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Mystery in the Mega-mart

By       Message Bob Alexander     Permalink
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A man in a restaurant says, "Hey waiter, what's this fish doing in my strawberries?"

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The waiter replies, "Genes from the arctic flounder are spliced into strawberries because the fish lives in water where other fish freeze to death. But the arctic flounder has unique genes that allow it to produce a sort of anti-freeze so it survives. These genes are put into strawberries to make them resistant to cold. Bon apetit."

The man thinks for a moment and says, "Give me the soup that has the fly in it."
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But seriously folks ...

Unlike Rand Paul I have no problem being upfront with the fact that I'm about to cut and paste like crazy from Wikipedia...
"Genetic modification involves the mutation, insertion, or deletion of genes. When genes are inserted, they usually come from a different species, which is a form of horizontal gene transfer. However, other methods exploit natural forms of gene transfer, such as the ability of Agrobacterium to transfer genetic material to plants, or the ability of lentiviruses to transfer genes to animal cells."

Now let's look up Agrobacterium...

"Agrobacterium ... uses horizontal gene transfer to cause tumors in plants. Agrobacterium is well known for its ability to transfer DNA between itself and plants, and for this reason it has become an important tool for genetic engineering."

I don't know about you but I'm not wild about eating food made using anything that causes tumors.

If you thought Agrobacterium is spooky -- take a peek at lentiviruses...

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"Lentiviruses can deliver a significant amount of viral RNA into the DNA of the host cell and have the unique ability among retroviruses of being able to infect non-dividing cells, so they are one of the most efficient methods of a gene delivery vector. HIV, SIV (Simian immunodeficiency virus), and FIV (Feline immunodeficiency virus) are all examples of lentiviruses."

Once again -- if given a choice -- I don't want to eat any of that stuff regardless of how much ketchup you dump on it. If given a choice -- I'd like a label on my food that tells me what it is I'm eating.

Voters in Washington state recently defeated Initiative 522. According to Wiki...

"If approved, I-522 would have required that non-exempt foods and agricultural products offered for retail sale state "clearly and conspicuously" on the front of the package if they were genetically-engineered, contain or might have contained genetically-engineered ingredients."

Now why the hell would anyone not want to know what they were eating? After election night it looks like 55% of Washington's voters resoundingly don't. But the weird thing is that in mid-September 66 percent of voters endorsed the initiative.  What happened?


Well -- the opponents of I-522 raised $22 million to defeat the initiative, setting a record for fundraising by one side in an initiative, and making it the most expensive initiative in Washington State's history. Opponents of the initiative out-spent supporters by about 3 to 1. And guess how much of that $22 million came from Washington State residents?
$550 dollars.

Where'd the rest of the millions of dollars come from? Here are just some of the usual suspects...
Bayer CropScience

Bumble Bee Foods

Campbell Soup

Coca-Cola

ConAgra Foods

Del Monte

DuPont

General Mills

Hershey

Hormel Foods

Kellogg's

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