So the FDA has extended the comment period on its approval of GM salmon (mmm.. who doesn’t love the fishy taste of genetic modification), MD & IL have passed GMO labeling bills, and the Supreme Court will be hearing a patent infringement case between Monsanto and a farmer. Hopefully the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the farmer (I hate it when the big guy beats the little guy, as Monsanto has been doing FOREVER) in spite of justice Thomas being a former Monsanto Lawyer. Additionally, I’m happy that people are finally starting to realize the importance of at least recognizing and labeling GM foods. I feel that it is as important for states to take this GMO labeling issue to their legislatures as it is for the FDA to be promoting proper labeling of added sugars and chemicals to food.
One of the most interesting parts of this article is the newly published study on how genetically modifying seeds can lower their yield. A USDA funded study done by the University of Wisconsin found that genetically modified seeds can actually provide much less yield than regular seeds (including Monsanto’s seeds). They looked into what affected this and found that if multiple genes of a crop are changed, for reasons such as making them more drought resistant or bug resistant, this can further decrease their yield. So in the end, even though farmers are hopping on this technological treadmill (though usually forced by the “double squeeze” from suppliers and processors) they are actually hurting themselves by “upgrading” to new GMO technology because their yields will be decreased.