Saturday, June 29, 2013
The First GMO Was Tobacco
"The first genetically modified plant was produced in 1982, using an antibiotic-resistant tobacco plant. The first field trials of genetically engineered plants occurred in France and the USA in 1986, when tobacco plants were engineered to be resistant to herbicides. In 1987, Plant Genetic Systems (Ghent, Belgium), founded by Marc Van Montagu and Jeff Schell, was the first company to develop genetically engineered (tobacco) plants with insect tolerance by expressing genes encoding for insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). The People’s Republic of China was the first country to allow commercialized transgenic plants, introducing a virus-resistant tobacco in 1992.
The first genetically modified crop approved for sale in the U.S., in 1994, was the FlavrSavr tomato, which had a longer shelf life. In 1994, the European Union approved tobacco engineered to be resistant to the herbicide bromoxynil, making it the first commercially genetically engineered crop marketed in Europe. In 1995, Bt Potato was approved safe by the Environmental Protection Agency, making it the first pesticide producing crop to be approved in the USA. The following transgenic crops also received marketing approval in the US in 1995: canola with modified oil composition (Calgene),
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn/maize (Ciba-Geigy), cotton resistant to the herbicide bromoxynil (Calgene), Bt cotton (Monsanto), soybeans resistant to the herbicide glyphosate (Monsanto), virus-resistant squash (Asgrow), and additional delayed ripening tomatoes (DNAP, Zeneca/Peto, and Monsanto). As of mid-1996, a total of 35 approvals had been granted to commercially grow 8 transgenic crops and one flower crop of carnations, with 8 different traits in 6 countries plus the EU. In 2000, with the production of golden rice, scientists genetically modified food to increase its nutrient value for the first time.."
GMO vs non GMO keeps coming up in farmer conversations as the events fail or have problems or people start questioning the science. Another reader sums it up well: "think it is the keep your head in the sand and it will go away syndrome, Ed. Too many don’t want to believe the reports like you have shown me with high levels of Formaldehyde in it after using RU.
Not only that if they believe it then they will be forced to do something about it and quite frankly RU made farmers out of people who have no clue about it. Some here will still spray 4 or 5 times with RU so long as Monsanto throws in something extra like generic select for the “escapes” I believe it is affecting our food. I think all GMO is. It just a quick and easy way to overcome short comings instead of learning proper agronomy and respecting plant breeding.
There are too many physical changes happening to plants and animals to explain it any other way. Is RU the sole cause? I doubt it but it is a serious contributor just because of how much is used. And I think it stacks itself for each GMO event you add to the mix. [ I don’t think that is what they were meaning when they came up with the term stacked traits]."
What do you think?
Why do you farm, anyway?