Monday, March 10, 2014

Most food is a GMO…

There is more to this than a Label...

There has been a lot of debate regarding genetically modified organisms in the world.  I
Source: Wilson's Page
would suggest that unless you catch it wild that what you are eating is genetically modified.  So technically (in my opinion), in essence you can put a GMO tag on just about any food you can think of…

If we use corn for example, wild corn looks nothing like the corn we eat today.  Ever since Gregor Mendel, Luther Burbank and Barbara McClintock (a corn geneticist) we have been manipulating animal and plant genomes for years.  This has allowed man to keep producing more food on the same footprint of land.  It also has allowed more people to work elsewhere and spend a smaller portion of their time and money on food.

Well, what about buying “vintage” breeds of chicken?  Yes, unless kept in a random bred flock they too are modified in some way, and look nothing like their ancestors.  Poultry breeding companies adopted the same genetic tools to poultry breeding and selection and made todays birds more productive in the same environment of old.  Even organic raised birds are using the identical genetics of conventional birds.

And, for that matter, man is also a genetically manipulated species as well.  While we could argue that we are randomly selected, I would suggest that environmental influences and social customs, taste & preferences are still at play in forming the next generation.   I would also suggest that we look at the good that science has given to man, even in the food we eat.  I believe it does outweigh the bad.


  1. There is a big difference between using the natural process of breeding or propagation to develop new varieties of animals or plants and chemically modifying or inserting genes of unrelated kinds in hopes to engineer super foods or animals. Leading people to believe they are the same is deceitful.

    1. I appreciate the comment Anonymous! In my opinion GMO is yet another "tool" used by the geneticist to bring a desired outcome. All have equal importance, and GMO has fewer side effects for the target species over selective breeding. If you look at the picture above for corn you can agree that we have departed far from the wild state, even with selective hybridization. My intuition is that another tool will be developed in time that will make GMO obsolete.