My Cheetos are genetically modified

Frito Lay has been made a target by the GMO free lobby. Most corn growing states being solid Republican has absolutely nothing to do with this campaign.

Vermont started the demand for GMO labeling and Congress just passed a law requiring better disclosure.

Let’s talk about cheese. If you have noticed that veal has vanished from the supermarkets and restaurants, it isn’t just because people got upset at eating baby cattle. Making cheese requires using rennet, which contains Chymosin – an enzyme found in the stomachs of calves. Chymosin is used by the calf to digest its mother’s milk. Making cheese meant killing the calf, harvesting the 4th stomach and extracting the rennet. The rennet is then added to big vats of milk to cause the curds to form which become cheese. Rennet is a catalyst that speeds up the process. It is not consumed by the cheese making, but too difficult to recover.

The need for rennet meant raising cattle for the purpose of getting the rennet, which greatly limited the availability and price of cheese. In the 1990s, scientists began to experiment with using bacteria, mold, and yeast to create Chymosin – by splicing animal DNA into the microbes. After the Chymosin is produced, the host microbes are filtered out and any stray DNA is killed. Enzymes are not alive – they are proteins that speed up a biological process. They have no DNA.

Chymosin produced from microbes are identical to Chymosin taken from calf stomachs. Upwards of 90% of cheese today is made from a process that relies on genetically modified organisms. GMO dependent cheese is not required to be labeled as containing GMO.

GMO corn has several purposes. Monsanto can inject DNA that prevents a corn plant from dying from Roundup (glyphosate), a herbicide used to kill weeds. Roundup works in all plants by blocking an enzyme used by plants to create cells. Glyphosphate is absorbed by the leaves and migrates to the roots to kill the plant, which happens very quickly.

The enzyme targeted by glyphosphate is not present in animals. You would have to drink a glass of pure glyphosate to get sick, and that is likely from the surfactants, not the glyphosphate.

Glyphosphate is quickly absorbed into the surrounding soil and is broken down by microbes into harmless amino acids in as little as a few days, which is why you can replant your lawn in a week.

Another way corn is GMO modified is to have the corn create resistance to corn borers. Genes from a bacteria normally present in soil creates a protein that kills the larvae of the corn borer when they try to eat the plant. The GMO splicing targets the production of that protein to only certain parts of the plant. Are you a corn borer? I didn’t think so.

Scared yet? Bored?

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1 Response to My Cheetos are genetically modified

  1. briand75 says:

    A bit of support for GMO – the reason for GMO as is pointed out above – is to achieve a high yield per acre. Corn borers can be like the bow weevils of the early 1900’s and wipe out an entire crop nation wide. I think most folks wouldn’t like to buy shipped in corn from Mexico or South America as it would be lower quality and higher priced. Worst – the farmer’s take the loss. Yes, there is crop insurance, but that doesn’t maintain the dollars per acre that the crop would. I believe the government should get out of farming anyway, so my consideration for GMO is set in place. I will survive without becoming a mutant (or a zombie).

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