Letters: Take a kinder look at good old-fashioned GMOs

In a nation where biotech and pharmaceuticals are leading the world industry, it’s appalling that there are such academic inaccuracies.

Does anyone understand that scientists aren’t actually piecing together slices of DNA to create frankenfoods? Have you ever heard of corn? That is a naturally occurring genetically-modified organism (as in, it didn’t exist 500 years ago until a random cross-pollination mutation of maize and wheat occurred, and we simply kept growing it.)

When it comes to apples, genetic engineering simply means cross-pollination, and selecting favorable phenotypes (aka physical descriptors). They are specifically selecting the larger (and less flavored) to simply feed more people per apple. Genetic engineering in general isn’t what its namesake and stigma lead most laymen to believe.

Matt Brosnan, via email

Humans have been genetically modifying crops and livestock for thousands of years through selective breeding and the hybridization of plants.

Genetic engineering is simply a much faster and more precise way of giving our food organisms the characteristics that we want them to have. Crops have been genetically modified to resist insect attacks, thereby reducing the need to use pesticides that harm the environment.

Golden rice is genetically modified to contain provitamin A and is intended for distribution in poor, rural areas where nutrient deficiency is a huge problem. Sadly, some golden rice crops in the Philippines were recently destroyed by ignorant mobs who believed that GMOs were somehow dangerous.

The spreading of false information by well-intentioned but uninformed people is surely a contributing factor to this sort of tragic behavior.

Kelton Barnsley, via email



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Cabbie tried to sexually assault passenger with kids…

NYPD is on the lookout for a taxi driver suspected of trying to sexually assault a female passenger while her three kids were in the car.

Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Entertainment

QUIZ: How many English words do you actually…

Are you as smart as you say you are? Are you a word nerd? Take this quick vocabulary test to find out if you're a true wordsmith. Good luck.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…

Entertainment

Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…

Entertainment

"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Parenting

Lure your baby to sleep with Maroon 5…

These new renditions of "Moves Like Jagger" and "Payphone" are Maroon 5 like you've never heard them before.

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…