Would You Eat Genetically Modified Food?

June 1, 2008 at 1:50 pm 1 comment

It’s most likely you do already, every day. Did you know when genetically engineering a food, scientists inject a bacteria to get the new gene into the food cells? Andrew Kimbrell, author of Your Right to Know and Director of The Center for Food Safety breaks it down:

The good news is that whole foods are still non-gmo (genetically modified organisms), that means your fruits and veggies, so eat more of them! The bad news is that four major crops, corn, soy, cotton and canola are mostly genetically engineered. This means most processed food since most processed food contains oils and (corn) syrup from these major crops. A recent study conducted by CBS and the New York Times found that :

Experts say that means if it comes in a can or a box and the label lists soybean oil or corn syrup as ingredients, odds are that it contains GMOs. Overall, 65 percent of all products in your local grocery store have DNA-altered ingredients…not that you’d know it by looking.

“The industry that makes genetically modified foods fought so hard to make sure that it wasn’t labeled,” nutritionist Marion Nestle tells Keteyian.

Nestle, a former FDA advisor, says this was a fight that boiled down to one basic fear.

They didn’t want it labeled because they were terrified that if it were labeled, nobody would buy it.

87% of consumers would like GMO ingredients to be labeled, just as they are in Europe, Japan and Australia. Yet the U.S. Congress has never even held a vote on the issue, to give shoppers the opportunity to exercise their most basic right – to make a choice.

Americans Won\'t Buy GMOs AP ArticleWhen I was first alerted to this study it was by an email forwarded to me from a colleague (click on the thumbnail to the left). The headline read, “More than half of Americans won’t buy GM foods.” When I found a copy of the article online the headline read, “Many Won’t Buy Genetically Modified Food.” Though article headlines are often changed by distributors, I’m curious which was the original title. To me, the emailed headline says much more and I see it as a disservice to the public that this wasn’t the massively distributed title. More than half of Americans?!? That’s a lot of us! That means we should, in theory, be able to get labeling legislation passed, no problem; but perhaps someone out there doesn’t want us to realize that. Maybe with more studies like this one, we will see more movement on the labeling front in the future.

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Entry filed under: Food Politics. Tags: , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Deadnotsleeping  |  December 5, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    While the actual gene alteration is done with a virus(NOT a bacterium, bacteria cannot do the essential dna script changing which makes it GM.); the food is no different other than microbially. The most common genetic modification is Glysophate(brand name roundup) herbicide resistance. Because for corn and soybeans (and to a lesser degree rapeseed oil; from which “canola” is derived) are now farmed in a no-till system to save irrigation water and provide groundcover, which has the downside of greater weed competition because of the lack of plowing. This weed competition is suppressed by the herbicide, to which the GMO plants are resistant. However, Glysophate resistance is not a manmade-only trait, amaranth(as an agricultural weed) has developed resistance to the herbicide naturally via selective pressures (survival of the fittest, plants which can thrive despite herbicides get to breed). GMO foods are safe and as natural as traditional varieties(10,000 years of selective breeding versus single transgenic trait alterations), but consumers are ill informed. Western australia’s salinity crisis could be solved simply by the use of salt-tolerant GMO crops, however the actions of ill informed consumers instead supports the continued use of the land as cattle fodder, which is ecologically a comparative nightmare. While we should be informed about what is in our food, putting the GM status on foods which state neither the year of harvest, location of production, variety produced, or whether it was vertically produced or purchased at market, is putting the carriage before the horse as far as socioecological consequence.

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