GMOs: Elisha Modisett of Dow AgroSciences

Now that you have heard some of reasons why people are against GMOs, let’s explore some of the information from someone in the industry.

DISCLAIMER: Elisha Modisett and I have known each other personally for 13 1/2 years.  She is an employee of Dow AgroSciences, married, and a mom of one darling boy.  She and I have a long standing friendship and a history of healthy debates on issues that we find important.  In our conversations about GMOs in our food supply, I trust that she is honest about the information that her company releases and respect her duty as a mother to feed her child healthy foods.

Here are several questions that I had for her:

What exactly is a GMO?

“It is important to realize that GMO is a process, not an ingredient so that is why the FDA has determined that there is no difference in food that is derived from GMO and those that haven’t.  GMO is a type of plant breeding technique – also called genetic engineering – that enables plant breeders to take individual traits from one plant or organism and transfer them to the plant that they want to improve. It can also be used to make a change to an existing trait in a plant.”
Where is the FDA in all of this?

“All foods that derive from GMO are approved by the FDA first.”

How long have GMOs been in our food chain?

GMOs have been used and tested for over 20 years now without a report of a single person getting sick or having an allergic reaction to it.

So, GMOs or no GMOs what is my take-away?

At the end of the day, everyone should be eating more fresh fruits and vegetables

Further Reading:

Popular Science Top 10 Myths about GMO

Top 10 GMO Myths 

Video Information regarding labeling

In May of 2016, The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released a study that deemed that there is no evidence23395-0309437385-450 “genetically engineered crops have caused health problems in humans.”

In continued discussion concerning GMOs, Elisha pointed out some of the most significant findings concerning the report.  “It was a huge study that looked at the long term impact from GMOs. Their recent findings are extremely important to the debate because most people’s concerns are about the long-term health affect from consuming foods derived from genetic engineering. Here are a few takeaways from that report:”

– The 408 page report reviewed 20 years of health data.
– Nearly 900 studies were examined.
– Over 50 scientists were involved in the report. No one from a crop biotech company like Dow AgroSciences or Monsanto were on the committee.
– The committee compared health data between populations in North America (where GMO foods have been eaten for two decades) and Europe (where they aren’t widely consumed) as a way to investigate claims linking GMOs to various health problems including cancer, obesity, kidney disease, autism and allergies.
– The panel found that there were no differences in the “incidence of cancers and other human-health problems over time and found no substantiated evidence that foods from genetically engineered (GE) crops were less safe than foods from non-GE crops.”
– Animal feeding studies were also conducted with results showing that animals are not harmed by eating genetically engineered crops.
– The panel also found that genetically engineered crops can actually benefit humans more than non-GMO’s because of their increase in vitamins such as vitamin A, reducing blindness and deaths to due to vitamin A deficiencies prevalent in developing counties.

Here is a link to the report: http://nas-sites.org/ge-crops/

To take a look at some of the media regarding the findings, see the links below:

Joel Athenbach – The Washington Post

Chris D’Angelo – Huffington Post.com

Jason Kelly – The New York Times

Aside from from my feelings regarding GMOs, I feel that debate is healthy and informed consumers are always better consumers.  Please see the post that originally sparked my interest in the GMO debate.  If you have questions or concerns regarding this post or have questions for Elisha, please put them in the comments below.  Please keep questions and comments civil and respectful.

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