Our November CMGA meeting provided some new learning for many of us lovers of seeds. Linda Guarino presented facts the many of the misconceptions about GMO foods. Below was the list she work from in her first slide. The talk was so well received that we are encouraging her to repeat it possibly for a lecture at the Flagstaff Home and Garden Show in April.
Common misconceptionsI try to avoid GMO foods because…..
• I prefer to eat natural foods
• I worry they aren’t safe for human consumption
• I’ve heard they cause food allergies
• I think they are bad for the environment
• I’ve heard that they are responsible for declines in bee and butterﬂy populations
• I don’t like the fact that seed companies use the terminator gene (sterile seed) to
prevent seed saving
Particularly interesting to me were the historical developments of corn and bananas through cross breeding (natural but not GMO). Check out how much they have changed over many hundreds of years.
There was also a handout provided by the Extension office from Penn State titled "The Science of GMOs" (http://agsci.psu.edu/magazine/articles/2015/spring-summer/the-science-of-gmos). My only suggestion to all who have questions about this topic is to learn about it - not in magazines or on Twitter but look at science journals or research.
Linda got her PhD in Microbiology from the University of Colorado and did postdoctoral research at the U. of Wisconsin. Then she was a Professor at Texas A&M University for 25 years where she specialized in Virology and Biotechnology. She has been a Master Gardener since she retired and moved to Flagstaff in 2006. She helps coordinate the gardens at Olivia White Hospice, is a great cook and jewelry maker.
Education Chair, CMGA