Is your food genetically modified?

I was browsing the internet and found this on Food Inc.‘s Facebook page. Lets tell congress that we want labels on the foods that are genetically engineered, because we have the RIGHT to know where our food comes from!

to learn more check this out! Center for food safety

I sent my letter because I want to know what I am eating and what I am feeding my family. This is such an important issue an we have the Right as Americans to know where our food comes from. Will you support the cause?

-Natasha xoxo

 

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6 Responses to Is your food genetically modified?

  1. Thanks for sharing! I’ve never heard about this act and I think it’s a great one! We deserve to know such things. 🙂 PS. Thanks for commenting on my blog and sharing my love for peanut butter!!

  2. Yeah it is a great one! We deserve to know where our food comes from. And I love my peanut butter as a matter of fact I just had some on my toast for breakfast. 🙂

  3. Callie says:

    Just wanted to point you to this website for more information about genetically modified foods. It’s outdated though (written in 2000), but gives a good overview: http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/gmfood/overview.php

    Actually we’ve been genetically modifying our foods for a long time, just without all the biotech suites and gene splicing. The Irish potato famine, for example, was the result of 1) the dependence of the population on one staple crop, and 2) the breeding of potatoes to find the “best” resulted in a crop that was highly susceptible to the fungus that wiped the crop out. And the “engineering” of the “best” crop, is cross breeding the best potatoes for years and years, etc.

    I don’t know that I agree with all the technologies and modifications they’re doing to genetically modify food, but I also feel that with the right government regulation, it’s not a bad thing. Increasing the nutritional value in food definitely sounds good to me! But thinking about the evolution of bacteria to become antibiotic resistant, I don’t want to be inadvertently ingesting a food that’s herbicide resistant and as a result make myself susceptible to something else, if it exists, or will exist in the future. So yes, there needs to be labeling, but do you want labeling that’s 3 pages long with all the genetic modifications made and what those modifications mean? I think once someone comes up with the solution for how to regulate this, they’ll make millions. But not buying a food just because it says it’s genetically modified, I don’t know that that’s the answer either. In reality, all the food is genetically modified just not in the quick, scientific manner. Just like all the genes in our body have been genetically modified over thousands of years. Our ancestors are probably the ones who were infected with and survived the Black Plague, and hence were “genetically superior” to those that didn’t survive. Or perhaps they just knew to get away from the epidemic and thus were survival-skill “superior.”

    I do think, however, that splicing genes on such a short time scale does mean that scientists don’t really know all that they’re doing. With all that we’re learning about cancer, the little genes that mutate just one nucleotide, one letter in the DNA sequence, splicing an entire gene into a plant may have some downstream effects that we’re not sure about. I do not think, however, that this means we should not pursue the technology. The idea that you can genetically modify rice, the staple in a third world country, to provide all the vitamins and nutritional content necessary to let a kid in the slums of India grow up past the age of 1, that’s amazing. But we do have to make sure that in the meantime we’re not causing something else to affect their health or well-being.

    I was talking with my AP Bio teacher the other day and he posed the question to his Biotech class as to why people were headed into the organic movement. One of his students replied that it was probably because of the fear of genetically modified foods. (And we all know the root of fear is being uneducated about whatever “it” is) My argument, on the other hand, is I do not always buy organic because I want to save money. So my plans to hopefully have my own garden one day, raise my own cows and pigs for meat, etc, is all to save myself money. As you know, Natasha, we buy part of a cow from Brian’s grandfather, and we do our own cutting up or grinding of the meat. We know exactly what the cow’s have been fed (grains), and they’ve had their vaccinations. That’s pretty much it. I will admit that the cow meat we get from his grandfather does taste different than the meat you get at the grocery store. It’s definitely taken me some time to get used to. Mostly because they’re fed grains. Mad-cow disease, which I only learned recently reading “Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today” by David Clark (free for Amazon Kindle), is actually the mis-folding of a protein in the brain. When a cow dies in the field of an unknown cause, they cannot sell that meat for human consumption. So in Britain (and I’m sure the US and in other countries), they grind up that unwanted meat and serve it in the food to the cows for human consumption. However, there’s a protein in the brain that can sometimes misfold and stay misfolded. If the cows eat the brain of a cow that has this misfolded protein, then the protein will get ingested, and will travel to where it’s supposed to go (the brain) and will “encourage” the proteins there to misfold as well. Hence, mad-cow disease. They actually discovered this disease as well in cannibalistic societies, and it’s occurred before with pigs.

    So the long comment to say… Educating yourself about where your food comes from is an excellent goal. However, just because a food says it’s genetically modified doesn’t necessarily mean that you should avoid it or be afraid of it. That’s where the knowledge should take over even more and research WHAT has been genetically modified, to see if you want to consume it or not. If it’s out on the shelves, it’s safe to eat (I mean relatively speaking, like when the spinach had e. coli and was recalled, etc), but we also don’t know the long term effects just yet. I will say that I believe during the digestion process, it is quite unlikely (if not impossible, but I don’t want you to quote me on it), that a genetically modified gene from a plant will incorporate itself into the cells and DNA of your body.

    • No I do agree with you, and I don’t always buy organic either. It is very pricey! I remember reading somewhere that some of the organic products aren’t truly “organic” either, meaning they may have one small organic property and for that it is allowed to be labeled as organic. So in any case, you definitely have to educated yourself on what you put in/on your body. So, I think that there should be some sort of label so people are aware of what they are getting. Then they can decide whether or not they want to buy the product. I think this subject is fascinating, and I love reading and learning more about it. I will have to look up that book you mentioned, it sounds very interesting.
      I had no idea that Brian’s grandfather raises his own cows, I think that is great and I’m sure it does taste very different. If I knew exactly what the animals were eating and how they were being taken care of I might still eat meat. Although, I never really ate a lot of meat to begin with, I think that is why it was so easy for me to give it up.
      and Thank you for article, I will definitely check it out! If you have any other articles or book recommendations please send them my way! 🙂

      • Callie says:

        Haha will do! I think it’s fascinating as well. Although sometimes learning about all the things that can possible go wrong with the body or all the things that can possible “fix” the things that goes wrong, is highly overwhelming!! We were learning about tissue engineered blood vessels today in class (among other things), and I sat there saying to myself that I should sign a living will about what tissue engineered product I would want doctors to use on my body in the event of trauma or whatever, but I don’t have enough time in the day to keep up with the research or to look at all the possible cons for different procedures! I think there really is a point at which you say… Okay, I trust the doctor knows what she/he is doing, and they will make me better. Hence why I was relieved that when they started treating Dad’s lymphoma 2 weeks ago, they said the treatment was already well established. I was exhausted looking through possible clinical trials online!! =)

      • Oh my goodness, I didn’t know your dad has Lymphoma. That is great that they are starting treatment, especially something that is well established! Please let him know we are thinking about him. 🙂

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