Thursday, July 5, 2012

Smitten By Ideas: Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)

I have recently dwelled a little deeper into genetically modified organism (GMO) after watching The World According to Monsanto and Seeds of Freedom. The recent GMO Myths and Truth report, published by two genetic engineers painted a even bleaker picture on GM foods and crops. Perhaps it's time that we pay a little more attention to genetically engineered food, as it may do more harm than good to the environment and our health. 

Another great visual presentation from Column Five for Ecomo

A summary of the report done by Ariel Schwartz, Senior Editor of Co.Exist
  • Genetic engineering is not, as proponents claim, an extension of natural plant breeding. While natural breeding takes place only between related kinds of life, genetic engineering happens in a lab, where tissue cultured plant cells undergo a GM gene insertion process that couldn’t happen in nature. This is not in and of itself a bad thing. 
  • One of the problems, say the researchers, is that genetic engineering is imprecise and the results are unpredictable, with mutations changing the nutritional content of food, crop performance, and toxic effects, among other things. Every generation of GMO crops interacts with more organisms, creating more opportunities for unwanted side effects. 
  • GMO technology is becoming more precise, but the authors contend that accidents will always happen and, in any case, plant biotechnologists don’t really know much at all about crop genomes--so inserting genes at a supposedly safe area could still lead to all sorts of side effects. 
  • GMO crops can be toxic in three ways: The genetically modified gene itself (i.e. Bt toxin in insecticidal crops); mutagenic or gene regulatory effects created by the GMO transformation process; and toxic residues created by farming practices (i.e. from the Roundup herbicide used on GMO Roundup Ready crops). 
  • GMO food regulation varies widely by country. In the U.S., the FDA doesn’t have a required GMO food safety assessment process--just a voluntary program for review of GMO foods before they go on the market (not all commercialized GMO food crops have done this). 
  •  Independent GMO crop risk research is hard to come by because, as the report explains, "independent research on GM crop risks is not supported financially--and because industry uses its patent-based control of GM crops to restrict independent research. Research that has been suppressed includes assessments of health and environmental safety and agronomic performance of GM crops." A 2010 licensing agreement between Monsanto and USDA scientists should make it easier to conduct research--but the report explains that it’s still restrictive


What's your stand on GMO?

19 comments:

  1. Thanks for great information...
    It really open my eyes...
    I want to be a vegetarian now .. lol

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    1. Now you can think of a variation of vegetarian CCF. hehehheeh =)

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  2. THANK YOU for sharing this...this is something I wish more people were keen to.

    I hope you had a fabulous 4th!
    XOXO
    http://TheSquishyMonster.com
    Twitter @aSquishyMonster

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    1. Thank you for dropping by my blog! Happy 4th to you too! =)

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  3. It's truly frightening that humans still believe, after so many years of failure, that they can outsmart nature. With information readily at our finger tips these days though perhaps we have a chance of spreading the knowledge and hopefully consumers will begin to use their buying power to demand 'real food'.

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    1. Hopefully this post will help to spread the words by a tiny bit =)

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  4. I'd prefer my food to be all natural! Organic is an option but better to get that if can afford la :D

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    1. maybe can start thinking about planting food in your house? =D

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  5. scary to read. i know i take a lot of my food for granted, and sometimes it feels like i should try to be less ignorant about what i'm consuming...

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    1. I think we tend to be ignorant when I dine out. We should really try to be a better dinner =)

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  6. scary to read. i know i usually take my food for granted, but i guess i should try to be less ignorant about what i'm consuming...

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  7. So much of truth in what you have shared and given a choice, I prefer to grow my own veges and fruits. Sad to say, not enough of land but I am trying to in whichever way I can.

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    1. Good to hear that. My parents are planting food at home too. It's not a lot but is a good way to start.

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  8. ermm i think i still prefer originality in food :)

    Latest: GIVEAWAY: The Thai Specialist

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  9. i love this post! It's so informative...I need it as a part of my research! hehehe!^^

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  10. I wanna be ignorant...but I can't. I supposed one just have to live a balanced life. No extremities lor.

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