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Sat., Oct. 26, 2013

Understanding GMO

In response to the Oct. 13 letter from Zana Higgs, she is dreadfully misinformed. While it is true that man (and nature) for millennia has bred crops by choosing traits that are beneficial, such as larger or better-tasting fruit, this is not the same as genetic modification. By choosing to save the seed from the best of the wheat, for instance, we now have large wheat yields that can feed large populations. In this natural process, DNA is not exchanged between species.

Most of the genetic modifications, on the other hand, take traits from one species and place it into another. The most common being taking a gene from a bacteria that glyphosate (Roundup) cannot kill and putting it into crops, so that when the field is sprayed everything is killed except for the genetically modified crop. This is not a natural process. After the DNA has crossed one trans-species boundary, how do we know it won’t cross others?

I want to know which foods are genetically modified so that I can make the choice of eating something or not that may have negative long-term consequences for my health, and the health of the planet.

Alden Sherrodd


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