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Saturday, March 22, 2014

GMO FOODS

GMO FOODS
 
A cranky opinion for

CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY


This Saturday’s cranky opinion differs from most in that I not only have very little knowledge on the subject (nothing different there) but my opinion is also subject to change.  This week, opposing opinions are not only welcome, but might even change my thinking.  As always, in all comments, no name calling please, and that means you, you big stupid head.

The FDA is about to allow production of GMO salmon (genetically modified organism.)   This would be the first non-plant GMO food allowed for general consumption.  Environmentalists are steadfast against GMO salmon.  The new salmon is modified to grow quickly in fish farms.

I have read several complaints against this so-called Frankenfish.  One is that it could be released into the wild and decimate the wild salmon population by being more competitive for natural resources.   The second complaint is a legal issue.  Would corporations hold the patent to these fish?  The third is how do we know these fish are truly safe for consumption?

The developers claim that since these fish are all maintained inland there is no chance of them disturbing the wild population.  I would think that there is very little chance, but certainly not “no chance,” but I am not sure how they could decimate the wild salmon anyway.

The legal issue doesn't really bother me.  Let the developers patent their fish.  I’m not sure why that is a problem.  They spend the money to create a superior food, they should profit from it just as the developers of a better mouse trap would profit from their invention.

I would hope the FDA would test these fish to determine if they are safe for consumption.  It is not as if they are radioactive or fed chemicals.  It seems to me that all organisms via evolution are products of very slow genetic modification.  I understand that 90% of corn and soy beans are genetically modified to resist disease and grow faster.  If corn is corn and soy is soy, then salmon would be salmon.

I don’t understand the big worry about GMO food.   Is it hysteria over anything not “natural?”  I understand people wanting to eat organic food.  I understand the concern about food treated with chemicals and pesticides.  I am not sure what those concerns have to do with genetic modification.

Luther Burbank was a genius who gave us hundreds of different varieties of potatoes and other fruits and vegetables.  He did this through cross breeding, grafting, and hybridization.  I’m not sure what all those processes are about, but they sound a bit scary, and they don’t sound natural, but we have been eating his varieties and thousands of other varieties of foods produced with these processes for over one hundred years.

Genetically modifying organisms just sounds to me like altering organisms with the ability to use more beneficial characteristics then are currently available through traditional crossbreeding.

What is the danger of GMO food?  Why the hysteria in some circles?  Is it political?  Is it economic?  Is it scientific?

Is corn just corn?  Is salmon just salmon?  How difficult is it to test for differences which could be dangerous?  What is the problem?

I believe these GMO foods are and will be safe.  They are easier to produce and will have beneficial characteristics.   They will grow faster and require less fertilizer.  They will be disease resistant and require fewer pesticides.  They will grow faster and have a smaller carbon footprint.

It seems to me that GMO foods are full of pluses with no drawbacks.  That is my opinion.  It is subject to change.  Go ahead, enlighten me.

The preceding wishy-washy opinion is that of a cranky old man, and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.

16 comments:

  1. I know nothing about GMO's either, so I can add nothing. Is this like breeding all the big ones to make baby future-bigger-ones? No harm in that. As long as they aren't shooting them full of steroids or something I guess I'm good with it.

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  2. I'm with you on this. As you say, we have been genetically modifying foods for centuries just by cross-fertilizing.

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  3. i'm not up on gmo foods, although i've seen others post about the dangers of it. i can't offer any enlightenment.

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  4. “There is a principle which is a bar against any evidence, and which is proof against any argument – that principle is contempt prior to examination.”.
    This quote seems to sum up most of the arguments against GMOs. Then there is the "Last night I was talking to God and he told me...."

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  5. I've not a clue, but I'm guessing there is far more stuff we are eating that we would rather now know about. I'm just going to eat what I want. If it kills me? Well that's another issue.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  6. Like you, I don't have a problem so long as these foods are safe to eat. But I don't know who I'd trust about this because the FDA is bought and sold by vested interests.

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  7. I'm waiting for more info. Still trying to get over the over load of hormones and antibiotics from my chicken.

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  8. First I've heard the term GMO, but I'm familiar with the concept. Is "anything" natural anymore? Are the cucumbers grown in your backyard contaminated with something unnatural in the soil?

    I tend to let the experts argue it out, respond somewhat, but not with paranoia. I subscribe to the "everything in moderation" theory. I also believe the human body was created to withstand myriad abuse and is steadily evolving.

    I nominate you to keep up with it and to keep us informed.

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  9. This site may be informative: http://grist.org/food/20-gmo-questions-animal-vegetable-controversy/

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    1. Thanks Craig. Very informative. From what I understood it seems GMO is reasonably safe and productive, but we do need to be careful as with any new technology. This seems to mostly speak of GMO seeds, GMO animals may be more scary. Of all these foods, I believe none is more dangerous than SODA!

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  10. Yeah, really the basis for the fear seems to be the lack of understanding of what GMO really means. Now the ramifications of what may be possible in the future, that's worth being scared about but the current state of the art lacks the ability to make true franken-organisms.

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  11. GMO foods can contaminate organic foods by pollens blown on the wind or carried by birds and bees etc. Because of wind and birds etc it is very very hard to protect organic farming methods and also those producing the ancient heritage varieties of fruits and vegetables which must remain pure to protect the heritage. Same with salmon and other fish too, if GMO salmon is somehow released into the wild, these fish will mate with pure salmon and all offspring from that will carry the GMO gene, thus eventually decimating the wild salmon populations. In centuries to come, maybe not so far away, there will be no such thing as pure food, no organics. Everyone will be eating genetically modified everything. And how do we know what long term effects that will have on our own human DNA?
    Look around and see just how many more cases of allergies and autism and other problems that are now appearing (obesity) in a world that was once reliant on what each person could grow or catch for themselves, instead of relying on "something in a can" and who knows how it was grown or processed?

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    1. The pollination issue is legitimate, but the info that Craig referenced makes me think it is way overblown. The increased autism, allergies and obesity issue is also worrisome. This http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceFyF9px20Y#aid=P8DZfZs4PUg is a rather long lecture on the subject...in short it explains how sugar addiction is responsible for these problems and is our next pandemic. The biggest health problem in the world today...SODA!!

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  12. Interesting topic. I agree with you Joe, GMO stuff should be safe because regardless of whether genetically modified by scientists or by nature, soy is soy and salmon is salmon.
    I would think the main issue here would be the possible environmental impacts.
    But we need GM food. We can't feed 7 billion people on market gardens.

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  13. If I get GMO products in my food some how, I am not going to go and throw up, but if I were to go and buy produce, I rather stick to my local farm.
    On the other hand I would not waste money on Organic food, if I know that I would be washing and or cooking the food before serving.

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    Replies
    1. Just as Organic foods are labeled as such, it is reasonable to have many if not all GMO foods also labeled.

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