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November 4, 2012


Replies: 64

Genetically Modified Food

Poopgoblyn Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012
In the next election we here in the glorious state of California are going to be voting on prop 37 [link] which will require food that are GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) to be labeled as such. And although the bill has holes as large as the straits of Gibraltar, it is, to many a big step in combating the dreaded coming of Frankenfood.

Now. I understand the infinitely complex legality situation when it comes to IPs and seeds, and how it can be used by nefarious agricultural corporations to bankrupt smaller ones, into oblivion, etc etc, this is not what the bill is really trying to curtail.

As with all California proposition ballots, proponents and opponents stick with the incredibly emotional, and easily identifiable reasons to attack one another.

Unfortunately people's perceptions of Genetic Modification in general scares the living bajesus out of people (which it rightful ought to, imo) so much so that according to studies various nations that have implemented GM Labeling would pull products that are Genetically Modified off the shelves entirely, due to such extreme negative public perception.

To sum up for convinience a website posted by P. Bryne of the Colorado State University Extension which provide extensive pros and cons for labeling such products.

Pro-labeling Arguments

Consumers have a right to know what’s in their food, especially concerning products for which health and environmental concerns have been raised (Raab and Grobe, 2003).

Mandatory labeling will allow consumers to identify and steer clear of food products that cause them problems.

Surveys indicate that a majority of Americans support mandatory labeling. (However, such surveys often do not specify the effect on food prices.)

least 21 countries and the European Union have established some form of mandatory labeling (Gruere and Rao, 2007; Phillips and McNeill, 2000).

For religious or ethical reasons, many Americans want to avoid eating animal products, including animal DNA.

Anti-labeling Arguments

Labels on GE food imply a warning about health effects, whereas no significant differences between GE and conventional foods have been detected. If a nutritional or allergenic difference were found in a GE food, current FDA regulations require a label to that effect.

Labeling of GE foods to fulfill the desires of some consumers would impose a cost on all consumers. Experience with mandatory labeling in the European Union, Japan, and New Zealand has not resulted in consumer choice. Rather, retailers have eliminated GE products from their shelves due to perceived consumer aversion to GE products (Carter and Gruere, 2003).

Consumers who want to buy non-GE food already have an option: to purchase certified organic foods, which by definition cannot be produced with GE ingredients.

The food system infrastructure (storage, processing, and transportation facilities) in this country could not currently accommodate the need for segregation of GE and non-GE products.

Consumers who want to avoid animal products need not worry about GE food. No GE products currently on the market or under review contain animal genes. (However, there is no guarantee that this will not happen in the future.)

My main problem with the proponents of the food labeling crowd is the amount of ignorance that comes into our perception and understanding of what Gentically Modified Food is. Fact of the matter is, when you really want to analyze things even more so, a lot of food we think is "natural" is in fact genetically modified.

Think not?

If you've eaten steak, you're eating genetically modified meat, since modern cattle are descendents of the Auroch, a now extinct species that we selectively bred into cows.

Ever eaten orange carrots? Of course you have, that's the only color of carrots you ever seen. Well up to the 17th century most carrots where either white or deep red (in the west) and or purple and white in the (east). Why orange? Well it was to honor the Duke of Orange. Yes. Seriously. And it was so popular, the color and the taste that it pretty much took over our staple carrots.

Apples, Pears, Wheat, virtually each one has been at one point or another in human history cross-bred, selectively bred, in such ways that are wholly "Unnatural" since they don't occur in nature at all.

But because we see nice, country wholesome farmers spending decades selectively breeding species, or cross breeding them, to attain the genetic results they want in their food, it becomes holy. Meanwhile, a scientists who does the same exact thing in significantly less time, by going in directly and turning on and off the necessary genes they want in the food, in incredibly fast time (relative to farmers) as something evil and vile and disgusting.

And that bothers me.

It bothers me to know that people are willing to pay upwards of three times for food that is ecologically more devastating, nutritiously the same if not slightly worse, and is more costly to grow, as something that is supposed to be "Progressive" and "good for you". It's done by people who have the best intentions, truly, but with an almost child like naivete are actually the opposite.

So back to Prop 37. Labeling GMOs. All the reasons against it are based on stupidity in my opinion. HOWEVER, I am a big proponent of transparency, and I WANT to know which foods are specifically genetically modified...Because frankly...I LOVE Genetically Modified Food.

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Devious Comments

kitsumekat Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012
1. Plants have been gross breeding without human help.
2. After the amount of chemicals we put in our system, I can see why the labeling would be an issue.
3. W do have GMO corn that has to be processed for it to be edible.
4. We don't know what is being spliced with or what the process of GMO is?
KittyTheNekoAlien Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I personally think the thing on GMO labeling is a bit ridiculous. People are going on the idea that GMO food is some kind of scientific abomination when we have been eating it for years. Not to mention, sources I've found say not only do GMO foods tend to be more nutritious and productive, but specifically organic foods have been known to fair worse. Not to mention, many vegetables undergo SELECTIVE BREEDING, not necessarily even actual genetic implantation. And even if it does get DNA from different organisms, it's just DNA. Transplanting one set of genes to another organism is hardly any different from computer codes. Not to mention, I don't understand what the significance of the vegetable being "pure" considering that they have been bred to become more suitable for human consumption too, even long before GMOs were an issue (corn is another interesting example).
Then again, I could have voted yes on 37 so I could only pick GMO food too c:
infinitetolerance Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012
you love genetically modified food?

that's a lie
luka1184 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012
You seem to know a lot about history and science! This is very enlightening!
DoctorV23 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012
WhiskyOmega Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Professional General Artist
I can see both sides of the arguement, but to be honest I really don't mind things the way they are now.

I really don't want to have to read a whole library every time I go shopping; I already know what just about everything in the grocery store is modified and it's my choice as a customer to buy it and consume it or not.

There are plenty of choices out there already for people, like me, who chose not to eat modified foods and I don't mind having to shop around for it.
doloreg Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012
I read a study a few months back and according to that, 41% of those who were asked thought that only genetically modified food has genes.
EbolaBearVomit Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012
"Apples, Pears, Wheat, virtually each one has been at one point or another in human history cross-bred, selectively bred, in such ways that are wholly "Unnatural" since they don't occur in nature at all."

That's not the same as genetic tinkering.
Poopgoblyn Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012
Okay, fine, how is the end result different then? Why is one considered holier than the other?
EbolaBearVomit Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012
Mating species is a process that mixes and matches traits within species that have the ability to crossbreed.

Genetically modifying a species goes beyond the natural boundaries. That's how you get goats to make silk instead of milk, by going beyond nature's boundaries.

Neither is holy, but classifications should be honest. That's all I am saying.
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