Saturday, July 18, 2009

Living on earth: GE corn causes concern

Jessica Ilyse Smith reports this week's: Living on Earth is on GE corn used for ethanol production and proposed regulation. It can be heard online at anytime this week at and beyond this week can be found in the show archives.
The agricultural giant, Syngenta, has petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture to grant its new genetically modified corn a non-regulated status. This means that the company’s new seeds could be grown without management or geographic restrictions across the country. Some food experts, and farmers, fear that if this corn is grown without limits, it could end up in the food supply.
Jessica Ilyse Smith is a graduate of the Agriculture Food and Environment program at Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

1 comment:

The Almond Doctor said...

Question: How many farmers keep seed from previous corn crops for planting?

From my understanding, holding over corn seed for planting prevents the benefit from hybrid vigor, thus forcing growers to buy seed every year. So, if pollen from a GMO lands on a corn tassle, pollinates the corn, how is that protein being expressed in the corn in the field?

From my understanding of plant biology, the genetic code of the seed does not alter the genetic code of the mother plant. The mother plant will not produce this protein, the protein will not enter into the seed - a sink for photosynthetic production, and thus the gene of concern would not enter the food supply. This is like saying that by eating an egg you are picking up the genes that will eventually transform you into a chicken.

Irrelevant of the opinion of GMOs, the basic science has to be understood.