SynBio, Gene Editing and Other New Stuff: Same Concerns, Supersized.

New words like “synthetic biology”, “GMOs 2.0”, “CRISPR”, and “new biology” are being heard.  And new compounds are in our fragrances, flavourings, cosmetics and foods.

The new words are for new techniques of genetic engineering. What are the techniques and their products, and should we be concerned?

New Techniques­

The old techniques of genetic engineering (GMOs 1.0) dealt with organisms, and inserted genes by either blasting them into an organism or transferring them via a virus. This was not very precise.

1. Gene Editing. A new technique is called “gene editing”. It is more on target. It can cut the genetic code of organisms …Read More

A BEEF ON LABELING: IRRADIATED MEAT GETS A LABEL; BUT GM FOODS DO NOT

Health Canada is going to allow the beef industry to irradiate beef: to blast it with radiation. But it insists that such beef be clearly labeled so that “consumers wishing to purchase irradiated ground beef would easily be able to identify it on store shelves.” [i]

However there is no requirement to label genetically modified foods.  It is hard to understand why there is a requirement to label one but not the other, because they are similar in many respects. Here are the similarities:

Both Are Processes at the Molecular Level

Irradiation is a process, according to the Technical Summary[ii], that is applied …Read More

Farm to Fork On Common Ground

Sat. & Sun. September 24 & 25 noon to 6  #Farm2ForkTo  #F2FOCG
Celebrate the harvest season and national Organic Week with a festival of healthy food, music, arts, and community. Featuring an organic farmers’ market, beer and wine, dozens of Non-GMO vendors, well-researched speakers, soulful music, collaborative art making for all ages, environmental defenders, and food safety and seed freedom educators.
www.toronto.ca/fortevents
http://nongmo.to/

TO THE SALMON CONSUMER: I’M NOT BUYING IT.

Salmon that has been genetically modified to grow faster has been approved. Health Canada states “in every other way, the AquaAdvantage salmon is identical to other farmed salmon”. Not true. For one thing, it has higher levels of the growth hormone IGF-1[i] [ii], which is tied to several common cancers, including prostate, breast, colorectum, and lung[iii]. For another, some of the GM salmon show a statistically significant increase (1.5 fold) in allergen content. Lastly, the eggs are pressure shocked to produce an abnormality so that they aren’t fertile.

I’m not eating that fish. Would you eat that fish?

And these three points …Read More