Environmental Cowboy

James D. Watson (1928-04-06 age:90) the co-discoverer of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid), says people are foolish to be worried about GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) foods because in principle they are no different than the products of traditional plant and animal breeders.

That is ridiculous. Traditional breeding can only make tiny incremental changes. It can’t make plants start producing pesticides, or scorpion venom or goat milk to contain spider silk, or some totally new chemical never before seen in nature. You must test these additives for safety. Just because they got there via GMO does not make them automatically safe. Unlike a traditional pesticide, you can’t wash a GMO pesticide off or wait for it to degrade. It is created afresh in every cell.

A drug is carefully tested for side effects and allergies, even though it will be given to only a relatively small number of people. In contrast a GMO crop is fed to everyone. It becomes a secret ingredient of thousands of products. If you have an allergy, you can’t avoid it. Therefore, testing needs to be stricter than for drugs. I would like to see some research on why so many people have recently developed a gluten allergy. One possibility is an allergy to GMO wheat.

Once a gene gets out into the field, it jumps to other species. You also have to test the safety of what happens if this gene becomes widespread. Monsanto has said it does not believe it should be required to test its products for safety. The government should do that.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)