Wednesday, September 30

Genetically Modified Foods

Consumers Opposed to GM don’t Understand Plant Breeding
Genetically Modified Foods

Consumers Opposed to GM don’t Understand Plant Breeding

RED DEER — Consumer concern about the safety of genetically modified food stems from lack of understanding about plant breeding regardless of type, says an American corn breeder and professor at Cornell University. Margaret Smith said people have been modifying crops through domestication, selection and cross breeding for about 200 years, and genetic modification is only the newest tool available to achieve it. She referred to a 2001 U.S. survey in which more than 60 percent of respondents said they had never eaten a traditionally crossbred fruit or vegetable, and more than 64 percent thought they had never eaten a GM fruit or vegetable. As for GM content, there are few examples of fresh produce on the market today beyond some varieties of sweet corn, although a non-browning apple...
Future Of Genetically Modified Food May Lie In New Apple
Genetically Modified Foods

Future Of Genetically Modified Food May Lie In New Apple

Would you buy a genetically modified apple that resists browning for weeks rather than only a few minutes after being sliced? The answer may come before the next Arctic apple begins to discolor. Apples turn brown when their flesh is exposed to a certain enzyme, such as when the skin is broken or bruised. Okanagan reduced that enzyme and claims the sliced apples can last up to three weeks without oxidizing. While the company acknowledges there’s nothing "wrong" with browning, browned fruit is more likely to be thrown away, especially by children, according to the company. To Jenkins, the Arctic apple experiment is more about putting a positive spin on GMOs. He said companies genetically altering food are battling a perception by a large chunk of the population that GMOs are bad for so...
Genetically Modified Foods

GMO Tobacco Plants Reveal the Promise of Hyper-Productive Food Crops

Researchers specializing in genetic modification have developed a super­powered strain of tobacco plants that grow substantially faster and more efficiently than conventional crops, according to a new report published in the journal Science. How did the experiment work? The researchers inserted genes into the DNA of tobacco plants that they believed would increase three specific proteins that are involved in photosynthesis, the process of turning sunlight into energy. "The objective was simply to boost the level of three proteins already present in tobacco," Long explained. By boosting these proteins, the researchers reasoned that the plants would grow more with the same amount of sunlight. Once they had produced multiple modified tobacco plants, they selected the three most producti...
Genetically Modified Foods

3 GMO Potatoes Get USDA Approval

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture formally approved two new types of genetically engineered potatoes, both of which were developed by Simplot, the Idaho-based spud giant. It's hardly an exaggeration to say that over the past two decades, the agriculture industry in the U.S. has wholeheartedly embraced GMO crops with gusto. Almost all of the soy and corn grown in the U.S.—upwards of 90 percent for both crops—is genetically modified. Same goes for canola. More than half of sugar beets are also grown from GMO seeds. The three new varieties—Ranger Russet, Atlantic and Russet Burbank—all follow that first generation in that they are designed to minimize bruising and black spots, as well as reduce the amount of a chemical that is potentially carcinogenic that develops when pota...