What Is Gmo?? - Healthy Eating, Cooking, and Baking Blog at Allrecipes.com - 291864

Healthy Eating, Cooking, and Baking

What is GMO?? 
Dec. 12, 2012 2:12 am 
Updated: Feb. 21, 2013 10:55 pm
Sorry I haven't kept up with this blog too well as my mother with dementia is now living with us and has taken a lot of my time. I feel that education about GMO foods that our government has pretty much hidden from the people of our country has to be spread so that people know about it. Most people of other countries know more about this subject and have been able to stop, or at least have GMO foods labeled as such. Some countries have had GMO foods banned.

So just what is GMO and what does it mean. GMO stands for "Genetically Modified Organism" meaning that the DNA gene strand of the organism has been changed. This is much different than cross breeding different species. In cross breeding, only similar species can be cross bred. For example, two different tomatoes can be cross bred to produce a new sub-species. A horse and a burro can be cross bred to produce a  mule but they are similar in genetics. Crosses in simlar species happens naturally in nature. GMO organisms are not something that can be created naturally.

GMO organisms are created by blasting the DNA, with a gene gun, of two dissimilar organisms together to produce a new organism. As an example, the DNA of a frog could be blasted into the DNA stands of  fish to make it amphibious. Currently, scientist have no way of knowing what parts of the DNA strands are destroyed when the strands are blasted together. So they have no way of predicting what parts of the DNA strands the resulting organism will contain.  As for our foods, the DNA of BT, an insecticide, has been blasted into the DNA of food plants to create a product that will kill insects without the use of insecticide. Bt kills insects by making them unable to digest food causing them to eventually starve to death.  This is great for the farmer because they don't have to use insecticides, but the BT bacteria is in every cell of the GMO plant. This means that GMO corn and soy has the BT bacteria, and this is eaten by both food animals and now, with the release of GMO sweet  corn, people. We eat this BT bacteria in corn and soy products, and also in any meat from animals that have been fed GMO grains. These grains include corn, soy, and, more recently, alfalfa.

Since the GMO organisms are living organisms, it is not fully known how the organisms will react when consumed. There is evidence in released studies that the new organisms can cross with gut bacteria of animals and people to produce new organisms. Studies have shown that this may be linked to the increase of such diseases as Alzheimer's, cancer, ADHD/ADD, and a number of other diseases.

In the following posts, I will try to relate as much information on this subject as I can, but I strongly encourage everyone to do some research on their own. Most published research on this subject is from outside the U.S, as the United States government discredits any adverse GMO research results in order to protect and support Monsanto. For me to relate all of the information I have found will be long and laborious. In future posts, I will try to give you enough information that you will be interested to do some research on your own.
Dec. 12, 2012 7:41 am
Before I get into the meat of my argument, let me say that I agree with you for the most part. I use very little pesticide in my garden and I am trying to eliminate it entirely. I plant a variety of vegetables and fruits, some of which are hybrids, but mostly open pollinated.I strongly believe that the healthiest and best tasting vegetables come from a local source whether organic or not. The hierarchy goes something like this: Backyard, local farm, farmers market, county grown, state grown, regional and in country. Imports are for those rare occasions when something just can't be had in the US/Canada (Mexico might make the list if I lived in Texas). One thing that bugs me, though, are inaccuracies or assumptions that aren't well documented. For instance, Bt bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis) does not exist inside of the cell of the GMO corn as you stated in your blog. The gene for Bt toxin has been spliced into the genetic information of the corn. Yes, the toxin does get produced by the corn cell. Here's an interesting, though not perfect, article from neither side of the issue. http://soursaltybittersweet.com/content/organic-lies-about-bt-sweet-corn Thanks for the thought provoking article, Judy!
Dec. 12, 2012 10:27 pm
Thanks Doc. Sabre shakers like to raise a fuss and it kills people, like the anti-flu vaccine crowd. I personally went on a bit of a rampage a few years back when a fellow I knoew was spreading malicious vitriolic innuendo about the 'dangers' of the flu vaccine. I outed all his sources and spread that like salve across the internet and the mailing lists involved. Freaking fearmongers. Oh just for the record, Judy, I am not saying that you are a sabre shaker or a fearmonger, I believe you posted your blog with perfect intent. Whoever passed on th initial information about BT are the villains here. I get so sick of it.
Dec. 13, 2012 8:03 am
Absolutely stick with the choices you want to make. I prefer local grown and if it's organic, so much the better. In fact, I do find it less than right for GMO crowd to try to hide their products by not requiring labeling. Folks have the right to know what they're eating. Most folks don't yet care whether or not they're eating GMO. They care about flavor and price. Mostly price!
Dec. 13, 2012 8:56 am
all this playing with our foods annoys the heck out of me. We have been fed unnatural things for so long and not just in our diets. So many arguments for and against and though many 'experts' say there is no ill affect on the products-it seems a little premature to tell. Do they even know what to test for? Small farmers on the prairies may love the idea that GMO seeds can help fill the bins BUT are left with a small choice of seeds to choose to throw in the ground. Corp talk of mixing grains from all over to make a bag of flour-hard to label a REAL Non GMO product, lawsuits will go rampant (law suits? not in the US, ). Well then maybe the solution was to grow a little, test for years, see what happens over time, THEN add it to our food chain. Rather than having corn, soy, syrups, sugar beets, etc all being sent to the grocery stores by the mass truck loads. I am not sure if labeling is even an issue anymore-seems it may be next to impossible to find a food from the grocer that has not been touched by this new problem. Reminds me of the energy drinks filling the drink cases. It wasn't until people were found dead after drinking/abusing the darm thing that people sat up and took notice and now they want caffeine percentages labeled PROPERLY, um, duh, when a 10 yr old is drinking more caffeine in 2 sips than I drink in all my coffee all day, do we have a problem? Labelling is a great thing if all companies labelled truthfully. Check out many organic, environmentally friendly products and you will be amazed at what is truthful, marketable and allowed.
Dec. 13, 2012 4:19 pm
Another little point is that Monsanto the biggest company in the world produces GM foods and pesticides that they produce will only work on their seeds. They also litigate against small farmers who have the Monsanto seeds blow onto their properties, sending them broke. The Monsanto company has caused more small holdings to close since they introduced GM seeds. A tragedy not only for we folk who want non GM food but think of the families who are left with nothing. Absolutely terrible.
Dec. 13, 2012 6:04 pm
Monsanto has brought suit for seed saving a total of 145 times in the USA. Only eleven of those went to court. All were found in Monsanto's favor. Most of the 145 cases were brought to Monsanto's attention by other farmers who suspected that the offender was saving seed illegally. The only legal way to get Monsanto seed is to buy it from them. You sign a contract in which you agree not to save seed. Seems pretty straight forward. But what about those poor farmers that had all those GM seeds blowing all over their fields? Personally, I've never seen corn seed blow into a neighboring field, but I'm not a farmer. Chances are it is the pollen that is the culprit. But here's some food for thought. That field that was supposed to be non-GMO, it is a mixed bag of whatever the farmer was growing and Monsanto's GM seed. Every ear will have mostly kernals true to what the farmer planted, and then some few will have the Monsanto trait. Unless that farmer wants to use Glyphosate, it does them absolutely no good. In the only case I'm really aware of, the farmer was caught because he switched his herbicide to Glyphosate. But he never legally purchased Round-up ready seed. Monsanto is not the largest company in the world. That honor belongs to either Dutch Royal or Exxon.
Dec. 13, 2012 6:14 pm
Judy, I apologize for hijacking your blog. I'll be quiet(er) now.
Dec. 13, 2012 7:36 pm
It is very scary to realize what is done to our food supply. Over processed foods are one thing GMO's are another entirely...some things just should not be messed with. Thank you for sharing.
Dec. 14, 2012 4:56 am
This subject is of great interest to me. What is most concerning is the lack of transparency / honesty within our food supply. There was an interesting op ed piece in the New York Times by Mark Bittman. ( http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/11/pesticides-now-more-than-ever/?src=me&ref=general ) about the over use of pesticides as a result of GMO crops. In general, fields growing crops using genetically engineered seeds use 24 percent more chemicals than those grown with conventional seeds. Add to that the mounting evidence that exposure to pesticides is linked to cancer (specifically brain tumors and leukemia) and “adverse” neurodevelopment, including lowered I.Q., autism, and attention disorders and hyperactivity and Alzheimer’s has also been linked to pesticide exposure. Mother Nature will adapt and create "super weeds" which now need to be treated with a stronger, more lethal herbicides. When you consider that about 95% of all pesticides end up on or in something other than their intended target, we have a problem. 'Houston, we have a problem....'
Dec. 14, 2012 5:58 am
This seems a touchy subject for some. I do know that many countries have banned or at least demanded labeling of GMO products. The same tired arguments that companies used to try to defeat nutritional labeling are the exact arguments used by the GMO proponents. For crying out loud, just label the stuff, and let me decide what I buy for my family. PS For those of you who have no problem consuming these products.....you can have my share :)
Dec. 14, 2012 9:40 am
Monsanto and ConAgra and Sygenta win because they have deep pockets, as evidenced by the defeat of Prop 37 in CA, which only required LABELING of GMO foods. Former employees of these chemical companies are now in charge of the FDA, EPA, USDA and other agencies that are supposed to protect you and me. Instead they push thru legislation that favors these greedy corporations and protect THEM and their interests. The more we know as consumers -- the better for us! I'm all for using technology to make our lives better but the jury is still way out on this, at least in this country where greed rules. GMO labeling is even required in CHINA and Russia. Why are we lagging behind? Follow the money. It's hanging out of Monsanto's pockets as well as those of many in our government.
Dec. 14, 2012 10:36 am
OMG, is that a Hyacinth Macaw? I want one! My dream bird forever...
Dec. 15, 2012 5:44 am
Thanks for writing about GMO. Never heard of it until the day before I read your blog. I Emailed your blog to my Poppy. He's 81 and has Parkinson's. I believe his Parkinson's is a result of exposure to pesticides in the general food supply when he was younger. He'll be quite interested I'm sure. Looking forward to your next blog.
Dec. 16, 2012 3:37 pm
shampoe . . . you're talking points seem like those used against the Bush Administration . . . so you're saying the Obama Administration brought in former employees of the big, bad chemical companies and they're now in charge of the FDA, EPA, USDA and other agencies . . . interesting big media and reporters kept silent on this . . . what are you smokin?
Dec. 18, 2012 12:03 pm
Thank you for information. Waiting for your next info.
Dec. 25, 2012 11:07 pm
Hi Campergramma, Unfortunately, organic does not always mean non-GMO. Organic growing means no use of insecticides and fertilizers. GMO products are created to reduce the necessity of using insecticides. Therefore GMO foods can be grown organically. It's really unfortunate that buying organic foods is not our safety net.
Dec. 25, 2012 11:17 pm
Hi Doc Simonson, I do agree with you that the BT bacteria itself is not in the corn. It is the DNA of the BT bacteria that is blasted into the DNA of the corn. Scientist have no way of knowing what parts of the BT and corn DNA is destroyed in the process of blasting them together, and they have no way of knowing how the new DNA strand will react to our gut bacteria. Not too long ago, cattle in Montana that had died after a diet of GMO grain were tested by a group of non-government scientist, and a new organism, unknown to science, was found in the brains of the animals. BT has been used for years as an insecticide with no ill effect because it was an external application. Genetic modification creates a whole new bag of worms.
Dec. 25, 2012 11:21 pm
By the way, Doc Simonson, I have no problem with challenges - in fact, I welcome them. They get all of us thinking. I did extensive study on this subject for one of my college classes (I am not a kid at 66 year), and the information I found was scary. I know the internet has a lot of bad information, so the trick is in finding consistencies and actual, factual research.
Dec. 25, 2012 11:33 pm
Hi Raedwulf, I agree with you that there are sometimes scares that are completely unfounded. For example, the latest one for brown rice containing arsenic. What people fail to look into is that arsenic exists in organic and non-organic forms. The organic form is not absorbed during digestion - it just passed through. Only the non-organic form is detrimental. This form comes from the water where the rice is grown, and only exists in some countries. All brown rice contains arsenic, and so do other foods. Whether they are dangerous or not depends on the type of arsenic. So I am really not a "fear monger". I just think that we need to be open minded and educate ourselves. Let's face it - our government is all about the bucks. They may all have their own private food sources and don't care if the population has an increase in cancer, diabetes, dementia, and a number of other diseases on the increase. More disease and health problems pads the pockets of medicare and insurance companies.
Dec. 25, 2012 11:42 pm
Hi Redneck Gramma, I completely agree with you. Labeling means nothing unless it is honest and truthful. Now many vegetables are labeled with a PLU code. 4 digits means naturally grown, 5 digits starting with an "8' mean GMO, and 5 digits stating with a "9" mean organic. Who the heck would label anything with a code starting with 8. No one would buy it. GMO crops can be coded as organic because they don't have to use insecticides - the plants kill the insects when they eat them.
Dec. 25, 2012 11:57 pm
Baking Nana, You are entirely correct. One of the purposes of the Roundup Ready crops was that Montesanto Roundup could be used in any amount without killing the crop. As you mentioned, nature has produced "super weeds" that are not affected by glysophate. So farmers use more Roundup in an effort to kill the weeds. The problem is that the increase Roundup use is starting to kill the natural bacteria in the earth that release nitrogen and phosphorus to the plants for food. This is causing what is called "sudden death syndrome", and the GMO plants are dying for lack of nutrients. There are estimates that most of the farmland in the U.S. will be sterile with one decade. If this happens, we will be dependent on importation from foreign countries for our much of our food.
Dec. 26, 2012 12:32 am
To Everyone Here, What it all boils down to is that we all need to do our research. You don't have to believe me. If you do enough research, you will find out the truth. I have to ask why every other country in the world either has mandatory lableling or has banned GMO products entirely? Why is it that most people in the U.S. either know nothing about GMO products or feels they are safe because the FDA has approve them? At this point in time, I don't think it is possible to avoid all GMO products. Field fed chickens cost in excess of $17 each, GMO soy and corn is in almost every condiment we use. We can try to eat healthier by making our own broth, but using bones from animals fed GMO grains means only that we are leeching out the GMO in the bones. Not everyone can afford to buy non-GMO meat and bones. If you do your research, many diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, ADHD, ADD, etc. have been on the increase since 2000 when GMO crops started to increase. As a breeder of parrots, I have seen a decrease in fertility and live hatchings of chicks since 2000. Most animal food contains corn and soy as the first two ingredients. When I gave my speech on GMO foods in a college class, in a class of 13 people, 1 lost a baby before birth and the next had brain damage, 5 had children with ADHD or ADD, 1 had a child that needed a kidney transplant before 6 months of age. Something is really wrong with this picture!! I really don't think that I am off-the-wall or an alarmist. I tend to be very much a "show-me" kind of person. I can only recommend that you do some research on you own and make your own judgement.
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About Me
I breed large parrots, like to write, raise most of our veggies, completed my AS degree at 65, enjoy cooking specialty dishes and baking bread. I have done extensive study of cooking and eating healthy. A few years ago, I started researching healthy eating for my parrots, and it has since changed focus to the diet of my family. At this point, I make all of our bread using fresh milled flour that I make. We eat primarily pastures fed meats and eggs, and I make many of our condiments. We also avoid GMO foods and ingredients as much as possible. Since my 93 year old mother has moved in with us, we have eliminated the 10 medications she was on, and her physical and mental condition has improved considerably. I totally believe that we are what we eat. What is really best for us is a constant learning experience.
My favorite things to cook
I get bored with cooking daily meals, but enjoy making specialty and new dishes. I also enjoy baking breads from scratch using freshly ground flour made from various grains that I buy in bulk.
My cooking triumphs
One of my cooking triumphs was baking whole grain breads that are light, tasty, and healthy.
My cooking tragedies
My latest cooking tragedy was recovered with some effort. I made the Navy Bean and Ham soup that I posted and after the cooking time, much of the liquid had evaporated. I was tired when it finished and put it into containers and froze it as it was. The next day we had it for dinner and it was way too thick. As much as I didn't feel like it, I thawed 8 containers of the soup, added more broth, and repackaged it for freezing. It was really a pain, but I'm glad I did it. The finished soup was so much better.
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