About Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
I will repeat my warning from my Human Food Chain section: In writing these pages about GMOs and 'cides I decided that if it were a motion picture it would most certainly have at least an "R" rating: "parents are urged to learn more about the motion picture before taking their younger children with them". Frankly there are also adults that hid from the truth, don't want to know it, or know the truth and choose to hide it - these adults also fit the "R" restriction. If you are in the "R" category you may not want to read these pages.
I used to love fried chicken.....
Back in the late 1960's my class went on a field trip to the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Maryland (USA). It was an interesting tour telling us about such things as what attracts bees for pollination and searching for solutions to damaged crops by insects and environment. Most common for farming was the rotation of crops and use of insecticides ('cides). That visit reminded me of an old "info commercial" years earlier showing a group of children in a room filled with a cloud of DDT - ending with the narrator stating breathing in the cloud had no ill-effects on the children. As I recall this broadcast was in the late 50's - DDT became available for public use in 1945. The intent was good for that time but I will quote an old saying..."the road to hell is paved with good intentions".
The history of pesticide use lays out the introduction in the 1970's and 1980's of herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides ('cides) - all intended to reduce crop damage. These 'cides were meant for both vegetation and ground preparation. Studies were made to determine the impact of ingesting plants that had been exposed to these 'cides. Manufacturers of these 'cides were responsible for the collection of data and analysis in respect to human impact - the decision was they represented no threat to human or animal life as they would not linger in the body.
Monsanto patented glyphosate in the 1970's as the active ingredient in Roundup which came to the market in 1974.
Plant breeding is to procreate a plant. Plant hybridization is by natural effects of two plants combining pollen to create a new plant. Monsanto went a step further entering genetic modification of plants in 1982 by a process called transgenesis. Transgenesis is totally different from hybridization such as seedless watermelons.
WARNING - if you are in the "R" category you should stop reading now.
Return to previous page