COLUMN: When will we learn?

Werewolves, unicorns, vampires and Frankenstein’s monster. These all sound like creatures whose existence goes against nature, right? They seem like mystical magical creatures that aren’t real.

Now, what if I had said turkey, salmon, watermelons and apples instead?

What do we consider 'normal' when it comes to our food system anymore?

In an average supermarket, you can buy turkey meat belonging to a turkey who couldn’t naturally breed. Their breasts are too big for these creatures to mate naturally. So, people have to use artificial insemination to make more turkeys appear.

Am I the only one who remembers the days when watermelons, oranges, grapes and other fruits had seeds? To me, this is just weird. Attention: whomever took those seeds away, I want them back.

Now there are apples made that don’t turn brown when exposed to the air. How lovely. Just FYI, adding a bit of lemon juice stops the browning and adds a zingy flavor with no DNA modifications needed.

It seems like going back to the basics shouldn’t be so hard, but Americans and others seem happy about creating something newer, better, more sparkly. It's not necessarily quality emphasis, but rather the newness.

What about the good-old awesome things that nature made that we don’t appreciate? With these human creations, we often find out that our feeble attempts to "improve" on nature that looked so grand at first had dire consequences. DDT, trans-fats, BPA and Teflon are a few that come to mind.

Moving on to salmon. Now, thanks to the invention of genetically modified foods and the hard work of the Food and Drug Association pushing this issue through during Christmas break, we can all clap our hands in wonder at the new creation of a genetically modified salmon, even though, last year, Congress blocked the food on grounds of serious concerns about environmental and health implications.

This salmon is not your average salmon, but it has additional DNA from other creatures spliced into it. Perhaps the biotech companies just wanted you to get more eel in your diet.

Don’t you just love it when biotech companies try and lie to your face and assure you of the safety of their creations?

When someone tries to tell me their product doesn’t need to be labeled because it’s unnecessary and it’s the same as regular salmon, I can’t help but sputter and laugh. And then I remember how serious it all is, and I sober up. How in the world is an animal that has literally had its DNA altered be considered the same?

Safe or not, it is not the same. It has been changed, end of story.

Good or bad, you decide. Oh, wait, sorry I forgot. You can’t. Because there are no labels to indicate whether or not these foods are genetically altered.

When will we learn?


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