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Posted On: Tuesday, 6/24/2014 9:48 am
A: Our Explore the Basics section discusses the first GM crop introduced into the marketplace, the Flavr Savr tomato:   “The Flavr Savr tomato was the first GM food crop to be available commercially in the United States, in 1994. It was created to be less perishable. Weak harvests and costly shipping methods combined to make this tomato not a commercial success.  As a result, the Flavr Savr tomato was commercialized for only three years.”   You might also be interested in the... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Saturday, 7/12/2014 8:06 pm
A: You raise a very valid point. There is no scientific reason why organic growers cannot use genetically engineered plants. In fact, when GM plants first came on the market, I thought the organic growers would be the first to use them. The fact that plants could be engineered to avoid any spraying with insecticides would be ideal for the organic growers. Clearly I was wrong. Perhaps the arbitrary ban placed on GE technology by the organic community is because the use of genetic engineering... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Tuesday, 7/01/2014 6:02 pm
A: There are several ways in which society could increase the food produced without using GMO, but few would believe that these are "better" than GMO. For example, feeding the animals that we eat requires more resources (land, water, etc.) than if we just consumed the crops that we feed them directly. In other words, if we all became vegetarians, then there would be more food available. However, many would not believe this is "better" than using GMO tools to increase current food production.... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Wednesday, 8/13/2014 2:55 am
A: There is only one report in a lower-impact journal regarding this topic. Dinel et al. (2003) use a sensitive method to analyze plant material and soil associated with one line of Bt and one line of non-Bt corn. The authors claim to find significant differences in various molecules — quite a few, actually. They also suggest negative effects on soil bacteria associated with the Bt corn. My main concern is that the data from this limited study are done with improper controls and then are... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Monday, 5/12/2014 7:43 am
A: In all organisms, mRNA functions in translation of genetic information from the genome into proteins that are used for various functions in the cell. This is also true for papaya. Certain mRNAs that are highly abundant can trigger the plant's "immune system." The plant's response is to destroy these specific mRNAs and prevent the production of the corresponding proteins. Scientists have used this property of mRNA to engineer papaya to be resistant to the papaya ringspot virus. The scientists... Continue Reading

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