When people first began educating themselves on the true state of the U.S. food supply, it was a rude awakening for many.
Genetically engineered food ingredients (also known as GMOs or genetically modified organisms) are rampant, with over 90 percent of the corn and soy crops now genetically engineered, and these and other GMOs find their way into large percentages of all packaged food on store shelves.
These GMO ingredients found their way into the food supply in large part due to secrecy (a lack of labeling in particular). While consumers have fought back by buying non-GMO and organic foods more than ever, a bold new era in GMO technology is on its way — and as usual, no labeling will be required.
What Most People Don’t Know About New CRISRP Gene Edited GMO Crops
The new type of GMO in question is created using CRISPR technology, otherwise known as gene editing. This new process is simpler than traditional gene splicing (like what is done with Monsanto’s GMO Roundup Ready corn, canola, soy, cotton and other crops), meaning that more and more companies, startups, and even universities are already experimenting with it.
So far, the results have been achieved at breakneck speed: GMO apples are hitting store shelves with a gene “turned off” that makes them unable to turn brown like normal apples, and GMO potatoes and mushrooms have also been created with the former also hitting store shelves in limited quantities.
Unfortunately for consumers, these apples, potatoes and any other new GMO creations that hit the market will not be labeled as being GMO, which is par for the course in the United States even though 60+ countries already do label GMO ingredients.
While few people know about CRISPR GMOs and the massive sea change they are capable of creating in our food supply (without any long term independent safety testing as usual), Monsanto is betting big on this new technology as a way to potentially “calm consumers’ unease” about eating GMOs.
Of course the question is, will consumers even know what they’re eating, like for instance whether they’re biting into an apple that would have gone bad weeks ago if it weren’t genetically edited to not appear brown?
Top Monsanto Exec. Hopes New GMOs Will Calm Customer Fears
Recently Monsanto VP of Technology Robert Fraley (known as the “Godfather of GMOs”), fresh off an appearance on Bill Nye’s new Netflix show, spoke with FOX News about new gene-edited crops, which the company is strongly invested in.
“I see gene editing very differently [than GMOs] because it’s being used today broadly by pharmaceutical, agricultural companies, universities and hundreds of startup companies — and I think there is broad support for this science and I think that is going to make a big difference,” he said.
Fraley spoke with FOX and repeated the company’s latest talking point on GMOs: that the company has done a poor job of communicating to the general public about the crops, which they believe is a big part of the reason why there has been such an enormous backlash against them.
The Monsanto executive says the process is more precise, and explained it in the video and article, which can be viewed here on FOX.
“In the crop world we use [GMOs] to introduce a new gene into a crop, a gene that may confer tolerance to drought, or a protection against insects. With gene editing, we don’t have to put a new gene into the plant. What we are able to do is precisely modify a gene that is already existing in the plant, in the animal, or even in human healthcare applications,” Fraley says, predicting that many new gene edited GMOs will hit the market over the next five years.
The piece also included counter quotes from dissenting food experts and scientists.
“While these new technologies are touted to be more precise than older genetic engineering technologies, it is widely accepted in the scientific community that there can be ‘off target’ effects to the genome when the technologies are utilized. GMOs, including the products of these new technologies, have not been adequately tested—no long-term feeding studies have been conducted—and people are starting to connect these experimental technologies to health concerns,” Megan Westgate, executive director of Non-GMO Project, said.
Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyarurai is also skeptical.
“The human body and the human cell are an interconnected complex system of systems. Editing a single gene, has systemic effects, which cannot be done ad hoc. Changing one itsy weeny teeny weeny gene isn’t so simple. One needs to understand how that change affects the concentrations of other chemicals in the plant,” Ayyadurai said to FOX Business.
All things considered, the general public should know that these new GMOs are not tested for long term safety, and are once again unlabeled.
And with apples, mushrooms, potatoes and other foods already being gene-edited, Monsanto’s vision of the future looks like one where people will once again be kept in the dark about whether they’re eating foods that are decidedly unnatural and increasingly tampered with by scientists in the name of profit.
You can check out the full article on FOX Business by clicking on this link.
Learn more about the concerns of CRISPR gene-edited GMOs, which companies are pushing to avoid the already weak regulatory standards of traditional GMOs, by clicking on this link.