by Amy Goodrich, Natural News:
Few topics in the scientific world are as fiercely debated as the use of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Despite the fact that they have passed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) safety tests, nearly 40 countries around the world have banned their use due to health and environmental concerns.
With a growing population of health-conscious people, the debate over their use continues to rage. While the public has been worried about the safety of GMO foods for ages, the US, Monsanto’s favorite playground, has shown no fear and instead has welcomed a new type of GMO into the food supply.
As reported by Stat News, researchers have found a new, dangerous way to tinker with the genetic basis of the world’s food supply without clear regulatory guidance. These so-called “gene-edited” foods are set to make their big debut soon. Next-generation genetically modified food, or what some are referring to as GMO 2.0, can be altered through “editing or deleting genes, turning genes on or off, or even creating entirely new DNA sequences on a computer.”
Today’s definition of a GMO is primarily based on the insertion of genes taken from one species and transferred into another. However, now many companies have bypassed the GMO definition through “gene-silencing techniques such as RNA interference and gene-editing techniques such as CRISPR.”
Because the GMO industry has spent millions of dollars to prevent mandatory labeling and regulatory instances have not yet caught up with the latest biotechnology techniques, most of these new Frankenfoods will be labeled “non-GMO” or even “natural.”
The apple that never browns
One of the first “gene-edited” foods that has already emerged in some stores across the United States is the Arctic Apple, which is sold in stores pre-sliced and ready to eat. These altered apples do not turn brown when exposed to air, not even when rotten.
While biotech companies such as Intrexon, the company that made the Arctic Apple, believe this novel technique will lead to less food waste, Stat News noted that these foods are being released with little understanding of their potential health and environmental risks. With no required safety assessments or regulatory oversight in place, the GMO industry once again gets a free pass.