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:

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

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.

image 1-1

GMOs: The Case Against Them

I’m sure you’ve heard the term: GMO: Genetically Modified Organism.  But depending on whom you ask,Unknown it is either Frankenfood or just the norm in the way we eat.

A Pew Research Poll states that 88% of scientists believe that GMOs are safe.  57% of adult Americans feel that GMOs are not safe.

“But most Americans aren’t sold on the idea that scientists have a full understanding of the safety of GM foods. Two-thirds (67%) of U.S. adults believe scientists do not have a clear understanding of the health effects associated with genetically modified crops, compared with 28% who say scientists do have strong knowledge of the issue.”

What are the people against GMOs saying about them and how they affect us?

Last year, President Obama issue a memo asking questions regarding biotechnology and enlisting EPA, FDA, and USDA to “…Develop a long-term strategy to ensure that the system is prepared for the future products of biotechnology, and commission an expert analysis of the future landscape of biotechnology products to support this effort.”

But, what does this mean?  To me, it means, lets have the three major federal agencies work in tandem to determine if what the big food companies and chemical companies are “feeding” us is safe.  It also means that the White House doesn’t want to say one way or another if they think what is going on is safe.  Can’t blame them.

Pesticide Action Network

PAN has a problem with the memo though: “Aided by USDA’s consistent refusal to regulate herbicide-resistant GE seeds, the unchecked expansion of GE crops has driven an increase of hundreds of millions of additional pounds of herbicides. Most of the increase comes in the form of Monsanto’s RoundUp, with an active ingredient (glyphosate) now classified as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization. This chemical is now ubiquitous in the air and water of our rural communities.”

They feel that the current framework of the regulatory system doesn’t adequately address problem and that White House doesn’t really want to address the problem.  What is the problem exactly? The problem, it is said, is that biotechnology companies involved in the food chain have already had too much unfettered influence and their genetically engineered products that are dependent on the nasty pesticides are everywhere in our food system.

In addition to the concerns about pesticides and industrial farming, there are people and groups who claim that GMO’s in food might cause allergies, autism and other diseases.  It is claimed that there are environmental effects, human health risks and economic concerns by the increased use of GMO’s in our food chain.

There is a lot to digest in this information.  As I do research and find reputable sources, I will add to this article.  In addition, I will also explore the other side of the issue.  I first saw a piece on GMOs on CBS Sunday morning and wrote a piece on it a couple of months ago.  You can read that here.

If you have any suggestions for documented, tested, and reputable information regarding GMOs, please leave suggestions or links in the comments section below.

image 1-1



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
%d bloggers like this: