Genetically Modified Foods- Heirloom Seeds

Genetically Modified Foods and the Importance of Heirloom Seeds


Harmful or helpful?

What exactly are GM Foods?

The Effects of Genetically Modified Foods

By Dr. Edward F. Group III


What are Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO Foods?

Information about Genetically Modified Foods


Scientists have been and are currently introducing genetic material into organisms to alter, create and affect changes in living plants and animals. These radical changes scientists are developing create specific, desirable traits that might never evolve naturally and in my opinion are extremely dangerous.


Collectively called recombinant DNA technology, this practice changes the core genetic make-up of organisms. This genetic manipulation gives scientists the ability to create any trait that they wish, or suppress natural traits they don't want. There are several reasons this unnatural genetic manipulation may affect you.


   1. It's usually not clear which consumables have been genetically manipulated.

   2. You don't know the long term health effects of these genetically modified foods. Initial research has shown that short-term reactions can be severe.

   3. Agro-chemical companies and the government are planning to charge farmers fees to grow their GMO crops, thereby negatively affecting the economy and environment.


Cultivated Genetically Modified Foods – From bacteria (E. coli) and fungus, fruits and vegetables to animals, genetic manipulation is becoming more and more common in our society. In the US market now, 60 to 70% of the processed foods are genetically modified. In 2006, United States GMO crops reached just shy of 135 million acres, with the total global area exceeding 250 million acres!¹


This is a short list of the genetically modified food crops that are grown in the US today:


    * Sugar cane                                          

    * Corn

    * Pineapples

    * Cocoa beans

    * Yellow squash

    * Zucchini

    * Sweet peppers

    * Tomatoes

    * Bananas

    * Strawberries

    * Soy bean

    * Potatoes




And each week more are being created at an alarming rate!


Following is a short list of processed foods made with genetically modified organisms.


    * Popcorn

    * Canola & Cottonseed Oil

    * Soy Sauce

    * Frozen Pizza

    * Canned Soups

    * Baby Formula

    * Dry Cereal

    * Cookies

    * Frozen Dinners

    * Aspartame Sweetener


The list of GMO products on the market today is long and growing. So, I recommend doing your research because the USDA made the following determination: These products don't need to be labeled with GMO content information unless the product presents the threat of causing allergic reactions in humans. Amazing, huh?


Several sites on the internet today are working hard to track and compile such information regarding these man-made foods. The items above are compiled from several lists including the 2003 food guide from The True Food Network².


Control over Your Food!

Large biotech agribusinesses like Monsanto control much of the global seed market with genetically modified (GM) crops. This centralization of GM seeds threatens food safety, food security, biodiversity, and democratic ideals.



  Dangers of Genetically Engineered Foods

The following presents some of the dangers of genetically engineered foods and reasons why avoiding them is an important step to safeguard our health. The footnotes refer to page references in the book Seeds of Deception; there you can find meticulously documented evidence that leaves no doubt that GM food should never have been approved.


For a more in-depth look at 65 health risks of GM foods, excerpted from Jeffrey Smith's comprehensive new book Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, cli

(Footnotes refer to pages in the book Seeds of Deception by Jeffrey M. Smith.)

The biotech industry claims that the FDA has thoroughly evaluated GM foods and found them safe. This is untrue. Internal FDA documents made public from a lawsuit, reveal that agency scientists warned that GM foods might create toxins, allergies, nutritional problems, and new diseases that might be difficult to identify.131-140 Although they urged their superiors to require long-term tests on each GM variety prior to approval, the political appointees at the agency, including a former attorney for Monsanto, ignored the scientists. Official policy claims that the foods are no different130 and do NOT require safety testing. A manufacturer can introduce a GM food without even informing the government or consumers.146 A January 2001 report from an expert panel of the Royal Society of Canada said it was "scientifically unjustifiable"136 to presume that GM foods are safe. Likewise, a 2002 report by the UK's Royal Society said that genetic modification "could lead to unpredicted harmful changes in the nutritional state of foods," and recommended that potential health effects of GM foods be rigorously researched before being fed to pregnant or breast-feeding women, elderly people, those suffering from chronic disease, and babies.263

As early as year 2000 genetically modified Foods have come into question.

Roundup Ready GM Crops May Trigger Animal Miscarriages

Posted by dennis on February 28th, 2011

A preliminary study made by a professor at Purdue University may indicate that the use of either glyphosate or Roundup Ready crops may have a role in a previously unknown organism that may be causing miscarriages and infertility in animals. The preliminary study was made by Dr. Ron Huber, professor emeritus at the Purdue University. The findings, according to the professor, armed with 40 years of experience …. Read more -


What exactly are Heirloom Seeds

Main Entry:         heirloom seed

Part of Speech:                 n

Definition:           any seed handed down generation to generation and generally passed among individuals rather than sold in catalogs

Heirloom Seeds: Defining Authentic


Standardizing the Definition of Heirloom

By: Charlene Rennick


The debate continues for dedicated heirloom seed saving hobbyists and serious collectors with private or public seed vaults: is there a definitive point in time at which a seed can be identified as an heirloom?


Standardizing the Definition of Heirloom


An interesting point of reference for dedicated heirloom seed seekers is the origin of the seed.  The convoluted history of the seed and integrated diversity from which it originated leads to a corresponding difficulty identifying and standardizing a definition of said seeds.

Heirloom seed enthusiasts appreciate the seed for its natural evolution, open-pollination genesis and manufacture-free authenticity, yet it is this very attribute that makes it elusive to verification and control by heirloom seed seekers.




      Because heirloom varieties are unique seeds that have not been genetically modified or crossed into other strains there are no specific features that they share except that they have usually become accustomed to their local growing area's conditions over the years.



      Not only are heirloom varieties usually very tasty--after all, why would a single seed be passed down for so many years?--but they also promote genetic diversity and are not prone to diseases that can wipe out entire varieties of homogenized vegetables.


      Fun Fact

      The exact standards for what officially makes an heirloom variety is under debate. Some say the strain needs to have been grown prior to 1951, which is when hybrid strains were developed, while others insist that the strains need to have originated before 1920.



      Aside from heirloom tomatoes, popular heirloom vegetable varieties include heirloom watermelons, forbidden rice, and Bhutanese red rice.


      Finding Seeds

      Because heirloom seeds aren't crossed and bred locally, they can be tough to find. If you join the The Seed Savers Exchange (SSE), you can get in touch with heirloom gardeners and purchase seeds from them.



Read more: What Is the Definition of Heirloom Seeds?



The quandary is that heirloom, by definition, means it is a result of open pollination.  There is no hybridizing, controlled environment or selective reproduction.  If an heirloom seed produces a plant that has desirable characteristics over and above any other variety, preserving it in any way or restricting the pollination variables, will condemn it as a hybrid.  Sowing the seed and letting nature take its course is part of the uniqueness of the heirloom varieties.  Contaminating the pollen, even through open pollination with the pollen of a hybrid, exposes the seed to censure. 


You need to be a member of The Constitutional Conservatives to add comments!

Join The Constitutional Conservatives

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

Glowing plants. Self-destructing mosquitoes. Frankenfish. There’s no denying that genetic engineering is a walk on the weird side. Yet genetically modified organisms are as common as corn, as routine as rice. They make farmers more productive and reduce the need for chemicals to control bugs. About 90 percent of corn, soybeans and cotton grown in the U.S. is engineered. GMOs are ingredients in 70 to 80 percent of America’s processed foods. Scientists and regulators broadly agree that GMO foods pose no more risk to health and the environment than ingredients developed through older breeding methods. Yet only 27 countries plant genetically engineered crops and a global battle rages over their future. The latest front: labeling.

The Situation

Two decades after engineered crops were first sold to Americans, efforts to require package labeling of genetically modified food have taken root in dozens of U.S. states. Proponents argue for a right to know what’s in their food. Vermont’s governor in April signed a law making the Green Mountain State the first to require labeling, starting in 2016. Connecticut and Maine have passed labeling laws that would take effect after five neighboring states do the same.  Campaigners in Oregon are trying to get a labeling initiative on the November ballot. At least 60 countries have labeling requirements, including Japan, Brazil, China and the entire European Union. Two American companies and a Swiss one — Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta – control about half of the global commercial seed market, led by Monsanto with 27 percent.

The Background

Source: International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications

Humans have been manipulating crop genetics for thousands of years, crossing and selecting plants that exhibit desirable traits. In the last century, breeders exposed crops to radiation and chemicals that induced random mutations. These and other lab methods gave fruits and vegetables new colors, made crops disease resistant and made grains easier to harvest. Most wheat, rice and barley are descendants of mutant varieties, as are many vegetables and fruits. Hello, Star Ruby grapefruit! In the early 1980s, scientists discovered how to insert genes from other species into plants. The process led to the 1994 commercialization of the first GMO, the Flavr Savr tomato. It was tasteless and was pulled from the market. No GMO meat is currently for sale, though not for lack of trying. AquaBounty Technologies has been trying for 19 years to win approval for salmon engineered to grow twice as fast as conventional salmon, with less feed. The 1995 application remains pending before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has determined the fish is safe to consume. Advocates want it labeled.

GMO supporters point to a scientific consensus reflected in reports and statements from the National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association and even the European Commission, that GMOs pose no more risk than other crops. Nor is there doubt that they’ve cut insecticide use, reduced soil erosion, made farmers more efficient, and even saved Hawaiian papayas. Consumers remain leery nonetheless, not only of GMOs themselves but of their central place in industrial agriculture. Anti-corporate ideology plays a role, with Monsanto emerging as a bogeyman in popular culture. Weeds and pests targeted by engineered crops are genetically adapting themselves, with dismaying implications: Monsanto’s bug-killing corn is so widely used that the corn rootworm is developing resistance, requiring the use of more pesticides after years of decline. The food industry is divided. The Grocery Manufacturers Association and supporters spent $68 million on campaign advertising to defeat labeling referendums in California and Washington. The organic food industry, which has tripled its annual sales since 2001 to $63 billion globally, is a prime financial supporter of labeling efforts, anticipating more growth from frightened shoppers.

The Reference Shelf

  • The Department of Agriculture in February 2014 published a report on the status of GMOs in the U.S.
  • The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications maintains a database of GMOs approved around the world.
  • The National Academy of Sciences found in 2004 that consuming genetically engineered food was no more likely to cause unintended health effects than conventionally bred crops.
Courtesy of Bloomberg