Ask Us Anything About GMOs!

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Posted On: Tuesday, 7/01/2014 8:04 pm
A: Your question reflects a common view that “monocropping” and the use of agrichemicals damage the environment, and that alternative diversified cropping systems can reduce these threats. This is clearly an over simplification of the reality, as all agricultural production systems are complex and balance a number of trade-offs between economic productivity and environmental sustainability. Very few agricultural systems are true “monocrops,” except for perhaps at scale of individual fields,... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Saturday, 7/12/2014 8:10 pm
A: I agree that it has essentially has been a lapse on scientists’ part not to express this “truth” whenever appropriate. I believe that allowing the definition of “GMO” to be limited to the use of modern scientific technologies has, over time, caused its placement within the context of genetic improvement to be lost. Especially for non-specialists, there seems to be a tendency to not understand that all foodstuff contain DNA and with no to few exceptions, were and are deliberately modified by... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Tuesday, 7/08/2014 3:36 pm
A: What a great question! It even caused me to put down my breakfast of coffee and mixed GMO and non-GMO grain cereal. Note in passing that, worldwide, coffee is being devastated by coffee rust disease: resistance has been discovered, but one way to protect our crops from disease in the future will be biotechnology. An example of this is GMO blight-resistant chestnut, where a gene from wheat destroys the plant-damaging toxic chemical produced by the fungus, so rendering the tree disease-resistant... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Wednesday, 11/06/2013 4:07 pm
A: Earthworms, along with other soil macroorganisms, provide essential ecosystem services. In the most important book written on earthworms in the last 100 years, Edwards and Bohlen (Biology and Ecology of Earthworms, 1996) examined the potential impact of many agricultural products on earthworms. The authors rank the toxicity of active ingredients to earthworms using a scale of 0 (relatively nontoxic) to 3 (extremely toxic). Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup formulations, is ranked 0... Continue Reading
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Posted On: Wednesday, 7/31/2013 11:09 am
A: You won’t find one if you are talking about a randomized, blind, controlled clinical study with human subjects to establish the safety of GM crops. This model is not used to establish food safety. There are several studies of nutritionally altered GM crops with expected biological effect. These were paid for by Monsanto, and I will talk below about why these were conducted. In general, a question on human studies was answered on this site previously, but please allow me to explain the... Continue Reading

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