Tuesday, June 11, 2013

When it comes to GMOs, what’s in a label? — Latitude News

When it comes to GMOs, what’s in a label? — Latitude News: "President John F. Kennedy once said: “A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” So why is everyone so afraid of identifying GMOs? What, after all, is a genetically modified or engineered organism?  Is a Cockapoo dog — a cross-breed between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle — a GMO? No. How about grafting two different trees together? Nope. Crossbreeding and hybridization bring together two closely related species. Scientists have been doing these procedures for centuries. Their benefits are proven.

Crossbreeding has been so successful in developing new and better crops that biotech firms took the technique a step further. Genetic modification combines genes from totally different species that were never crossbred — wheat genes injected into soybeans, for example. The World Health Organization defines a GMO as having altered DNA that doesn’t occur naturally. Sometimes, genes are transferred not just from another species, but from a whole different natural kingdom, such as fish cells injected into tomato cells, or genes that have been created in labs."

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