Scorpion Cabbage anyone?

My issues with GMO Foods and Labeling

The wife and I’ve been discussing GMO foods a lot lately, what with films like Food Inc, Forks over Knives and her blog.

There’s no question that there’s some level of GMO that’s required in the world to avoid a Malthusian catastrophe, the issue is the level, manner, and intensity of it all.

Those that are pro-GMO often give the old saw that corn is genetically modified. And this is true to an extent but at its most basic, that’s just simple hybridization: the taking of interrelated species and introducing them to each other to create a hybrid entity that might actually occur in nature.

In corn’s case, it was the interbreeding different grasses to produce corn. That’s fine by me and probably fine by most people because it’s: Grass+Grass=Corn.

Grass A: Wanna get it on?
Grass B: Um, ok.

But that’s not the stuff freaking people out because in the aforementioned, the internal logic of the plant’s DNA isn’t affected. Mother Nature permits it without any lab necessary.

Modification within an genus I can deal with –  the genes of a white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) with the genes of a deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) – no problem.

White-footed Mouse: Wanna get it on?
Deer Mouse: I’ve never been with a White-Footed Mouse before.
White-footed Mouse: Really? We’re lovely.

These are related in some baseline genetic level.

However, genetic modification above that level – above the Genus level – that I have an issue.

When you take the genes of a scorpion and insert that into the genes of a cabbage so that it’s poisonous to insects but harmless to people, that makes me uncomfortable.

Scorpion: Wanna get it on?
Cabbage: Say what now?

How uncomfortable I am, not really sure. It just doesn’t sit right with me.

Mainly cause we don’t know the future ramifications of this stuff; no one’s regularly eating scorpion DNA but now we potentially are. Don’t really have any solutions but at the most basic, we should differentiate between the levels of GMO – there’s a huge gulf of difference between hybridization and gene splicing. That’s why I’m against GMO food labeling as it stands now but totally for it if this is made clear.

Life is weird and getting weirder.

Got less than three hours sleep last night. Luckily, my insomnia is more an exception than a norm these days.

Should mention that I saw my doc yesterday. He said that my recovery is roughly twice beyond where I should be; in other words, I look as if I’d been out of surgery for 10 weeks insteada five weeks.


Location: heading to Harlem
Mood: busy
Music: Wheat meat, dairy free tea told so happy clappy high on life
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