Kaleem Zia Khwaja 
Member since Nov 3, 2012


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Re: “Big Organic Joins Monsanto in Fighting Prop 37

Agreed, the suggestion that "viruses and bacteria in the food mingle...in your stomach" is not accurate. A piece of mosaic virus DNA is not the virus itself.

As a molecular biologist and biomolecular engineer with extensive experience genetically modifying bacteria (in the course of doing cystic fibrosis research - I don't work for Monsanto ;) ), I think fear about consuming GMOs comes primarily from a lack of understanding. Science is discovering that living things, bacteria especially, actually share genetic information with one another frequently, even across species (horizontal gene transfer is the term). Amazingly, nearly half of our human DNA is actually ancient viral DNA that inserted itself into our chromosomes. We are all, in other words, genetically modified organisms. I don't lose a moment of sleep over the thought of ingesting GMOs.

The environmental threat of GMOs is another story, with real dangers, whether it be from pollen contaminating nearby heirloom crops, Bt corn harming beneficial insects, or the mass spraying of herbicide enabled by RoundUp-ready (herbicide-resistant) crops.

Ultimately though, I think the question of the dangers of GMOs is irrelevant. Citizens have a right to know what they're consuming if they want to know, period. Clearly a large part of the population wants to know whether their food is GMO. For that reason alone, I support prop 37.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Kaleem Zia Khwaja on 11/03/2012 at 12:10 PM

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