> The FDA does such a good job of making sure every thing is labeled. I hope
> they will label all this new Genetically Engineered stuff. I think we
> have a right to know if our milk is from injected cows or our tomatos or
> corn is Genetically altered. I think if someone fools with the DNA of
> what we eat we should be told.
I appreciate your concern. But from a consumer standpoint, are
genetically altered plants any different from what we are already eating?
For example, companies are working on tomatoes with genetically
engineered resistance to viruses. I know from experience that these
aphid-transmitted viruses can destroy whole tomato crops (we've lost over
half our fresh market tomato acreage in north Alabama from virus
infection). The genetically engineered virus resistance that tomato seed
companies are working on is based on introducing a viral coat protein
gene that acts as a kind of vaccination and protects the plant from virus
infection. Lots of tomato plants in the field already have been
naturally infected with this same virus coat protein gene, so the
genetically transformed plants are in fact not any different from plants
that have been naturally infected.
I don't like the idea of eating non-natural or altered foods any more
than you do, but consumers need to be educated a little about some of
these biotechnology methods so that they can decide for themselves
whether a bioengineered food really represents a health risk, or whether
the media or consumer groups are overstating these risks.
Extension Vegetable Entomologist