As of November 2002, there were 166 open-air field tests of genetically engineered crops being conducted over 8000 acres of land in the Hawaiian islands, more test sites and more acreage of experimental field trials than any other place in the world.
There is huge alarm and concern about the impact this experimental technology will have on hawaiian environment, the islands economy, their local farmers and growers, and on the health of the people of the state of hawaii.
The companies assert that there is no public right to know if citizens are driving past these experimental plots on the way to work and school, or if they border family farms and gardens.
there are many new GMO crops under development, many of which are being grown and tested in Hawaii.
For instance, the TerminatorEseed technology produces crops that have sterile seeds, so that farmers are forced to buy new seeds every year instead of being able to save and share them.
Another kind of crop being developed can produce pharmaceutical proteins, vaccines, and industrial solvents in plants and animals. This is called biopharming.E
Biopharming poses a serious risk to our food supply, because scientists are experimenting with this new technology in food crops like corn, which can spread their pollen up to two miles away.
As of November 2002, 36 permits had been issued for the growing and testing of biopharmaceutical crops here in Hawaii.
And many more genetically engineered ingredients are on the way, including fish, lettuce, peppers, melons, peas, rice, wheat, strawberries, raspberries, pineapples, bananas, apples, and pigs.
Genetic engineering is completely different from traditional breeding. In traditional breeding it is possible to mate a pig with another pig to get a new variety, but is not possible to mate a pig with a potato or a mouse. Even when species that may seem to be closely related do succeed in breeding, the offspring are usually infertilea horse, for example, can mate with a donkey, but the offspring (a mule) is sterile.
Because living organisms have natural barriers to protect themselves against the introduction of DNA from a different species, genetic engineers have to find ways to force the DNA from one organism into another. These methods include:
Using viruses or bacteria to "infect" animal or plant cells with the new DNA.
Using electric shocks to create holes in the membrane covering sperm, and then forcing the new DNA into the sperm through these holes.
Injecting the new DNA into fertilized eggs with a very fine needle.
* Coating DNA onto tiny metal pellets, and firing it with a special
With genetic engineering, scientists can breach species barriers set up by nature. For example, they have spliced fish genes into tomatoes.
Other examples of genetic engineering experiments that have already been done include:
Spider/Goat Etaking a gene from a spider that leads to the production of spider web and putting it into goats so the goats can then be milked for the spider web protein.
Fish/Strawberries Etaking a gene from an Arctic flounder and putting it into a strawberry to try to make it frost-resistant.
Corn/Human Etaking a human gene and putting it into corn so that the corn contains human antibodies that attack sperm. The idea is to develop the corn as a plant-gel contraceptive that kills sperm on contact.
Hawaii has more experimental field trials of genetic engineering than any other state in the nation. Just a few of the many examples of permits granted for field trials include:
* Corn engineered with human genes (Dow)
* Sugarcane engineered with human genes (Hawaii Agriculture Research Center)
* Corn engineered with jellyfish genes (Stanford University)
* Tobacco engineered with lettuce genes (University of Hawaii)
* Rice engineered with human genes (Applied Phytologics)
* Corn engineered with hepatitis virus genes (Prodigene)1
The technology of genetic engineering is currently very crude. It is not possible to insert a new gene with any accuracy, and the transfer of new genes can disrupt the finely controlled network of DNA in an organism.
Current understanding of the way in which DNA works is extremely limited, and any change to the DNA of an organism at any point can have side effects that are impossible to predict or control. The new gene could, for example, alter chemical reactions within the cell or disturb cell functions. This could lead to instability, the creation of new toxins or allergens, and changes in nutritional value.
For example, when genetically engineered salmon were compared to normal salmon, it was found that the genetic engineering unexpectedly increased the amount of a protein identified as a major food allergen.3 In another case, Australian researchers reported in November 2005 that after 10 years spent developing a genetically engineered pea they had to abandon project after they found out that the altered peas caused lung inflammation and other adverse effects in mice.4 "The reaction of the miceEight reflect something that would happen to humans," said deputy chief of CSIRO plant industry T. J. Higgins.5
Because foods with genetically engineered crops are not labeled, its hard to know when were eating something that has been genetically engineered.
It has been less than 10 years since these foods were put on the market, but by now over 70% of our soybeans, corn, cotton, and canola are genetically engineered.
The majority of processed foods contain one or more of these ingredients, including soy lecithin, soy oil, corn syrup, corn starch, and soy protein.
Next time you go grocery shopping, check out the labels of the foods you buy and look for corn, soy, and cotton derivatives. It is amazing to see how many foods contain these ingredients.
2 help out go 2 -