CFN – GMO’s Geneically Modified Organisms. Frankenfoods. There are a lot of buzz words about GMO’s and frankly there’s a scary edge to it all.
In the US and many countries there’s a refusal to force manufacturers to clearly label products that use GMO’s. Wheat, Corn, almost all food stocks are now GMO’s and many are used as feed to animals. Look at low chicken and pork prices in the US and what are those animals fed mostly? GMO’s.
Fish that can be bred to glow in the dark? Obesity epidemics. The concepts and applications are so wide that a simple story cannot do this topic any justice.
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. Organisms that have been genetically modified include micro-organisms such as bacteria and yeast, insects, plants, fish, and mammals. GMOs are the source ofgenetically modified foods, and are also widely used in scientific research and to produce goods other than food. The term GMO is very close to thetechnical legal term, ‘living modified organism’ defined in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which regulates international trade in living GMOs (specifically, “any living organism that possesses a novel combination of genetic material obtained through the use of modern biotechnology”
When I was a kid in the 70’s the news talked about vaccines being implanted into crops in Africa to help fight disease. A noble goal indeed.
Flounder Genes in Tomatoes?
Critics have objected to GM crops per se on several grounds, including ecological concerns, and economic concerns raised by the fact these organisms are subject to intellectual property law. GM crops also are involved in controversies over GM food with respect to whether food produced from GM crops is safe and whether GM crops are needed to address the world’s food needs. See the genetically modified food controversies article for discussion of issues about GM crops and GM food.
Instead this has turned into a vicious money game with big players like Monsanto controlling whole markets with government support.
The big questions other than following the money is simply why not label foods GMO and give the public the choice? Why suppress information? Why suppress studies? Even foods labelled as Organic or with organic practices may be grown from GMO seeds.
Pandora’s boxes are rampantly being experimented with. GMO’s insects like mosquitoes can cause disease and be used as weapons just as easily as not spread diseases such as malaria.
The science of GMO’s is something that can be a boon for mankind and a bane. That’s why it’s so utterly urgent to have measures, standards, accountability, and complete and utter transparency.
The geni is out of the bottle now. At best all we can hope to do is force governments to enact and enforce laws that protect society as best possible.
Do you know what you’re eating? Do you care?
Here is a link to Health Canada’s page on GMO food. LINK
The Government of Canada recognizes that for many Canadians, labelling of foods derived from biotechnology is an important issue of consumer preference or choice. Under a standards committee established by the Canadian General Standards Board, a Canadian standard for voluntary labelling of GE foods entitled Voluntary Labelling and Advertising of Foods that Are and Are Not Products of Genetic Engineering was developed to address non-health and safety labelling (rather, labelling for method of production, for example, whether a food has or has not been produced through genetic engineering).
This committee included a broad range of stakeholders, including consumer groups, food companies, producers, general interest groups, universities and government. In April 2004, the national standard was adopted by the Standards Council of Canada. The objectives of the national standard are to provide meaningful criteria for labelling, understandable messages for consumers, and a consistent policy to verify the truthfulness of labels.
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