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June 20, 2017

Up until the late 1960s, there was little information on food labels to identify the nutrient content of the food. During that time most meals were prepared from basic ingredients at home, and there was little demand for nutritional information. However, as the number of processed foods increased, consumers began to request for more information on food labels that would help them understand the products they purchased.

Today, all packaged foods by law must specify: the common name of the product, the ingredients, the Nutrition Facts, the 8 major allergens, the name and address of the manufacturer, and the amount of food in the package expressed in weight, measure or numeric count. Along with this required information, almost every packaged food in the supermarket today also bears a variety of claims such as low sodium, nonfat, or not bioengineered. While food claims might seem like marketing tactics used by companies to get customers to buy their products, certain claims are regulated b...

January 25, 2012

The following is an archived post

There are a large number of concerns about genetically modified organisms and genetic engineering.  Many feel that there has not been sufficient testing of the effects of this technology on both the environment and humans. Specific concerns about genetically modified organisms include:

Allergic reactions: One potential problem is that with known allergens; for example, inserting genes from nuts into other foods without the public’s awareness.  There is also the fear that all of this playing around with genes could create new allergies.

Gene mutation: There are questions about the stability and integrity of organisms after forcing genes from one organism into another. Could this lead to abnormalities and further organism mutation? How would this affect human DNA?

Antibiotic resistance: Most GMO food contains antibiotic resistance “marker genes.”  These help producers determine whether gene transfers have been successf...

January 18, 2012

The following is an archived post

GMO stands for genetically modified organism, which is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a living thing in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. The technology is often called “modern biotechnology” or “gene technology,” sometimes also “recombinant DNA technology” or “genetic engineering.”

This allows individual genes to be selected and transferred from one organism to another as well as between non-related species (for example, wheat and tomatoes).  These methods are used to create genetically modified plants/crops.

Today, crops that are most subject to genetic engineering are corn, soy, cotton, canola and sugar beets. The original goal of this technology was to strengthen varieties of crops, (especially those commodity crops just mentioned) and improve yields, but has since its inception sparked much debate among scientists, farmers, corporat...

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