GMOs in Groceries

By • September 22, 2017

The following is an excerpt of a guest column by GMO Answers Expert Janice Person that originally appeared at Forbes.com about some GMOs that people might not know about. 

What are some interesting examples of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Janice Person, worked with & eaten GMO crops since 1996, currently works at Monsanto, on Quora:

With the buzz around genetically modified organisms over the past few years, it seems that not everyone knows about the most interesting GMOs. I have quite a few that I enjoy talking about and I frequently hear people ask why they haven’t heard of them before. So, I’m going to walk through some of my favorites that are the type of genetically engineered products that most people mean when they say GMO.

INSULIN — Few folks think about GMOs in the full set that science does, but insulin is considered the first GMO, before that it was sourced from taking the pancreas from animals. Having had a diabetic or two in my extended family, the ability to produce insulin faster and easier is something really rewarding and I frequently wonder how awesome it would feel to have been on that breakthrough team to develop something that proves to be lifesaving for others.

IN A NUTSHELL — My favorite GMO is probably the American chestnut tree that the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry has been working on. I grew up in a part of the US where chestnut trees were the most abundant trees in America’s Appalachian Mountains. It was an important hardwood during my grandparents’ lives, but the tree was lost as the forests were devastated by a blight. That not only changed the combination of trees, but resulted in shifts of wildlife that fed on American chestnuts. A TEDx session from SUNY researcher Bill Powell does a great job explaining the project and is so compelling that individuals like me have contributed funding.

THE RAINBOW PAPAYA — The 1980s had a disease called the ringspot virus that was attacking papaya farms in Hawaii. There weren’t cultural practices nor fungicides that could control it. Farmers like Ken Kamiya were facing the total loss of their farms and way of life. Some farmers were burning down trees in hopes of controlling the spread. The University of Hawaii worked on in-plant protection through GMOs. Farmers and scientists on the islands have worked hard to get the public to understand, but it has not been easy, as the NY Times shared in this article: A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops. The university developers discuss their work and the public controversy in the recent documentary Food Evolution narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson (astronomer) (available via iTunes and Amazon), which is also where I learned more about the GMO banana in development in Uganda.

DROUGHT-TOLERANT CROPS — Growing food in some parts of the world is easier than others. In areas like sub-Saharan Africa, the lack of available water can make the difference between being able to feed your family and going hungry. In some other areas, having drought-tolerant crops can mean the ability to pay bills versus risk catastrophe if the season is one that doesn’t bring the necessary rain. This video produced by colleagues shows the result of drought-tolerant corn hybrids for a family in Kenya. It makes me incredibly proud to work for Monsanto.

THE GMO I KNOW BEST — For years, I worked in the cotton industry and I remember clearly when the GMO that we commonly call bt. cotton came out. If you have ever driven at night in a part of the world where cotton is grown, you have probably been grossed out by the high number of insects that hit your windshield. Lots of those moths are laying eggs that will become damaging worms if they get established. There are several GMO traits that protect the plants from those worms, resulting in significant drops in the use of insecticides and reducing on-farm risk which farmers have embraced.

BROADER DEFINITION OF GMO — A lot of scientists have trouble with the common understanding of GMOs because genetic modifications don’t always involve biotechnology. If you are willing to think of that, then one of the selection and breeding advances that leaves me wowed is the brassica family. Something that started as wild mustard is now available in many different forms in the produce section of the store, as some people really liked the state of the leaves, others like the blooms, still others liked the buds. From that we get cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and kale, just to name a few.


Another one I love thinking about is how what started out as teosinte has over the course of time become the corn, sweet corn, popcorn, etc. that we love. This is the size teosinte’s cob started out as. That’s my index finger, and the kernels are the small green parts that cross over to the left. That was a cob!

 

 

 

To read this article in its original format, please visit Most People Don't Give These Interesting GMOs The Credit They Deserve at Forbes.com. 

Posted on April 12, 2017
There are no GM tomatoes on the market but there is quite a bit of misinformation about GM crops on the Internet – for example “spooky” Fish DNA in tomatoes - that is designed to mislead and scare consumers.                                             ... Read More
Posted on June 22, 2017
This site is dedicated to presenting the facts and research behind GMOs, agriculture and biotechnology. We work with appropriate experts, scientists and academia to get answers and information to any and all questions submitted to the website.   GMO Answers was created to do a better job answering your questions — no matter what they are — about GMOs. The biotech industry stands 100 percent behind the health and safety of the GM crops on the market today, but we... Read More
Posted on March 2, 2017
The term “GMO” typically refers to crops or animals that, through genetic engineering, have had a gene (or a few genes) from a different species inserted into their genome. So yes, by design, to improve a crop or animal with genetic engineering, the genome of the new, GE variety has been changed by the addition of new genes(s).     Your question also asks about whether inserting the new gene(s) will “…activate genes…” Some traits in... Read More

By • September 20, 2017

The following is a video from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) highlighting the need for agricultural innovation to help feed the planet in the future. 

Modern agriculture has made significant contributions to our lives- providing safe, accessible and nutritious foods and beverages. Agricultural innovations, including plant breeding, biotechnology and precision farming will allow the food supply to meet the needs of a growing population.


Please visit the IFIC website for more information. 

Posted on July 28, 2017
Hummingbird feeders often contain a sugar solution that is similar to plant nectar. Therefore, bees are attracted to these Hummingbird feeders, because similar to hummingbirds, the sugar/nectar attracts them. There are some hummingbird feeders on the market that are designed to prevent bees, ants, and other insects from getting in.   Bee decline is complex and often misunderstood by the public. Chris Sansone, Global Regulatory Affairs Manager of Insect Resistance Management (... Read More
Answer:
Posted on April 12, 2017
There are no GM tomatoes on the market but there is quite a bit of misinformation about GM crops on the Internet – for example “spooky” Fish DNA in tomatoes - that is designed to mislead and scare consumers.                                             ... Read More
Posted on June 22, 2017
This site is dedicated to presenting the facts and research behind GMOs, agriculture and biotechnology. We work with appropriate experts, scientists and academia to get answers and information to any and all questions submitted to the website.   GMO Answers was created to do a better job answering your questions — no matter what they are — about GMOs. The biotech industry stands 100 percent behind the health and safety of the GM crops on the market today, but we... Read More

By • September 18, 2017

The following is a video posted at the Super Deluxe YouTube page that asks the question, Are GMOs Safe? This 7 minute explains in great detail many of the misconceptions about GMOs and GMO foods. 

 

To view the video on the Super Deluxe YouTube page, please click here. 

Posted on June 28, 2017
The short answer is no, neither MSG or animal extraction are from GMOs, nor is MSG, animal extraction, or animal products/animal DNA in GMOs.   When people refer to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), they are referring to precision plant breeding using genetic engineering (also called GE). It allows plant breeders to take a desirable trait (like resistance to drought, insects, weeds, and disease) from one plant or organism and transfer it to the plant... Read More
Answer:
Posted on June 28, 2017
No. MSG, monosodium glutamate, is a chemical additive, certainly not a GMO.
Answer:
Posted on June 28, 2017
Monosodium glutamate is mainly produced by a fermentation process with sugar as a starting material. It is not GMO. Plants that have been genetically modified do not contain any animal residue or byproducts.
Answer:

By • September 14, 2017

The following is an article by Andrew Porterfield posted to the Genetic Literacy Project website that debunks the common myth that GMOs are causing a spike in new allergies. 

Over the last 30 years, reported cases of food allergies — especially in young children — have gone up.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4 percent of children under 18 have some kind of food or digestive allergy. That number represents an increase of 18 percent for all food allergies among children between 1997 and 2007.

For some foods, the increase has been even greater. For example, peanut allergy prevalence has quadrupled from 0.4 percent in 1997 to more than 2 percent in 2010. In fact, peanut allergy is now the leading cause of anaphylactic shock — the most severe form of allergy — due to food in the United States. And the problem isn’t just confined to the US: hospital admissions for food-related anaphylaxis has seen a seven-fold rise in the United Kingdom since 1990.

So, what’s going on? Assuming these increases are bona fide, what’s causing them?

There is no short list of culprits. Microbiome, Western diet, and socioeconomic status to name a few. A number of groups have also blamed genetically modified food. According to the Organic Consumers Association, the main trade group for the organic food industry:

Genetic engineering, for instance, can increase existing allergens, or produce new, unknown allergens. Both appear to have happened in genetically modified (GM) soy, which is found in the majority of processed foods.

Jeffrey Smith, head of the Institute for Responsible Technology, author of the books Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette, weighed in withthis advice:

Beginning in 1996, genes from bacteria and viruses have been forced into the DNA of soy, corn, cotton, and canola plants, which are used for food. Ohio allergist John Boyles is one of a growing number of experts who believe that these genetically modified (GM) foods are contributing to the huge jump in food allergies in the US, especially among children.

However, of the foods that most frequently cause food allergy, GM versions simply don’t exist.

There is no GM peanut (although development of a hypoallergenic GM peanut is ongoing). There is no GM milk. Or consumable GM egg (although there is now that makes medicine). However, a few cases of allergenicity cropped up during early experiments involving genetically engineered foods, which piqued concerns.

  • The first, in 1996, involved the transfer of a Brazil nut protein into a soybean to enhance the soy’s nutrition. However, the allergenic properties of the Brazil nut protein 2S albumin, a common allergen, also were transferred over and triggered an allergic reaction in experimental human volunteers. The 2S albumin was transferred because of its methionine (an essential amino acid) content. The experiment was halted.
  • The second involved an Australian experiment in 2005 on mice in which a bean protein designed to resist the pea weevil (an insect pest) ended up triggering severe immune reactions in the mice. While the alpha-amylase inhibitor protein itself was expressed in mice, it had changed glycosylation (sugars that coat the protein). Glycosylation is a very specific, and changes in these sugar coatings can trigger an immune response against the “new” protein. Not only was this found out quickly through a thorough study, today’s immunological products have more ways to significantly reduce these changes in glycosylation.

Both of these incidents show one of three ways an allergy risk could possibly increase from GM foods. The incidents involve transferring a known allergen (either a Brazil nut protein, or glycosylation) into a food crop. A second way is to increase the inherent ability of a GM crop to cause allergies. However, no studies have found heightened intrinsic allergenicity when compared with non-biotech equivalents. The third way involves the creation of a brand new, novel protein that could trigger an allergy. Though this last possibility, of a “franken-protein,” has caught media attention and been used by anti-GMO groups, it has not yet happened.

European Union health agencies, and member nation health agencies, as well as the US FDA, EPA and USDA, are all involved in necessary rigorous assessments of GM foods (or any other foods) for allergic potential. The EPA, in fact, maintains an extensive list of foods that could trigger allergies. Another resource used to test for allergens is the University of Nebraska’s Allergen Online, which matches amino acid sequences of possible allergens with reference proteins known to cause allergies. And, so far, no single biotechnology-based protein in food has been found to cause an allergic reaction.

While any food could cause an allergic reaction in somebody, some patterns have arisen:

  • First, allergens are nearly all proteins. Thus, by studying the amino acid sequence of a potential genetically engineered protein and comparing to amino acid sequences of known allergens, it is relatively straightforward task to determine early on if a protein might cause problems.
  • Nearly all allergens trigger a complex immune system process that results in the creation of antibody called IgE (immunoglobulin type E). An allergy is triggered by the second exposure to the allergen, by triggering a reaction from IgE. However, the specific proteins that trigger this reaction vary a great deal.
  • While food allergies can come from any food, the overwhelming majority (90 percent) come from eight foods: Peanuts, wheat, soy, milk, shellfish, fish, eggs and tree nuts (Brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds). In children, most allergies are caused by eggs, milk, and peanuts.
  • Allergies are not the same as intolerances, such as lactose intolerance. Intolerances are caused by different molecular and biological mechanisms, such as the absence of an enzyme (like lactase), and don’t necessarily require the complete avoidance that allergies do. They are not the same as toxins, which create an immediate reaction on first exposure.

If not GMOs, then what?

The causes behind the increase in food allergies are not known. While anti-GMO groups have pointed to biotechnology, there are other proposed causes, each with a varying degree of data to support each:

  • The “hygiene hypothesis,” which proposes that a more germ-free existence during infancy and early childhood doesn’t trigger immune reactions to pathogens at an early age. This means, the hypothesis goes, that such immune systems don’t recognize true pathogens and reacts instead to what should be harmless stimuli (i.e., food).
  • Birth by caesarean section, because a baby born this way does not acquire its mother’s gastrointestinal bacteria that it would during a vaginal birth. This development of the infant’s microbiome could help boost immunity to pathogens, but without proper (or any) development, allergies may result. Babies born by caesarean section do appear to have a higher risk of developing food allergies.
  • Food additives, like sulfites and sodium benzoate, may trigger reactions in some people. Artificial sweeteners and food colorings may also cause allergies in sensitive people. These additives are common parts of nearly all foods, and while some are added during processing, others are natural.
  • Genetics and inheritability aren’t very clearly linked to food allergies, especially when viewing them in general. A Johns Hopkins study found a 20 percent penetrance (the degree to which a version of a gene causes the predicted phenotype) of genes around two significant immune genes, HLA-DR and HLA-DQ, associated with peanut allergy, but they also found that not everybody with these genes gets an allergic reaction.

The typical treatment for food allergy is avoidance. However, some studies have shown some there may be a better treatment, as well as insights into the etiology of allergies.

  • A British study on peanuts carefully measured allergic reaction in 500 infants when the children reached five years of age. All the infants were at high-risk of peanut allergy, and when they were five, given an oral challenge (basically, given a peanut and then measured for a reaction). 17.2 percent of children who had avoided peanuts since infancy had an allergic reaction, while just 3.2 percent of the children who had consumed peanuts since infancy had an allergic reaction. In addition, among children who had no apparent risk of allergy, 13.7 percent of children who avoided peanuts did have an allergy, while just 1.9 percent of children who ate peanuts had such an allergy.
  • A large Australian survey of more than 5,000 infants found that risks of allergy included parents born overseas (especially from Asia), delayed consumption of eggs, peanuts and sesame, and family history. Dogs, however, were apparently protective from allergic risks.
  • A University of Chicago team fed Clostridium bacteria (the same genus, but not the same species as C. difficile, the scourge of hospital-acquired infections worldwide) to mice that had been raised in sterile environments. With no microbiome developed in their intestinal systems, the mice developed severe allergic reactions to peanuts. Clostridium, however, fought off the allergic reaction.

Allergic reactions are complex. Even though eight foods cause most allergies, many more can cause specific reactions, because everybody’s intestinal, nervous and immune systems are different (not to mention their genetics). While certain genetically engineered experimental foods were found to have allergens, these allergens were known and caught by researchers in early stages, just as a test on organic peanuts would also show a potential allergic reaction in sensitive people. And further studies have shown that transgenics technology does not make a food any more allergenic — but neither does it automatically make it less (unless the target trait is allergenicity).

To read this entire article at the Genetic Literacy Project website, please click Are GMOs responsible for a spike in food allergies?

Posted on June 22, 2017
This site is dedicated to presenting the facts and research behind GMOs, agriculture and biotechnology. We work with appropriate experts, scientists and academia to get answers and information to any and all questions submitted to the website.   GMO Answers was created to do a better job answering your questions — no matter what they are — about GMOs. The biotech industry stands 100 percent behind the health and safety of the GM crops on the market today, but we... Read More
Posted on March 2, 2017
The term “GMO” typically refers to crops or animals that, through genetic engineering, have had a gene (or a few genes) from a different species inserted into their genome. So yes, by design, to improve a crop or animal with genetic engineering, the genome of the new, GE variety has been changed by the addition of new genes(s).     Your question also asks about whether inserting the new gene(s) will “…activate genes…” Some traits in... Read More
Posted on August 15, 2017
No! However, poor nutrition coupled with highly processed foods and a lack of education regarding healthy eating is bad for our kids. As a mother and farmer, I believe the best way to keep my family safe and healthy is to make sure they eat a balanced diet and make good food choices daily. Fresh, healthy ingredients and minimally processed foods that are low in sugar, salt, calories and cholesterol provide kids with the best opportunity for a healthy diet. Agricultural biotechnology... Read More
Answer:

By • September 12, 2017

The following is an excerpt of an article from the Capital Press about an upcoming event at the University of Idaho discussing GMOs

An upcoming speaker at the University of Idaho plans to share his experiences in compiling a study about the realities of GMOs.

Fred Gould, professor of agriculture at North Carolina State University, served as chairman of a National Academy of Sciences committee that issued a report in 2016 about genetically engineered crops over the past 20 years, and what’s coming in the future. The resulting 600-page report considered health and environmental safety and agricultural impacts.

Gould will summarize the report and explain why “it might be reasonable to trust what we found (and) how we went about collecting all this information,” he told the Capital Press.

Gould will speak alongside journalist and science communicator Cara Santa Maria 6 p.m., Sept. 18, at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre in Moscow, Idaho, as part of UI’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Speaker Series. The title of the presentation is ‘“What’s For Dinner?: A Guide to Understanding GMOs.” The event is free and open to the public.

“There is a continuing need to communicate the science and what GMOs can offer growers and consumers, and what they can’t,” said Joseph Kuhl, associate professor of plant genetics at UI.

Gould said he hopes to convey to the public how a researcher goes about separating the wheat – useful information – from the chaff, which ranges from “Everything is going to kill you,” to “Without genetic engineering, we can’t feed the world.”

Please visit the Capital Press website to read the rest of the article. 

Posted on April 12, 2017
There are no GM tomatoes on the market but there is quite a bit of misinformation about GM crops on the Internet – for example “spooky” Fish DNA in tomatoes - that is designed to mislead and scare consumers.                                             ... Read More
Posted on June 22, 2017
This site is dedicated to presenting the facts and research behind GMOs, agriculture and biotechnology. We work with appropriate experts, scientists and academia to get answers and information to any and all questions submitted to the website.   GMO Answers was created to do a better job answering your questions — no matter what they are — about GMOs. The biotech industry stands 100 percent behind the health and safety of the GM crops on the market today, but we... Read More
Posted on March 2, 2017
The term “GMO” typically refers to crops or animals that, through genetic engineering, have had a gene (or a few genes) from a different species inserted into their genome. So yes, by design, to improve a crop or animal with genetic engineering, the genome of the new, GE variety has been changed by the addition of new genes(s).     Your question also asks about whether inserting the new gene(s) will “…activate genes…” Some traits in... Read More

By • September 06, 2017

The following is an excerpt of an article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel covering a new campaign by the National Milk Producers Federation to educate people about food labelling. 

A national group with strong ties to Wisconsin dairy farms has urged food companies to stop using labels such as “GMO-free” for marketing purposes.

The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, Va., says food manufacturers have turned to “fear-based” labeling that plays on the fear of things like genetically modified organism products, synthetic animal-growth hormones and high fructose corn syrup.

In its “Peel Back the Label” campaign, the dairy industry trade group says nearly 70% of American consumers look to food labels when making purchase decisions, but that some of the information is misleading.

For instance, one company has labeled its table salt as “GMO-free,” when it could never have been GMO in the first place because salt has no genes to modify.

Similar marketing practices have taken place with dairy products, according to the National Milk Producers Federation, which says it represents about 70% of Wisconsin’s dairy farms through farm cooperatives and individual memberships.

“The deceptive labels and fear-based marketing increasingly used by some food manufacturers damages consumer trust and jeopardizes the safe, sustainable farming practices that have enhanced farm productivity over the last 20 years,” said Jim Mulhern, federation president.

Click here to read the entire article, or here to learn more about the campaign

Posted on April 12, 2017
There are no GM tomatoes on the market but there is quite a bit of misinformation about GM crops on the Internet – for example “spooky” Fish DNA in tomatoes - that is designed to mislead and scare consumers.                                             ... Read More
Posted on June 22, 2017
This site is dedicated to presenting the facts and research behind GMOs, agriculture and biotechnology. We work with appropriate experts, scientists and academia to get answers and information to any and all questions submitted to the website.   GMO Answers was created to do a better job answering your questions — no matter what they are — about GMOs. The biotech industry stands 100 percent behind the health and safety of the GM crops on the market today, but we... Read More
Posted on March 2, 2017
The term “GMO” typically refers to crops or animals that, through genetic engineering, have had a gene (or a few genes) from a different species inserted into their genome. So yes, by design, to improve a crop or animal with genetic engineering, the genome of the new, GE variety has been changed by the addition of new genes(s).     Your question also asks about whether inserting the new gene(s) will “…activate genes…” Some traits in... Read More

By • August 28, 2017

The following is an excerpt of an article at The Conversation by Michigan State University researchers examining questions Americans have about our food supply. 

More than one-third of Americans do not know that foods with no genetically modified ingredients contain genes, according to the new nationally representative Food Literacy and Engagement Poll we recently conducted at Michigan State University. For the record, all foods contain genes, and so do all people.

 

The majority of respondents who answered this question incorrectly were young and affluent, and also more likely than their peers to describe themselves as having a higher-than-average understanding of the global food system. The full survey revealed that much of the U.S. public remains disengaged or misinformed about food. These findings are problematic because food shapes our lives on a personal level, while consumer choices and agricultural practices set the course for our collective future in a number of ways, from food production impacts to public health.

Informing food discussions

The Food Literacy and Engagement Poll, which we plan to conduct annually, is part of [email protected], a new initiative based in Michigan State University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. [email protected]’s mission is to listen to consumers, promote dialogue and help the public make more informed choices about food.

Many factors make those decisions challenging for today’s consumers. Rapid scientific innovation has made it possible to engineer crops that can grow without fertilizer, survive flooding and supply vital nutrients to communities in the developing world. But further progress may be limited without public awareness and support for research on urgent food and agriculture challenges.

Meanwhile, the proliferation of online content with conflicting messages makes it hard for Americans to separate valid nutritional information from fads and fraud. Influential multinational corporations push ideas that aren’t always based in science, but rather intended to promote their own products.

Our inaugural poll reveals that the public lags far behind current scientific understanding when it comes to food. Equally troubling, Americans aren’t turning to scientists for answers.

Please visit The Conversation to read the results of the entire study

Posted on April 12, 2017
There are no GM tomatoes on the market but there is quite a bit of misinformation about GM crops on the Internet – for example “spooky” Fish DNA in tomatoes - that is designed to mislead and scare consumers.                                             ... Read More
Posted on June 22, 2017
This site is dedicated to presenting the facts and research behind GMOs, agriculture and biotechnology. We work with appropriate experts, scientists and academia to get answers and information to any and all questions submitted to the website.   GMO Answers was created to do a better job answering your questions — no matter what they are — about GMOs. The biotech industry stands 100 percent behind the health and safety of the GM crops on the market today, but we... Read More
Posted on March 2, 2017
The term “GMO” typically refers to crops or animals that, through genetic engineering, have had a gene (or a few genes) from a different species inserted into their genome. So yes, by design, to improve a crop or animal with genetic engineering, the genome of the new, GE variety has been changed by the addition of new genes(s).     Your question also asks about whether inserting the new gene(s) will “…activate genes…” Some traits in... Read More

By • August 18, 2017

The following is an excerpt of a guest column in the Denton (TX) Record-Chronicle by Texas A&M Extension Agent David Annis about the history of genetically modification.  

Have you wondered if genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are safe to eat? Do you wonder about the labels on the food that say "Natural" or "Organic" and what this means to you? Are you concerned about antibiotics in meats and dairy on your table? Where do you turn for the unbiased answers to these questions?

Let's face it. The debate — no, let's call it what it is — the fight both for and against GMOs have been going on for years. Nevertheless, did you know that we have been playing around with GMOs for thousands of years? Modifying crops, cross breeding animals, always in search of those that were best suited for the environment around them. These modifications reached the point hundreds of years ago that these plants would not survive without the help and management of humans. How did we get here?

Between 1850 and 1860, Austrian monk Gregor Mendel tinkered with the genetics of the pea plant. In the 1950s, scientists started using radiation in plant-breeding programs. This has produced thousands of useful mutants and a sizable fraction of the world's crops. These include varieties of rice, wheat, barley, pears, peas, cotton, peppermint, sunflowers, peanuts, grapefruit, sesame, bananas, cassava and sorghum. The mutant wheat is used for bread and pasta, and the mutant barley for beer and fine whiskey. 

To read the rest of the article, please read the original column at the Denton Record-Chronicle

Posted on June 22, 2017
This site is dedicated to presenting the facts and research behind GMOs, agriculture and biotechnology. We work with appropriate experts, scientists and academia to get answers and information to any and all questions submitted to the website.   GMO Answers was created to do a better job answering your questions — no matter what they are — about GMOs. The biotech industry stands 100 percent behind the health and safety of the GM crops on the market today, but we... Read More
Posted on March 2, 2017
The term “GMO” typically refers to crops or animals that, through genetic engineering, have had a gene (or a few genes) from a different species inserted into their genome. So yes, by design, to improve a crop or animal with genetic engineering, the genome of the new, GE variety has been changed by the addition of new genes(s).     Your question also asks about whether inserting the new gene(s) will “…activate genes…” Some traits in... Read More
Posted on April 22, 2017
GMO plants, like all other plants, do not “sleep” in the sense that you and I as mammals sleep. However, plants do have natural processes that may be cyclic or seasonal, indicating a cycle or rhythm to their growth and life. This is not technically “sleeping” but let me give you a couple of examples of what I mean.    Some plants have a type of metabolism known as CAM (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism). Plants which have CAM close the pores on their leaves... Read More

By • August 17, 2017

The following is an excerpt of an article and video on the WTAJ-TV website discussing how GMO seeds have helped local farmers. 

AG Progress Days is an opportunity for vendors and producers to all come together and show the advancements in agriculture but what I've learned today is that it's equally important to get the community involved.

TA Seeds is based in Jersey Shore, Pa., and it's participated with AG Progress Days for about 35 years. For over three decades  its seen the growth and advancements for genetic modification. But Taylor Doebler, owner of TA Seeds, said the label has come with a downfall.

"Misinformation out there is hurting everybody when it comes to what GMOs are about," Doebler said. You have the traditional or conventional seed, and others modified with man-made proteins. Those additives fight off pests that can infect crops. "GMO and other products are tools in a farmer's or producers toolbox," Doebler said.

The modification protects the corn that cows eat, which produce your milk and beef. Having more options available for producers is what Congressman Glenn Thompson said keeps the industry competitive. "It makes it a fair fight for our farmers," Thompson said. And keeps local companies afloat.

"It helps them to have more money in the pockets of farmers and farm families at the end of the day," Thompson said. But modifications come with a steeper price tag. The retail value can be up to 60% more than conventional seeds. Ultimately Doebler said breaking down each option helps the community better understand the industry.

"Talk to people and explain to them where their food comes from," Doebler said.

Click here to read the entire article and view the video. 

 

Posted on April 12, 2017
There are no GM tomatoes on the market but there is quite a bit of misinformation about GM crops on the Internet – for example “spooky” Fish DNA in tomatoes - that is designed to mislead and scare consumers.                                             ... Read More
Posted on June 22, 2017
This site is dedicated to presenting the facts and research behind GMOs, agriculture and biotechnology. We work with appropriate experts, scientists and academia to get answers and information to any and all questions submitted to the website.   GMO Answers was created to do a better job answering your questions — no matter what they are — about GMOs. The biotech industry stands 100 percent behind the health and safety of the GM crops on the market today, but we... Read More
Posted on March 2, 2017
The term “GMO” typically refers to crops or animals that, through genetic engineering, have had a gene (or a few genes) from a different species inserted into their genome. So yes, by design, to improve a crop or animal with genetic engineering, the genome of the new, GE variety has been changed by the addition of new genes(s).     Your question also asks about whether inserting the new gene(s) will “…activate genes…” Some traits in... Read More

By • August 16, 2017

The following is a video of GMO Answers Expert and Ambassador Katie Pratt discussing why she grows GMOs on her farm. 

 

To see the video on YouTube, please click here

Posted on June 28, 2017
The short answer is no, neither MSG or animal extraction are from GMOs, nor is MSG, animal extraction, or animal products/animal DNA in GMOs.   When people refer to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), they are referring to precision plant breeding using genetic engineering (also called GE). It allows plant breeders to take a desirable trait (like resistance to drought, insects, weeds, and disease) from one plant or organism and transfer it to the plant... Read More
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Posted on June 28, 2017
No. MSG, monosodium glutamate, is a chemical additive, certainly not a GMO.
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Posted on June 28, 2017
Monosodium glutamate is mainly produced by a fermentation process with sugar as a starting material. It is not GMO. Plants that have been genetically modified do not contain any animal residue or byproducts.
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