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Tagged with GMOs

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The next generation of GMOs could be especially dangerous

Are there GMOs in your breakfast?Did a recent scientific study just change the way we should think about the safety of genetically modified foods? According to Ari Levaux at theAtlantic, the answer is a resounding yes. The study in question, performed by researchers at China's Nanjing University and published in the journal Cell Research, found that a form of genetic material -- called microRNA -- from conventional rice survived the human digestive process and proceeded to affect cholesterol function in humans. Levaux argues that this new study "reveals a pathway by which genetically modified (GM) foods might influence human health" …

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The bad food news of 2011

We continue digesting this year's food politics coverage below -- only this time we take account of the things that didn't go so well. (Tired of bad news? See the year's good food news instead.) 1.  Food prices have gone up, and more people need help feeding their families The fact that 46 million people -- about a seventh of the U.S. population -- now receive food stamps (i.e. help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)) should be enough to tell us that something is wrong with America's food system. But thanks to the way public food assistance is …

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The bugs that ate Monsanto

The corn rootworm.Photo: Jimmy SmithNow that 94 percent of the soy and 70 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. are genetically modified, Monsanto -- one of the companies that dominates the GMO seed market  -- might look to some like it's winning. But if we look a little closer, I'd say they're holding on by a thread. Their current success is due in large part to brilliant marketing. The company's approach was both compelling -- their products were sold as the key to making large-scale farming far simpler and more predictable -- and aggressive: Monsanto made it virtually …

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Hungary destroys 1,000 acres of Monsanto maize

Genetically modified seeds are banned in Hungary. So when government regulators found that 1,000 acres of maize had been planted with genetically modified seeds, they just plowed the suckers under. You stick it to the Monsanto, Hungary! Leaving aside the fact that this sort of sweep-the-checkers-off-the-board move is always kind of badass, this is also some amazingly thorough government regulation. For starters, they were willing to take collateral damage -- only some of the seeds on those 1,000 acres were Monsanto-born Frankenmaize, but they destroyed it all despite the fact that it was too late to plant more. Also, these …

Read more: Food

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Is the company behind GMO salmon the next Solyndra?

Is the company making genetically modified salmon about to become the next Solyndra? According to the U.K.'s Guardian, it's very possible. In the wake of the USDA's announcement of a $500,000 grant to AquaBounty, the developer of Atlantic salmon that have been modified to grow faster on less feed, advocates at the Center for Food Safety, a consumer group opposed to FDA approval, dug deeper into the company's latest financial statement. Grist noted late last month that the company had a net loss of $2.8 million. Now it's also clear that the company faces a fairly serious cash crunch. After …

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What do you know about GMOs? [Infographic]

October is National Non-GMO Month, so it's a good time to ask yourself how much you really know about what exactly GMOs are, why they're produced, and how prevalent they are. On that last point, most eaters remain in the dark, because the U.S. and Canada -- unlike Japan, Australia, and the European Union -- don't require GMOs to be labeled as such, even though 80 percent of packaged foods in this country contain genetically engineered ingredients. Check out this nifty infographic for a primer on GMOs. [Disclaimer: It comes to us from Nature's Path, an organic food company that …

Read more: Food, Scary Food

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Cheap, genetically engineered salmon sushi, coming soon!

The only thing that stands between us and eating fish riddled with genes that some dude spliced together in the lab is the Office of Management and Budget. The FDA has finished its evaluation of genetically engineered salmon and recommended that the fish be commercialized. The GE fish grows fast and big, which means more fish for all of us. But it also could have worrisome impacts on the environment, because it's a fish that we programmed in order to bend its entire existence to our will! It probably won’t interbreed with regular fish. The GE salmon is supposed to …

Read more: Animals, Food

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The most beautiful anti-GMO T-shirts you'll ever see

Threadless, which has long been the thinking person's purveyor of silly T-shirts, just ran a design contest with an anti-GMO theme. Artists submitted designs that conveyed a "no GMO" message, and 25 percent of profit from sales of the winning design will go to the Institute for Responsible Technology, which fights GMOs in the United States. Here are some of our favorite designs, and you can see the rest at the contest site.

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Busting Monsanto's 'better' broccoli

Monsanto's "naturally better" broccoli. Many of us are familiar with Monsanto the seed giant, but who knew the company was making a new ready-to-eat packaged broccoli? The new product is called Beneforté, and it quietly launched last October. This vegetable is not genetically modified (i.e. no pesticides were engineered into its genes), but rather a hybrid of commercial broccoli with a variety native to southern Italy. Advertised with a "naturally better broccoli" tag line, the selling point pitched at the health conscious is that "it boosts the body's antioxidant enzymes at least 2 times more than other broccoli." Specifically, one …

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Superweeds go mainstream

Photo: Lost in Fog I don't expect that Monsanto takes much notice when articles about superweeds -- plants that have developed resistance to its flagship RoundUp herbicide and its active ingredient glyphosate -- appear in Grist, Scientific American, Mother Jones or even The New York Times. That's nothing but typical "fearmongering" from the "liberal media" and the biotech behemoth can laugh it off all the way to the bank. But when the mainstream business press writes lead paragraphs like this: Justin Cariker grabs a 7-foot-tall Palmer pigweed at his farm, bending the wrist-thick stem to reveal how it has overwhelmed …