More parlor tricks are ahead for your salad.
Researchers are working on a more flavorful tomato through gene-isolating technology. This is not the introduction of genes from another species, as was the case with the GMO Flavr-Savr tomato, but neither is it traditional plant breeding.
If you are old enough, you will recall that tomatoes once had green bottoms or tops. This was deemed unattractive, and bred out, but it turned out that the genes involved in producing the green bottoms or tops also produced much of the tomato flavor—which, by the way, involves scent as much as flavor itself.
The obvious solution to this problem was to allow back the green tips, which are only a cosmetic problem. But no, modern growers couldn’t do that. They want the taste without what nature brings with it.
“We know what’s wrong with modern tomatoes and we have a pretty good idea how to fix it.” So says University of Florida researcher Harry Klee. He’s referring to the fact that tomatoes have for decades been bred for looks, size, and sturdiness at the expense of taste.
In some ways, what Klee and his team are doing is a victory of the anti-GMO movement. Klee says that he is using traditional breeding rather than genetic engineering—which he notes would produce the tastier tomato faster—because anti-GMO advocates have “won the battle” and made it more difficult to bring such laboratory experiments to market. How the Arctic apple, which has been genetically engineered to never brown, fares when it hits grocery stores in the next few months will be a good indication of whether Klee is right about the public’s preferences.
But a larger problem remains. We don’t need a food system that tricks us into thinking food tastes good. We have enough unnutritious food tricked out to appeal to us as it is. We need to support farmers who use time-tested techniques to produce delicious food and turn away from industrialized agriculture, which depletes the soil of vital nutrients—one of the real reasons food doesn’t taste like it used to. Yes, taste and soil quality go hand in hand.
And there is a still larger issue here. Many animals—not just human beings—are built to use taste as a means of choosing the food their bodies need. Believe it or not, cows can distinguish between up to a hundred different grasses with their muzzles and are naturally led to eat the ones that are less toxic or that will meet their particular needs at that momemt. If we keep ruining natural food, our natural ability to choose the nutrients to balance our biochemical processes will be completely lost.
Other articles in this week’s Pulse of Natural Health:
Feds Tighten Grip on US Medicine
Natural Products Championed in Congress
Another Alzheimer’s Drug a Huge Flop
When is a GMO not a GMO?
More parlor tricks are ahead for your salad.
13 thoughts on “When is a GMO not a GMO?”
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All this technology makes scientific agriculture even more productive than it was. How unfair to “organic” producers! The real atrocity is that we gardeners won’t have access for years.
We just had a president elected through trolls repeating false frightening accusations. Organic producers can’t take credit for having invented that method but certainly took notes.
Talk about trolls, what are you doing on here? Take your sarcastic self back to Monsanto.
I write software for DOD after having read and done actual science for about 60 years. Try that sometime.
Since Monsanto’s patent expired, the AG extension departments in EVERY state that can produce corn are creating local GMO varieties. PHDs who teach and run research plots do that to help their farmers, not to be shills for Monsanto.
Turn to the RFD TV network and watch shows like AG-PHD. Farmers are not fools. They do cost-benefit for every seed that they buy and every chemical or fertilizer that they use. They will choose a gene or a spray that costs $15 per acre and increases productivity by $200. They would do organic if it made them more money.
I get sarcastic when those who have not made the effort to learn still pretend to be experts.
Mr. Cruder, have all your “efforts to learn” come up with a justification for one farmer growing GMO crops which HE can make a bigger profit on, destroying forever the organic crops and seeds of the farmer next door through natural cross-fertilization?
Not to mention sudden hive collapse, which ultimately reduces production of all crops dependent upon bees and butterflies. Have the RFD TV show programmers gotten to that stuff yet, Bob?
While you may say that the blame for GMOs is now nicely spread around amongst many greedy perpetrators, it is doubtful any of them would have had the financial depth and lobbying power to crush so many protests, get favorable laws enacted, and purchase judges to set legal precedents to defeat so many struggling individual farmers. Monsanto (and DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer and several others) have more than established the beachhead for proprietary seed.
Monsanto and their ilk have long argued that their seed is sufficiently different to warrant patents, yet claimed the produce from these seeds is no different from non-GMOs, thus requires no labeling, and that furthermore anyone labeling their food products non-GMO are acquiring for their products an “unfair marketing advantage.”
Now, that’s not sarcasm, Bob. That’s irony. As time (and many extant independent studies ignored by the FDA and the media) will prove it’s also tragedy.
Corn with BCG genes may be a problem for butterflies but has not been proved for bees. A hypothesis is only an accusation until tested. Insects are developing resistance anyway.
It is true and rational that expensive seeds are treated but that is lost in the soil or diluted many thousands of times in the body of the plant. Similar treatment is standard for non-GMO seeds as well.
Colony collapse disorder is partly related to neo-nicotinate insecticides which are entirely separate from GMO. You should know disease inadvertently imported from Australia with replacement bees may now be a worse contributor. I learned that on RFD-TV.
I have not researched engineered soy as much but modern corn grows so fast that it tends to shade out weeds and therefore requires less frequent herbicide. Varieties are also engineered for low-till or no-till planting. Tilling is itself largely responsible for weeds whose seeds only sprout when one tills them to the surface.
Who wants “natural” cross-fertilization to mix in less effective genes? Plants are not spiritual but biological machines that do not accidentally match their propagation conditions as well as those explicitly engineered. Even without patent concerns, those growing engineered varieties do not save seed because saved seed performs so poorly compared to next year’s engineered variety.
Every natural seed and every natural animal is genetically slightly different from every other. It is absurd to claim that an engineered variant which has been tested and has intentionally low variation is less safe than the multitude of natural random variants, none of which have been tested. Such a claim is religious vitalism.
I repeat that every state extension department is developing local strains containing genes that came from Monsanto and went off-patent. They are public universities with no motive to hide toxicity, poison the public or act as shills for Monsanto. They, the USDA and the FDA read all of the studies that you or I have but ignore the ones that are poorly controlled, published in non-refereed journals or retracted by their authors. The do not consider natural-food magazines to be reliable “media”.
as a matter of *facts*, your ‘scientific’ agriculture LOST the productivity competition quite a while ago… check the stats
It is easily proven that organic produce has more nutrients. Growing foods lacking flavor, minerals & vitamins is cheap & easy. I don’t want to eat vegetable shaped cardboard.
Why can’t they breed for nutrition! I know, they say consumers won’t buy that. I will grow my own tomatoes to the extent I can & other veg & fruits. Thankfully, I have room, good soil, compost & water. The weather is a big determinant.
It’s the bacteria in soil that make soil nutrients available to plants… the healthier the soil, the more nutritious the food. A farmer’s first work is to create healthy soil, once that’s done, nutrition is pretty much automatic. You can’t fool Mother Nature by dumping NPK/pesticides/herbicides into the dead soil and expect the results that only come from healthy, living soil.
The system of trying to get a competitive advantage (in this case GE/GMO) while ignoring the laws of nature is ALWAYS shortsighted and produces inferior results.
This is the key. Love and build the soil. I have worked on this for decades. Lucky me!
Had to move my garden due to deer though & start over. I feel extremely fortunate to make my own composted organic manure, etc. I use special materials for minerals & pray no neighbor uses franken-seed.
You should have your water tested for chemicals that are slowly infiltrating into our water sheds, if you live near massive farm lands that grow corn and wheat or other GMO’d crops, chances are that the water is contaminated with Monsanto Round Up weed killer, and our water sheds are slowly seeing signs of this chemical in just about everything.
This is nothing new its been going on for years and been covered up. There are hundreds of varieties of produce produced by methods of genetic engineering already in grocery stores.. many, many varieties of tomatoes including your favorite grape tomatoes were genetically engineered in a lab as well as celery, lettuce, peas, corn, carrots and so much more. If there are no herbicide resistance or insecticidal traits they don’t have to get FDA approval, its all fast tracked to market. The deal with FDA was if the developer suspects there may be a problem they are to notify FDA….. The fox is watching the hen house >>>> The seed industry removed the patent numbers from their seed catalogues on the varieties so that the public can’t trace them to the patent office…. but there are ways around that if you know what your looking for …
Arrogance and self glorification keeps trying, to out do God. We were provided everything already!!! These Fools believe they can improve it, but have only invented unnatural ways to destroy life…