Monday, June 30, 2014

Let's Talk {Briefly} About #GMO

First let’s talk Genetically modified food ~ From Wikipedia -
Genetically modified foods (or GM foods) are foods produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering. These techniques have allowed for the introduction of new traits as well as a far greater control over a food's genetic structure than previously afforded by methods such as selective breeding and mutation breeding.

Commercial sale of genetically modified crops began in 1994, when Calgene first marketed its Flavr Savr delayed ripening tomato. To date, most genetic modification of foods have primarily focused on cash crops in high demand by farmers such as soybean, corn, canola, and cotton seed oil. These have been engineered for resistance to pathogens and herbicides and better nutrient profiles. GM livestock have also been experimentally developed, although as of November 2013 none are currently on the market.


There is broad scientific consensus that food on the market derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food. However, opponents have objected to GM foods on several grounds, including safety issues, environmental concerns, and economic concerns raised by the fact that GM seeds (and potentially animals) that are food sources are subject to intellectual property rights owned by multinational corporations.

Now a bit about Genetically modified organism ~ From Wikipedia
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish, and mammals. GMOs are the source of genetically modified foods and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than food. The term GMO is very close to the technical legal term, 'living modified organism' defined in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which regulates international trade in living GMOs (specifically, "any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology").

This article focuses on what organisms have been genetically engineered, and for what purposes. The article on genetic engineering focuses on the history and methods of genetic engineering, and on applications of genetic engineering and of GMOs. Both articles cover much of the same ground but with different organizations (sorted by organism in this article; sorted by application in the other). There are separate articles on genetically modified crops, genetically modified food, regulation of the release of genetic modified organisms, and controversies.

Why are GMOs bad (if the above didn't give you enough reason to simply try to say no to them)?
Quite simply, they're unhealthy and leave a "forever contamination" (as I like to call it). Say your cow has come in contact with GMO, this cow has a baby....after the baby you continue to use for milk. The milk is contaminated, the baby is contaminated....the babies the baby will have will be contaminated as will their milk and so on. There are always side effects (although it is clear these affect different people in different ways...is it a risk we should be taking? They also increase the use of pesticides as they're better able to tolerate them. Not good.

GMOs harm the environment and they seem to be something that people want to keep under wrap. Why not label everywhere for GMO use? Shouldn't it be our choice? Also, GMOs are not proven to actually increase yield. So, really, where's the point in this?

For the record, I'd much rather produce less and know I wasn't feeding my children products that will harm them. Yes. I said WILL. I don't believe it's a matter of IF. I feel it's a WILL. The only thing we don't know is exactly how long it will take to affect each child.


The only real way to avoid GMOs in your store bought products is to find out who uses them and ban buying their products. It forces them into a corner....they won't make money and they'll have to give in.

In addition, (and I'll hit more on this in the coming weeks)....grow your own. You know exactly what you're getting then.

Please join me for July to get back to the basics of what this blog was all about. Get some fencing and livestock updates as well as plans for winter and spring...topics of concern, how to start your own homestead, recipes and so much more. Have a topic you'd like to see discussed here? Please let me know.




1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post. It's interesting that even though the "general consensus" is that GMO is safe ... the "powers that be" still resist telling us that it's in our food. I keep asking ... if it's so safe, then what's the problem. The problem, in reality, is exactly as you put it ... it WILL harm us. On a side note, I recently spoke to a horticulturist who told me that it is virtually impossible for home gardeners to get a hold of GMO seeds. They are very closely guarded (so that the big guys can charge big bucks for them). So growing our own produce is really the best way to avoid GMOs.

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