Monday, November 03, 2014

Will "big money" stand in the way of our right to know?

Received via e-mail regarding Oregon ballot proposal 92 requiring labeling of foods containing genetically-modified organisms:

"You won’t believe this:

In two new television spots, the chemical companies behind the opposition to Measure 92 make the outrageous claim that the neon blue GMO corn seeds featured in the Yes on 92 commercials are merely dyed blue and are essentially no different from natural corn seeds.

Their claim is flat out false, and they know it. In fact, the genetically engineered frankenseeds are required by law to be brightly dyed because they’re actually toxic and direct contact with them should be avoided.

The worst part is, the Monsanto-backed No on 92 Coalition’s record-breaking spending numbers mean Oregon voters will be SURROUNDED by these outrageously false ads from now to Election Day."

You can read more here.

Bottom line:  Big corporations involved in the food industry are contributing millions of dollars to defeat this bill out of fear that GMO labeling, if passed in one state, may spread to other states.  I hardly think it's unreasonable for consumers to know what's in our food.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nearly every fruit and vegetable you eat today has been genetically modified. The vast majority of these products were "modified" by the old-fashioned method -- deliberate cross pollination or cross breeding. What you refer to as "genetic" modification is simply happening at a much more controlled level than ever before. So, are you going to give up all fruits and vegetables? Do you know if there's any difference in the resulting product just because of the method of modification?

Mon Nov 03, 10:36:00 PM 2014  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"take it from Joe Mendelson, director of the Center for Food Safety. Here’s how he put in it in an email:

The difference is pretty large. In regular cross pollination, the species being crossed have to be related . . . basically respecting their common evolutionary origin. But with GMOs, you can take any gene from any species and splice it into a crop. So you get fish genes in tomatoes or the like."

Read more:

Tue Nov 04, 04:13:00 PM 2014  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"GMO seeds are not created using natural, low-tech methods. GMO seed varieties are created in a lab using high-tech and sophisticated techniques like gene-splicing.

Furthermore, GMO seeds seldom cross different, but related plants. Often the cross goes far beyond the bounds of nature so that instead of crossing two different, but related varieties of plant, they are crossing different biological kingdoms — like, say, a bacteria with a plant.

For example, Monsanto has crossed genetic material from a bacteria known as Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) with corn. The goal was to create a pest-resistant plant. This means that any pests attempting to eat the corn plant will die since the pesticide is part of every cell of the plant.

The resultant GMO plant, known as Bt Corn, is itself registered as a pesticide with the EPA, along with other GMO Bt crops. In other words, if you feed this corn to your cattle, your chickens, or yourself, you’ll be feeding them an actual pesticide — not just a smidgeon of pesticide residue."

Tue Nov 04, 04:19:00 PM 2014  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

So instead of eating pasta with pesto sauce, we'll be eating pasta with pesticide sauce. :(

Tue Nov 04, 04:22:00 PM 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You picked up the comments of someone who paints, to be charitable, with a rather broad brush. The effects of Bt modification are rather modest. See for a good explanation.

Basil is also a natural pest repellent, so home gardeners often plant it with their tomato plants. Will you stop eating that, too?

Sometimes, we're all guilty of accepting what we want to believe, notwithstanding the facts or the science.

Tue Nov 04, 05:04:00 PM 2014  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Basil evolved naturally--it wasn't created in a lab.

Does that make a difference?

I don't think anyone really knows. Safety research generally doesn't last more than a few months, whereas we'll be eating this stuff for decades, or, in the case of our kids and/or grandkids, for their entire lives. Bottom line: We're guinea pigs (subjects of an experiment). And I'd rather not be a guinea pig.

Wed Nov 05, 10:37:00 AM 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What utter nonsense. You've been eating genetically modified everything for about two decades. There are long term safety studies. This is almost as stupid as your "why I am a Conservative Jew" posts.

Wed Nov 05, 11:30:00 AM 2014  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Mazal tov: By insulting me in the comments sections of two consecutive but totally-unrelated posts, and even, noch besser/better yet, pointing out that you were doing so ("This is almost as stupid as . . .") you've just "outed" yourself as a troll. Don't bother replying, because I'll just delete your response. Kindly get off my blog, and have a nice life.

Wed Nov 05, 09:19:00 PM 2014  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I'm good, thanks. It's a free interwebz.

Thu Nov 06, 08:54:00 AM 2014  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

I've always tried to maintain a civil blog, and I hold my commenters to the same standard. Insulting a person simply because one disagrees with her/him and/or thinks that he/she just doesn't understand something shows a lack of derech eretz (common courtesy), and I won't tolerate such behavior on my blog. Anyone who insists on being obnoxious is not welcome here.

Thu Nov 06, 12:52:00 PM 2014  

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