Author Topic: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)  (Read 44661 times)

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stephen

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #40 on: February 11, 2007, 07:41:00 AM »
Monsanto Whistleblower Says Genetically Engineered Crops May Cause Disease
by Jeffrey M. Smith
Global Research, November 19, 2006
The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) - 2006-08-10

Monsanto was quite happy to recruit young Kirk Azevedo to sell their genetically engineered cotton. Kirk had grown up on a California farm and had worked in several jobs monitoring and testing pesticides and herbicides. Kirk was bright, ambitious, handsome and idealistic—the perfect candidate to project the company’s “Save the world through genetic engineering” image.

It was that image, in fact, that convinced Kirk to take the job in 1996. “When I was contacted by the headhunter from Monsanto, I began to study the company, namely the work of their CEO, Robert Shapiro.” Kirk was thoroughly impressed with Shapiro’s promise of a golden future through genetically modified (GM) crops. “He described how we would reduce the in-process waste from manufacturing, turn our fields into factories and produce anything from lifesaving drugs to insect-resistant plants. It was fascinating to me.” Kirk thought, “Here we go. I can do something to help the world and make it a better place.”

He left his job and accepted a position at Monsanto, rising quickly to become the facilitator for GM cotton sales in California and Arizona. He would often repeat Shapiro’s vision to customers, researchers, even fellow employees. After about three months, he visited Monsanto’s St. Louis headquarters for the first time for new employee training. There too, he took the opportunity to let his colleagues know how enthusiastic he was about Monsanto’s technology that was going to reduce waste, decrease poverty and help the world. Soon after the meeting, however, his world was shaken.

“A vice president pulled me aside,” recalled Kirk. “He told me something like, ‘Wait a second. What Robert Shapiro says is one thing. But what we do is something else. We are here to make money. He is the front man who tells a story. We don’t even understand what he is saying.’”

Kirk felt let down. “I went in there with the idea of helping and healing and came out with ‘Oh, I guess it is just another profit-oriented company.’” He returned to California, still holding out hopes that the new technology could make a difference.

Possible Toxins in GM Plants

Kirk was developing the market in the West for two types of GM cotton. Bt cotton was engineered with a gene from a soil bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis. Organic farmers use the natural form of the bacterium as an insecticide, spraying it occasionally during times of high pest infestation. Monsanto engineers, however, isolated and then altered the gene that produces the Bt-toxin, and inserted it into the DNA of the cotton plant. Now every cell of their Bt cotton produces a toxic protein. The other variety was Roundup Ready® cotton. It contains another bacterial gene that enables the plant to survive an otherwise toxic dose of Monsanto’s Roundup® herbicide. Since the patent on Roundup’s main active ingredient, glyphosate, was due to expire in 2000, the company was planning to sell Roundup Ready seeds that were bundled with their Roundup herbicide, effectively extending their brand’s dominance in the herbicide market.

In the summer of 1997, Kirk spoke with a Monsanto scientist who was doing some tests on Roundup Ready cotton. Using a “Western blot” analysis, the scientist was able to identify different proteins by their molecular weight. He told Kirk that the GM cotton not only contained the intended protein produced by the Roundup Ready gene, but also extra proteins that were not normally produced in the plant. These unknown proteins had been created during the gene insertion process.

Gene insertion was done using a gene gun (particle bombardment). Kirk, who has an undergraduate degree in biochemistry, understood this to be “a kind of barbaric and messy method of genetic engineering, where you use a gun-like apparatus to bombard the plant tissue with genes that are wrapped around tiny gold particles.” He knew that particle bombardment can cause unpredictable changes and mutations in the DNA, which might result in new types of proteins.

The scientist dismissed these newly created proteins in the cotton plant as unimportant background noise, but Kirk wasn’t convinced. Proteins can have allergenic or toxic properties, but no one at Monsanto had done a safety assessment on them. “I was afraid at that time that some of these proteins may be toxic.” He was particularly concerned that the rogue proteins “might possibly lead to mad cow or some other prion-type diseases.”

Kirk had just been studying mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) and its human counterpart, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). These fatal diseases had been tracked to a class of proteins called prions. Short for “proteinaceous infectious particles,” prions are improperly folded proteins, which cause other healthy proteins to also become misfolded. Over time, they cause holes in the brain, severe dysfunction and death. Prions survive cooking and are believed to be transmittable to humans who eat meat from infected “mad” cows. The disease may incubate undetected for about 2 to 8 years in cows and up to 30 years in humans.

When Kirk tried to share his concerns with the scientist, he realized, “He had no idea what I was talking about; he had not even heard of prions. And this was at a time when Europe had a great concern about mad cow disease and it was just before the Nobel prize was won by Stanley Prusiner for his discovery of prion proteins.” Kirk said “These Monsanto scientists are very knowledge about traditional products, like chemicals, herbicides and pesticides, but they don’t understand the possible harmful outcomes of genetic engineering, such as pathophysiology or prion proteins. So I am explaining to him about the potential untoward effects of these foreign proteins, but he just did not understand.”

Endangering the Food Supply

At this time, Roundup Ready cotton varieties were just being introduced into other regions but were still being field-tested in California. California varieties had not yet been commercialized. But Kirk came to find out that Monsanto was feeding the cotton plants used in its test plots to cattle.

“I had great issue with this,” he said. “I had worked for Abbot Laboratories doing research, doing test plots using Bt sprays from bacteria. We would never take a test plot and put into the food supply, even with somewhat benign chemistries. We would always destroy the test plot material and not let anything into the food supply. Now we entered into a new era of genetic engineering. The standard was not the same as with pesticides. It was much lower, even though it probably should have been much higher.”

Kirk complained to the Ph.D. in charge of the test plot about feeding the experimental plants to cows. He explained that unknown proteins, including prions, might even effect humans who consume the cow’s milk and meat. The scientist replied, “Well that’s what we’re doing everywhere else and that’s what we’re doing here.” He refused to destroy the plants.

Kirk got a bit frantic. He started talking to others in the company. “I approached pretty much everyone on my team in Monsanto.” He was unable to get anyone interested. In fact, he said, “Once they understood my perspective, I was somewhat ostracized. It seemed as if once I started questioning things, people wanted to keep their distance from me. I lost the cooperation with other team members. Anything that interfered with advancing the commercialization of this technology was going to be pushed aside.”

He then approached California Agriculture Commissioners. “These local Ag commissioners are traditionally responsible for test plots and to make sure test plot designs protect people and the environment.” But Kirk got nowhere. “Once again, even at the Ag commissioner level, they were dealing with a new technology that was beyond their comprehension. They did not really grasp what untoward effects might be created by the genetic engineering process itself.”

Kirk continued to try to blow the whistle on what he thought could be devastating to the health of consumers. “I spoke to many Ag commissioners. I spoke to people at the University of California. I found no one who would even get it, or even get the connection that proteins might be pathogenic, or that there might be untoward effects associated with these foreign proteins that we knew we were producing. They didn’t even want to talk about it really. You’d kind of see a blank stare when speaking to them on this level. That led me to say I am not going to be part of this company anymore. I’m not going to be part of this disaster, from a moral perspective.”

Kirk gave his two-week notice. In early January 1998, he finished his last day of work in the morning and in the afternoon started his first day at chiropractic college. He was still determined to make a positive difference for the world, but with a radically changed approach.

While in school, he continued to research prion disease and its possible connection with GM crops. What he read then and what is known now about prions has not alleviated his concerns. He says, “The protein that manifests as mad cow disease takes about five years. With humans, however, that time line is anywhere from 10-30 years. We were talking about 1997 and today is 2006. We still don’t know if there is anything going to happen to us from our being used as test subjects.”

Update

It turns out that the damage done to DNA due to the process of creating a genetically modified organism is far more extensive than previously thought.[1] GM crops routinely create unintended proteins, alter existing protein levels or even change the components and shape of the protein that is created by the inserted gene. Kirk’s concerns about a GM crop producing a harmful misfolded protein remain well-founded, and have been echoed by scientists as one of the many possible dangers that are not being evaluated by the biotech industry’s superficial safety assessments.

GM cotton has provided ample reports of unpredicted side-effects. In April 2006, more than 70 Indian shepherds reported that 25% of their herds died within 5-7 days of continuous grazing on Bt cotton plants.[2] Hundreds of Indian agricultural laborers reported allergic reactions from Bt cotton. Some cotton harvesters have been hospitalized and many laborers in cotton gin factories take antihistamines each day before work.[3]

The cotton’s agronomic performance is also erratic. When Monsanto’s GM cotton varieties were first introduced in the US, tens of thousands of acres suffered deformed roots and other unexpected problems. Monsanto paid out millions in settlements.[4] When Bt cotton was tested in Indonesia, widespread pest infestation and drought damage forced withdrawal of the crop, despite the fact that Monsanto had been bribing at least 140 individuals for years, trying to gain approval.[5] In India, inconsistent performance has resulted in more than $80 million dollars in losses in each of two states.[6] Thousands of indebted Bt cotton farmers have committed suicide. In Vidarbha, in north east Maharashtra, from June through August 2006, farmers committed suicide at a rate of about one every eight hours.[7] (The list of adverse reactions reported from other GM crops, in lab animals, livestock and humans, is considerably longer.)

Kirk’s concern about GM crop test plots also continues to remain valid. The industry has been consistently inept at controlling the spread of unapproved varieties. On August 18, 2006, for example, the USDA announced that unapproved GM long grain rice, which was last field tested by Bayer CropScience in 2001, had contaminated the US rice crop[8] (probably for the past 5 years). Japan responded by suspending long grain rice imports and the EU will now only accept shipments that are tested and certified GM-free. Similarly, in March 2005, the US government admitted that an unapproved corn variety had escaped from Syngenta’s field trials four years earlier and had contaminated US corn.[9] By year’s end, Japan had rejected at least 14 shipments containing the illegal corn. Other field trialed crops have been mixed with commercial varieties, consumed by farmers, stolen, even given away by government agencies and universities who had accidentally mixed seed varieties.

Some contamination from field trials may last for centuries. That may be the fate of a variety of unapproved Roundup Ready grass which, according to reports made public in August 2006, had escaped into the wild from an Oregon test plot years earlier. Pollen had crossed with other varieties and wind had dispersed seeds. Scientists believe that the variety will cross pollinate with other grass varieties and may contaminate the commercial grass seed supply—70 percent of which is grown in Oregon.

Even GM crops with known poisons are being grown outdoors without adequate safeguards for health and the environment. A corn engineered to produce pharmaceutical medicines, for example, contaminated corn and soybean fields in Iowa and Nebraska in 2002.[10] On August 10, 2006, a federal judge ruled that the drug-producing GM crops grown in Hawaii violated both the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.[11]

A December 29, 2005 report by the USDA office of Inspector General, blasted the agriculture department for its abysmal oversight of GM field trials, particularly for the high risk drug producing crops.[12] And a January 2004 report by the National Research Council also called upon the government to strengthen its oversight, but acknowledged that there is no way to guarantee that field trialed crops will not pollute the environment.[13]

With the US government failing to prevent GM contamination, and with state governments and agriculture commissioners unwilling to challenge the dictates of the biotech industry, some California counties decided to enact regulations of their own. California’s diverse agriculture is particularly vulnerable and thousands of field trials on not-yet-approved GM crops have already taken place there. If contamination were discovered, it could easily devastate an industry. Four counties have enacted moratoria or bans on the planting of GM crops, including both approved and unapproved varieties. This follows the actions of more than 4500 jurisdictions in Europe and dozens of nations, states and regions on all continents, which have sought to restrict planting of GM crops to protect their health, environment and agriculture.

Ironically, California’s assembly, which has done nothing to protect the state from possible losses due to GM crop contamination, passed a bill on August 24, 2006 that prohibits other counties and cities from creating GM free zones. The senate is expected to vote on the issue by the end of their session on August 31st (see http://www.calgefree.org/preemption.shtml). It is yet another example of how the biotech industry has been able to push their agenda onto US consumers, without regard to health and environmental safeguards. No doubt that their lobbyists, anxious to have this bill pass, told legislators that GM crops are needed to stop poverty and feed a hungry world.

[Update 9/1/06:  The California Senate session ended without senators voting on the bill to prevent local jurisdictions from creating GM-Free zones. For the time being at least, California counties and cities may still enact GM-Free zones. Click here  to read the full press release.]

Jeffrey Smith’s forthcoming book, Genetic Roulette, documents more than 60 health risks of GM foods in easy-to-read two-page spreads, and demonstrates how current safety assessments are not competent to protect consumers from the dangers. His previous book, Seeds of Deception (www.seedsofdeception.com), is the world’s best-selling book on the subject. He is available for media at info@seedsofdeception.com. Dr. Kirk Azevedo has a chiropractic office in Cambria, California. Press may reach him at (805) 927-1055 or at drkirk@charter.net.

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[1] JR Latham et al., “The Mutational Consequences of Plant Transformation,” The Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, Vol 2006 Article ID 25376 Pages 1-7, DOI 10.1155/JBB/2006/25376; for a more in-depth discussion, see also Allison Wilson et al., “Genome Scrambling -Myth or Reality? Transformation-Induced Mutations in Transgenic Crop Plants, Technical Report - October 2004, www.econexus.info.

[2] Mortality in Sheep Flocks after Grazing on Bt Cotton Fields – Warangal District, Andhra Pradesh. Report of the Preliminary Assessment April 2006, http://www.gmwatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=6494

[3]Ashish Gupta, et. al., Impact of Bt Cotton on Farmers’ Health (in Barwani and Dhar District of Madhya Pradesh), Investigation Report,  Oct - Dec 2005

[4] See for example, Monsanto Cited In Crop Losses New York Times, June 16, 1998 , http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A04EED6153DF935A25755C0A96E958260; and Greenpeace http://archive.greenpeace.org/geneng/reports/gmo/intrgmo5.htm

[5] Antje Lorch, Monsanto Bribes in Indonesia, Monsanto Fined For Bribing Indonesian Officials to Avoid Environmental Studies for Bt Cotton, ifrik 1sep2005, http://www.mindfully.org/GE/2005/Monsanto-Bribes-Indonesia1sep05.htm

[6] Bt Cotton - No Respite for Andhra Pradesh Farmers More than 400 crores' worth losses for Bt Cotton farmers in Kharif 2005 Centre for Sustainable Agriculture: Press Release, March 29, 2006 http://www.gmwatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=6393; see also November 14, 2005 article in www.NewKerala.comregarding Madhya Pradesh.

[7] Jaideep Hardikar, One suicide every 8 hours, Daily News & Analysis (India), August 26, 2006 http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1049554

[8] Rick Weiss, U.S. Rice Supply Contaminated, Genetically Altered Variety Is Found in Long-Grain Rice, Washington Post, August 19, 2006

[9]Jeffrey Smith, US Government and Biotech Firm Deceive Public on GM Corn Mix-up, Spilling the Beans, April 2005

[10] See for example, Christopher Doering, ProdiGene to spend millions on bio-corn tainting, Reuters News Service, USA: December 9, 2002
[11] See www.centerforfoodsafety.org

[12]Office of Inspector General, USDA, Audit Report Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Controls Over Issuance of Genetically Engineered Organism Release Permits, December 2005 http://www.thecampaign.org/USDA_IG_1205.pdf

[1 3] Justin Gillis, Genetically Modified Organisms Not Easily Contained; National Research Council Panel Urges More Work to Protect Against Contamination of Food Supply, Washington Post, Jan 21, 2004

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Mimi

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #41 on: November 14, 2008, 08:43:56 AM »
STUDY CONFIRMS GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CROPS THREATEN HUMAN FERTILITY

 

By Jeffrey Smith
November 14, 2008

NewsWithViews.com

Los Angeles, CA. - A long-term feeding study commissioned by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, managed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health, Family and Youth, and carried out by Veterinary University Vienna, confirms genetically engineered (GM) corn seriously affects reproductive health in mice. Non-GMO advocates, who have warned about this infertility link along with other health risks, now seek an immediate ban of all GM foods and GM crops to protect the health of humankind and the fertility of women around the world.

Read the rest of this article Here
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Sister Dee

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #42 on: March 08, 2009, 10:33:42 AM »
THE FOLLOWING POSTS WERE MOVED FROM THE LAODICEA BOARD TO AN EXISTING TOPIC ON THE SUBJECT OF BIOENGINEERED FOODS:


I recently saw a program about genetically altered foods.  After doing a bit of research online, it would seem that corn is one of the main ones to worry about.  I am now reading labels even more carefully and I do try to buy organic as much as possible. 

Does anyone have any current info that might be helpful? 

Mimi

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #43 on: March 08, 2009, 10:39:47 AM »
http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=576 has this list but it is from 1999:

Partial List of Genetically Engineered Foods
Center for Food Safety
September 1st, 1999

This is a list of processed foods that tested positive for genetically engineered ingredients. These tests were not "safety" tests; they were only to establish the presence of unlabeled genetically engineered ingredients.

    * Frito-Lay Fritos Corn Chips
    * Bravos Tortilla Chips
    * Kellogg's Corn Flakes
    * General Mills Total Corn Flakes Cereal
    * Post Blueberry Morning Cereal
    * Heinz 2 Baby Cereal
    * Enfamil ProSobee Soy Formula
    * Similac Isomil Soy Formula
    * Nestle Carnation Alsoy Infant Formula
    * Quaker Chewy Granola Bars
    * Nabisco Snackwell's Granola Bars
    * Ball Park Franks
    * Duncan Hines Cake Mix
    * Quick Loaf Bread Mix
    * Ultra Slim Fast
    * Quaker Yellow Corn Meal
    * Light Life Gimme Lean
    * Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix
    * Alpo Dry Pet Food
    * Gardenburger
    * Boca Burger Chef Max's Favorite
    * Morning Star Farms Better'n Burgers
    * Green Giant Harvest Burgers (now called Morningstar Farms)
    * McDonald's McVeggie Burgers
    * Ovaltine Malt Powdered Beverage Mix
    * Betty Crocker Bac-Os Bacon Flavor Bits
    * Old El Paso Taco Shells
    * Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix

Sources: Genetic ID (an independent testing firm) and Consumer Reports (September 1999).
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Mimi

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #44 on: March 08, 2009, 10:45:19 AM »
Here is something more recent - 2003, from the FDA website on genetically engineered foods:



Also from that site:

 More than 50 biotech food products have been evaluated by the FDA and found to be as safe as conventional foods, including:

    * Canola oil
    * Corn
    * Cottonseed oil
    * Papaya
    * Potatoes
    * Soybeans
    * Squash
    * Sugar beets
    * Sweet corn
    * Tomatoes

Sources: Council for Biotechnology Information,
Food and Drug Administration

... and labeling ... 
Quote
The FDA has received many inquiries about the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Some consumer advocates and organizations, such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, urge the FDA to require labeling to identify which foods are genetically engineered.

Under the FD&C Act, Congress has provided the FDA a limited basis on which to require labeling. Generally, there must be something tangibly different about the food product--not the process by which it's made--for the FDA to require labeling.

"The FDA has no information that the use of biotechnology creates a class of food that is different in quality, safety or any other attribute from food developed using conventional breeding techniques," says Maryanski. He adds that disclosure of genetic engineering techniques is not required on the label, just as identification of conventional breeding techniques is not required--for example, "hybrid corn" can just be called "corn."
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Sister Dee

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #45 on: March 08, 2009, 10:47:50 AM »
Oh, my!  That list is ten years old, Sybil.  Wonder what it would be like now.  

And, it looks like an awful lot of corn and soy products.  Then there's certain names that stick out:  Kellogg's, Morningstar Farms, Boca Burger.  But the saddest of all, to me, is the infant formulas  and ceral listed!  

Mimi

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #46 on: March 08, 2009, 10:52:18 AM »
I have hijacked this topic - maybe we can begin a new one for this info outside of Loma Linda's trechary.



I found a January 2009 list from the FDA:

http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/biocon.html
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Sister Dee

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #47 on: March 08, 2009, 10:52:55 AM »
More than 50 biotech food products have been evaluated by the FDA and found to be as safe as conventional foods, including:

    * Canola oil
    * Corn
    * Cottonseed oil
    * Papaya
    * Potatoes
    * Soybeans
    * Squash
    * Sugar beets
    * Sweet corn
    * Tomatoes


I knew about soybeans and canola oil, too.  But the rest is a surprise!  

Sister Dee

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #48 on: March 08, 2009, 02:34:03 PM »
This reminds me, I recently bought some organic potatoes.  Two of my girls said they didn't taste the same as other potatoes I'd bought elsewhere.  (In other words, they didn't like them!)  I didn't really notice a difference, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything!   :D  Could there possibly by a difference in flavor? 

Mimi

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #49 on: March 08, 2009, 03:15:28 PM »
I am not aware of organic potatoes being BE'd. They do have a different taste (rich, sweet and musty) and that is because there is actual flavor there. Same with apples, oranges and other organic foods. They actually have a taste of flavor. Now I could be very wrong about organic potatoes, but I don't think they are BE'd.

Regarding tomatoes - I will not eat regular store-bought tomatoes. There is no flavor to them whatsoever. It is like trying to taste a plate of nothing! Most of the time they won't even ripen, rotting before they become soft at all. 
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colporteur

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #50 on: March 08, 2009, 03:20:57 PM »
I have found that the organic typically tastes better. Many are used to certain tastes and when something tastes different they do not like the taste. In terms of listening  FDA, I believe it is like listening to the fox tell how safe the hen house is.
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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #51 on: March 08, 2009, 03:24:01 PM »
So true, Colporteur! And quite criminal.
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Wally

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #52 on: March 08, 2009, 05:27:03 PM »
This reminds me, I recently bought some organic potatoes.  Two of my girls said they didn't taste the same as other potatoes I'd bought elsewhere.  (In other words, they didn't like them!)  I didn't really notice a difference, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything!   :D  Could there possibly by a difference in flavor? 

Do you know whether or not the variety of organic potatoes (Russets, Carola, Yukon Gold, etc.) was the same as the commercial ones they were used to?  Different varieties have distinctive tastes and textures.  My favorite is Carola, which has a creamy texture, as opposed to Russets, which are mealy in texture. 

Organic food must be GMO free, or it cannot be labeled organic.
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Mimi

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #53 on: March 08, 2009, 06:01:49 PM »
Diane ... we have two grocers that I know of on the forum and this man, Wally, is one of them. I knew he would know!  ;)
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Richard Sherwin

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #54 on: March 08, 2009, 06:21:13 PM »
We live in potato country and usually buy locally grown ones. A few months ago my wife bought some Yukon Golds, the first ones we ate were OK but the rest had a decidedly chemical taste to them,  we had to toss them. Since the first ones were OK we thought maybe the ones we ate a couple weeks later had somehow turned bad, though they seemed OK, were good and firm and had good color. Any ideas?

This reminds me, I recently bought some organic potatoes.  Two of my girls said they didn't taste the same as other potatoes I'd bought elsewhere.  (In other words, they didn't like them!)  I didn't really notice a difference, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything!   :D  Could there possibly by a difference in flavor? 

Do you know whether or not the variety of organic potatoes (Russets, Carola, Yukon Gold, etc.) was the same as the commercial ones they were used to?  Different varieties have distinctive tastes and textures.  My favorite is Carola, which has a creamy texture, as opposed to Russets, which are mealy in texture. 

Organic food must be GMO free, or it cannot be labeled organic.
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Wally

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #55 on: March 09, 2009, 03:22:14 AM »
We live in potato country and usually buy locally grown ones. A few months ago my wife bought some Yukon Golds, the first ones we ate were OK but the rest had a decidedly chemical taste to them,  we had to toss them. Since the first ones were OK we thought maybe the ones we ate a couple weeks later had somehow turned bad, though they seemed OK, were good and firm and had good color. Any ideas?

[/quote]

Improper storage is sometimes the culprit.  It they are stored next to something with a strong chemical odor, the potatoes will pick up that odor, and it will affect the taste, since smell and taste are closely connected.  I found that out the hard way one time when I had an open box of crackers near a can of gasoline in the back of my car.  The crackers were inedible after that. 

I can't think of any other reason potatoes would have a flavor such as you described.  Pesticides are applied to the plants when they are growing, but I've never known that to affect the flavor of the potato, which does not actually come in contact with the pesticide.  I will, however, confess my ignorance in one matter--whether or not any chemicals are applied to the spuds themselves after they are harvested, either to prevent post harvest diseases, or to prolong storage.  I can easily find out, though.  I have quite a few customers who are farmers.
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Sister Dee

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #56 on: March 10, 2009, 02:59:43 PM »
Thanks for the answers, everyone!  I suppose the answer is that they actually had some flavor to them.  I do believe that they did taste sweeter. 

BTW, Wally, they were Russets.  That's what my kids like!  I'm not familiar with Carola.

colporteur

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #57 on: March 22, 2009, 08:21:04 AM »
I have heard that some spuds have some kind of anti-sprout formula applied to them.
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Suzanne

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #58 on: May 27, 2009, 05:10:06 PM »
Presidents and Industry Insiders Avoid GMOs

Jeffrey M. Smith author of the book Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, writes: "The Obama family has wisely opted out of exposing themselves to GM Foods by requiring organic--and therefore non-GMO--foods served at the White House. They even planted an organic garden on the south lawn of the White House, to feature 55 types of vegetables.

"The Bush family also had an organic kitchen policy. Laura Bush was 'adamant' about it...

"Even at Monsanto, many in-the-know employees won't consume the company's own GM creations. Back in 1999, the management of the cafeteria at Monsanto's UK headquarters in High Wycombe, England, wrote: 'In response to concern raised by our customers...we have decided to remove, as far as possible, genetically modified soy and maize (corn) from all food products served in our restaurant.... We have taken the above steps to ensure that you, the customer, can feel confident in the food we serve.'

"And one former Monsanto scientist told me that his colleagues, who were safety testing milk from cows injected with the company's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, decided to stop drinking milk--unless it was organic."

Jeffrey M. Smith is executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology. www.responsibletechnology.org, which is spearheading the Campaign for Healthier Eating in America.
--Well Being Journal, July/August 2009.

Suzanne

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #59 on: May 27, 2009, 05:30:05 PM »
Yet it is sold to the masses "for food."

Suzanne, how many will raise up in outrage over this? We teach, we preach, we educate and educate, yet heads are still in the sand.

I suppose we could cry as did Isaiah: "How long, Lord! How long?" And the Lord answered, "Until the land is laid waste!"

May the Lord have mercy!
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89