Monsanto’s GMO Sweet Corn May Soon Be On Your Plate

Raw Sweet corn

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GMO seed giant, Monsanto, will be introducing its version of genetically modified sweet corn this fall rather than 2012 as originally projected. The GMO sweet corn is genetically stacked with multiple genes that help resist pests above and below the ground. The GE sweet corn is also herbicide resistant to Monsanto’s very own herbicide, Roundup.

Wait, do you mean Monsanto is getting its cake and eating it too?

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Human-like GM Milk Headed For Your Table

Schwarzwaldkuh - genetic engineering and the c...

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Within a couple of years, you may be able to sit down to breakfast and wash it all down with a tall glass of genetically modified human-like milk!

Chinese based company, AgroBiotechnology, has taken a couple hundred head of cattle and genetically modified them with human genes in order to produce human-like milk. Similar research started a few years ago in Russia, when human-like milk began being produced from genetically modified goats.

Why would anyone want cows that produce human-like milk?

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Genetically Engineered Alfalfa Deregulated

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With around 23 million acres, alfalfa is the fourth largest field crop grown in the United States, and is the primary forage crop for dairy cattle. Well, earlier this week, the USDA decided to deregulate the once banned genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa without restriction.

GE alfalfa is approved for Spring planting, for the first time since GE alfalfa was banned in 2007 when the US District Court of Northern California ruled that the USDA needed to conduct an environmental impact statement (EIS) in order to analyze the impact that GE alfalfa creates for both organic farmers as well as conventional farmers.

What exactly is genetically engineered alfalfa?

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Wait, What’s Wrong With My Seeds?

My Trip to Comstock, Ferre & Co. + Free Seeds
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For those of you gardeners out there that prefer to grow your own fruits and vegetables, have you researched your seeds and do you know what you’re actually planting? Unfortunately not all seeds are the same and some seeds may be hybrid or genetically modified. If you care what you are eating then you have to be very careful about what you are planting.

What exactly are seed developers doing to seeds and why?

Large seed developers like Syngenta, Dupont and Bayer, and Monsanto, are genetically modifying and patenting their seed technologies with claims of increased food production for farmers. Monsanto specifically, is engineering a line of genetically modified seeds with Roundup Ready Technology that produces plants that inoculate against the popular herbicide Roundup, which also happens to be a product of Monsanto. Monsanto isn’t just limiting seed modification to it’s herbicide resistant Roundup Ready Technology, but they are also using a process called “trait stacking” which allows them to produce seeds that are not only resistant to Roundup, but also contain insect control for pests above the ground as well as below the ground. It’s these “advantages” that Monsanto claims will help farmers produce higher yielding crops.

What kind of health risk do genetically modified seeds pose?

In the United States, the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition only reviews summaries of food safety data provided by the developers of the engineered foods. The FDA does not require any specific tests in order to determine that genetically modified food is safe. After review of the food safety data, the FDA does not approve the safety of the genetically modified food but rather, acknowledges that the developer of the food has determined it is safe. Published reports state that no adverse health effects attributed to genetically modified food have been documented in the human population, but without epidemiological studies, it is highly unlikely that any harm that might occur will be detected and attributed to genetically modified food.

Traditionally, farmers saved thier seeds year after year, using them to replant thier crops. Now that seeds are genetically modified, seed developers have protected the seeds under patents. GMO seeds are now subject to licensing by their developers in written contracts that prevent farmers from practicing the tradition of saving seeds for replanting purposes.  Now, because farmers cannot save and replant seeds, they are forced to purchase new seeds for each crop and with seed prices rising at extortionate rates, farmers are beginning to find that the “benefits” are just not worth the extra cost.

Which seeds should I buy and how can I tell if they’ve been genetically modified?

Because the FDA does not require special labeling of genetically modified food unless there is a “material difference” in the final product, responsible product suppliers often identify themselves by adding their own “Non-GMO” label. When buying seeds, look for the “Non-GMO” label or purchase Heirloom seeds sometimes known as “heritage” seeds. Also, be sure to stay away from hybrid seeds, and if you don’t see a “Non-GMO” label, then make sure that they are labeled as certified organic or 100% organic.

What kind of seeds do you use in your garden?

Super-sized Salmon Gets Delayed

Filet of an Atlantic Salmon
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A highly controversial project, headed up by the biotechnology company AquaBounty Technologies Inc., recently faced an FDA panel for review as to whether AquaBounty’s genetically modified (GM) fish could be sold for human consumption. The FDA panel sided with consumer advocates and ruled that the data provided by AquaBounty Technologies contained insufficient evidence as to whether or not the super-sized salmon harbors the potential for harm.

AquAdvantage Salmon, the ‘Frankenfish’ developed by AquaBounty Technologies, is an advanced-hybrid fish genetically modified to reduce the growing cycle. Growth-hormone genes from king (Chinook) salmon are inserted into the fertilized eggs of Atlantic Salmon, along with AFP genes from the eel-like Ocean Pout, that allows for the growth hormone to remain active during the summer and the winter. The combination of these genes allow the GM fish to reach maturity twice as fast as natural Atlantic Salmon. (18 months versus three years)

AquaBounty claims that their fish is reproductively sterile due to another genetic alteration (triploidy), and plans to raise the fish within contained farms to avoid any possibility of interbreeding with native species.

If the sound of eating GM salmon isn’t enough, what would you say if you didn’t know you were eating it? AquaBounty claims that AquaAdvantage Salmon is completely like natural Atlantic salmon in every natural way, plus current FDA rules only call for special labels for altered food when there is a “material difference” in the final product. Frightening, absolutely frightening.

Advocates of the genetically modified salmon say it’s just a matter of time before GM fish become an accepted part of the US diet, but opponents say it could never happen. Since many major salmon farms have rejected the idea of raising these GM fish, I’m for one hoping that the critics are right on this one.

If or when the FDA approves this salmon, some say genetically modified trout and tilapia could be next, and you guessed it, AquaBounty is already working on it.

How do you feel about genetically modified food landing on your plate?