Last week when I wrote about my supersized potatoes, I was mainly interested in calories and portion control. SuzyMobile mentioned the possibility that they were genetically modified. That’s something I wanted to investigate.
According to Rodale.com (The Organic Gardening people)
Hybrids are formed by taking 2 parents plants of the same species and pollinating them for desirable traits like disease or drought resistance.
Crossbreeding hybrids has been going on for centuries and it has a long track record of feeding humans and mammals effectively
In genetic modification genes from different species that could never be cross pollinated in nature can be modified in a lab using a “gene gun” or bacterial infection.
The other side:
GMO advocates point to the fact that nature can make mistakes too. In June 2012 a report from Austin, Texas (examiner.com) tells of 15 of 18 cattle dying from cyanide gas poisoning. The gas suddenly began being emitted by a pasture of grass grown from hybrid (not GMO) seeds that the rancher had been using for 15 years.
However, his area was experiencing severe drought. The lack of oxygen in the soil caused the excess of carbon and nitrogen and the plants vented the excess as cyanide gas. I wonder if excessive use of nitrogen based fertilizer was also a factor considering the drought conditions.
Why does that not make me feel better about GMOs? The author's premise, echoed by some of the comments, is that we shouldn’t be misled by anti-GMO hype.
Labeling our food as GMO-free seems a logical step to me. Way back in the fifties I remember companies resisting the requirement for ingredient labels on their foods. I also know the massive amount of money poured into California by agribusiness to defeat the GMO labeling initiative.
We can’t discount the profit motive.
Hybrid seeds cannot be patented, but GMO seeds can.
OK, so how do we avoid this new technology if we want to. It’s not easy
The article below lists the most GMO enhanced products in the USA
Soy, corn, cottonseed, canola oil, U.S. papaya, alfalfa, milk, sugar beets and aspartame with accompanying explanations.
No mention of potatoes which started me off on this quest for information. I’ll have to check that out further.