Ask Us Anything About GMOs!
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Q: Have GMO crops been modified in order that the plants are resistant to poisonous pesticides being sprayed on them? And how exactly is this resistance bred?
Posted On: Tuesday, 6/03/2014 4:38 pm
Answered By: Xiaohua Yang, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University on Thursday, 8/21/2014 8:19 pm
A: Thank you very much for your question. I assume your use of the word “pesticide” is in its most common sense, which means it can be any type of plant-protection product that shields plants from damaging influences from weeds, pathogens or insects. Thus, for crops the term “pesticide” generally comprises three types of products: herbicide to control weeds, insecticides to control insects and fungicide to control plant diseases. “GMO” is short for “genetically modified organism,” so I... Continue Reading
Q: Do you believe it valid to associate GM foods with the rise in food allergies, and if not then to what would you attribute the trend? For example, could cornsoy allergies be caused by the sheer quantity of cornsoy and their derivatives in our food,...
Posted On: Monday, 7/14/2014 11:10 am
Answered By: Jennifer Schmidt, Maryland Farmer and Registered Dietician on Wednesday, 8/13/2014 5:10 pm
A: In short, no, I do not believe it valid to associate GM foods with the rise in food allergies. According to the Food Allergy Research and Education Center, 90 percent of the food allergies in the United States stem from eight foods: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, shellfish and fish. Of those eight foods, only one of them — soy — has varieties that have been genetically engineered. None of the others has. Non-GM soy, of which I am a grower, is also allergenic, so the fact is,... Continue Reading
Posted On: Tuesday, 7/01/2014 8:06 pm
Answered By: Bruce M. Chassy, Professor Emeritus of Food Safety and Nutritional Sciences, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Monday, 8/11/2014 5:49 pm
A: I understand that claims made by Jeffrey Smith, the movie’s director and author of the self-published book, Genetic Roulette, are alarming and could cause great concern. It’s important to understand Mr. Smith’s background. He is not a doctor or researcher, and he has never conducted a scientific study or published a peer-reviewed scientific paper. Please read his biography at his website to confirm this. He is an energetic, articulate and persuasive layperson who has made himself into one of... Continue Reading
Q: Is squash genetically modified or is it just because of pesticide use that make it unsafe to eat?
Posted On: Monday, 4/21/2014 1:04 am
Answered By: Bill Johnson, Ph.D., Ph.D. Squash Breeder, Seminis/Monsanto Vegetable Seeds, Monsanto Company on Friday, 8/08/2014 2:22 pm
A: Thanks for your misguided question, Edith! I tease you a bit because you include a statement in your question that squash is unsafe to eat, which I simply cannot leave alone or fail to point out. Squash is safe to eat as always, whether GMO or not, assuming that the farmer who grew the squash you eat has not violated any of the guidelines regarding the application of pesticies. The use of the pesticides represents an extremely low risk to health that is far more than outweighed by the health... Continue Reading
Q: Can you comment on these studies listed on a web site called 5 reasons to be concerned about GMOs? While Monsanto initially marketed Roundup as being safer than table salt, several studies have pointed to health risks. A 2008 study in Sweden linked...
Posted On: Saturday, 3/22/2014 10:34 pm
Answered By: Kevin Folta, Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida on Monday, 8/04/2014 8:47 pm
A: I'm glad to comment on these points. First, look at the dates. These are results, almost a decade old, that nobody else has repeated. Think about it. In science, everyone wants to be number two! If these results were real, they would have opened new worlds of inquiry with many labs and hundreds of papers. When we talk about Roundup, we need to consider two things: toxicity and exposure. First, let's talk exposure. It is applied weeks before there is product on the plant, so even plants... Continue Reading