Knowledge Bank

GM and cloned meat coming through 'the back door'

Our supermarkets have let us down …...... Food producers have been slowly introducing products containing GM ingredients and meat from animals fed on GM ingredients and clones.

While China is being more cautious about the use of GM ingredients or cloned meat in foods, in America and Europe we’re increasingly at the mercy of these kind of products being introduced into supermarkets through the back door.

The old excuse trotted out by those who advocate genetically modified foods is that it is a kind of cross breeding which is no different to how geneticists for hundreds of years have developed specialised and optimised varieties.

However, while this is partly true, it’s also partly a lie. Yes, plant breeders have cross-bred within different species… and therein lies the rub. GM scientists breed not within species, but across species. Like Frankenstein, they are creating life in creatures that should never exist.

Genetically-modified cloned sheep

The latest abomination against Nature is the cloned genetically-modified sheep which “contains a ‘good’ type of fat found naturally in nuts, seeds, fish and leafy greens that helps reduce the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.”

Rather than educate people to change their diets from fastfood burgers, fish and chips and fried chicken to introducing more nuts, seeds, fish and leafy greens into their diets, someone has decreed somewhere that it would be easier to breed a sheep with a worm.
"Peng Peng" was born on March 26th in a laboratory in China's far western region of Xinjiang with a roundworm fat gene.

Du and colleagues inserted the gene that is linked to the production of polyunsaturated fatty acids into a donor cell taken from the ear of a Chinese Merino sheep.

The cell was then inserted into an unfertilised egg and implanted into the womb of a surrogate sheep.

"The gene was originally from the C. elegans (roundworm) which has been shown (in previous studies) to increase unsaturated fatty acids which is very good for human health," Du said.

Apart from the decision to create life that should never exist, there is mounting evidence about the safety of genetically modified foods and so, thankfully, it will be some years before meat from such transgenic animals finds its way into Chinese food markets.

"The Chinese government encourages transgenic projects but we need to have better methods and results to prove that transgenic plants and animals are harmless and safe for consumption, that is crucial," Du said.

US and EU legislators not so careful

Unfortunately, in the United States, the world leader in GM crop production, the legislators are not being so careful.

The Food and Drug Administration has already approved the sale of food from clones and their offspring, saying the products were indistinguishable from those of non-cloned animals, and cloned cows have been making their way into animal feed in the UK. And US biotech firm AquaBounty's patented genetically modified Atlantic salmon are widely billed as growing at double the speed and could be approved by US regulators as early as this summer.

In Germany, some 60 percent to 70 percent of all foods on the market "have been in touch in one way or another with genetic modification," according to food industries association BLL.
British pub-goers sitting down to a traditional meal of steak and chips will almost certainly be eating beef reared on genetically engineered feed. Even the oil used to cook the fries is sometimes drawn from genetically modified crops.

Many European consumers have no idea. EU regulations don't require livestock breeders to notify consumers that their animals have been eating engineered feed. The British Food Standards Agency said that oils made from genetically modified crops are labeled when they're sold in bulk, but U.K. restaurants that use them rarely pass that information on to consumers.

Britain's livestock sector, for example, is heavily dependent on high-protein soya and maize byproducts, nearly all of which are imported from the United States, Brazil and Argentina — countries which have moved aggressively to adopt genetically modified foods.
The European Feed Manufacturers' Federation said farmers across the continent had no choice but to rely on those countries.

"You could not produce livestock competitively here in Europe without access to these proteins," said federation chief Alexander Doring. "It's a simple agronomic fact."

Although many countries — such as Denmark and Norway — remain staunchly opposed to using genetically modified food under any circumstances, there are signs that European nations are starting to go their separate ways. Last month, the EU effectively threw up its hands, delegating the power to approve or ban genetically modified foods to individual member states.

"There's always the danger that GM food will creep into the system," said Emma Hockridge of Britain's Soil Association, which champions organic farming.

At The Therapy Book, we are currently writing to all food manufacturers to ask them whether their foods contain GM ingredients or animals which have been reared on GM foods. If you would like a copy of that list when it’s ready, at no charge, please do Contact Us and we'll put you on the mailing list.