Farm Press Blog

New GM crop wave may ease Frankenfood fright

  • A new wave of grocery aisle GM crops with clear-cut benefits to consumers may succeed in diminishing the volume of rhetoric from the Frankenfood cult.

The average customer strolling through a supermarket is unaware of the historical change brought about by genetically modified crops. The phenomenal performance of GM technology witnessed by farmers across the globe hasn’t yet translated to the grocery aisle, and beyond the rhetoric of GMO labels and apocalyptic Frankenfood warnings, GM crops are an enigma to many U.S. consumers.

However, a new line of next-generation GM crops is just around the corner, with clear-cut benefits to consumers. The power of transgenic corn and biotech soybeans is harnessed on farmland; but GM apples and bananas and Golden rice will make their impact on the grocery aisle, directly appealing to the last link in the food chain — consumers.

The jet-pack GM era has arrived and “is happening now,” Anastasia Bodnar, Biology Fortified biotechnologist, tells Nature in an article titled, “Transgenics: A New Breed.” GM researchers have produced the Arctic apple, which browns and darkens at a very slow rate.  “Making apples that could be processed in such a way without browning could be a real boon for the industry. And if the apples are received well … Arctic avocados, pears and even lettuce could be next.”

Golden bananas and Golden rice are getting closer to food industry access. The bananas, loaded with nutrients, carry tremendous health benefit implications for Third World countries. Likewise, Golden rice offers a lifeline to the millions of children that die every decade from vitamin A deficiency. In addition, Golden rice can help prevent millions of children from going blind within the same time frame.

The next-generation queue of GM crops has inestimable value to global food security: lettuce that sprouts year-round; plums without pits for food processing; and crops requiring minimal pesticide use. The new wave of crops shows that GM technology is on the cusp of tangible consumer benefits. Just recently, Sir Mark Walport, chief scientific advisor in the UK, said the rise of GM crops was “inexorable” and that GM technology was “showing its value.” According to the Telegraph, “His comments suggest that GM technology is rapidly gaining influence after years of public hostility and despite fears about the so-called ‘Frankenstein foods.’”

It’s only been 16 years since widespread use of GM crops began. The benefits to agriculture and global food security represent a historical benchmark. PG Economics estimates the global farm income gain over the 16-year period at $98.2 billion — a result of diminishing weed and pest pressure, improved genetics, and a major drop in the overall cost of production.

The anti-GMO campaigners will continue to march in full force, beating a luddite drum and grabbing headlines for boldly mowing down another field trial of GM crops. But as the flow of genetically modified crop benefits grows stronger and swifter, possibly the next generation of grocery-aisle GM crops will succeed in diminishing the volume of rhetoric from the Frankenfood cult.

Mark Lynas, former anti-GM apostle and pioneer, said it best during his road-to-Damascus speech on Jan. 3, 2013: “The real Frankenstein’s monster was not GM technology, but our reaction against it.”

Twitter: @CBennett71

More from Western Farm Press

Killing cattle softly: slaughterhouse or gun?

Farmer feeds hogs from finest Vegas buffets

PETA drones a trophy prize for US hunters

Dairy farmer blends vodka from cow’s milk

Demon seeds: Searching for the planet's hottest pepper

Biggest wine hoax in history reveals trade secrets

Farm murders met with media silence

Like horses to the slaughterhouse

Honey laundering trails all lead to China

Discuss this Blog Entry 18

AgLander (not verified)
on May 8, 2013

The anti-GMO crowd is all about expressing feelings of social superiority in merrily purchasing products that cost far more but offer no additional health benefits other than making them feel good about themselves as they co-mingle with other "foodies" over $8 coffees at the local Starbucks . The problem arises when their elitist, religious like movement then tries to force their food anarchist views on the rest of us by viciously attacking and trying to hog tie modern, science based agriculture........what else would you expect from a movement whose core base is located in California?

B. Real (not verified)
on May 8, 2013

The anti-GMO crowd only wants labeling so people can know whats in their food. You can have all the GMO's you want. Eat up buddy. Lemme know how the cancer screening goes.

No thanks, to GMO (not verified)
on May 12, 2013

B.Real thank you for your response. That is the REAL truth of it...they can eat up all they want. We just want it labeled so we don't have to.

It is really funny to me they included "diminishing weed and pest pressure" in their article, yet it is all over the news and internet about how GMO's have produced superweeds and superbugs which is calling for systemic pesticide usage and more and more pesticides in order to attempt to kill these super "organisms"!

Monsanto and all his zombies that follow him just want to be able to control the market so their pockets are full. They don't care who dies, or who is effected by what they are doing. It is being recorded daily the thousands who are being ill effected by GMO food. I have done countless hours of research on this topic, there isn't anything good about the any of the "frankenfood" Monsanto and the likes are creating!!

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 10, 2013

I'm a small farmer. I'm all for gm food. I can't profit of gm my self because like I said I am a small farm. The smallest ranch with in 200 miles now after the " great resession". So I grow organic and preach the evils of gm foods, and most of my products are sold out of state. I live in California

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 13, 2013

Anti-GMO and pro-GMO labeling is not a crowd, it's a movement and awakening of people in all parts of the country. Go Vermont!!! It's not a religious movement. It's about people who are taking their health back. People who are sick of being sick. Sick of a failing health care system and an FDA that is in bed with Monsanto. Sick of seeing their children struggle with allergies and illnesses that were very unusual a few decades ago. There is nothing elitist about what is going on. No sir. It's grassroots. And very real.

B. Real (not verified)
on May 8, 2013

When are you going to post something that is based on actual facts? You are agribusiness shills that only represent one side. You are also a minority. Most people would not eat GMO's if they knew they were in their food. Over 70% of the nation called for mandatory labeling in a recent poll. Why not report on this? You sellout

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 9, 2013

You know this article is based on an article from Nature, one of the most respected science publications in the world? And as someone who's obviously done their research, you must also know that the American Medical Association, National Academy of Sciences, World Health Organization, UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (not to mention every other reputable scientific organization) all speak to the safety of biotech crops? Guess they're all selling out too? Better check your "actual facts" again B. Real...

No thanks, to GMO (not verified)
on May 12, 2013

You should actually check your facts...I've done alot of research myself and there are just as many, if not more, articles that speak against GM foods and openly expose the danger of consuming these foods. These articles are in well respected journals as well. Why don't you check out "Death of the Bees. Genetically Modified Crops & the Decline of Bee Colonies in North America" 2011 by The Global Research Centre; "'Superweeds' Linked to Rising Herbicide Use in GM Crops" study done by WSU's Dept of Agriculture (or is that not respected enough?); "Monsanto's Bt corn - breeding superbugs & harming human health" by Digital Journal; "Antibiotic Resistance in Livestock: More at Stake than Steak." by Environmental Health Perspectives; There's countless articles out there, look in the Journal of Food Science, the Journal of Alternative & Complimentary Medicine, Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology, the journal New Scientist - these are respected journals. And there are many more. There are respected scientist on both sides of the issue. So for every scientist that tears down a study that was done you have another one who will support the study. Monsanto may have a lot of respected, influential people in his pocket, but that's where the money is, so go figure. The problem here is for some reason we can't seem to get GM foods labeled as such. Let the people choose...

Hildalea (not verified)
on May 14, 2013

Fabulous endorsements will look a lot more credible right next to the perfuntory GM label on every piece of GM fruit, veggie, stand of corn, tomatoes, etc. If it's really great you will be proud to advertise this biotech advantage instead of foregoing the consumers'/ citizens' right's to transparency. Stop rigging the system.

on Jun 11, 2013

No need to label GM foods. I assume you buy organic? That is, unless you are concerned about the safety of organic foods? I read more about that dangers of that crap daily!

No thanks, to GMO (not verified)
on May 12, 2013

Hear, hear!! Please say it again B. Real :)

DEADLY GMO'S (not verified)
on May 12, 2013

Though it barely received any media attention at the time, a renowned British biochemist who back in 1998 exposed the shocking truth about how genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) cause organ damage, reproductive failure, digestive dysfunction, impaired immunity, and cancer, among many other conditions, was immediately fired from his job, and the team of researchers who assisted him dismissed from their post within 24 hours from the time when the findings went public.

Arpad Pusztai, who is considered to be one of the world’s most respected and well-learned biochemists, had for three years led a team of researchers from Scotland’s prestigious Rowett Research Institute (RRI) in studying the health effects of a novel GM potato with built-in Bt toxin. Much to the surprise of many, the team discovered that, contrary to industry rhetoric, Bt potato was responsible for causing severe health damage in test rats, a fact that was quickly relayed to the media out of concern for public health.

As reported recently in Egypt Independent, similar research by Hussein Kaoud from Cairo University‘s Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene also made some fascinating, though politically incorrect, discoveries about the effects of GMOs on the body. After feeding nine groups of rats varying combinations of GM soy, corn, wheat, and canola, Kaoud and his team observed that these genetic poisons clearly obstructed the normal function of the animals, affirming Pusztai’s research.

“I recorded the alteration of different organs, shrinkage of kidneys, change in the liver and spleen, appearance of malignant parts in the tissues, (and) kidney failure and hemorrhages in the intestine,” said Kaoud about the effects of GMOs as observed in the test rats. “The brain functions were touched as well, and the rats’ learning and memory abilities were seriously altered.”

In Kaoud’s case, his groundbreaking findings will soon be published in the respected journals Neurotoxicology and Ecotoxicology. But it remains to be seen whether or not the scientific community at large, which is heavily influenced by biotechnology interests, and the political structures that control it will accept the results as valid, or pull a similar character assassination on Kaoud and his team as punishment for defying the status quo.


Anonymous (not verified)
on May 12, 2013

enjoy your cancer and lack of nutrients if you want but label the gmo so I can make my choice!

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 13, 2013

Dear anonymous on may 9th,
Why is the FDA not on your list of reputable scientific institutions?

AgLander (not verified)
on May 13, 2013

The anti GMO activist crowd deliberately pollute the science surrounding GMO's in several ways, but one of the main ways is that they hang out exclusively with fellow phobists who share their misguided views as they exchange the most dubious of "proof sources" gleaned from the most dubious of internet sites manned by other phobists. I suspect these people are the same ones who practice parallel hypocrisy on global warming issues as they cry out how doubters of man caused climate change "refuse to recognize the science", yet when it comes to the wonders of technology surrounding GMO's and modern plant science they "refuse to recognize the science" as they go about screeching that all the scientists are in bed with industry and plotting to poison the world. These people fit the definition of intellectual lightweights, but they do enjoy one another's company as they share tales of Monsanto's direct link to Satan.

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 14, 2013

Hurl all insults you want AgLander. Keep slinging. Keep using big words like phobist, misguided, hypocrisy, screeching. Use words of no substance. All you do is demonstrate who the intellectual lightweight really is.

Ian T. MacLeod (not verified)
on Jun 26, 2013

Here is a good article on GMOs:
Doctors Warn: Avoid Genetically Modified Food

THey are clearly dangerously TOXIC. They DO NOT live up to ANY of the advertizing: they are NOT "drought resistant", and they are in fact very sensitive to insect and other pests, taking FAR more Roundup and often other toxins to protect them as they grow. They cause organ, nerve, immune system and reproductive system damage. Get your facts straight! Monsanto would have no need to sue everyone whose crops the wind blows their seeds into, they'd have no need to hide any real research or fake research, nor wouldthey block research into their products if they were actually good food. They are NOT!


Ian T. MacLeod (not verified)
on Jun 27, 2013

Any study touched by industry money "determines" that they're perfectly safe. Monsanto maintains that it's all safe and that there's simply no need to run any studies to see if it's safe to eat GMOs. Independent studies done, especially those in the E.U., show that GMOs are extremely damaging to the health of any creature that eats them, and over time can easily be fatal. Cattle in India that ate the GMO cotton plants after harvest, something they had always done with organic cotton, died, all 17 of them, within three days. Monsanto and the other companies fight real studies and labeling so hard that it's obvious this is NOT information they want the public to have! Take a look at these articles:
Analysis Finds Monsanto’s GM Corn Nutritionally Dead, Highly Toxic

Brand new GMO food can rewire your body: more evil coming
The Human Feeding Experiment and New Disease

The GMO debate is over; GM crops must be immediately outlawed; Monsanto halted from threatening humanity

If this site will allow this comment to stay up, these articles offer a number of other directions in which to look. Monsanto and other industrial biotech firms have spent multiple fortunes to stop all analyses, to have the results of those that have been done redacted, and has viciously attacked the people, institutions and others who are attempting to get the information out to the public about just how toxic and DANGEROUS these GMO "foods" are! Burying your heads in the sand just closes your eyes and stops your ears; it can never make the truth actually go away, though. GMOs, on the other hand, can make US go away - permanently, and in great numbers!


Post new comment
or register to use your Western Farm Press ID
What's Farm Press Blog?

The Farm Press Daily Blog

Connect With Us

Blog Archive
Continuing Education Courses
The purpose of this course is to give you a review of many aspects of spray drift – from...
Potassium nitrate has a positive effect in controlling plant pests and diseases when applied...
American agriculture exports 20 to 30 percent of its production annually. For specific...

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×