Monday, July 2, 2012

Two Great Articles on Food Production


The first article is a very comprehensive summary of an incredible report on the dangers of genetically modified food that was just released

Genetic Engineers Report: GMO Food Is DangerousBy Open Earth Source
http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/312-16/12201-genetic-engineers-report-gmo-food-is-dangerous


The article summarized this report: GMO Myths and Truths
 http://earthopensource.org/files/pdfs/GMO_Myths_and_Truths/GMO_Myths_and_Truths_1.3.pdf

Here is the article's summary of the report authors:

[excerpted] Michael Antoniou, PhD is reader in molecular genetics and head, Gene Expression and Therapy Group, King's College London School of Medicine, London, UK. He has 28 years' experience in the use of genetic engineering technology investigating gene organisation and control, with over 40 peer reviewed publications of original work, and holds inventor status on a number of gene expression biotechnology patents. Dr Antoniou has a large network of collaborators in industry and academia who are making use of his discoveries in gene control mechanisms for the production of research, diagnostic and therapeutic products and human somatic gene therapies for inherited and acquired genetic disorders.

John Fagan, PhD is a leading authority on sustainability in the food system, biosafety, and GMO testing. He is founder and chief scientific officer of a GMO testing and certification company. He is a director of Earth Open Source. Earlier, he conducted cancer research at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and in academia. He holds a PhD in biochemistry and molecular and cell biology from Cornell University.

Dr Fagan became an early voice in the scientific debate on genetic engineering when in 1994 he took an ethical stand challenging the use of germline gene therapy (which has subsequently been banned in most countries) and genetic engineering in agriculture. He underlined his concerns by returning a grant of around $614,000 to the US National Institutes of Health, awarded for cancer research that used genetic engineering as a research tool. He was concerned that knowledge generated in his research could potentially be misused to advance human germline genetic engineering (for example, to create “designer babies”), which he found unacceptable on grounds of both safety and ethics.

Majia here: Wow! The author bios even make good reading. 

Hat's off to Drs. Fagan and Antoniou for acting ethically by disclosing their concerns and for publishing their report in an open source format.

The second great article looks at how local food production is growing in the US and is emerging as a viable alternative to mass-produced genetically modified, chemically poisoned food (although the New York Times does not refer to it as such).

Small Farmers Creating a New Business Model as Agriculture Goes Local. by Kirk Johnson. The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/02/us/small-scale-farmers-creating-a-new-profit-model.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120702

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