How do you feel about this quote? The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison Ann Wigmore Can you please explain as it pertains to allegations that GMOs are a form of poison that is killing is softly. What does biotech say about those claims? Please answer
Submitted by: Steve
Expert response from Community Manager
Friday, 01/29/2016 16:24
The perspective posed by Ann Wigmore is too black and white to really reflect nutrition’s role in our well-being. Foods aren’t medicines; nor are they poisons. A quality food pattern is a necessary part of our daily needs.
We humans are omnivores, meaning that we eat practically anything, from grubs and insects to roots and seaweed. Sugars (honey) and salt have always been a prized item going back to our origins. Early humans ate meat, pounds of it per day, to get sufficient energy. They augmented it with whatever berries, seeds, and grasses they could find. This meant that they needed to travel to maintain adequate game and gathered foods. Available foods would rise and fall dramatically during the seasons of the year. So, too, did diet quality.
All that changed 10,000 years ago when humans devised agricultural methods to farm. Puny, wild grasses, tubers, plants were bred into larger, more nutritious grains, starches, fruits, and vegetables, many of which could be stored and used when needed. Animals were selectively domesticated for meat and milk, among other products. The process of cross-breeding plants and animals, along with developing newer, more innovative agricultural methods, has never stopped since then. As a result, famine, nutrient deficiencies, infant and child death rates all have steadily fallen world-wide, just as life expectancy and quality of life has steadily risen.
Over the past century scientific and technological innovations have pushed the efficiency of agriculture to a point at which we now are capable of feeding 7 billion people. Just as understanding genetics has revolutionized medical science, it has also allowed us to grow stronger, more adaptable, and more nutritious plants on far less land than ever in our history.
Genetic modification is one of the many new tools. GM involves moving a gene from one species into another species in order to get one specific trait or characteristic. Like humans, plants contain thousands of genes. The DNA in plants is no different from that of humans. Genes are found in all living things, so we eat DNA, RNA, and proteins (made under the direction of our DNA) in our diet every day without problems. Proteins in the diet do not produce long-term health effects. A few are well-known to cause allergic reactions, but they were formed from traditional cross-breeding techniques, not from GM methods. Genetic methods are precise enough to allow for screening and elimination of any genes that might cause an allergy. It is so precise that, to date, there has not been any reaction to any GM-produced protein in the food supply.
The more you learn about the details of the new agricultural tools the more you understand their promise for helping to safely feed a complex world of 9 billion by 2050, something that the methods in use 100 years ago could never even dream.