The next generation of genetically modified organisms may not involve produce at all. It appears that the next phase of GMOs will involve living things: insects. Genetically altered bugs could indeed be coming to an environment near you.
Experimental releases of GM insects were already approved in 2014, but now there are growing concerns over what such bugs mean for the food supply — especially organic foods. Can organic food grown with or near GM bugs still be considered “organic,” or is that one bridge too far?
Will organic produce grown in the United States still be able to be exported to countries like Europe if these GM bugs have developed on them — or will organic produce growers be forced to forfeit their organic label?
These are the questions that Guy Reeves from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Germany and Martin Phillipson Dean of Law at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada are asking. Their goal is to shine a light on the potential perils that GM insects could bring to the food industry — and to hopefully prompt US officials into regulatory action, and so organic food growers don’t have to fear losing their reputations.
What are GM bugs and why are they being made?
Genetically modified bugs have been created to “improve” (and I use that term lightly) an older version of pest control techniques. By altering male insects to only produce other males, scientists hope that they can quell female populations. By keeping female insect populations low, a total decrease in the species’ population numbers can be seen, and in some areas, the affected insects may become locally extinct.
For the last 50 years or so, scientists have been exposing males to radiation in order to render them incapable of reproducing. The male insects would still be able to mate, but none of the resulting eggs would be viable. This too leads to a decrease in the total population of the insects’ species. Both approaches can successfully decrease pest populations. The advantage to using sterile insects to control pest populations is that it eliminates the need for pesticides to kill insects.
GM bugs have been proposed in the past
In the past, GM insects have been proposed as a way to combat disease-causing bugs. For example, in 2011, some researchers proposed that GM mosquitoes could be used to help combat Dengue fever.
But now, these creations may be used for farming, despite there being an already effective, non-GM approach. If the use of GM insects for farming purposes becomes widespread, it could spell problems for organic farmers who wish to remain organic. This risk stems from the fact that these GM insects are inherently intended to fly between farms.
The research team also reported on several applications related to GM insects:
The following applications for mass open release of genetically modified insects for agricultural pest control have been submitted:
UK 2011: withdrawn by the applicant
Spain 2013 and 2015: withdrawn by the applicant
USA 2005-2011: approved, releases took place at isolated location in Arizona desert
New York State 2014-2017: approved, then withdrawn by the applicant in March 2016, in November 2016 all permit documents were withdrawn by the regulator. The permit allowed for the of release genetically modified diamondback moths 72 times per year until the end of March 2017. With releases of up to 100,000 moths per week on cabbage or broccoli fields totaling 40,500 square metres.
Organic farms at risk
Releasing genetically modified insects into the environment will be most concerning to organic farms. Reeves, from the Max Planck Institute explains,”There are some realistic circumstances where the mass release of flying genetically modified insects could harm organic farmers and erode consumer confidence in their products. Unfortunately, we can find little evidence of efforts to reduce this risk or even discuss the issue.”
Based on legal case studies from across the globe, the duo has surmised that “any detected or conceivably perceived contamination of crops” that are being sold to countries that have not approved the presence of GM bugs is likely going to result in import bans. This in turn would inevitably upset the entire international food trade. For crops that are certified organic, the issue of GM insects raises even more concerns. In addition to negative consumer conceptions, there is a very real potential that farms near GM insect releases may lose their organic certification.
Does that seem very fair to you?
Given that the risk of GM insects spreading beyond their desired location is pretty much a given — companies who choose to use them would have to be fairly dense to try to pass the damaging effects these bugs will have on organic farms as “accidental.”
A quick note from our founder-
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d) Hip Flexors
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To begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.
However I promise what you'll discover today will be completely worth it.
Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...
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Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?
- Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
- Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
- And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
The answers to these questions may surprise you!
Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
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You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works.
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”
Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.
Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.
“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…
What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”
So that’s why I’m losing weight without going hungry.
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- Which calories help you lose weight…and which ones help you gain it…
- The “diet” foods…some of them vegetables…that lead to weight gain and diabetes…
- The “low-fat” foods that can dramatically increase your risk of cancer.
- And the superfoods that rescue your body from this assault by detoxing you…
Revitalizing your metabolism so you can Shed pounds as well as toxins, renew your body and reset your internal clock by up to 7 years.
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Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.