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Last night our local PBS station aired a special on genetially modified foods. This was really an outstanding program, with balanced coverage of the various sides of the issue.In numerous basic food crops like corn, tomatoes, etc, companies like Monsanto and ADM are starting to figure out how to add genes from other species (plant and animal) in order to provide the plant with protection from viral or insect pests. The good news is that this may mean better yields and/or a reduction in pesticide use.The bad news is that pesticide proteins that once may have only been on the outside of foods are now distributed throughout the plant, including the parts that you eat.In theory, a combination of regulatory efforts by the Agriculture Department, the FDA, and the EPA will prevent dangerous modifications from getting into the food supply. In practice, this may not always work 100% of the time. The prime example is Starlink corn, which was never intended for human consumption, but wound up in various food products anyway.As a person with food allergies, I found certain aspects of what food companies are starting to add to foods (without any labeling requirements) to be somewhat disturbing.For instance, say you have a bad reaction to some food item (lets take corn for an example). Now you go to an allergist to get tested for allergy to that particular item, and the test turns out negative. But the actual corn out in the food supply may be genetically modified to include a "BT" insecticide that was not included in the standard allergy test.A question for Mike NoLomotil: Are any of the LEAP protocols starting to take this into account?These developments are something to think about for sure. I would be in favor of specific labeling requirements for GM foods. For example, rather than your taco shell box reading, "This product contains genetically modified corn.", it would read, "This product contains MS207BT genetically modified corn." In this way, the unfortunate 1/4 % of people who become ill eating this product could specifically avoid it.
 
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