Could it be that there are dirty little secrets lurking inside the foods you put on your table? “Do you really know what’s inside the tomato you just put on your salad? Do you care to know if that cheeseburger you just ate is not infused with liquid nitrogen?” There are no notices, no warnings and most definitely no labels. Genetically modified food (GMF, GM Crops, or Bio-Food) are the norm in America today. Some even say we are just another Human Experiment for our American Government. While others claim if it weren't for scientists and their experiments we would never have discovered genetics and DNA.
Today, fresh food staples such as corn, rice, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, papaya, cantaloupe, flax, radishes, sugar beets, canola, soybeans and pigs are genetically altered without any specific testing required by the FDA. And approximately all other processed foods anywhere from a 60 – 70 percent are modified. This wasn't the case when your parents or grandparents were kids. Yet, organically grown foods are put under strict scrutiny by the USDA and labeled “Organic.” Is America’s only option in purchasing foods that have not been genetically modified to buy Organics, which by definition cannot be produced with GE ingredients? This is a compelling and complicated topic in the Agricultural Biotechnology world with both positive and negative possibilities on either side of this issue.
Through my discovery diving into the genetically modified world I begin to gain a better understanding for the reasons that began the "modified" food debate. I wonder, if through the creation of genetically modified foods, there is and will continue to be ample food supply to feed the world or are these the new designer foods becoming a "commodity" benefiting only those that can produce it?
Indeed, Farmers have been modifying crops and plants for millennia, as they would keep seeds from the cream-of-the-crop holding onto them for what they call skip-planting, as they anticipated bigger and better crops in the next year. Without a doubt, the first virgin ideas were that in the minds of the farmers who began to experiment with plants in their natural components, as compared to today’s bio-manipulation strategies.
Early as 1845 there was something unthinkable happening in Ireland. It was called the potato blight that decimated the Irish agriculture as it was first discovered in the fields on the Isle of Wight. Consequently, mycologist raced to see who could be the first to identify this fungus that ate away the potato leaves.
A little later, back on this side of the pond, one of the first US pioneers in genetically modified foods dates back to 1941. Michael Way internationally recognized for his work on insect pest management. He joined Rothamsted Experimental Station in September 1943, where he studied DDT and other new insecticides. He made two major contributions to the world of entomology. The first contribution...