Comments

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Kim

This is absolutely lovely. Wish I could've gotten passed the fact that the first day of autumn is September 22 this year. Not today.

Erin

This is excellent information and a perspective I had not considered. Thanks to Megan for the website also.

Dustin

Is the purpose of insecticides and herbicides not to increase yeild? Why use herbicide?, because weeds compete with crops for space, light, nutrients, and water; no weeds = all the resources are allocated to the crop plants only. Similair to the purpose of insecticides; if insects are eating away plant organs the plants cannot yield large, healthy produce. Sure the round-up company has found a way to make sure only their weed killer is bought with these specific GM crops, but thats just good old capitalism the West is so fond of. Its cool that people choose not to support a certain company for whatever reason, however boycotting GM crops entirely won't get us anywhere. Bt plants DO increase crop yeilds. GMOs are not merely dilussional hype as so many trendy venues might suggest. Contrarty to some beliefs, not all scientists are merely searching for a fat paycheck http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090721090129.htm

dar

No. It probably isn't as bad as we think. I'm guessing the problems with GMO
is to be beyond comprehension. This is science gone horribly wrong. We MUST stop it. One behemoth corporation controlling the world's food supply and safety is riduculous. And I'm sorry if you believed the hype. Wake up. Stop being a dumb sucker.

meganmadhu

75% of GMOs currently on the market are bred for herbicide tolerance (i.e. "RoundUp Ready" crops). They are sold by the same companies who sell the herbicides to spray on them. Most of the remaining varieties are engineered to produce Bt (an insecticide) in every cell of the plant. THERE ARE NO GM CROPS CURRENTLY ON THE MARKET THAT OFFER INCREASED YIELD, DROUGHT TOLERANCE, OR IMPROVED NUTRITION. The companies that sell GMOs appeal to people's concern about food shortages and changing climate by promoting GMOs as the solution, but the facts don't support the hype. Also, while it is true that only a few gene sequences are INTENTIONALLY altered with genetic modification, scientists are starting to discover that, due to the infinitely complex nature of DNA, when genes are modified in one place, it can have unintended affects elsewhere in the DNA. The bottom line is that everyone should have the right to choose whether or not to consume GMOs. The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit that is currently launching North America's first third-party non-GMO verification and labeling. Find out more at www.nongmoproject.org

Caroline

I agree with Jamie. In the hands of the right people, minimally modified GM foods could potentially help a lot of people in need. Unfortunately, the "right" people are rarely the ones that have the money to decide how GM foods are used. What we are seeing now is the wrong way to use GM foods -- to make your apples bigger and excessively red without nutritional benefit. The right way to use this technology, I believe, is to use it to engineer plants to be able to adapt to different climates so that the needed foods can grow in the region where they are needed. Scientists are working on this now, and have been for years. I think the problem with GM foods is not inherent in the idea, but in the execution. Don't blame science or the researchers -- it's really about whoever has the $$ to put the idea into use, unfortunately however they see fit.

Dustin

I fail to see the jump in logic that from inserting a gene (lets say a fish gene for unsaturated fats into a strain of corn so it can tolerate colder temperatures) will make the individuals "forget" their connection with the wholeness of life. From the fish and plant's perspective it illustrates the wholeness of life, i.e. there is a very obvious connection between different life forms if their genes are interchangeable. From the human perspective this would not imply we are distinct individuals of nature either; horizontal gene transfer was observed by scientists happening in nature, and simply because we can direct this process does not mean humans automaticly think we are above the natural world. Using an antiboitic to kill an infectious disease is an example of humans directing nature too, yet because we can understand our existence relative to things around us does not neccissarily mean humans consider themselves as "individuals." As for "GM foods being designed to make corporations money", I think this is an unfairly baised statement. GM foods are designed to improve crop yeilds, thats it. Just like picking the best crop to seed next year's field. The purpose of GM foods would be the same in a communist economy as it is in a free-market society, and that is more food from less space.

lia

Please, jamie, don't sully the pages of Yoga Journal by trotting out that tired old propaganda about how "GM foods will feed the starving millions." They won't, and don't. If you don't believe me, do some research. The truth is out there. GM foods are designed to make money for the corporations who produce them and their shareholders, at any price. Everything else is just window dressing, designed to conceal the real agenda and horrible effects of this appalling practice.

jamie

it is important to remember that usually only one or two genes out of millions are modified when considering GM food; this barely alters much except, for example, its resistance to disease, or growing rate. with millions dying of starvation, GM foods could be a possible solution. while the ayurvedic texts offer much insight into the food we eat and how we eat it, GM food is not as bad as it is made out to be.

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