GMO / GE & Non-GMO An Introduction To Soy

 

GMO / GE & Non-GMO an introduction to soy.  In our introduction to Soy, we’ll look at one of the main issues affecting the product & explain what it is and what it means.  We’ll also give you a look at what the alternatives are.

What are GMOs Or GE?

GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.

Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.

Non GMO or GE

Natural reproduction or breeding can only occur between closely related forms of life (cats with cats, not cats with dogs; wheat with wheat, not wheat with tomatoes or fish). In this way, the genes that offspring inherit from parents, which carry information for all parts of the body, are passed down the generations in an orderly way.

GM is not like natural plant breeding. GM uses laboratory techniques to insert artificial gene units to re-program the DNA blueprint of the plant with completely new properties. This process would never happen in nature. The artificial gene units are created in the laboratory by joining fragments of DNA, usually derived from multiple organisms, including viruses, bacteria, plants and animals. For example, the GM gene in the most common herbicide resistant soya beans was pieced together from a plant virus, a soil bacterium and a petunia plant.

The GM transformation process of plants is crude, imprecise, and causes widespread mutations, resulting in major changes to the plant’s DNA blueprint1. These mutations unnaturally alter the genes’ functioning in unpredictable and potentially harmful ways2, as detailed below. Adverse effects include poorer crop performance, toxic effects, allergic reactions, and damage to the environment

How common are GMOs?

In the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food.

 

Alternatives to GMO / GM

Many authoritative sources, including the IAASTD report on the future of agriculture, have found that GM crops have little to offer global agriculture and the challenges of poverty, hunger and climate change, because better alternatives are available. These go by many names, including integrated pest management (IPM), organic, sustainable, low-input, non-chemical pest management (NPM) and agro ecological farming, but extend beyond the boundaries of any particular category. Projects employing these sustainable strategies in the developing world have produced dramatic increases in yields and food security.

Strategies employed include:

• Sustainable, low-input, energy-saving practices that conserve and build soil, conserve water, and enhance natural pest resistance and resilience in crops

• Innovative farming methods that minimize or eliminate costly chemical pesticides and fertilizers

• Use of thousands of traditional varieties of each major food crop, which are naturally adapted to stresses such as drought, heat, harsh weather conditions, flooding, salinity, poor soil, and pests and diseases

• Use of existing crops and their wild relatives in traditional breeding programs to develop varieties with useful traits

• Programs that enable farmers to cooperatively preserve and improve traditional seeds

• Use of beneficial and holistic aspects of modern biotechnology, such as Marker Assisted Selection (MAS), which uses the latest genetic knowledge to speed up traditional breeding. Unlike GM technology, MAS can safely produce new varieties of crops with valuable, genetically complex properties such as enhanced nutrition, taste, yield potential, resistance to pests and diseases, and tolerance to drought, heat, salinity, and flooding.

 

Conclusion

GM crop technologies do not offer significant benefits. On the contrary, they present risks to human and animal health, the environment, farmers, food security, and export markets. There is no convincing reason to take such risks with the livelihoods of farmers when proven successful and widely acceptable alternatives are readily and cheaply available. These alternatives will maintain the independence of the food supply from foreign multinational control and offer the best insurance against the challenges of climate change.  There for it is very important for consumers to choose Non-GMO /GE products especially as we talk more about soy in the next article.


Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,