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Now, we all may have heard something about GMO’s, or genetically modified organisms, sneaking their way onto our dinner plates or into our favorite restaurants, food products, and the shelves of our supermarkets. Now usually you hear about Genetically Modified Corn and Soy, but here’s a Run List Brief of some common GMO’s you might not have heard of.
1. Canola Oil- Canola oil actually is derived from rapeseed oil, an industrial oil used for many years until it was banned for human consumption by the FDA in 1956 due to its toxic acid content. Then in 70’s, Canadian growers engineered out the toxic acid content and Canola oil was born. Canola Oil is used to fry many popular potato chips and snacks, as well as being a main ingredient in most commercial margarines.
2. Papaya- Really?! Papaya’s?! For many years, the Hawaiian Papaya Industry was plagued with the ringspot virus. In the 1980s, the industry experimented with genetically modified varieties that were resistant to the virus. The “viral capsid,” basically the thing that holds the virus’ genetic information, was added into Papaya’s genetics to create the resistance. These modified Papayas make up about 3/4’s of Hawaiis Papaya crops, which are welcomed onto US and Canadian shelves year round.
3. Milk- What? Something as innocent as an Oreo’s best friend is now the victim of genetic modification. The majority of milk in the US comes from cows treated with rBGH, which is synthesized from a modified bacteria to have cows produce higher milk yields by keeping milk producing cells alive longer than normal. Is anyone else thirsty? Agencies in the US state there is no difference between rBGH milk and organic, regular milk, though it is banned in the European Union and Australia. Experts say that rBGH cows are more likely to develop disease, which means more antibiotics, which means more traces of antibiotics in the milk supply.
4. Squash- Squash has a weaker resistance to viral disease than most crops, and so several varities, in particular yellow summer squash, have been genetically modified to ensure crop survival. It’s also believed that the modified squash has accidentally found its way into the wild. So what does that man for wild squash? No one knows! Maybe nothing, maybe unprecedented damage to the ecology of wild squash, such as gene transfer and genetic degeneration. Most squash species found in the market are GMO unless listed otherwise.
5. Salmon- Now Salmon is already controversial because of concerns over fish farms, but now a company called AquaBounty Technologies has quote, “developed” a modified breed of Salmon. A growth hormone has been added so the fish grows to market size in around a year and a half as opposed to 3 years for natural salmon. Potential health risks have not yet been fully documented and the possibility of the “AquAdvantage salmon” outcompeting natural salmon, if released into the wild is very real. The UN expects farmed fish consumption to outpace world wide beef consumption by almost 10 percent within 5 years.
So what do you guys think? Is it necessarily a bad thing to genetically modify crops to ensure production? Or do you think things are moving ahead way to fast without anyone really know what the long term consequences of GMO’s might be. Be sure to subscribe and leave your thoughts below, thanks for watching.