You hear this nonsense over and over. They’re putting genes from unrelated species into GMOs. This very idea shows how ignorant the anti-gmo activists are when it comes to science and DNA. What this post is about is that you don’t have to be a squint to understand the science.
I’m not a scientist and I’ll admit that before I started learning about GMOs I would have thought the same thing. Fish genes in my tomato? Yikes.
Then, when I started learning about GMOs, I started learning about DNA. I still only have a basic knowledge of both sciences, but I have learned enough that I now know that it is not some freaky experimental science. These guys and gal squints know what they’re doing. They understand the mechanisms of how it all works. I also found out that genes are genes.
I found out that we humans share quite a few genes with other species. Speaking of tomatoes; we share 70% DNA. Bananas? 60%
That’s what makes the unrelated species argument silly.
Another nonsensical idea is that for some reason, gene transfer in the lab is somehow more sinister and wrong than “traditional breeding.”
This is what I learned. In traditional breeding, thousands of genes get transferred, willy nilly. You don’t know what you’re going to get. It may take years until you find out whether it works or not. With GM they transfer only the gene(s) they need. Then they work to make sure it works like they want it to. They test for all kinds of unintended consequences. You can’t do that with traditional breeding. You have to wait years to see if you get want you want. How is that worse than conventional breeding?
The allergen nonsense? Yeah, they test for those as well. Think about it. With GM they will be able to eliminate the allergens in peanuts and wheat.
I used to be a technophobe and then I was introduced to the computer in 1982. A friend showed me how it was a great thing for writing. It allowed you to do all things you couldn’t do before. You could cut and paste and move things around and get it just the way you wanted it.
On a related level, that’s what’s happened in the world of genetics.
I still write things on paper. In fact, I do it using a pencil. I love pencils. And that’s the point. No one method is great. It’s whatever works.
GM has its place, It can be a positive; a helpful tool.