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shekanahh

Genetically Modified Crops/ Blessing or Danger?

shekanahh
11 years ago

So, it seems that our Senator James Inhofe is very pleased with "genetically engineered crops". The following is his "genetically automated response" to my email of concern to him.

Do you believe what he says, or do you think Monsanto lobbyists have had their greedy hands in engineering the opinions of our representatives in Oklahoma and Washington as well as their alchemists have in engineering these modified seeds?

Sen. Inhofe says:

"Thank you for your correspondence regarding genetically modified foods and crops. As your voice in Washington, I appreciate knowing your views.

Biotechnology is a revolutionary advancement in the production of medicines and foods that has increased options for producers and consumers. The United States has the most reliable, diverse and safe food supply in the world. Oklahomans play an important role in putting food on Americans' tables. From the farm gate to the check-out line, Oklahomans are working hard to deliver healthful food, and federal and state officials are providing substantial regulation and oversight of every step in the food chain.

Since the first genetically engineered (GE) crops became commercially available in the mid-1990s, U.S. farmers have been rapidly adopting them in efforts to lower production costs and raise crop yields. A so-called second generation of GE commodities could shift the focus of agricultural biotechnology from the input side (farm production benefits) to the output side (consumer benefits). Even though only twelve different plants with GE traits have been approved for commercial use, at least sixty percent of all U.S. foods likely contain at least some GE material. That is largely because two of those plants - corn and soybeans, where farmers have widely adopted GE varieties - are used in many different processed foods.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) both have a hand in regulating the foods we eat. As you may know, the FDA does extensive scientific testing to determine whether foods are safe for consumption. Also, the FDA regulates the safety of foods in the market and has the authority to remove a food from the market. Regardless of the method of production, all foods must meet the same demanding FDA safety standards. The EPA focuses on whether the food is safe for the environment. For genetically modified plants, the EPA has established stringent field and lab testing procedures that consider all of the potential impacts on the biodiversity of surrounding vegetation and wildlife.

Biotechnology allows farmers to decrease excessive use of pesticides and to increase their yields. As a result, farmers have increased their acreage of biotech crops over the past decade. In America, farmers plant biotech crops on about 38 percent of soybean acreage, 25 percent of corn acreage and 45 percent of cotton acreage. As long as new approvals are based on stringent health standards, biotech food also has great potential not only for the United States but also for developing countries.

By implementing a policy toward genetically enhanced products based on sound, scientific studies and testing, the United States will be able to help feed a booming world population, assist small farmers in developing countries and protect the environment for future generations of Americans. I am a supporter of the biotech industry, as well as research regarding genetically modified food. I will certainly keep your thoughts in mind if this issue comes before the Senate."

Comments (12)

  • okiehusker
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I think i'll stick w/ mother nature thank you very much! Haven't heard of or met a lobbyist i have liked thus far, so i'll be glad when i open my recent purchase of seeds from Baker Creek sometime in the next week or so.

    Brad

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Shekannah,

    I think you already know how I feel about this, so all I'll say is politicians make strange bedfellows.

    Those of us who garden "differently" from the way espoused by the commercial agricultural should be proud that we seek to work with Mother Nature and to harm the earth as little as possible.

    There is SO much wrong with commercial farming in this country, and it is NOT, NOT, NOT the fault of the family farmers who, like us organic gardeners, try to do things "the old way".

    Dawn

  • spademilllane
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Arguably the first genetically engineered plants were emmer and einkorn wheat, which were domesticated approximately 10,000 years ago. People have been actively practicing genetic engineering ever since--whether it is selecting and breeding dogs with certain traits, chickens with certain traits, or fruits and vegetables. One of my favorites is the navel orange, which is to this day a graft from a genetic mutation in Brazil (1820, I believe). In fact, the orange itself is a genetic hybrid between a tangerine and a pomelo.

    Genetic selection in animal husbandry is most ancient. In Genesis 30:31-70 it tells of Jacob, who took the spotted sheep in Laban's flock as payment. Spotted sheep have recessive genes, so when they are crossed they produce spotted sheep. Jacob also got the "sports" from Labans flock, which occurred when the recessive gene was expressed.

    So, the bottom line is that "genetic engineering" has been going on for as long as civilization itself. The only difference is that we have gotten pretty good at it, which shouldn't be surprising...after all, we can build airplanes that zip above the clouds and we have eradicated smallpox so that children don't die at a young age. Genetic engineering is but one tool of many that we can use to better our existance.

  • okiegarden
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    If you go onto Baker Creeks web page, if you read what he says, if you look up and start reading the fact - there is no way that I would grow one of the new "monster plants" and I will try my best to keep it that way. Not knowing what is in the food we buy keeps me growing food like my father, Grand father, and great grand father in row... Just being off a home grown diet for a few days and we dont feel good - and we are still eating "healthy". I will grow all the GM free plants I can and will do better about saving seed - we need to keep these plants growing.

  • slowpoke_gardener
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Are we really comparing apples to apples here. Jacob's sheep would reproduce pretty much true to form. Some hybreds wont. The thing I fear about seeds, is not being able to buy all types of seeds. If large corporations could control the seed supply, they could control the world.

    I think the best solution is don't buy or support the things you are opposed to.

    A good example would be, like when I was driving a truck some where up in the northeast. A very unhapply lady got on my case about having "that big ol truck" in her town.
    I simply told her it was her fault, if she would not buy the freight I was hauling, she could rest assured that I would not drive that big ol heavy fuel hog up to her town just for a visit. She turned and left without saying another word.

    Larry

  • hockey_fan
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Is this really any worse than say hybrid tomatoes? How many of us grow hybrid tomatoes that are V, F, N, T resistant or any combination thereof. Those are modified.
    I grow celebrity hybrids every year. They have great yields for me and taste good.

    I guess you can argue hydridizing a tomato is not the same as genetically engineering, but is it that much different?

    I am not saying I am all for genetically engineered crops, because I am not. I say leave well enough alone. But where do you draw the line? What qualifies and what does not? If I create a new tomato hybrid am I guilty of the same thing?

    Matt

  • devilwoman
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    There really is a lot difference between selective breeding and hybridizing within the same species and splicing in genes from wholly unrelated species. Already they have discovered that a protein spliced into soybeans from Brazil nuts triggers an allergic response in people allergic to Brazil nuts.

    I'm not nearly so opposed to the idea of what is termed biotech as I am to the fact that it is forced on me unaware. I think I should have the right to know and choose for myself rather than be an unwitting and unwilling guinea pig for the sake of chemical companies' profits.

    Debra

  • rookiegardener29
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'll stick with Baker's which should be in the mail today!

  • shekanahh
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    You can bet I will stick with Bakers and companies I know that DON'T sell silly seed.

    I am going to post the link that Dawn turned me onto, on "Please don't laugh" thread. I read all of it and also downloaded the video, as it would behoove all of us to do, because this affects all of us, not just the small farmers that are being blackmailed, and sued by Monsanto for using their seed, which they've managed to patent. This, even though the farmers had planted their own saved seed, the pollen in the Monsanto crops cross pollinated with the farmers and altered their plants. The upshot was that the courts have decided in favor of Monsanto, and further, that it didn't matter HOW the patented Monsanto "effected" plants got into the farmer's fields and crops, the farmer is liable to OWE Monsanto. And also, that the crops then technically BELONG to Monsanto.

    Oh, it gets worse! And I think we had all start arming ourselves with the facts. Larry was right when he said whomever owns the seeds, controls the world. And that's what it's coming down to, and apparently Monsanto's evil scheme.

    Do you know that, according to Sen. Inhofe's response to me, Oklahoma farmers are already using Monsanto seed in their fields? And, for example, let's say one of these farmers has planted Monsanto genetically modified corn in the field next to your property, and the wind currents, birds, insects, (if they survive), happen to drift over and cross pollinate with your hithertofore heirloom seed...it will be goodbye heirloom seed. There is NO way to undo the damage, or save your heirloom seed. It has been unalterably changed. Furthermore, if Monsanto's seed police find out, they can claim your corn is Monsanto's property, and either sue you for infringing on their "intellectual property" OR charge you for using it. Nice guys huh? Welcome to the world of corporate thugism. There is a word for it when big corporations and government operate together to control a country and it's people.

    Since as Sen. Inhofe so PROUDLY says, the food we eat coming America's commercial farmlands now contains 60% of genetically engineered "ingredients" whatever they may be...doesn't that make you think twice about buying a package of corn chips, tortillas, corn flakes, soy products, or just about ANYTHING. How about going out to dinner someplace? There are no FDA regulations requiring labels to be placed on products containing GMO. Will this not end until it has encompassed the entire planet irrevocably? I fear we have just seen the tip of the iceberg.

    I urge everyone to visit the link Dawn originally posted. If enough Oklahoman's and others complain loud enough it could conceivably be stopped, at least close to home.

    I think it was Mendicino County environmentalists in California that got laws passed to ban GMO from being used there. If it can be done there, it can be done here in our counties as well. Perhaps in the entire state.

    Finally, I think the Monsanto lobbiests have sold Sen. Inhofe and others a bill of goods. To send out a form letter instead of seriously studying a very serious issue is not my idea of good representation.

    Barbara

    Here is a link that might be useful: Monsanto and GMO crops

  • jessaka
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Doctors are warning against genetically engineered food. hope my link works.

  • jessaka
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    i will try this method

    Here is a link that might be useful: Doctor's Warn of Genetically Engineered Foods

  • Okiedawn OK Zone 7
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Also, many other nations ban GMOs in their fields and in their food supplies. So, for our farmers who use GMOs, or whose non-GMO crops become contaminated by someone else's GMO crop, that's one less market for their crops.