Ask Us Anything About GMOs!
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Q: David Suzuki says that we dont know the unintended consequences at the molecular level of genetic engineering. He uses the analogy of taking Mick Jagger and putting him in with a symphony orchestra and saying Now, make music. He say that the context...
Posted On: Tuesday, 4/22/2014 12:33 pm
Answered By: Alan McHughen, CE Biotechnology Specialist and Geneticist on Thursday, 6/26/2014 6:48 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
Q: In transgenetic Bt cultivars, do all the cells of the plant contain DNA which includes the transgene? And in those cells which do contain the gene, when and under what conditions is the insecticide protein expressed?
Posted On: Thursday, 5/22/2014 10:41 am
Answered By: Dr. L. Curtis Hannah, Professor, University of Florida on Thursday, 6/19/2014 3:47 pm
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
Posted On: Monday, 5/12/2014 3:04 pm
Answered By: Catherine Feuillet, Head of Trait Research, Bayer CropScience on Thursday, 6/19/2014 3:41 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
Q: Why is it that research is showing that since GMOs have been introduced into our foods that people are becoming ill and are now developing illnesses that will or can kill them in the long run?
Posted On: Thursday, 4/24/2014 11:02 am
Answered By: Catherine Feuillet, Head of Trait Research, Bayer CropScience on Thursday, 6/19/2014 3:37 pm
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
Posted On: Tuesday, 5/27/2014 10:53 pm
Answered By: Jennifer Schmidt, Maryland Farmer and Registered Dietician on Thursday, 6/12/2014 5:39 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