Posted On: Tuesday, 12/06/2016 11:41 am
Answered By: Alan McHughen, CE Biotechnology Specialist and Geneticist, Thursday, 3/23/2017 7:46 pm
A: In general, no. The biotech companies have been very good at responding to specific or technical questions, especially from their direct customers (farmers), but have missed opportunities to engage the public and other critics skeptical of biotechnology. To be fair, some critics cannot be engaged in rational debate, as they are pursuing an agenda and have no interest in having their ‘questions’ addressed.
However, other critics are sincere and do wish to learn (even if... Continue Reading
Posted On: Friday, 10/30/2015 3:01 pm
Answered By: Alan McHughen, CE Biotechnology Specialist and Geneticist, Friday, 3/18/2016 12:16 pm
A: The best source detailing the components used in making GE crops is probably this list at USDA- APHIS.
This site lists all of the GE crops (regulated articles) for which a petition has been submitted, and the status of each petition.
To find component details, select the specific GE crop you’re interested in and click on the arrow link to open up links to detailed documents, including Federal Register notices, the petition itself and usually some other... Continue Reading
Posted On: Monday, 5/11/2015 7:58 am
Answered By: Alan McHughen, CE Biotechnology Specialist and Geneticist, Wednesday, 7/01/2015 12:14 pm
A: I see lots of potential downsides with using the GE corn to produce insulin, from the more complicated transformation procedure, to more difficult extraction/purification, to the possibility (however remote) of food/feed corn admixtures. I was able to come up with no compelling reason to engineer a corn plant to produce insulin, as long as the bacterial system is operating effectively (which, as I understand, it is).
Posted On: Wednesday, 11/26/2014 3:01 pm
Answered By: Alan McHughen, CE Biotechnology Specialist and Geneticist, Tuesday, 12/16/2014 12:40 am
A: Modern GMOs are developed by teams of experts in different fields, as few individuals have the broad range of skills needed to develop commercialized GMOs alone. Also, different kinds of GMOs are developed for different purposes by teams with differing expertise. For example, a GMO to produce a pharmaceutical product like insulin would not require the same expertise as a GM corn crop with enhanced drought tolerance.
However, the experts typically have college level training in... Continue Reading
Posted On: Tuesday, 4/22/2014 12:33 pm
Answered By: Alan McHughen, CE Biotechnology Specialist and Geneticist, 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