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GMO discussion-continued!

Here are some links that might help people understand GMOS (didn't someone ask what is so bad about them?).

I try to avoid them, but I am sure they are in things I don't know about.  Another documentary to see on the topic is
The Future of Food. Its a pretty boring movie but very informative (and depressing).

I really worry about my son, growing up with GMOS from day one. How will it affect his health as an adult? For adults its only been around about 10 years. At least we had some years to develop and grow without them. What about all the kids who eat GMO food constantly because parents are ignorant?  I only learned about them 3 years ago, so my son was exposed for a good 2 years.  I really think we will see adverse health affects (even MORE) in the years to come.

http://www.safe-food.org/-issue/dangers.html

http://www.truefoodnow.org/shoppersguide/labeling.html
I love this one-has a shopping list of GMO products. Some that I used to use ALL the time but had to give up!

http://organicconsumers.org/

Hey Little2Ant,  I am SO with you on this one.  The truefoodnow.org shopper's guide is a great resource that I pass along to everyone.  Most of us here probably consume a lot less GMO's than the average bear, but it's really important to note that all Kellogg products should be avoided.  Despite being "reformulated" to remove the original GMO (which they had to remove because it was not FDA approved for human consumption) after that big 2001 scandal,  all products (including the fake meat products) made by Kellogg's or Kellogg's subsidiaries are still full of GM soy and corn (i.e. Morningstar Farms, Worthington, Loma Linda, Kellogg's).  I have been thinking about writing a letter to Trader Joe's about this issue, because they pretty much exclusively carry Morningstar Farms veggie products  :(  I have also read that a few Boca products may be made with GM soy, but I haven't seen as much info on this company...  I guess this is why we all try to avoid prepackaged, processed food as much as we can...

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I think BOCA has two lines. The better one is in the light brown package and is not GMO. The red packages may contain GMO. WHy not just make them ALL pure? I hate that! Now I just don't buy either.  Kelloggs now has organic Rice Krispies (my husband came home with them). Personally, I don't trust them to be non-gmo even if labeled organic. What do you think about all these Mainstream companies (ie; Smuckers, Kelloggs, Swansons, etc....) coming out with organic products?  Should we trust them?  I guess the smaller companies are mostly owned by the big congomerates now anyway (like Cascadian Farms), but I try to stick with the smaller companies when possible.

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The links you provided have no expert sources....just speculation from some random author....does anyone out there have SOLID PROOF of the "harmful-ness" of GMO?

As of now, I havent seen any proof of why eating genetically modified organisms is bad.  So they have different genes...who cares?  In a way nature creates her own GMOs (evolution, anyone?)  And what about plants and things that under go selective breeding? Why isnt that considered GMO?  A clementine, for instance, is a cross between who-knows how many plants.  Oh no, it's a mixture of genes!!  Wouldn't these beings be unfit for consumption to?

Sorry for having such a cynical tone, but I think a lot of people are being closed-minded about this.  I'm for sure willing to change my mind on the topic once I'm provided with some actual sources--some real evidence.  (I've read a lot on on the topic on my own....haven't discovered anything worthwile).

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Hey Little 2ant and ungreen...here's my post from earlier today:
http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=14552.msg91596#msg91596

I do think that GMO food is not tested as of yet. I do think that there are going to be problems that pop up in the future regarding GMO crops. Just like so many medications "forced through" the FDA because of pressure put upon them (lobby pressure), I myself would be very concerned if i had a child. I'm concerned for myself because from what I read...it's impossible to stop cross contamination of crops. Impossible! All it takes is a bee going from one crop to the next. A Bee does not care if it pollinates an organic flower, or a GMO flower. It can not tell the difference. 

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Ashley, for me, it's about
1) The lack of testing (I think they should have to prove that it's safe before trying to feed it to us, not the other way around!), and
2) The implications of patenting food to smaller, small, and especially subsistence farmers.  Watch "The Future of Food" to learn more about this, or look at John Robbins' short discussion of it in The Food Revolution.  The book Fatal Harvest also has a good discussion of this.  Read "Busting the Myths" and "Toxic Trail."  http://www.fatalharvest.org/toxic_trail.htm

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NO PROBLEM?

First off genetically modifying is vastly different than selective breeding. Let's look at it from a human standpoint. You take two Olympic athletes and they have a child. The child will probably be a good athlete. Now take another woman her egg is removed and the scientist take out the DNA move it around a bit and them add in some DNA from say a horse so the child can run faster. This is the difference between selective breeding and GMO.
Also these mutations have a larger chance at total crop destruction than non-GMO and therefor the chance for a starvation type situation. If every plant in the field has the same genetics than every plant is susceptible to a new threat that we haven't seen yet. If there is genetic diversity there is a better chance that some of the plants will survive.
Besides do you really want to eat fish or bird genes in your salad?

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I guess I don't need an "expert" to tell me that a seed that is bred to produce a plant that will be able to be exposed to millions of pounds of pesticides and still thrive (Monsanto) is bad to consume.  Don't quote me on this, but I think some of the crops actually have the pesticide IN the plant to keep bugs away.  Pesticide resistant foods.

What kind of source would you consider to be reliable? The point is, the science is so new, and no one knows what the effects will be until its too late. Its all about money and power, not health or the future of farming. Think DDT-it used to be added to cow's milk!  Other companies are taking genes from fish and adding them tomatoes. To me, there is nothing natural about this, unlike evolution.  

Hopefully, you are right, and there will be no impact on the human race from consuming GMO foods.  Personally, I don't want to be part of the science experiment, nor my son....let's have this conversation in 10 more years when more research is done. Until then, I will be choosing GMO-free foods!

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Little2ant:

Quote:
Don't quote me on this, but I think some of the crops actually have the pesticide IN the plant to keep bugs away.  Pesticide resistant foods.

I'll quote you...yes are are 100% right on this! :P :-[ :-X :-\

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Ashley,

I agree with you about health consequences--there really is no evidence one way or the other (but don't you think there should be?) You are right that humans (and indeed the organisms themselves) have been manipulating (or in the case of other organisms, mutating) genes for as long as the history of the earth--this is how evolution works, by gene mutation.  The problem I see with GMOs is the transfer of genes using new technology between species that would never cross in nature or by using traditional techniques (a fish and a tomato?).  Even if GMOs are safe for human health (which again, has not been shown one way or another), I worry about genes "escaping" from crops into wild ecosystems.  There is nothing keeping pollen from GM canola from travelling to wild plants or to the crops of those farmers who wish to keep GM genes out of their product (they should have the choice afterall--this has already happened, BTW).

Another problem that I see with GMOs is basically what The Future of Food that Little2Ant mentioned is about: the patenting of life.  GM genes are considered intellectual property: someone now owns those genes.  Farmers can no longer save their own seed and plant it year after year; they are indebted for life to whatever large corporation owns the patent, each year being forced to buy more seed.  The patent owners are now even putting "suicide genes" into plants so they cannot produce seed for more than one generation (imagine that gene getting out into the wild population and the devastation it could cause). This is especially harmful in the 3rd world where people need more local control over their food supply, not less. If a farmer is found with GM crops in their farm--even if it wasn't planted by the farmer (meaning it naturally migrated), that farmer can be in big trouble with the owner of the patent.

I am fairly open minded about GMOs and not convinced one way or the other about their harm to human health--more research should be done--I agree with ungreen, the proof should come before releasing GMOs en mass into the food supply.  I also think that there is some potential for good to come of GM technology (all technology is this way--it depends on who uses it for what). I think the biggest danger is in containing GMOs where we want them to be (in the crops of farmers who want it there--not in the wild or the crops of farmers who don't want it) and in the patenting of life--that started us down a dangerous and scary road.

Elizabeth

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Another problem that I see with GMOs is basically what The Future of Food that Little2Ant mentioned is about: the patenting of life.  GM genes are considered intellectual property: someone now owns those genes.  Farmers can no longer save their own seed and plant it year after year; they are indebted for life to whatever large corporation owns the patent, each year being forced to buy more seed.  The patent owners are now even putting "suicide genes" into plants so they cannot produce seed for more than one generation (imagine that gene getting out into the wild population and the devastation it could cause). This is especially harmful in the 3rd world where people need more local control over their food supply, not less. If a farmer is found with GM crops in their farm--even if it wasn't planted by the farmer (meaning it naturally migrated), that farmer can be in big trouble with the owner of the patent.

"Big trouble" as in jailed/sued for all they're worth.  Well put, hopfrog.  This is exactly what decides the issue for me.

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I read the link, and it's very informative.  Large bevy of sources, as well.  (Notice the author's last name is Mendelson....wasn't it a man by the name of Mendelson who first discovered inheritence and breeding?  Those infamous experiments involving the pea plant and cross pollenization? haha! How ironic)

I guess the environmental aspect of GM disturbs me the most.  Also, the nefarious activities of companies behind the crops also disturbs me....Leave it to industry to take something potentially beneficial and foul it all up!

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(Notice the author's last name is Mendelson....wasn't it a man by the name of Mendelson who first discovered inheritence and breeding?  Those infamous experiments involving the pea plant and cross pollenization? haha! How ironic)

That would be Gregor Mendel, who was the monk who documented selective breeding. Felix Mendelsson (Bartholdy) was a composer. I think he came up with "Here Comes the Bride" in its original form.
More brain lint from your resident yabbit... ::)

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