Diving In

September 6, 2007

Lab TestingAfter reading Michael Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma and renting The Future of Food from Netflix, i’ve decided to do some research of my own on genetically modified organisms.

Modifying the genetic structure of an organism essentially means moving the DNA from one structure to another. It’s not black and white, there is alot of randomness in the process (think mutation) and many unknowns. Mostly, what the long term effects will be for human consumption and for eliminating species diversity. I’ve read that genetic modification is like doing heart surgery with a shovel.

While all the research is still being done (or being buried), biotech companies have planted millions of acres of genetically modified crops which could be wiped out by a single fungus, or be found to cause deadly allergic reactions in humans. These seeds cannot be recalled like a cheap toy made in china once the seeds have been blown to neighboring fields or consumed by birds.

Our government is so intertwined with the companies doing the research, patenting the seeds (that’s a whole other issue), and sueing the pants off the small farmer, that we cannot rely on them to protect us. Read the labels of what you are purchasing. GMO’s do NOT have to be labeled in the US so if the ingredient list says ‘corn syrup’ there is a huge chance that the corn used was genetically modified. The only way to protect my family is to stop buying products that don’t specifically say ‘GMO Free’. It’s worth the extra effort to keep E. Coli out of our food. Believe it or not, E. Coli is often used to make many copies of a gene that will eventually be transferred into a plant. Open wide!


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