afforded. | Photo: The Labratory | Link | Genetically Modified Foods, Gmo, Food, Dna, Nutrition, Controversy,

Could be hurting the technology

Claude Morton
Column Editor

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[Comments] With the recent law passed in Vermont to label foods that have been genetically modified (GM), an uproar has been caused among the advocates of the technology, who are up in arms over the absurdity of consumers wanting to know what they're actually consuming.

One could successfully argue in favor of the relative safety of GMOs, I am of the current belief that they are not necessarily dangerous to human health, but I do not know for certain.

Seralini's work cannot be completely voided until attempts have been made to repeat the study, to see if indeed he was engaging in non-sound science, which his sensational results would imply; but what of the concerns of scientists from other nations, including Australia, Russia, and Italy, who are finding conflicting data that GM food consumption may lead to adverse health effects?

We also have a regulatory system in place that isn't conducive to allowing mass long-term studies of the technology, mostly due to financing issues; along with push-back from GM manufacturers, who have to provide the seeds and license to even conduct the science in the first place, and that agreement to allow the studies, will often come with stipulations that inhibit the science and reduce transparency.

While I appreciate the potential of GM crops (especially for vegans like myself / and in dire environmental conditions), I am firmly convinced the technology is not ready for public consumption as of yet. I also do not find there is any need for GM crops here in America, nor should it be the preferred agricultural solution when other longer-established, and completely natural alternatives exist to feed our nation with. Alternatives that do no possess the same unintended consequences GM crops are unleashing upon the ecosystem.

It is also troubling that these GM biotech manufacturers are creating proprietary license agreements, and patents over 'their' seeds, seeds in which the majority of their content is from nature, not something that should ever be allowed to be patented ' especially if the patent holder isn't nature itself.

Below are 10 facts about GMOs that I have received the most push-back on by the often times, blind advocates, of the technology. If anyone can present valid sources to counter the validity of the below facts, please post them in the comment section.

  1. GMOs are not a vegan food source because they are voluntarily tested upon animals, and GMOs may contain coerced animal material within their creation.
  2. GM crops cross-contaminate other organic and conventional crops, rendering them useless for their intended markets, and also contaminates the natural food source, creating unintended consequences.
  3. Once contaminated, those seeds could be deemed the property of GMO manufacturers, who could potentially monopolize the natural food source.
  4. GMOs are not products created through natural hybridization, which has been occurring for 1000s of years. Genetic modification and transgenic hybrids are created through a chemical procedure, farmers, especially 1000s of years ago, were not engaged in, nor are they engaged in transgenically modifying their crops today, that is the realm of chemists in a lab. Nor could you hybridize species from different kingdoms as done in genetic modification with basic natural hybridization methods (e.g. combining DNA from the bacteria and plant kingdoms, or from the animal and plant kingdoms).
  5. GMOs are not an organic food source.
  6. GM crops represent roughly 170 million acres of all crops grown within the U.S., which represents the majority of crops grown in the United States.
  7. Numerous unlabeled GM crops are currently available on the market, including: corn, soybeans, cotton, potatoes, wheat, barley, canola, peanuts, tobacco, rice, alfalfa, tomato, squash, melon, sweet corn, papaya, fruit trees, flowers, other trees, and other vegetables and herbs according to the USDA. There are also numerous other GM crops that have been deregulated, or are in the process of deregulation, which would allow them to be sold on the market, unlabeled.
  8. There is no conclusive evidence to support the notion that labeling will result in higher prices of GMO foods. 'Reliable public and private cost estimates for mandatory GE labeling are not currently available'.
  9. GM crops and their accompany farming practices are not better for the environment or local biodiversity than organically or veganically grown foods.
  10. GM crops do not result in higher yields.


Sources:
1. Vegansociety.com 2. Geneticliteracyproject.org Bloomberg.com Uscourts.gov 3. Iastate.edu Books.google.com 4. Motherearthnews.com Ucsusa.org 5. Blogs.usda.gov 6. Ers.usda.gov 7. Ers.usda.gov/publications 8. Washacad.org/initiatives Anh-usa.org 9. Csrees.usda.gov Onlinelibrary.wiley.com Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov Organiccentrewales.eu/uploads 10. Ers.usda.gov/publications Ucsusa.org


Claude Morton

Claude Morton, Column Editor: Claude Morton is an independent contributor, who mostly writes articles on politics, Veganism, philosophy, or local events. Claude has contributed to a variety of print and online outlets including Yahoo!, MovieMaker Magazine, and the Ann Arbor News. From Claude; I’m in the 1%, no, not that 1%. I’m a vegan, indie filmmaker, libertarian socialist, and a pacifist. I champion freedom as much as equality, and love discussing solutions about our country’s biggest dilemmas. ... (more...)