Author Topic: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)  (Read 42591 times)

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Colleenhf

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #80 on: October 14, 2012, 10:33:32 PM »
I have been gone from TRO for awhile.  I'm so happy to see this thread.  I will use some of the content from your posts in my blog to help try to educate people on GMO's.  I hope that is ok..I can't believe how many people don't know what GMO's even are!  Thank you again for this thread!
Colleen

colporteur

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #81 on: October 15, 2012, 07:16:31 AM »
I currently live in the nation's largest agriculture belt. There is solid evidence that GMO does or at least can increase yield. This year there was not enough rain here to even keep a corn stalk alive let alone produce a yield. Yet there has been a modest yield. Years ago the stalks would have withered and died. I am not defending gmo by any means. Some of this is due to cross breeding but I am told that the gmo modification is a main factor. However the quality is not good and even the larger quantity will probably be short lived. There is evidence that new diseases are on the horizen because of gmo, like stalk rot that causes an inferior stalk which breaks over.

It is very easy to produce enough food to feed the world without gmo. Stop feeding it to farm animals.

There is alot that nobody knows yet about the long terms results of gmo but some scientists are saying that when the people produce gmo they are turning loose modified factors that will continue and go places that no one expected and that no one is able to retrieve. In other words its like creating a plague that no one can stop or control. GMO plants or at least some of them cross with non gmo plants and even if the gmo seed is used up the gmo has been let put of the bag and cannot be brought back. Once every type of alfalfa growing on farms is infected and contaminated it stays that way and continues to mutate following its own course. It could go anywhere and no one knows just where this may go. 
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Richard Myers

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #82 on: October 15, 2012, 02:09:53 PM »
It is foolish to mess with nature in this manner. Man will reap what he has sown. Jesus is coming very soon!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

colporteur

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #83 on: October 15, 2012, 05:35:39 PM »
It is foolish to mess with nature in this manner. Man will reap what he has sown. Jesus is coming very soon!

Absolutely !  We eat as much certififed organic as possible (about 70%) as well as food that we believe is not gmo. I would not eat any food that I know is gmo. Man cannot out smart God. We already have an inborn sense that when man puts the genes of an animal in a tomato it will cause us trouble. We do not even have to know how, we just know it by instinct.
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Richard Myers

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #84 on: November 06, 2012, 05:54:56 AM »
GMOs, genetically modified organisms, are on the ballot in California today. There is a ballot measure to require labeling of GMO foods. A Bible Answer has the full movie Genetic Roulette
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Richard Myers

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #85 on: November 10, 2012, 07:54:32 PM »
The vote was close, but failed to pass. The food industry may continue to use GMOs without saying so. You may be eating a pig gene in  your tomato and never know it. Or you may be eating  potatoes with a human milk gene. Or you may be eating a vegetable with an insecticide gene that will kill insects when they eat the plant.  You will not know it when you buy it.

And, if we think we can trust the food industry, or the USDA, we cannot. They continue to allow diseased milk and meat to be sold for human consumption. Most dairy has Leukemia Virus in it and the USDA knows it.
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John Erickson

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #86 on: November 10, 2012, 10:51:02 PM »
Until food is labeled and we can all decide for or against eating it, just grow your own food, pray for God to bless it, and you'll be fine.

As far as organic goes, if one truly believes it is healthier for you, then buy it, but make sure that it is actually organic. My dad (who is a farmer) knows of organic farmers that cheat and spray anyway, but apparently still sell it as "organic." I'm all for people eating what they believe is healthiest, but it makes me angry that while many who eat organic pay prices nearly double of conventional counterparts, they are being duped by deceitful and corrupt "organic" producers.

Also, remember the Whole Foods supermarket expose where they conclusively proved that a ton of their food is bought from China (and we know how wonderful working conditions and standards are in China, right?) I can just imagine the conversations over there, "Ying, mark dat organic. Americans stupid, pay twice much fo same thing!"

Bottom line--grow as much of your own open-pollinated, non-hybrid food as possible. It is the only foolproof way to know the condition of your food. You will then know whether you have sprayed it or not, whether you are planting hybrids, open pollinated, or GMO, and you will not be dependent on your local supermarket for food. Save seed. Can your own food. Prepare for the worst and pray for the best.
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Richard Myers

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #87 on: November 11, 2012, 07:24:53 AM »
Amen!!  Let me add to your good counsel, John.  Organic food industry is not much different from the normal outlets. As John said, there is corruption there also.  The "greenies" are for the most part anti God. Many use drugs while growing organics. They have not spiritual discernment and are drinking organic milk that has Leukemis Virus in it. And, at times drinking it raw!  :(    They use cow dung to fertilize their vegetables and that is the most likely avenue of the e coli contamination that we see so often with spinach, sprouts, and other foods. The organic food industry has paid no attention to the most dangerous issue with our food, diseased animals and the spread of their disease to humans through the food chain.

John's counsel is in harmony with the light we have been given. It is past time to learn how to grow your own food. There is a day coming when we will suffer if we are not eating from our gardens. It appears that that day is here now! We need to be depending less and less on the food industry for our food. Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners are in many products that people do not even know about. I just heard reports and on study that say it is carcinogenic. I have never used them knowingly and read all of the labels of what I buy. But, did you know that mono and diglycerides can come from pigs?  Many of us have been eating pig and did not know it.  Many don't care. :(  And that is the major problem. We need to be converted that we would care. Then we would not only be in a position to improve our own health, but we would help our families and be a witness in the world.

The less processed food we eat, the more we eat the food that comes from our garden, the better off we will be.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

colporteur

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #88 on: November 11, 2012, 07:44:23 AM »
We do not know to what extent organic people are in violation. Surely some are conscientious. We do know though what traditional agriculture is doing. They are all doing it. I would rather pay more and err on the side that is safest. Perhaps an area to pursue would be that of holding organic people accountable as much as possible.
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JimB

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #89 on: November 11, 2012, 05:40:09 PM »
They use cow dung to fertilize their vegetables and that is the most likely avenue of the e coli contamination that we see so often with spinach, sprouts, and other foods.

Most here probably know already know this but just in case some may ask why in the world is cow dung now likely to contaminate our veggies if used as fertilizer? Especially since it's been used for ages with no problems. The issue is that most cows are fed a high grain (corn) diet instead of grass, hay, alfalfa etc.. This diet of grains makes the digestive tract of the cow a wonderful e-coli factory. Thus creating the problem.

As a side note on this. I know a person who has recently attempted to start his own "organic" herd of cows. But what is interesting about this is that he had to travel to another state to find a farmer who produced cows that could still eat the traditional diet. I did not know this but apparently most cows these days have been bred to get fat quick off of a grain diet and thus don't do very well on the traditional diet.
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Mimi

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #90 on: November 20, 2012, 11:26:48 AM »
How about GMO Insects?



Are Genetically Modified Insects The Next Step For The GMO Industry?

A new genetic modification project wants to introduce genes into the bug population that will eliminate a moth that likes to eat our crops. How close is this to actual implementation?


Whether you like them or not, genetically modified ingredients are hard to avoid in the food supply--they’re found in most processed foods in the U.S. and elsewhere. These crops--generally things like cotton, soy, and corn--are tweaked in labs so that they’re immune to pest-killing products made by companies like Monsanto. The pesticides used on the crops can be harmful to humans, and scientists have questioned the safety of modifying crops in the first place. A British company called Oxitec has a plan to ditch pesticides and GMO crops, instead using genetic modification to eliminate the bugs that feed on certain crops like broccoli, cabbage, and fruit. What could possibly go wrong?

Read more ...
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ltvvaughn

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #91 on: November 25, 2012, 11:51:14 AM »
We would do well to heed the Lord's messenger and learn to grow our own produce.  In so doing, we would be healthier and more able to discern the "still small voice" of the Holy Spirit.

LtV
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Mimi

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #92 on: January 03, 2013, 04:24:36 PM »
GMO Salmon Would Be Approved as ‘New Animal Drug’
TAKE ACTION: Tell the FDA: No Frankenfish!       Read entire newsletter

Do you really want a mutant, likely allergenic salmon on your dinner plate that was approved by the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine as a "new animal drug"?

Last week the FDA cleared the way for approval of the first genetically engineered animal for human consumption - a GMO salmon gene-spliced with an eel - despite mounting concerns that it's likely hazardous for humans and poses a threat to the wild salmon population.

Scary enough. But get this. The FDA considers any genetically altered animal a “new animal drug” for approval purposes. That means the genetically modified animal – in this case a salmon intended as food for humans – is subjected to a less rigorous safety review than if it were classified as a food (for humans) additive.

Shameless. And there are plenty of other reasons to stop this dangerous experiment. The FDA’s own testing revealed that “Frankenfish” causes increased allergy risk in humans. “Frankenfish” grows twice as large, twice as fast as the average wild salmon. If it escapes into the wild, it could threaten the entire wild salmon population.

And, of course, there are no laws in the U.S. requiring “Frankenfish” to be labeled.
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Larry Lyons

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #93 on: January 18, 2013, 05:48:11 PM »
This may be something that everyone already knows, but I heard it for the first time yesterday on TV. Most produce with bar codes in a store have 4 digit numbers, like 0123. If they have a 5 digit number with a 9 as the first number, like this: 90123, that means it is organic. If it has a 5 digit number with an 8 as the first number, that means it is GMO. Unfortunately few states require GMO labeling.

Mimi

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #94 on: April 11, 2013, 07:39:27 AM »
Why Labels on Genetically Engineered Foods Won’t Cost Consumers a Dime

    By Zack Kaldveer and Ronnie Cummins  http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27317.cfm
    Organic Consumers Association, April 9, 2013

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

The biotech industry, led by Monsanto, will soon descend on the state of Washington to try their best to defeat I-522, a citizens’ ballot initiative to require mandatory labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. Voters should prepare themselves for an onslaught of discredited talking points, nonsensical red herrings, and outright lies designed to convince voters that they shouldn’t have the right to know what’s in the food they eat.

Topping the biotech industry’s propaganda playlist will no doubt be this old familiar tune: that requiring retailers to verify non-GMO ingredients in order to label them will be burdensome and costly, and the additional cost will be passed on to consumers who are already struggling to feed their families.

Playing to consumers’ fears of higher food costs makes good strategic sense, especially in tough economic times. But the argument doesn’t hold water, say food manufacturers and retailers who already have systems in place for verifying non-GMO, as well as rBGH-free, trans fat-free, country of origin and fair trade. The system involves using chain-of-custody, legally binding affidavits, not expensive testing.

“We have used the affidavit system repeatedly, without undue burden or cost,” said Trudy Bialic, Director of Public Affairs for Seattle-based PCC Natural Markets. PCC, the largest consumer-owned natural food retail co-operative in the United States, uses the affidavit system to ensure their chocolate isn't made using child slave labor, their dairy products don't come from animals subjected to rBGH hormones, and that all seafood was harvested using sustainable sources and practices.

Trader Joe’s, a privately held chain of nearly 400 U.S. stores, confirmed that the company’s private label products, under the names Trader Joe’s, Jose’s and Ming’s, are GMO-free, though the company doesn’t label them as such. In an email, a company spokesperson said:

" When developing products containing ingredients likely to come from genetically modified sources, we have the supplier of the product in question perform the necessary research to provide documentation that the suspect ingredients are from non-GMO sources.

This documentation is in the form of affidavits, identity-preserved certification of seed stock, and third-party lab results from testing of the ingredients in question."

Trader Joe’s performs random audits of items with suspect ingredients, using an outside, third-party lab to perform the testing, the company said. Trader Joe’s system is not unlike that of the USDA, which requires sworn statements from food producers to certify organic foods. The agency requires test samples from approximately 5 percent of products, all of which must be GMO-free in order to be certified organic. For the other 95 percent, the agency relies solely on sworn statements.

Clif Bar & Co. also requires affidavits from ingredient suppliers demonstrating they can meet the company's stringent non-GMO requirements.

Monsanto would have you believe that verifying and labeling for non-GMO ingredients is a costly and burdensome affair, but the fact that Trader Joe’s, known for its discount prices, can provide GMO-free private label products, which reportedly account for over two-thirds of the company’s estimated annual $9 billion in sales, takes the wind out of the “burdensome” argument. That leaves the cost of adding another line of ink to a label. Trader Joe’s doesn’t yet label its private label products as GMO- free, but the company cites a lack of clear labeling guidelines from U.S. governmental agencies as the reason it doesn’t label, not cost.

Megan Westgate, Executive Director of the Non-GMO Project confirmed what retailers who use the affidavit system said:  "An affidavit system like what's proposed in I-522 is a powerful way to have a significant impact on the food supply with minimal cost."

How does the affidavit system work?

Companies selling non-GMO foods provide a sworn statement (i.e. an affidavit) to the retailer that the ingredients used are sourced from crops that aren’t intentionally genetically engineered. The affidavit, unless deliberately dishonest, protects the manufacturer and the retailer from liability in the case of unintentional GMO contamination.

Retailers are responsible only for labeling a few raw commodities that may contain GE ingredients, such as sweet corn, papaya, or squash.  In these cases, the retailer can either stick a simple label on the bin or ask their supplier for an affidavit stating that the crop is GMO free.

Under this system, no costly testing for GE ingredients is required. No burdensome government oversight is necessary. The system is inherently designed to protect small grocers and retailers, at no additional cost to the customer or taxpayer.

The beauty of the affidavit system is that it offers retailers and manufacturers a simple, easy way to comply with a regulatory model that provides consumers with the right to know what’s in their food without increasing grocery costs.  Even for manufacturers who might otherwise seek to pass on the trivial expense of relabeling to consumers, empirical studies show that the fear of losing customers in the competitive food industry will be a deterrent to raising prices. Did food costs change when we labeled calorie content?

Is the system reliable? Retailers say yes. Why would manufacturers intentionally deceive retailers only to open themselves up to a lawsuit and public relations nightmare? And the system has a proven track record. PCC Natural Markets, Trader Joe’s and Clif Bar all use affidavits, as do other manufacturers who use them for country-of-origin and no-trans fat labeling. And nearly two-thirds of the nation’s largest dairy processors use sworn affidavits from producers in order to label rBGH-free. (rBGH, or recombinant bovine growth hormone, is a synthetic, genetically engineered hormone injected into dairy cows to increase milk production).

Contrary to claims made by companies like Monsanto, states do have a constitutional right to label food. In fact, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act explicitly allows states to add language to labels so long as the federal government doesn’t require language on the same subject – a right that has consistently held up in federal court.

A chain-of-custody, legally binding affidavit labeling system empowers consumers to make more informed choices about what we eat, without increasing the costs of groceries or burdening retailers and manufacturers.  One simple label to identify foods that have been genetically engineered, often using the genes of foreign bacteria and viruses, would lead more consumers to seek out sustainable, organic, non-GMO alternatives. And that – not some phony line about increased food costs – is why Monsanto is fighting labeling.

Zack Kaldveer is assistant media director at the Organic Consumers Association.

Ronnie Cummins is founder and director of the Organic Consumers Association. Cummins is author of numerous articles and books, including "Genetically Engineered Food: A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers" (Second Revised Edition Marlowe & Company 2004).
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Mimi

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #95 on: April 18, 2013, 07:40:00 AM »
ESSAY OF THE WEEK
Frankenapple: Bad News
No Matter How You Slice It

Thanks to the biotech industry’s relentless quest to control our food, McDonald’s, Burger King and even school cafeterias will soon be able to serve up apples that won’t turn brown when they’re sliced or bitten into. A new, almost entirely untested genetic modification technology, called RNA interference, or double strand RNA (dsRNA), is responsible for this new food miracle. Scientists warn that this genetic manipulation poses health risks, as the manipulated RNA gets into our digestive systems and bloodstreams. The biotech industry claims otherwise.

Like any non-organic apple, the new GMO Arctic® Apple will be drenched in toxic pesticide residues, untested by the U.S. Food & Drug Association (FDA) and likely unlabeled. And of course these shiny new high-tech apples will cost less than a pesticide-free, nutrient-dense, old-fashioned organic apple that turns a little brown after you slice it up.
 
Unless we stop them, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will approve “Frankenapple” this year.





The essay: Source

Frankenapple: Bad News No Matter How You Slice It

    By Katherine Paul and Ronnie Cummins
    Organic Consumers Association, April 17, 2013

Thanks to the biotech industry’s relentless quest to control our food, McDonald’s, Burger King and even school cafeterias will soon be able to serve up apples that won’t turn brown when they’re sliced or bitten into. A new, almost entirely untested genetic modification technology, called RNA interference, or double strand RNA (dsRNA), is responsible for this new food miracle. Scientists warn that this genetic manipulation poses health risks, as the manipulated RNA gets into our digestive systems and bloodstreams. The biotech industry claims otherwise.

Of course, like any non-organic apple, the new GMO Arctic® Apple will be drenched in toxic pesticide residues, untested by the U.S. Food & Drug Association (FDA) and likely unlabeled. And of course these shiny new high-tech apples will be cheap, priced considerably lower than a pesticide-free, nutrient-dense, old-fashioned organic apple that turns a little brown after you slice it up.

When the Biotech Industry Organization gathers next week in Chicago for the 2013 BIO International Convention, BIOTECanada will present its “Gold Leaf Award for Early Stage Agriculture” to Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Inc. (OSF), purveyor of the Arctic® Apple, slated for approval in the U.S. this year. We hate to upset the biotech apple cart, but a pesticide-intensive GMO apple, produced through a risky manipulation of RNA, doesn’t deserve a place on our grocery shelves, much less in the agriculture hall of fame.

That said, the Arctic “Frankenapple” is expected to be approved this year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), responsible for protecting agriculture from pests and diseases. It does not require approval by the FDA, which is responsible for human food and animal feed.

Just one more bad apple
Apples, that is, apples that haven’t been certified organic, already are on the list of Should-Be-Forbidden fruits. They reliably top the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list, for both the volume and the stunning array of pesticides consistently found on them. According to the Pesticide Action Network’s analysis of the most recent USDA data, apples tested positive for 42 pesticides, including organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides. Both are endocrine disruptors, both have suspected neurological effects, and both are considered especially toxic for children. (Organophosphates are the basis for nerve gases used in chemical warfare, and have been linked to the development of ADHD in kids.)

Given the grim report card of non-organic apples, some might say it really doesn’t make any difference if we start tinkering with the apple’s genetic RNA. After all, unlike the case with GMO corn or salmon, scientists aren’t injecting pesticides or genes from foreign plants or animals into the genes of apples to create the Frankenapple. While most existing genetically engineered plants are designed to make new proteins, the Arctic Apple is engineered to produce a form of genetic information called double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). The new dsRNA alters the way genes are expressed. The result, in the Arctic Apple’s case, is a new double strand of RNA that genetically “silences” the apple’s ability to produce polyphenol oxidase, an enzyme that causes the apple to turn brown when it’s exposed to oxygen.

Harmless? The biotech industry, OSF and some scientists say yes. But others, including Professor Jack Heinemann (University of Canterbury, New Zealand), Sarah Agapito-Tenfen (from Santa Catarina University in Brazil) and Judy Carman (Flinders University in South Australia), say that dsRNA manipulation is untested, and therefore inherently risky. Recent research has shown that dsRNAs can transfer from plants to humans and other animals through food. The biotech industry has always claimed that genetically engineered DNA or RNA is destroyed by human digestion, eliminating the danger of these mutant organisms damaging human genes or human health. But many biotech scientists say otherwise. They point to evidence that the manipulated RNA finds its way into our digestive systems and bloodstreams, potentially damaging or silencing vital human genes.

There are indirect health consequences, too. Turns out the chemical compound that is shut off in the engineered fruit through RNA manipulation, in order to make it not oxidize or brown, is a chemical compound that also fights off plant pests. What happens when the apple’s ability to fend off insects is compromised? Growers will need to spray greater amounts, of possibly even more toxic pesticides, on a crop already saturated with at least 42 types of pesticides. Those pesticides will eventually find their way into our bodies, either because we ingested the fruit, or breathed the air or drank the water where the pesticides were sprayed.

Testing? What testing?
So what’s the trade-off? Non-organic apple growers will prosper as more moms buy more apples for more kids who will, the industry alleges, be the healthier for it.  It makes for a good public relations story, but no matter how you wrap it up or slice it, taking apples that are already saturated in pesticides, and genetically engineering them for purely cosmetic purposes, does not a healthy snack make.

The pro- and anti-GMO movements will debate whether or not the GMO apple is safe for human consumption. The fact is, we’ll never know until they are properly labeled and safety-tested. As with every other GMO food ingredient or product sold in the U.S., the Arctic Apple will undergo no independent safety testing by the FDA or the USDA. Instead, the USDA will rely on OSF’s word that the apple is safe for human consumption. And without any state or federal mandatory GMO labeling laws in place, OSF will not be required to label its Frankenapple, meaning that consumers or children harmed by the dsRNA modified apple will have great difficulty identifying the mutant RNA that harmed them.

The controversy and debate surrounding dsRNA and the Arctic Apple has just begun. But there is no longer any debate about the dangers that pesticides and pesticide residues on non-organic apples pose to humans, whether we directly ingest these toxic residues by eating an apple, or whether we’re exposed to them through contaminated air and groundwater as a result of acres of orchards being sprayed to control increasingly resistant insects and diseases.

What about the argument that a kid eating a few slices of apples can’t consume enough of any one of these pesticides to cause any real risk to their health? Debunked. Recent studies reveal that during apple season, kids exhibit spikes in the level of pesticides found in their urine, spikes that exceed the U.S. government’s “safe levels.” Kids who live in apple-growing regions show even higher spikes. And those 42 varieties of pesticides? The government establishes “safe levels” for each one – but it doesn’t test for the potential effect of ingesting 42 different pesticides, all chemically interacting with each other, and ingested all at once.

From biodiversity to monoculture
How did we get to the point where it takes 42 pesticides to keep an apple crop healthy? Michael Pollan best explains it in his book Botany of Desire. Turns out that apples have an extreme tendency toward something called heterozygosity, which means genetic variability. This trait accounts for how, left to its own devices, the apple can “make itself at home in places as different from one another as New England and New Zealand, Kazakhstan and California.” Pollan writes: “Wherever the apple tree goes, its offspring propose so many different variations on what it means to be an apple – at least five per apple, several thousand per tree – that a couple of these novelties are almost bound to have whatever qualities it takes to prosper in the tree’s adopted home.”

Today, you’d have to visit the apple orchard museum in Geneva, New York, to find all the varieties of apples that used to thrive in the wild. Over time, in our quest to control the taste, texture and appearance of apples, we’ve eliminated all but a relative few varieties. We’ve gone too far, says Pollan. By relying on too few genes for too long, the apple has lost its ability to get along on its own, outdoors.

Enter the agro-chemical companies. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Agricultural Chemical Use Program, apple growers in states surveyed in 2011 applied carbaryl to 46 percent of their acreage, at an average rate  of 1.566 pounds per acre for the crop year; chlorantraniliprole to 45 percent;  and chlorpyrifos to 44 percent. Apple growers applied glyphosate isopropylamine salt to 25 percent of acres at an average of 1.604 pounds per acre for the crop year. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The Arctic Apple has been in development for over a decade, the company says. OSF submitted a petition for deregulation to the USDA in May 2010. The USDA, which must hold two public comment periods, concluded the first on Sept. 11, 2011. It’s expected to open the second public comment period this spring or summer, and OSF hopes the GMO apple will be approved for growing and selling in the U.S. this year.

The Organic Consumers Association will hold a press conference and set up a picket line  at the Biotechnology Industry Organization Convention in Chicago, at Noon on April 23, to protest OSF’s GMO apple.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #96 on: April 18, 2013, 10:43:55 AM »
Messing around with genetics in this manner is not going to be good. If the people were honest and of good character there would be risks. But, in the world of today, we see corruption all around us, not the least of which is rampant in the government. USDA does not protect public health adequately. So, there is no watchdog guarding the hen-house. The foxes are doing so.
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Mimi

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #97 on: October 24, 2013, 06:32:59 AM »

Health
Scientists Say ‘No Consensus on GMO Food Safety’
Kaye Spector |October 21, 2013 5:00 pm | Comments

An international group of more than 90 scientists, academics and physicians released a statement today saying there is no scientific consensus on the safety of genetically modified (GM) foods and crops.

The statement was issued in response to recent claims from the GM industry and some scientists, journalists and commentators that there is a “scientific consensus” that genetically modified organisms (GMO) were generally found safe for human and animal consumption. The statement calls these claims misleading and says, “This claimed consensus on GMO safety does not exist.”


Read more from source: Ecowatch

ENSSET Statement - No Scientific Consensus
[footnotes at end of each page]





ENSSER Statement, 21 October 2013
www.ensser.org

No scientific consensus on GMO safety

As scientists, physicians, academics, and experts from disciplines relevant to the scientific, legal, social and safety assessment aspects of genetically modified organisms (GMOs),1 we strongly reject claims by GM seed developers and some scientists, commentators, and journalists that there is a “scientific consensus” on GMO safety2 3 4 and that the debate on this topic is “over”.5

We feel compelled to issue this statement because the claimed consensus on GMO safety does not exist. The claim that it does exist is misleading and misrepresents the currently available scientific evidence and the broad diversity of opinion among scientists on this issue. Moreover, the claim encourages a climate of complacency that could lead to a lack of regulatory and scientific rigour and appropriate caution, potentially endangering the health of humans, animals, and the environment.

Science and society do not proceed on the basis of a constructed consensus, as current knowledge is always open to well-founded challenge and disagreement. We endorse the need for further independent scientific inquiry and informed public discussion on GM product safety and urge GM proponents to do the same.

Some of our objections to the claim of scientific consensus are listed below.

1.   There is no consensus on GM food safety

1 In the US, the term “genetically engineered” is often used in place of “genetically modified”. We have used “genetically modified” because this is the terminology consistently used by many authorities internationally, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; the World Health Organization; Codex Alimentarius; European and Indian legislation; peer- reviewed studies by industry and independent scientists; and the international media. It is also consistent with the Cartagena Protocol’s term “living modified organism”.
2 Frewin, G. (2013). The new “is GM food safe?” meme. Axis Mundi, 18 July.  http://www.axismundionline.com/blog/the-new-is-gm-food-safe-meme/;   Wikipedia    (2013).
Genetically modified food controversies.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food_controversies
3 Mark Lynas (2013). GMO pigs study – more junk science. Marklynas.org, 12 June.  http://www.marklynas.org/2013/06/gmo-pigs-study-more-junk-science/
4 Keith Kloor (2013). Greens on the run in debate over genetically modified food. Bloomberg, 7 January.       http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-07/green-activist-reverses-stance-on-
genetically-modified-food.html
5 White, M. (2013). The scientific debate about GM foods is over: They’re safe. Pacific Standard magazine, 24 Sept. http://www.psmag.com/health/scientific-debate-gm-foods-theyre-safe-66711/

 
Regarding the safety of GM crops and foods for human and animal health, a comprehensive review of animal feeding studies of GM crops found “An equilibrium in the number [of] research groups suggesting, on the basis of their studies, that a number of varieties of GM products (mainly maize and soybeans) are as safe and nutritious as the respective conventional non-GM plant, and those raising still serious concerns”. The review also found that most studies concluding that GM foods were as safe and nutritious as those obtained by conventional breeding were “performed by biotechnology companies or associates, which are also responsible [for] commercializing these GM plants”.6

A separate review of animal feeding studies that is often cited as showing that GM foods are safe included studies that found significant differences in the GM- fed animals. While the review authors dismissed these findings as not biologically significant,7 the interpretation of these differences is the subject of continuing scientific debate8 9 10 11 and no consensus exists on the topic.

Rigorous studies investigating the safety of GM crops and foods would normally involve animal feeding studies in which one group of animals is fed GM food and another group is fed an equivalent non-GM diet. Independent studies of this type are rare, but when such studies have been performed, some have revealed toxic effects or signs of toxicity in the GM-fed animals.12 13 14 15 16 17 The concerns raised by these studies have not been followed up by targeted research that could confirm or refute the initial findings.

The lack of scientific consensus on the safety of GM foods and crops is underlined by the recent research calls of the European Union and the French

6 Domingo, J. L. and J. G. Bordonaba (2011). A literature review on the safety assessment of genetically modified plants. Environ Int 37: 734–742.
7 Snell, C., et al. (2012). Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: A literature review. Food and Chemical Toxicology 50(3–
4): 1134-1148.
8 Séralini, G. E., et al. (2011). Genetically modified crops safety assessments: Present limits and possible improvements. Environmental Sciences Europe 23(10).
9 Dona, A. and I. S. Arvanitoyannis (2009). Health risks of genetically modified foods. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 49(2): 164–175.
10 Domingo, J. L. and J. G. Bordonaba (2011). Ibid.
11 Diels, J., et al. (2011). Association of financial or professional conflict of interest to research outcomes on health risks or nutritional assessment studies of genetically modified products. Food Policy 36: 197–203.
12 Domingo, J. L. and J. G. Bordonaba (2011). Ibid..
13 Diels, J., et al. (2011). Ibid.
14 Dona, A. and I. S. Arvanitoyannis (2009). Ibid.
15 Séralini, G. E., et al. (2012). Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Food and Chemical Toxicology 50(11): 4221-4231.
16 Séralini, G. E., et al. (2013). Answers to critics: Why there is a long term toxicity due to NK603 Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize and to a Roundup herbicide. Food and Chemical
Toxicology 53: 461-468.
17 Carman, J. A., et al. (2013). A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM maize diet. Journal of Organic Systems 8(1): 38–54.

 
government to investigate the long-term health impacts of GM food consumption in the light of uncertainties raised by animal feeding studies.18 19 These official calls imply recognition of the inadequacy of the relevant existing scientific research protocols. They call into question the claim that existing research can be deemed conclusive and the scientific debate on biosafety closed.

2.   There are no epidemiological studies investigating potential effects of GM food consumption on human health

It is often claimed that “trillions of GM meals” have been eaten in the US with no ill effects. However, no epidemiological studies in human populations have been carried out to establish whether there are any health effects associated with GM food consumption. As GM foods are not labelled in North America, a major producer and consumer of GM crops, it is scientifically impossible to trace, let alone study, patterns of consumption and their impacts. Therefore, claims that GM foods are safe for human health based on the experience of North American populations have no scientific basis.

3.   Claims that scientific and governmental bodies endorse GMO safety are exaggerated or inaccurate

Claims that there is a consensus among scientific and governmental bodies that GM foods are safe, or that they are no more risky than non-GM foods,20 21 are false.

For instance, an expert panel of the Royal Society of Canada issued a report that was highly critical of the regulatory system for GM foods and crops in that country. The report declared that it is “scientifically unjustifiable” to presume that GM foods are safe without rigorous scientific testing and that the “default prediction” for every GM food should be that the introduction of a new gene will cause “unanticipated changes” in the expression of other genes, the pattern of proteins produced, and/or metabolic activities. Possible outcomes of these changes identified in the report included the presence of new or unexpected
allergens.22



18 EU Food Policy (2012). Commission and EFSA agree need for two-year GMO feeding studies. 17 December.
19 French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (2013). Programme National de Recherche: Risques environnementaux et sanitaires liés aux OGM (Risk’OGM). 12 July.
 
http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/APR
 
Risk_OGM_rel_pbch_pbj_rs2.pdf
 
20 Wikipedia (2013). Genetically modified food controversies.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food_controversies
21 G. Masip (2013). Opinion: Don’t fear GM crops, Europe! The Scientist, May 28. http://www.the- scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/35578/title/Opinion--Don-t-Fear-GM-Crops--Europe-/
22 Royal Society of Canada (2001). Elements of precaution: Recommendations for the regulation of Food Biotechnology in Canada; An Expert Panel Report on the Future of Food Biotechnology.
January.        http://www.rsc.ca//files/publications/expert_panels/foodbiotechnology/GMreportEN.pdf

 
A report by the British Medical Association concluded that with regard to the long-term effects of GM foods on human health and the environment, “many unanswered questions remain” and that “safety concerns cannot, as yet, be dismissed completely on the basis of information currently available”. The report called for more research, especially on potential impacts on human health and the environment.23

Moreover, the positions taken by other organizations have frequently been highly qualified, acknowledging data gaps and potential risks, as well as potential benefits, of GM technology. For example, a statement by the American Medical Association’s Council on Science and Public Health acknowledged “a small potential for adverse events … due mainly to horizontal gene transfer, allergenicity, and toxicity” and recommended that the current voluntary notification procedure practised in the US prior to market release of GM crops be made mandatory.24 It should be noted that even a “small potential for adverse events” may turn out to be significant, given the widespread exposure of human and animal populations to GM crops.

A statement by the board of directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) affirming the safety of GM crops and opposing labelling25 cannot be assumed to represent the view of AAAS members as a whole and was challenged in an open letter by a group of 21 scientists, including many long-standing members of the AAAS.26 This episode underlined the lack of consensus among scientists about GMO safety.

4.   EU research project does not provide reliable evidence of GM food safety

An EU research project27 has been cited internationally as providing evidence for GM crop and food safety. However, the report based on this project, “A Decade of EU-Funded GMO Research”, presents no data that could provide such evidence, from long-term feeding studies in animals.

Indeed, the project was not designed to test the safety of any single GM food, but to focus on “the development of safety assessment approaches”. 28 Only five published animal feeding studies are referenced in the SAFOTEST section of the


23 British Medical Association Board of Science and Education (2004). Genetically modified food and health: A second interim statement. March. http://bit.ly/19QAHSI
24 American Medical Association House of Delegates (2012). Labeling of bioengineered foods.
Council on Science and Public Health Report 2. http://www.ama-  assn.org/resources/doc/csaph/a12-csaph2-bioengineeredfoods.pdf
25 AAAS (2012). Statement by the AAAS Board of Directors on labeling of genetically modified foods. 20 October. http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2012/media/AAAS_GM_statement.pdf 26 Hunt, P., et al. (2012). Yes: Food labels would let consumers make informed choices.
Environmental Health News. http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/news/2012/yes-labels-  on-gm-foods
27 European Commission (2010). A decade of EU-funded GMO research (2001–2010).
28 European Commission (2010): 128.

 
report, which is dedicated to GM food safety.29 None of these studies tested a commercialised GM food; none tested the GM food for long-term effects beyond the subchronic period of 90 days; all found differences in the GM-fed animals, which in some cases were statistically significant; and none concluded on the safety of the GM food tested, let alone on the safety of GM foods in general. Therefore the EU research project provides no evidence for sweeping claims about the safety of any single GM food or of GM crops in general.

5.   List of several hundred studies does not show GM food safety

A frequently cited claim published on an Internet website that several hundred studies “document the general safety and nutritional wholesomeness  of  GM foods and feeds”30 is misleading. Examination of the studies listed reveals that many do not provide evidence of GM food safety and, in fact, some provide evidence of a lack of safety. For example:
•   Many of the studies are not toxicological animal feeding studies of the type that can provide useful information about health effects of GM food consumption. The list includes animal production studies that examine parameters of interest to the food and agriculture industry, such as milk yield and weight gain;31 32 studies on environmental effects of GM crops; and analytical studies of the composition or genetic makeup of the crop.
•   Among the animal feeding studies and reviews of such studies in the list, a substantial number found toxic effects and signs of toxicity in GM-fed animals compared with controls.33 34 35 36 37 38 Concerns raised by these studies have not been satisfactorily addressed and the claim that the body


29 European Commission (2010): 157.
30 Tribe, D. (undated). 600+ published safety assessments. GMOPundit blog.  http://gmopundit.blogspot.co.uk/p/450-published-safety-assessments.html
31 Brouk, M., et al. (2008). Performance of lactating dairy cows fed corn as whole plant silage and
grain produced from a genetically modified event DAS-59122-7 or a nontransgenic, near isoline control. J Anim. Sci, (Sectional Meeting Abstracts) 86(e-Suppl. 3):89 Abstract 276.
32 Calsamiglia, S., et al. (2007). Effects of corn silage derived from a genetically modified variety
containing two transgenes on feed intake, milk production, and composition, and the absence of detectable transgenic deoxyribonucleic acid in milk in Holstein dairy cows. J Dairy Sci 90: 4718- 4723.
33 de Vendômois, J.S., et al. (2010). A comparison of the effects of three GM corn varieties on mammalian health. Int J Biol Sci. ;5(7):706-26.
34 Ewen, S.W.B. and A. Pusztai (1999). Effect of diets containing genetically modified potatoes expressing Galanthus nivalis lectin on rat small intestine. Lancet 354:1353-1354.
35 Fares, N.H., and A. K. El-Sayed (1998). Fine structural changes in the ileum of mice fed on delta-endotoxin-treated potatoes and transgenic potatoes. Nat Toxins. 6:219-33.
36 Kilic, A. and M. T. Akay (2008). A three generation study with genetically modified Bt corn in rats: Biochemical and histopathological investigation. Food Chem Toxicol 46(3): 1164–1170.
37 Malatesta, M., et al. (2002). Ultrastructural morphometrical and immunocytochemical analyses of hepatocyte nuclei from mice fed on genetically modified soybean. Cell Structure and Function
27:173-180.
38 Malatesta, M., et al. (2003). Fine structural analyses of pancreatic acinar cell nuclei from mice fed on genetically modified soybean. European Journal of Histochemistry 47:385-388

 
of research shows a consensus over the safety of GM crops and foods is false and irresponsible.
•   Many of the studies were conducted over short periods compared with the animal’s total lifespan and cannot detect long-term health effects.39 40

We conclude that these studies, taken as a whole, are misrepresented on the Internet website as they do not “document the general safety and nutritional wholesomeness of GM foods and feeds”. Rather, some of the studies  give serious cause for concern and should be followed up by more detailed investigations over an extended period of time.

6.   There is no consensus on the environmental risks of GM crops

Environmental risks posed by GM crops include the effects of Bt insecticidal crops on non-target organisms and effects of the herbicides used in tandem with herbicide-tolerant GM crops.

As with GM food safety, no scientific consensus exists regarding the environmental risks of GM crops. A review of environmental risk assessment approaches for GM crops identified shortcomings in the procedures used and found “no consensus” globally on the methodologies that should be applied, let alone on standardized testing procedures.41

Some reviews of the published data on Bt crops have found that they can have adverse effects on non-target and beneficial organisms42 43 44 45 – effects that are widely neglected in regulatory assessments and by some scientific commentators. Resistance to Bt toxins has emerged in target pests, 46 and problems with secondary (non-target) pests have been noted, for example, in Bt

39 Hammond, B., et al. (2004). Results of a 13 week safety assurance study with rats fed grain from glyphosate tolerant corn. Food Chem Toxicol 42(6): 1003-1014.
40 Hammond, B. G., et al. (2006). Results of a 90-day safety assurance study with rats fed grain from corn borer-protected corn. Food Chem Toxicol 44(7): 1092-1099.
41 Hilbeck, A., et al. (2011). Environmental risk assessment of genetically modified plants -
concepts and controversies. Environmental Sciences Europe 23(13).
42 Hilbeck, A. and J. E. U. Schmidt (2006). Another view on Bt proteins – How specific are they and what else might they do? Biopesti Int 2(1): 1–50.
43 Székács, A. and B. Darvas (2012). Comparative aspects of Cry toxin usage in insect control.
Advanced Technologies for Managing Insect Pests. I. Ishaaya, S. R. Palli and A. R. Horowitz. Dordrecht, Netherlands, Springer: 195–230.
44 Marvier, M., et al. (2007). A meta-analysis of effects of Bt cotton and maize on nontarget invertebrates. Science 316(5830): 1475-1477.
45 Lang, A. and E. Vojtech (2006). The effects of pollen consumption of transgenic Bt maize on the common swallowtail, Papilio machaon L. (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae). Basic and Applied
Ecology 7: 296–306.
46 Gassmann, A. J., et al. (2011). Field-evolved resistance to Bt maize by Western corn rootworm. PLoS ONE 6(7): e22629.

 
cotton in China.47 48

Herbicide-tolerant GM crops have proved equally controversial. Some reviews and individual studies have associated them with increased herbicide use,49 50 the rapid spread of herbicide-resistant weeds,51 and adverse health effects in human and animal populations exposed to Roundup, the herbicide used on the majority of GM crops.52 53 54

As with GM food safety, disagreement among scientists on the environmental risks of GM crops may be correlated with funding sources. A peer-reviewed survey of the views of 62 life scientists on the environmental risks of GM crops found that funding and disciplinary training had a significant effect on attitudes. Scientists with industry funding and/or those trained in molecular biology were very likely to have a positive attitude to GM crops and to hold that they do not represent any unique risks, while publicly-funded scientists working independently of GM crop developer companies and/or those trained in ecology were more likely to hold a “moderately negative” attitude to GM crop safety and to emphasize the uncertainty and ignorance involved. The review authors concluded, “The strong effects of training and funding might justify certain institutional changes concerning how we organize science and how we make public decisions when new technologies are to be evaluated.”55

7.   International agreements show widespread recognition of risks posed by GM foods and crops

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety was negotiated over many years and implemented in 2003. The Cartagena Protocol is an international agreement ratified by 166 governments worldwide that seeks to protect biological diversity from the risks posed by GM technology. It embodies the Precautionary Principle


47 Zhao, J. H., et al. (2010). Benefits of Bt cotton counterbalanced by secondary pests? Perceptions of ecological change in China. Environ Monit Assess 173(1-4): 985-994.
48 Lu, Y., et al. (2010). Mirid bug outbreaks in multiple crops correlated with wide-scale adoption of Bt cotton in China. Science 328(5982): 1151-1154.
49 Benbrook, C. (2012). Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the US – The first sixteen years. Environmental Sciences Europe 24(24).
50 Heinemann, J. A., et al. (2013). Sustainability and innovation in staple crop production in the US Midwest. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability: 1–18.
51 Powles, S. B. (2008). Evolved glyphosate-resistant weeds around the world: Lessons to be learnt. Pest Manag Sci 64: 360–365.
52 Székács, A. and B. Darvas (2012). Forty years with glyphosate. Herbicides - Properties, Synthesis and Control of Weeds. M. N. Hasaneen, InTech.
53 Benedetti, D., et al. (2013). Genetic damage in soybean workers exposed to pesticides: evaluation with the comet and buccal micronucleus cytome assays. Mutat Res 752(1-2): 28-33. 54 Lopez, S. L., et al. (2012). Pesticides used in South American GMO-based agriculture: A review of their effects on humans and animal models. Advances in Molecular Toxicology. J. C.
Fishbein and J. M. Heilman. New York, Elsevier. 6: 41–75.
55 Kvakkestad, V., et al. (2007). Scientistsʼ perspectives on the deliberate release of GM crops. Environmental Values 16(1): 79–104.

 
in that it allows signatory states to take precautionary measures to protect themselves against threats of damage from GM crops and foods, even in case of a lack of scientific certainty.56

Another international body, the UN's Codex Alimentarius, worked with scientific experts for seven years to develop international guidelines for the assessment of GM foods and crops, because of concerns about the risks they pose. These guidelines were adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, of which over
160 nations are members, including major GM crop producers such as  the United States.57

The Cartagena Protocol and Codex share a precautionary approach to GM crops and foods, in that they agree that genetic engineering differs from conventional breeding and that safety assessments should be required before GM organisms are used in food or released into the environment.

These agreements would never have been negotiated, and the implementation processes elaborating how such safety assessments should be conducted would not currently be happening, without widespread international recognition of the risks posed by GM crops and foods and the unresolved state of existing scientific understanding.

Concerns about risks are well-founded, as has been demonstrated by studies on some GM crops and foods that have shown adverse effects on animal health and non-target organisms, indicated above. Many of these studies have, in fact, fed into the negotiation and/or implementation processes of the Cartagena Protocol and Codex. We support the application of the Precautionary Principle with regard to the release and transboundary movement of GM crops and foods.

Conclusion

In the scope of this document, we can only highlight a few examples to illustrate that the totality of scientific research outcomes in the field of GM crop safety is nuanced, complex, often contradictory or inconclusive, confounded by researchers’ choices, assumptions, and funding sources, and in general, has raised more questions than it has currently answered.

Whether to continue and expand the introduction of GM crops and foods into the human food and animal feed supply, and whether the identified risks are acceptable or not, are decisions that involve socioeconomic considerations beyond the scope of a narrow scientific debate and the currently unresolved

56 Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2000). Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity. http://bch.cbd.int/protocol/text/
57 Codex Alimentarius (2009). Foods derived from modern biotechnology. 2d ed. World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
ftp://ftp.fao.org/codex/Publications/Booklets/Biotech/Biotech_2009e.pdf

 
biosafety research agendas. These decisions must therefore involve the broader society. They should, however, be supported by strong scientific evidence on the long-term safety of GM crops and foods for human and animal health and the environment, obtained in a manner that is honest, ethical, rigorous, independent, transparent, and sufficiently diversified to compensate for bias.

Decisions on the future of our food and agriculture should not be based on misleading and misrepresentative claims that a “scientific consensus” exists on GMO safety.

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  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Mimi

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #98 on: November 14, 2013, 09:31:49 AM »
We now have an apple that cannot oxidize.  :(  It leads to an obvious question: How can we know when it has begun to rot, or did they leave that gene alone?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/non-browning-arctic-apple-concerns-gmo-opponents-1.2426494

The link on how this apple was created does not work. Here is one that does. http://www.arcticapples.com/ It answers a few questions.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

colporteur

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Re: Bioengineered Foods (GMO)
« Reply #99 on: November 14, 2013, 09:57:10 AM »

 The question that comes to my mind is.... is the non oxidizing apple also a non-digestable apple ?
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