Much of the food we have today has been genetically modified and some say labeling it as such would cause unnecessary panic, while others say GMO's are to blame for much of the health problems we have today.
If foods that were genetically modified had to be labeled, would you buy them?
A good question- not too many years ago nearly everyone would have been standing outside their local supermarket with a placard saying "Stop Frankenstein Food" being sold here. Nowadays with a lot of the misinformation being sidelined we have out of season fruit and vegetables at all times of the year. In a way I suppose you have to take a stand, some people only like winter vegetables in winter and I can understand this. But it is nice to have the choice and I suppose that is what we have been given.
People have been genetically modifying food one way or anther since the advent of agriculture. It's not whether it's been modified, but how.
A tomato that's designed to have a thicker skin is different than modified corn processed into syrup.
It's gotten much crazier with animals. Turkeys are artificially inseminated now because they're bred to be so overweight with breast meat that they are physically incapable of mating.
It honestly depends on what we are talking about. Genetically modified plants don't bother me. Animals do. Not sure why. But when I read that the FDA wasn't going to require labeling of genetically modified salmon, I got upset. I think I have a right to know what I'm purchasing.
fit2day, we eat a lot of natural genetically modified food already. Just about most fruits and vegetables are genetically modified by nature. They come in many variations. For example, there are many variety of apples, oranges, and bananas. Grapefruits come red or white and there is even a white watermelon. Most of us are familiar with the red variety. I do not see any reason why someone need to worry about eating genetically modified food. We eat it all the time.
People have been modifying both plants and animals for a long, long time. I understand bananas are so heavily modified that they can't survive and would become extinct without human intervention.
Animals as well have all been through breeding programs to pick and choose which (naturally occurring) mutations are desirable for the breeder.
The only real difference is that we are learning to induce genetic "mutations" at will instead of waiting for nature to do it and then breeding that mutation to the forefront. Is there a real difference?
fit2day: Great question!! I'd like to say no because I understand the damage caused by GMO food. I'd like to say that I'd rather eat the dandelions in my yard than eat grocery store produce. I suppose if I gardened I wouldn't even have to worry about answering a conscience-pricking question like that. You've got me thinking...I suppose the answer would be no, and my panic or concern would drive me to organic gardening in my backyard. Whaddyathink?
I don't think labeling would make much difference since most supermkts today have organic items for sale. but the higher price means most people don't choose them.
Selective breeding often means selecting for a particular genetic trait that already exists and favoring that over other traits. This may or may not be genetic engineering depending on what your definition is.
In the case of BT disease resistant corn, an animal gene from a strain of Bacillus thuringiensis is inserted into corn to enhance it's disease resistance. This usually enables the use of less pesticides on the corn but also earns it the name "Franken-corn" and the procedure is controversial.
Many countries forbid the importing of genetically modified corn, or allow it only for animal feed. Booming world demand for corn is pressuring these restrictions to be relaxed.
China will have a shortfall of corn this year equal to the entire production of Brazil (a very large corn producer). As more countries become more prosperous, the demand for corn for animal feed will skyrocket, driving the price higher and higher. Poor countries will be hard pressed to compete with the other buyers, leading to instability, as was seen in Egypt.
The burgeoning world population means more science and less nature in food production - if we are to keep up with demand.
Sorry about the megapost but this never seems to get much ink.
As a vegetarian, I worry particularly about the insertion of an animal gene into vegetables. How can I truly be a vegetarian, if I am unknowingly eating genetic material from an animal?
reading this, and thinking. It may well be time for community farming to make a big splash.
All good discussion much, I would say my biggest concern is cloned meats and injecting produce to make it bigger or give it a certain color. When it comes to cross-breeding, my favorite kind of apples are a result of seed crossing. I am very selective on what I purchase, but I think for the most part people just buy what appeals to them. I believe with many practices of GMO foods, nutrition is taken and replaced with agents that cause sickness and disease.
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