Category Archives: GMO

The Controversial Technology That Divided My Family

Ok, I’ll get right to the point.  I have a confession to make.  It’s something I don’t really like to think about….. It’s a point of contention for citizens all across the country, even the planet.  There are very strong feelings about it on both sides. In this case, my dad and I have majorContinue Reading

6 Responses to The Controversial Technology That Divided My Family

  1. Ben says:

    Drives me crazy that chemical laden, modified food hijacked the word “conventional”. Is there anything more conventional than organic plants growing in dirt?

    The non-organic food is what should require labeling. I dream of a day when organic food is just labeled “food” and GMO pesticide drenched food has a surgeon general’s warning on it.

    • Erica says:

      Ben, you’re right, I never thought about the use of the word conventional that way. We definitely have it backwards! Keep holding that vision, maybe we’ll get there in our lifetime!

  2. I’m definitely trying to phase out GMOs, but it has been easier said than done.

    I’ve made strides by shopping more at farmer’s markets and signing up for veggie boxes sent to my home.

    This article, though, has opened my eyes to a whole host of other things to look out for! Great info. Thanks a bunch!

    • Erica says:

      I’m so glad to hear that, Jennifer! Good for you for putting in the effort. I am fortunate that I live in an area where organic food is easy to get my hands on, but I’ve also lived in areas where that wasn’t the case and I’d have to put a lot more effort into finding organic/non-GMO food. Hopefully we’re moving closer to it being readily available to everyone!

      • Gene Mann says:

        Hi Erica,
        There is a lot of controversy over GMO crops and one thing that is really needed in this debate is an injection of truth and facts. You may not be aware of it, but on your website you are promulgating a number of untrue points about GMOs that have been spread by Anti-GM groups like Greenpeace who know better. I would like to take this opportunity to correct some of the points you make and provide evidence to support this. On your site you claim that ” I learned that scientists spearheading this big genetic experiment had performed no safety trials before introducing these “frankenfoods” to the food supply. Not a single study was run prior to putting these GMOs on our dinner tables.” The truth is that GM crops are regulated in the US with oversight by USDA, FDA and, for insect resistant plants, EPA. In order to get cultivation approval in the US (oversight by USDA) a petitioner must conduct numerous field trials in different locations and in 2 different years in order to demonstrate that the GM crop grows and otherwise performs in an identical way compared to its non-GM counterpart. In order to get approval to use the crop in its traditional way for food or feed, the FDA reviews many different studies that demonstate the safety of the new protein whose production is directed by the new gene. In addition hundreds of different nutritional components (all amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and anti-nutrients [yes, even traditional foods contain toxic compounds]) are measured in the GM crop and compared to its traditional non-GM counterpart to demonstrate that the nutritional characteristics of the GM crop are the same as its nonGM counterpart. The regulatory dossiers submitted to the USDA and FDA consist of many studies with hundreds of pages of data. These are reviewed carefully by the regulatory agencies in a process that takes a couple of years. If you are interested you can go to a USDA website where all petitions that are being reviewed and all approved GM crops are listed (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/biotechnology/petitions_table_pending.shtml). Here you can even download a copy of the petitions and see all of the studies and data that is being presented by the petitioner to support the environmental, food, and feed safety of the products. If you do this I think you will see that contrary to the statement on your webpage, many in depth studies are conducted to demonstrate the safety of GM crops prior to their commercialization.
        I think it is important to be as factual as possible when discussing current issues such as GM technology and so I hope you will consider changing your comments on this topic on your webpage to be aligned with the truth and facts. I encourage you to take a look at the above USDA site and peruse a few of the regulatory petitions for GM crops.

        • Erica says:

          Hi “Gene Man”. I am familiar with the lengthy approval process of GM crops by regulatory agencies, via field trials and establishing bio-equivalency, although my knowledge is perhaps not as intimate as yours given your affiliation with Bayer. I imagine my readers aren’t as familiar with the process, so I’m glad you’ve shed some light on it.

          In my statement where you reference that no safety trials had been performed before introducing genetic engineering to the food supply, I was referring to clinical trials to assess the impact of consuming GMOs on human beings. When a new drug or medical device is submitted for approval to the FDA, clinical trials must be performed in which the drug or device is administered to actual patients to assess safety, efficacy and any adverse reactions. To my knowledge, no studies were performed to determine how the long-term consumption of GMO’s impacts human beings. I will update that sentence to qualify the safety studies to which I’m referring.

          I do a great deal of research before posting articles on my website and what I share are facts that are corroborated by multiple scientific and medical sources many of which are referenced. It is certainly true that there is conflicting evidence on GMOs. I focus on independent research since the companies that profit from GMOs may be biased in their reporting, as has proven to be the case for pharmaceutical companies when reporting on their drug studies. I have never utilized Greenpeace as a source of scientific evidence; I consider them a political organization, not a scientific one.

          I do not refute in this article that GMOs are regulated by the appropriate governing agencies. The incestuous relationships between Monsanto and these agencies make it hard and frankly, unwise to have faith in their impartial regulation. Many former Monsanto execs holding important positions in the FDA, EPA, and USDA creates a conflict of interest of which the American public ought be leery.

          Although I choose to avoid eating GMO products and recommend others do the same, I respect the right of individuals to make their own informed decisions. That’s one of the reasons I strongly support GMO labeling. The science and technology behind GMO products is fascinating and creative work, and there are many brilliant well intentioned people working in this field. However, I want humans to survive and thrive for a long time on this planet, and long term longitudinal studies would be required before GMO products could be determined to be safe for human consumption; these studies were never done, and GMO foods were released into the food supply without labeling, making the US population guinea pigs for GMO products. It appears from the evidence so far, that at least some GMO products have adverse health effects on humans.

          Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I always find if helpful for me to consider other viewpoints; I hope you will take another look at this issue and consider that the law of unintended consequences may be helpful to consider before making huge changes in the food supply.

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Disclaimer: I am not a doctor.  I am a scientist and householder.  Please do not replace advice from a doctor or medical professional with information found on this site.