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07/26/2011

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Dave

Hey Christopher, thanks for the article. A few clarifications on your concerns about this issue.

Improved wheat through this type of agricultural innovation is indeed a good thing. You got that part right. Why then would GreenPeace would take such illegal dramatic measures? I think the answer there can be found by looking at the picture where you asked "What are those suits for?". They were used to illicit that type of response. It was a publicity stunt to instill fear.

The problem here is that the science of this technology can sound scary when applied to food. Instead of traditional breeding which crosses hundreds of thousands of genes, transgenic methods can change only a few. Using this technology we have the possibility to make foods more nutritious, with more yields using less inputs which would make it more environmentally friendly. I think anybody who really cares about the environment should remain very skeptical about this issue and not fall for anti-GM scare propaganda. I don't think we have a perfect agricultural system at all and improvements should always be welcomed and encouraged.

The reason why we test GM foods because of the public's uneasiness. It's the same reason CSIRO erected the buffer zone. Conventional hybrid foods aren't tested because we're familiar with that form of agriculture but it can still produce toxic forms especially in nightshade varieties, as an example.

As a vegan activist myself I think the issue of GM technology is important to stay open-minded about GM for these reasons:

1) Animal testing - The more we insist on unfounded safety testing the more animals are harmed to do so.

2) Animal alternatives - GM technology can help create animal alternatives like it did with insulin which used to be obtained from animals. It could also be possible to do the same with animal foods like cheese which has been difficult to mock.

3) Nutrition - Developing this technology can benefit vegans by creating plants that can offer nutrients vegans lack like B12 and DHA. This would make it easier for people to go and stay vegan. Recently CSIRO scientists have been enabling canola plants to produce DHA. People who are vegan need DHA and it can help save the lives of fish who are often used as a source of omega-2 fatty acids. It could help fortified food for essential nutrients for starving populations or even as a vaccine delivery. People are animals too and there are many in dire need of help.

4) Environment - Creating plants that use less pesticides and fertilizers will help strive for sustainable agriculture that's less detrimental for all life on this planet. Less insects are killed, less runoff that poisons fish…you know the drill.

Vegan Chicago recently hosted an expert to speak on the issue of "Frankenfoods" and recorded the event as a podcast. Try giving that a listen and get a glimpse behind the science of which many people like myself were unaware.

http://www.podcast.veganchicago.com/

Thanks for all you do!

Jane Shevtsov

While there are some legitimate concerns about GMOs, I don't think "it's unnatural" is a valid argument. After all, there's nothing natural about being vegan or vegetarian -- even chimps eat meat. We do it because we can and we think it's the right thing to do.

Second, people who are worried about genetic modification insisted on extensive testing. OK, that's probably a good thing. But you can't then say that you're worried about genetically modified food because it needs such testing!

Amy Pearson

American's are increasingly "going" organic. But the process of living organic isn't made easy by the system in place. In fact, much of the food labeled organic still contains non-organic by products. The majority of the plastics are made with GE crops, specifically corn.

Native Foods

Christopher has posted another blog in response to this comment... Let's keep the conversation going!
http://blog.nativefoods.com/nativefoods/2011/08/vegans-who-support-gmos-say-what.html

Dave

Thanks for keeping the conversation going! I love vegan geeking about this stuff!

Christian Louboutin Outlet

I know that I personally, with my car full of kids on a summer day, cannot get out of the Starbucks or McDonalds drive-thru without spending ten or fifteen bucks, and I don't think the two can even be measured against each other, what that small sum of money means to those affected by this drought.

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