Story Of The Month

Genetically Altered

Genetic Alterations

-Ron Patterson


“Scientists from Monsanto, Rutgers University, and Scotts Company (the world's largest maker of lawn products, including a wide variety of fertilizers, pesticides) are on the verge of a grass that is Round-Up (glyphosate) resistant, low water needs and low or little mowing required.

The one problem................

Scotts grows this in there test fields, but can't sell it, because they can't safely kill it off.

Can you imagine something like this becoming an invasive plant?

Vegetables like store bought tomatoes are created to last longer on the shelf.

Crops are injected with chemicals so they become resistant to other chemicals.

Did you know that commercial growers can grow beans, corn and potatoes, etc. that are resistant to Round-Up?

This is in the food we eat.

Crops are genetically altered to produce more, but often at a cost of flavor and nutrition.

Many of you gardeners are familiar with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis ) a natural bacterium .

A popular insecticide for many organic gardeners.

It is genetically engineered into the crops to protect against insects throughout the lifespan of the plants.

It has allowed growers to avoid applying large quantities of potentially toxic insecticides.

However, the widespread use of Bt has prompted concerns that insects might someday become resistant to this important treatment.

This is a valid concern that has engaged agricultural researchers before Bt crops reached the marketplace.

Not to mention, we again consume the bacterium.

I like some of the flowers, but not thrilled that we may lose our native plants in the process.

If these permanently altered DNA lab plants cross pollinate with our native plants, this can happen.

I am not crazy about consuming bacterias, but like the idea of less pesticides being used.

I'm not jumping for joy, that something may jump species or that insects may become super bugs.

Are we helping to feed a hungry world or is it all about the mighty dollar?

About 50% of major crops like corn, beans, canola and potatoes have been genetically altered and mixed with non altered crops before they hit the shelves, and there is no law or requirements to inform us consumers about this.

Are genetic alterations curing diseases or making them?

What happens to our wildlife and natural world?

Is this a program that should be more carefully controlled?

Again, growers and producers aren't required to inform us on these matters.

Are genetic alterations something that can surreptitiously be used as a kind of warfare?

Are we playing god?

It isn't an exact science, and there are several arguments pro and con.

Courtesy Ron Patterson


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