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

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.