“GM - No” now, but future shock could leave debate in the dust - The Packer

“GM - No” now, but future shock could leave debate in the dust

12/11/2013 12:51:00 PM
Tom Karst

Tom KarstAnyone who has ever clicked the tab on The Packer news site to see what stories are getting the “most comments” would find that the fairly innocuous story headlined “Arctic apple comment period extended” is in the top slot with a whopping 55 reader comments.

 In fact, I’m not sure what The Packer’s record is for “most comments” is, but I don’t recall ever seeing a story with that many comments.

 The tide is high on the GMO apple issue, and people are apparently not happy with the prospect that the Arctic apple could be granted non-regulated status. Check out a few comments that I reproduced here:


  • It is a total alteration from real food...and it means we eat pesticides when we consume it!
  • This poisonous fruit needs to be kept off the market permanently. GMO foods are causing rampant disease and sickness because of the extraordinary amounts of toxic pesticides applied to them. The cellular alteration allows for them to laced with much higher quantities of dangerous persistent pesticides, thereby in theory producing a greater crop yield.
  • Stop poisoning us with these GMOs we want no part of any of it!
  • GMO is not a ‘science issue’, it is an Ethics issue. Science is a tool, what we do with it is our responsibility. Altering the relationships in an infinitely complex, interdependent system that took millions of years to develop in the course of one human lifetime is foolish. Stupid. Egocentric. A bio-sphere will evolve, but it is not likely that humans will adapt quickly enough to survive. There is a system in place. A new one is not necessary. Modified genetics is hubris. The question is one of ethics, and what we are willing to be responsible for.
  • We would never buy a GMO apple. Lemon juice keeps it from turning brown. Join the rest of the world in listening to/protecting citizens. GMOs are completely unacceptable and unconscionable.



And, with 55 comments, there is much more of the same.

The apple industry, safe to say, is in no mood to defend the Arctic apple to objecting consumers. They would much rather another commodity be in the spotlight, given the potential for market disruption confusion. Even so, I don’t think there is a overwhelming sense that the technology itself is “wrong.”

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Devon Zagory    
Davis, CA, USA  |  December, 13, 2013 at 04:27 PM

As is often the case in my experience, many of the comments conflate GMO herbicide resistant soybeans and corn with all GMO technology. They don't seem to be aware of high Vitamin A rice, virus resistant papaya or potentially Citrus Greening resistant citrus. There are some GMO applications that facilitate increased use of herbicides. Being against increased use of herbicides may be legitimate, though the use of those herbicides plays an important role in soil conservation. But many GMO applications have nothing to do with pesticides. Some actually lead to reduced use of pesticides. Many of the comments are thus based on apparent ignorance of what GMO technology actually is. Maybe better science education would help.

John Lafer    
Peshastin Washington  |  January, 06, 2014 at 11:13 AM

The initiative No GMO 522 in Washington State was recently defeated when the voters realized that the truth was absent in the argument for selective labeling. The foods were not laced with poison When the American Medical Association stated that there were no health issues, the lights began to brighten. This morning on an early national talk radio program the "news" of a major cereal company removing GMO from one of their products was presented. The callers referred to poison in the food and the horror of the herbicide producers. On gentleman said that he lost his hearing by eating gluten soaked food. Providing affordable foods at home and abroad is in jeopardy if we allow another "ALAR" lie to control the industry.

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