Genetic Modification of Food and Animals

Do You Really Know What You're Eating?


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GMO’s in California

Hello all and welcome back! This week we had a pretty significant bill which was in order to pass that hits home for those of you who are California natives. On May 28th, California lawmakers rejected the bill that would require labels on foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMO).

This is not the first time that the California lawmakers have seen this proposition hit their desk. In 2012, there was a similar bill that nearly passed in California, which had $46 million in funding by GMO opponents. These opponents included PepsiCo and Missouri-based Monsanto Co, a multinational chemical, agricultural and biotechnology corporation.

As I talked about in my earlier blog, Vermont was the first U.S. state to pass a GMO labeling law, and two counties in Oregon voted last week to ban farmers from growing genetically modified crops within their local boundaries.

Prop 37, which is also known as the “Right To Know” initiative, had big supporters who made sure their voice was heard when this debate was going on. Supporters argued that citizens have the right to know what’s in their food and make an educated decision on what to feed their families. Opponents from the biotech industry and Big Ag companies called the labeling “deceptive” and argued it would stigmatize foods that scientific evidence shows is not harmful. So far, there is little evidence that suggests that GMO foods pose any sort of threat to people’s health. According to CNN.com, major medical groups like the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association, in addition to the American Association for the Advancement of Science note that people have been eating genetically modified foods (about 85% of corn sold in the U.S. are man-made hybrids) for nearly 20 years with no serious adverse effects.

So for now, California stays GMO label free, but with how persistent the supporters have been since 2012, something tells me that this isn’t the last we will hear from them. That’s all for now, see you next time bloggers!proposition-37-campaign-funds

References: http://eatocracy.cnn.com/category/news/food-politics/gmo/

http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/

http://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_37,_Mandatory_Labeling_of_Genetically_Engineered_Food_%282012%29

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GMO’s In Beer

Hello blogging world! It has been far too long. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been debating what topic I should enlighten you with when it comes to GMO’s. After some deep thought it hit me. Considering many of you out there are college students, why not cover the most beloved thing amongst you? Alcohol! That’s right, there were some GMO’s in the beer you drank at the frat house last weekend, and who would of thought?

 

  1. budweiserBudweiser- Considered to be one of the most popular American beers, and most advertised, Budweiser contains genetically modified corn. In 2007, Greenpeace discovered experimental GMO rice in the beer.
  2. o_corona_extra_bottles-711320Corona Extra- How can you not love the Corona commercials that have the pretty women in bikinis on the tropical islands, carelessly holding their beverage? Well Corona Extra has also been found to contain GMO corn syrup and propylene glycol. But don’t let that scare you off the beach.
  3. millerMiller Lite- It’s Miller time! Or is it GMO time? Here is another very popular beer amongst all you college students out there. Why? Well damn, because it’s so cheap! Miller Lite also has been found to have GMO corn syrup in it, however has not been found with any other GMO’s.
  4. MichelobULTRAMichelob Ultra- Possibly a beer that you would more likely find your dad drinking, this beer has been found to contain genetically modified sweetener. (GMO dextrose)
  5. guinnessbeerGuinness- A personal favorite of mine when I am out in downtown San Luis Obispo, Guinness is well known amongst the Irishmen. This beer contains high fructose corn syrup like a lot of the previous beers, and apparently fish bladder as well… gross.

 

There are some beers that do not contain any GMO’s, and are still very popular in the beer market. Sierra Nevada, Bison, Hoegaarden, and Heineken are all naturally produced beer free of GMO’s. REMEMBER, just because a beer has a genetically modified organism in it does not mean its bad for you! So next time you’re out on the town looking to impress a pretty lady, try throwing down your incredible knowledge of what is in the beer you just bought her!

Sources: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/phs/phs.asp?id=1120&tid=240

http://foodbabe.com/2013/07/17/the-shocking-ingredients-in-beer/

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/press/releases/anheuser- busch-using-experimen/#sthash.fSnr9zcQ.dpuf


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Genetically Modified Animals

For the past few weeks, we’ve talked about many different kinds of GMO’s when it comes to produce and other things you may find in your supermarket. But what about all that delicious meat that your grubbing on? Is there such a thing as a genetically modified animal?

According to the FDA website, there are currently no genetically modified stock. However, in the 90’s, some scientist attempted to do just this by modifying some traits that are in swine and cattle. By doing this they thought that they could grow the animals at a quicker rate, lower the chance of disease, and even make milk less fattening.

Less fattening?? Where’s the fun in that??

The projects of genetically manufactured animals have died off since the 1990’s, however some animals today are still genetically modified. (Not ones that we eat). Check out this slide show of animals that have been genetically engineered like the Pterophyllum Calara fish that actually glow in the dark!

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All glowing and modified pets aside, there is still a possibility that genetically modified meat products could show up in grocery stores in the future. According to AgBioForum, GM salmon is currently waiting to be approved in the United States.

 

In recent years, there has also been some pretty significant advancements in the cloning of livestock. Cloning animals could actually preserve some of the traits that make some livestock valuable to eat.

According to GMO Compass genetic engineering is also used within the production of sausage and ham. Many of the additives that are found in sausage and ham like vitamin C and enzymes are often produced using methods that involve genetically modified microorganisms.

So at the moment, there isn’t much brewing as far as genetically modified animals go. However, with how quickly we are evolving technologically today, it may not be long before we start to see GMA’s.

genetically-modified-animals-111Until next time!

 


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Everyday foods that are GMO’s

Welcome back!

As I promised this past week, I would be going over some main foods that we eat everyday that may be genetically modified. But instead of writing out long and boring paragraphs for you all to read, I thought why not give you a list of the top five foods instead? Here are some common everyday foods that you may not have known were genetically modified.

 

  1. TOMATOES:

tomato_gmo80

Yup that’s right, those little red devils that your mom forces you to eat in your salad. According to GMO compass, the tomatoes may have been the first widespread genetically modified food in the United States. Starting in 1994, some tomatoes were bred with a deactivated gene that kept the plant from rotting quickly. However a scientist who invented the enzyme said that there was a concern that the tomatoes could be carcinogenic which led to a ban of GMO’s in major food chains. FUN FACT: Tomatoes are good for your prostate and is believed to prevent prostate cancer!

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  1. RICE:

GMO_rice

Probably my personal favorite, modified or not, I could eat rice all day long. Rice is currently a large staple in the worlds diet, and is being experimented on to make it more resistant to pests. Seems like a great idea if it means I get to eat more rice! Remember, NOT ALL GMO’S ARE BAD.

 

  1. POTATOES:

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For all you with Irish blood out there here is one that might catch your attention. The potatoes being grown in Europe are being produced at a high rate with the GMO process. They are also being used to feed livestock, create starch, and put in Alcohol. However, you will only find about 10% of potatoes to be modified in your grocery stores.

 

  1. CORN:

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With the United States being the largest producer of corn in the world, it is one of the most heavily modified crops. Beer, salad dressing, flour, and other corn syrup materials come from corn so there is a high demand for it.

 

  1. MILK:

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A hot topic in the GMO world, a growth hormone is being used to keep milk producing cells alive in cows for longer than normal. There is a lot of controversy over weather or not this is healthy for humans, but nothing has been set in stone.

That’s all for now, until next time corn heads!


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Vermont to Pass GMO Food-Labeling Law

Welcome back bloggers.

As I said last week, I would continue to give you the updates on the potential laws that were being considered for food labeling with genetically modified organisms. Well, this week the state of Vermont decided to be the first to take the leap of faith by giving the people what they want with their food. Transparency.

This passed Wednesday the Vermont senate passed a law that would make it the first U.S. state to enact mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMO’s).  So we’re giving the people what they want right? Well according to Michele Simon, a public health attorney and president of Eat Drink Politics, we are.

“We have a growing food movement in which people are demanding more transparency.” said Simon.

So yeah! It does seem like people are for this movement, but how many of those people even know what a GMO is, or why we even use them?

When GMO’s were first brought into production almost 20 years ago, there was a hope that crop production would increase and would be resistant to farmers nightmares like floods or pesticides. Also, with the ever growing population in our society, it seemed like a reasonable fix to some of these issues. However, GMO crops have fostered an epidemic of herbicide resistant weeds and insects that are no longer killed by the built-in toxins. The major herbicide, glyphosate is now being found in people. (Check Link for Details on glyphosate). In other words bad news for those of us that get a bad batch of genetically modified food. Not to say that this is the case with all GMO’s but it it is known to occur.

GMO-cartoon2

Vermont was dead set on the passing of this bill, and according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are GMO labeling bills under consideration in 29 states. See you all next week when I will go into the basics of your typical everyday food, and whats really going into your body. Until then corn heads, stay healthy.


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Inside the Melon of Jonathan Chodzko

Oh no here comes that kid from San Luis Obispo again with another blog?! For those of you that may not know me, my name is Jonathan Chodzko, and I am a third year Journalism student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a focus in public relations. I have two other blogs on WordPress that you are free to browse but I will be taking a completely different angle this time around.

Since I arrived here, I, like most college students, was forced to learn how to cook and prepare my own meals. However most broke college students don’t really look into what they’re putting into their bodies, because all we care about is if we can afford it!  Consider me your Jiminy Cricket of food for the next 12 weeks and beyond, I will be taking a deeper look into what is really being put into processed food, and how it is affecting your health. There is currently a lot of controversy over genetically modified foods, and what is ACTUALLY behind the label. I think that it is important for all of us to know what we are putting in our bodies regardless if it’s a spice, meat, dairy product, or even deserts!

I am by no means an expert in agriculture, however I am someone who loves to stay active, in shape, and keep both my body and mind healthy. In order to maintain this lifestyle, I need to know what I am putting in my body at all times, and it can be a little difficult to do that with all the jibberish on the back of food products.

There was recently an article released on genetically modified foods (GMO)’s and a bill Titled the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act,” which is a proposal that would forbid states from enacting such proposals.

While I can understand that some brands would not want GMO tattooed on the side of their product because it may turn people away, it makes me stop and think, are you hiding something from us? There are plenty of supporters for this act to pass, as well as opposers, so take a look at the link here to see what you think of this act passing. http://rt.com/usa/congress-considers-blocking-gmo-labeling-480/

Next week I will be taking a deeper look into this bill and keep you updated on its status.