Ask Us Anything About GMOs!

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Posted On: Tuesday, 4/22/2014 12:33 pm
A: Genes — portions of the chemical abbreviated as DNA — have been moved around from one species to another by humans since the 1970s, and by Mother Nature for eons. In every case, the anticipated outcome has been realized. For example, humans have been moving the gene for insulin from humans to bacteria for almost half a century (and now provide insulin for almost all insulin-dependent diabetics). In every case, the recipient bacteria “read” the human insulin gene recipe and make human insulin.... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Thursday, 5/22/2014 10:41 am
A: Thank you for two excellent questions.  First, “Do all cells in a Bt-containing transgenic plant contain the Bt transgene?  The general answer is yes.  Barring rare mutation or rare chromosomal abnormalities, all somatic cells in a plant contain the same DNA.  The large part of a cereal seed (corn, wheat, oats, rye, rice, etc) is called an endosperm and it has three doses of each gene whereas other cells and tissues contain only two copies.  However it is the same... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Monday, 5/12/2014 3:04 pm
A: We sanitize our labs before and after working with all organisms, regardless of whether they are genetically engineered or not. We work with microbial strains that are sometimes genetically modified but other times are not. We also work with plant cells and tissues under sterile conditions that may or may not be genetically engineered. It is critical to sanitize our work areas to maintain the purity of our cultures. The fact that we sometimes use genetically engineered organisms does not... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Thursday, 4/24/2014 11:02 am
A: I am continually asked questions concerning the safety of genetically modified foods and the (perceived) lack of studies indicating their safe use in our daily lives. To hear such questions reminds me of our continued duty and commitment as scientists to better inform everyone as to what we do and why we do it. I view GM technology as an extension of plant improvement practices that have been ongoing since the dawn of agriculture, about 10,000 years ago. Such crops as corn (Zea mays) are... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Tuesday, 5/27/2014 10:53 pm
A: That's an easy question to ask and a very difficult one to answer. There are some circles that would lead you to believe that it’s a simple matter of putting the acronym "GMO" on a label. For people who haven't followed a corn or soybean seed from the field to the fork, it would seem to be an easy thing to just "put" on a label. For those of us in farming, we know that it’s not so simple and would have a catastrophic impact on our family farms if it passed. There is nothing simple about the... Continue Reading

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