About Genetically Modified foods (GMO)

About Genetically Modified food (GMO)

Note: per definition, Organic food does not contain genetically modified ingredients, as per Section 205.105 of the National Organic Standards. (From USDA: link 1 and link 2)

There are multiple aspects that should be considered when talking about GMO.

  • First one has to do with the way how new genes are inserted into the target Organism. This process can be compared to hammering a pickup truck to look like a bicycle. After countless failed attempts you end up with a something that looks like and rides a bicycle – but you wouldn’t know if it is also leaking gasoline. More about the GMO techniques in a separate post.
  • The nature of a gene inserted into the target organism. All living things tend to spread and reproduce, bees carry pollen from plant to a plant, and fish can escape from its captivity. Are we as the people would you be comfortable if this new genetic material would spread in the wild?

    Example 1: Company called StarLink created GMO corn with pesticide called Cry9C. This corn was not meant for human consumption, but in the year 2000, independent research group detected a GMO StarLink in the tacos, which was confirmed by FDA. These tacos were immediately pulled off the market. Per EPA, (From: EPA). The StarLink corn was meant to be used as a domestic animal feed (From: EPA).

    Example 2. GMO Salmon, currently being evaluated. This genetic modification causes salmon to release extra growth hormone, so farm raised salmon grows much faster. For safety sake, all such salmon are sexually sterile – but it takes only one mutation to reverse it. Problem occurs when one non-sterile GMO salmon escapes from the farm. GMO salmon exhibits agonistic (aggressive encounters between members of the same species) and cannibalistic behavior, which causes population collapse and extinction. (From: FDA and NIH).

  • Legal aspects.: Farmer A is growing GMO corn. Corn pollen can travel in the wind for 1/2 mile with a 15 mph wind in a couple of minutes(OSU), thus reaching farmer B’s corn field and pollinate his non-GMO crop. Not only farmer B ends up with GMO harvest, which could be disastrous for an organic farmer, but on many occasions, Monstanto would sue farmer B for “stealing” the copyrighted genetic material.(news)


In 2010, 73% of all non-organic corn in USA was GMO. In this genetic modification, a gene from a soil bacterium Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) was transplanted into corn. As a result, BT corn produces special protein, called Delta-Endotoxins, which is an insecticide. (From: USDA). Government agencies state that BT corn is safe (From: EPA). Meanwhile, BT insecticide is also used to kill mosquitoes in the standing water.
However, BT toxin is only permitted to be used for standing water in “home and garden”, and it is illegal to add BT into water drains into public drinking water sources (From: Washington State Dept. of Agriculture).

P.S. Other crops that have BT gene in them: BT Soy (From: EPA), BT Potatoes (From: NIH), BT Rice (From: NIH), BT Canola oil (From: NIH) and BT Cotton (From: USDA).

P.P.S. Insects are developing resistance to BT crops as we speak. (From: NIH)


One of the main Monsanto product lines is called “Roundup Ready” (From: Monsanto). This GMO variety of various crops is engineered to be tolerant of a herbicidal product called “Roundup”. Active ingredient in Roundup is a herbicide called “glyphosate” (From: NIH). Glyphosate even in low concentrations causes brain damage in embryos. (From NIH: Link_1 and Link_2). “Roundup Ready” crops are grown all over USA (From: USDA). As a result of “Roundup Ready” GMO crops, glyphosate is now heavily used all across USA. (From: EPA 1998 map) Compared to the map as of 1998, usage of glyphosate went up rapidly (From: USGS. It is even used on US public lands (From: FWS.GOV).
Bottom line: Country-wide use of GMO “Roundup Ready” crops acts as a catalyst in country-wide use of embryo toxin glyphosat.

Common GMO Crops and Seed Materials: Alfalfa, Barley, Canola, Cantaloupe, Corn, Cotton, Dry Beans, Flax, Mustard, Oats, Papaya, Peanuts, Potato, Radicchio, Rapeseed, Rice, Rye, Safflower, Sorghum, Soybean, Squash, Sugarcane, Sugar Beet, Sunflower, Sweet Potato, Tobacco, Tomato, Watermelon, Wheat, Zucchini. Forage and Legume Inoculants. (From: WA Dept. of Agriculture).

Resource: USDA Database of GMO crops for food and feed:  Govt Bio DB

14 Responses to About Genetically Modified foods (GMO)

  1. Since all the research cited is either from the chemical industry that creates GMO’s or govt sources that accept the word of chemical corporations such as Monsanto, it amazes me that there is even any criticism on this site at all for GMOs.

    Independent research is legitimate research and all of it shows the dangers of GMOs to health of humans, animals and the environment. BT is showing up in the umbilical cords on fetuses and in the intestines of humans. This bacteria overpowers the necessary bacteria for health in the intestines causing havoc in immune systems and creating absorption problems, further impacting health. Jeffery Smith’s website Institute for Responsible Technology list many resources. One documentary, The World According to Monsanto portrays the politics, economics and health issues of GMOs. Included in this documentary are the voices of various scientists who did research on GMOs and they state their concerns. Attempting to feed GMO food to animals seems to always be a failure when the animals are given a choice of food. In rats reproduction is virtually destroyed within a very few generations and the few offspring there are dont have a good survival rate.

    I would say that if only looking at govt funded research in the USA, then this website will not be looking at some of the most valuable research being done globally. Hungary has just recently burned all the GMO corn fields due to its hazzards. Other countries are beginning to ban GMOs, too.

    Further, the UN WHO stated in a report not too long ago that organic farming can feed all of Africa. GMO agriculture on the other hand, produces less and less withing 3 yrs of planting practice. In India, GMO cotton has devestated small farmers resulting in 1000’s of suicides by Monsanto’s toxic chemicals. These farmers were sold a bad bill of goods by Monsanto and found they were no longer allowed to collect seeds from their own fields. The chemicals kept costing more and the weeds became more resistent to the toxic GMO plants thus requiring even more chemicals.

    Monsanto and their ilk waged a serious war against seed collectors in the US only a few short years ago. Farmers for years would build their own inexpensive equipment to collect and clean seeds. Monsanto created a phony argument that these methods were unhealthy and wound up putting this end of the American agriculture out of business. Of course, these corporations would step in with their own seed.

    They are also buying up small seed companies, even the organic ones. Their effort is clearly to control all seeds and thereby all life for without food we don’t live. Anyone who even thinks they can use the word ‘fair’ in the same sentence as GMO owner corporations is clearly not presenting a full picture.

    • You realize that the “umbilical cord” study is complete garbage, don’t you? I can explain it if you care. Did you read it and understand it, or are you just parroting what you are told? I can tell you why it is trash… hint… look at standard curves. I won’t even bother to reply to the rest. Ignore scientists– listen to the guy that profits from fear and selling books. Nice job. Are you anti-climate change too ? Science is science, and it does not support your contentions.

      • I would add, as a lay person who has gotten numerous headaches trying to investigate the bogus claims made by anti-GMO folks:

        The (infamous) “Bt in umbilical cords” “study” has the following in fine print:

        “Our study did not quantify the exact levels of [pesticides associated genetically modified foods] in a market-basket study. However, given the widespread use of GM foods in the local daily diet (soybeans, corn, potatoes, . . .), it is conceivable that the majority of the population is exposed through their daily diet.”

        In short, they did not even determine whether or not the women they studied even ate the genetically modified foods they claim to be studying! They just ASSUMED it!

        Worse, that means they couldn’t possibly have compared the results to a control group.


        That makes this “study” less than worthless–except for starting Internet rumors by bogus experts.

      • Then just go eat your GMOs and ill keep eating organic so my future kids can have kids, as for yours …

      • Lol moron skips every good point to focus on ONE possible convoluted fact as if that somehow invalidates everything the person has said.

        Troll is an agent. The Government pays well, yea?

  2. WHO is going to stop Monsanto??? Small farmers fought to keep their seeds, spending hundreds & hundreds of thousands of dollars against Monsanto; going broke in the process and LOSING their battle with Monsanto. It’s time to call in the BIG guns!

  3. While there may be some people, somewhere, experimenting with genetically modifying strawberries, the reality is that new strawberry varieties are developed through traditional cross breeding. California produces more than 80% of the US strawberries, and more than 55% of the strawberry acreage in California is planted in varieties developed by the University of California Davis Strawberry Breeding Program. More in information can be found here: http://research.ucdavis.edu/strawberry/bp

    • Did you read your own link? The part where it said “A commercial use of GM strawberries is not to be expected in the long run”?

      There have been GMO strawberries produced in the lab. Zero were produced on the market, and according to YOUR link, it’s likely they’ll never make it on the market.

      So, as far as the strawberry industry is concerned, GMO strawberries don’t exist. Not as a marketable crop.

  4. Explain to me,WHY does Monsatan list them as one of their patented products then ?????????????????????


    • I don’t have any definitive personal knowledge whether GMO strawberries are on the commercial horizon or not, but companies have to apply for patents within a certain time frame, whether or not there are immediate commercial prospects or not. They have to apply to preserve their rights, just in case.

  5. http://www.personal.psu.edu/afr3/blogs/SIOW/2010/10/killer-strawberries—a-tale-of-gm-foods.html
    I certainty don’t believe everything on the net, but came across this today. Is this being done to strawberries? I surely hope not :-/ The consequences of people who are allergic to peanuts would surely need to know if so.

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