GMO seeds now offered to US Home Gardeners. Would you?

Started by kisaac, February 10, 2024, 05:51:56 PM

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GMO purple tomato seeds- Now for sale to home gardeners in the U.S.A.  Not my creation, and it's not me selling them!  But...
Would you?  Could you?
I know I've been eating modern GMO corn for 20-30 years in the U.S. 

see a news article here:
Gardeners can now grow a genetically modified purple tomato made with snapdragon DNA

QuoteMartin isolated the gene in the snapdragon flower that turned on and off the purple color. Next she took the gene and inserted it into the bacteria. The tomato could then take in the foreign genetic material and express this new gene.

It's curious that the EU has just been looking at their longstanding GMO regulations, and with the advent of the simpler gene-editing tech which really just exploded in use over the last decade, -everything from plants to vaccines to cancer treatments- They seem to think they are missing the boat!

European Parliament votes to ease regulation of gene-edited crops
Move is a major victory for biotechnology, but debate remains over patents and labels

QuoteEU-SAGE began to advocate for regulatory reform in 2018, when the European Court of Justice ruled that plants created with the genome editor CRISPR and similar methods that alter existing DNA—referred to as "new genomic technologies" (NGTs)—should be considered genetically modified organisms (GMOs) under EU law. Researchers argued that gene-edited crops should be exempt because unlike transgenic plants created by introducing foreign genes, they just have tweaks to their natural genes.

Of course, the Purple Tomato then would be gene-insertion (transgenic) and not the newer NGT'S using tech like CRISPR. 
Both of those GMO methods are much, much newer than the "Radiation mutation breeding" that should have been flagged as GMO.  Thats low-tech, and its been genetically modifying plants for 100 years, but still isn't treated as GMO by many.  (yeah, and I know somebody will point out nature has / is using transgenic methods even with us- making it perhaps the oldest GMO in existence...)

I'm no scientist, but... I might just give those tomatoes a try.
Your thoughts?

Member: : Pacific Bulb Society


If all novel food were for healthy adult only at first? The infant, pregnant, breast-feed period, and even elder people, hospitalized people should be later.
Though the cranberry is an relatively new American species for the old world species.

of 30 October 2018
authorising the placing on the market of cranberry extract powder as a novel food under Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 of the European Parliament and of the Council and amending Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/2470
... ...
On 11 December 2014, the competent authority of France issued its initial assessment report. In that report it came to the conclusion that cranberry extract powder meets the criteria for novel food ingredients set out in Article 3(1) of Regulation (EC) No 258/97. In the same report, the competent authority of France also expressed concerns regarding possible nutritional risks associated with the overconsumption of polyphenols for children between one and three years of age resulting from the intake of polyphenols from the novel food, and from other sources of polyphenols in children's diet.
On 16 January 2015, the Commission forwarded the initial assessment report to the other Member States. Reasoned objections were raised by the other Member States within the 60-day period laid down in the first subparagraph of Article 6(4) of Regulation (EC) No 258/97 with regard to insufficient data excluding the risk for young children aged between one and three years, incomplete specification of the novel food, and lack of information on the protein content needed to exclude allergy risk.
In view of the initial assessment report issued by the competent authority of France and the objections raised by some Member States, the Commission consulted the European Food Safety Authority ('the Authority') on 20 April 2016, asking it to carry out an additional assessment for cranberry extract powder as a novel food in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 258/97.
In contacts with the Authority the Applicant has declared that the novel food is not intended to be marketed to infants, toddlers and children of below 19 years of age.

David Pilling

A couple of interesting items are tonka beans and monk fruit - have their fans, also have been banned.

Only part of the general food fad-ism, where what you can eat and how much of it is constantly being changed. What's good for you today, is bad tomorrow according to the news.

Food also changes, today's fruit is a lot sweeter.

Martin Bohnet

Well, sweeter fruit is a selection thing, and actually most of the time a result of removing acidity, not of increasing sugar content. I still prefer my Granny Smith apples over that Pink Lady stuff.

As for the tomato that's a strange move to transplant snapdragon anthocyanes when the species already has the genes to generate that group of substances, though only in the skin as far as I know. At least that may mean there's no unexpected cross-reaction with the rest of the bio-chemistry. hopefully.

Personally, I'm not a fan of the GMO. For me, the future of field crops include sophisticated Image processing with automated mechanical action and per plant fertilizer dosing to allow for mixed culture benefits while keeping the scaling benefits - the Bayer-Monsanto way of GMO-Supported chemical warfare in huge monocultures causes way to much collateral damage.
Martin (pronouns: he/his/him)


The vast, vast majority of new varieties are still produced by selective breeding. Genetic modification is still generally used only to introduce some trait that isn't anywhere within the gene-pool of the plant (or animal) concerned.

I always take a sanity check when GMOs are mentioned, or two actually -

1. We have been eating maize/corn that is GM'd for years, and...

2. The statement from one or other anti-GMO groups some years ago, if the same change can be produced by conventional selective breeding, it is different/acceptable.............................

I wonder if I am Round-up-ready yet..................................... and if any anti was faced with a xeno-transplant or death, what they'd choose.


Some of the old world species are becoming novel food to the Old world people.

Prodotti contenenti bambù della specie Bambusa vulgaris, novel food/novel food cooked bamboo shoots (Bambusa vulgaris) from Chinanotified 12 OCT 2023 by  Italy | last update 9 NOV 2023

Non-authorized Novel food betel nuts (Areca catechu) from Bangladeshnotified 1 SEP 2023 by  Italy | last update 25 SEP 2023


Quote from: fierycloud on February 11, 2024, 06:25:30 PMSome of the old world species are becoming novel food to the Old world people.

Prodotti contenenti bambù della specie Bambusa vulgaris, novel food/novel food cooked bamboo shoots (Bambusa vulgaris) from Chinanotified 12 OCT 2023 by  Italy | last update 9 NOV 2023

Non-authorized Novel food betel nuts (Areca catechu) from Bangladeshnotified 1 SEP 2023 by  Italy | last update 25 SEP 2023

I am unsure how to read those.
Everyone knows about bamboo shoots, although many may not know betel.
Betel - known as sopari in most shops here in the UK, has been chewed by many Asian people since the dawn of time - it is what stains many peoples' teeth reddish-brown. It is chewed either as is or as part of paan ( pronounced "parn", as in "farm", usually wrapped in a betel leaf, from a different plant entirely). To me it tastes rather soapy, especially as an after-tatste, and not at all enjoyable - if I have paan in an Asian restaurant (as a palate cleanser after a meal), I will always ask for no sopari, which probably strikes most Asian people as very odd as paan is a vehicle specifically for chewing sopari.
You can buy sopari either as whole seeds (they look like large nutmegs), or ready-sliced when it looks a lot like a comic-book version of a section through a brain.

My parents, born over 100 yeras ago now, always mentioned using Areca nut for worming dogs, long before there were wormers available. I have no idea if it worked.

Lee Poulsen

The Bayer-Monsanto method IMO is capitalism gone off a cliff. I especially abhor the food crops they have genetically altered so that the seeds they produce will not germinate (so you have to buy seeds new from them every year--I think they called the gene the Terminator gene). Then there is another type of genetic manipulation where along with a GMO gene that increases production two-fold or some other benefit, they link another, spliced-in gene that requires a synthetic compound in order to express the two-fold production gene. They then sell fertilizer that has the synthetic compound included in it. So in order to get the doubled production, you also have to, you guessed it, buy your fertilizer from them too. It reminds me of the accusation that some corporations would love to copyright or trademark air if they could, so that everyone would have to pay them for the air that we breathe. (And I'm not anti capitalism. But sometimes some corporations carry things too far IMO.)

Did some googling. I wasn't misremembering it. But apparently Monsanto has temporarily suspended further research into the terminator genetics because of bad world publicity. (You think?)
But this article mentioned the other technology I was talking about. That was harder to find but it turns out the concept (and research) is real. It's called genetic use restriction technology or GURT. And the terminator gene is one of two varieties of GURT, V-GURT. T-GURT is the second type I described above. And there is a wikipedia article all about it.
Pasadena, California, USA - USDA Zone 10a
Latitude 34°N, Altitude 1150 ft/350 m


I can see both of those traits being welcomed by plenty of anti-GMOers.

I am unsure why/how one newly introduced gene can be better or worse than any other. There is also the option not to use any such seed - no-one is being forced to grow anything.

David Pilling

One anti-GMO argument is that novel genes will escape into the wider world via bees and the like.

Almonds - bitter ones banned, sweet ones obvs. not, plant an almond and you don't know what you'll get.


I think most genes control more than one characteristic, not all of which are known.  There is a risk of running afoul of the Law of Unintended Consequences.  If a modified plant successfully becomes entrenched in a natural ecosystem before a bad consequence is discovered, it may be difficult or impossible to prevent further spread.  Proceed with caution!


It's not surprising that any GMO discussion brings up the large, multinational corporations that have used GMO technology in the last few decades to make herbicide resistant plants and other ways many of us find distasteful, and possibly dangerous, either to us or the environment.

What is surprising, though, is what might be called the GMO'ed 'elephant in the room-' or the fact that for the past 100 years we've actually been mutating the genes of our plants for our benefit, and calling it selective breeding.
QuotePlant mutation breeding, also called variation breeding, is a method that uses physical radiation or chemical means to induce spontaneous genetic variation in plants to develop new crop varieties. "Mutation" is the source of most genetic variation and the motor of evolution. It is a natural process, which occurs spontaneously and slowly — over generations — in people, plants, animals and all living beings.

 Many crop varieties developed though mutation breeding have been grown all over the world in the last 100 years. Check out a few examples from Bulgaria, China, Cuba, Uganda and other countries.
What is Mutation Breeding?  This link from the International Atomic Energy Agency talks about it...  As does this independent article:

From Classical Radiation to Modern Radiation: Past, Present, and Future of Radiation Mutation Breeding
presented by the National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnical Information, from where this quote comes:

QuoteAlthough advanced technologies, such as gene editing, have provided effective ways to breed varieties, by editing a single or multiple specific target genes, enhancing germplasm diversity through mutation is still indispensable in modern and classical radiation breeding because it is more likely to produce random mutations in the whole genome.
The coolest of this is space radiation- sending seeds into space and exposing them to space radiation.
We know mother nature uses mutation breeding to give us skin cancer from sun exposure.

All the concerns we've voiced in the thread; the health effects,  the risk of "unintended consequences," or the "escaping of the pollen to the wild" and effecting environmental changes-
all of these have been possible for 100 years- not just past few decades.  Except for those centenarians reading this, we've been growing/eating/possibly spreading mutated genes- or GMO's our whole lives. 

What do I see from the past 100 years of GMO?  I might see more positives than negatives in my past, and the future looks INTERESTING.  Anyone looked at the glow-in-the-dark petunias?

Member: : Pacific Bulb Society


Member: : Pacific Bulb Society


I wonder if the true plants and their ancient coexist organisms might mutate separately under the same mutation method.
Green Plants Share Bacterial Toxinby Andy Fell November 03, 2006
Atoxin that can make bacterial infections turn deadly is also found in higher plants, researchers at UC Davis, the Marine Biology Laboratory at Woods Hole, Mass. and the University of Nebraska have found. Lipid A, the core of endotoxin, is located in the chloroplasts, structures that carry out photosynthesis within plant cells.The lipid A in plant cells is evidently not toxic. The human intestine contains billions of Gram-negative bacteria, but lipid A does not become a problem unless bacteria invade the bloodstream.

It turns out that several distinctive "plant" metabolites such as indolizidine (swainsonine) and ergoline alkaloids are not synthesized by the plant itself, but by fungal or bacterial associates of the plant; they are toxic to animals and presumably protect the plant (e.g. Popay & Rowan 1994; Tan & Zou 2001; Gunatilaka 2006; Kusari et al. 2012; Markert et al. 2008; Wink 2008; Schardl et al. 2013: Convolvulaceae; Pryor et al. 2009: Fabaceae; Wink 2008), and Celastraceae and especially Poaceae are also distinctive in this regard. Such compounds seem to be ordinary plant metabolites (D.-X. Zhang et al. 2009; Friesen et al. 2011), and they are also of considerable interest for those working on applied uses of "plant" compounds. Similarly, endophytic bacteria are involved in selenium (Se) uptake by Se-accumulating plants (Lindblom et al. 2013; Sura-de Jong et al. 2015), while "true" plants secondary metabolites like terpenoids and quinolizidine alkaloids are produced more or less exclusively in mitochondria and/or chloroplasts, i.e. in endophytic bacteria whose associations with plants are very ancient (Wink 2008; Irisarri et al. 2021).

David Pilling

Quote from: kisaac on February 13, 2024, 05:16:06 PMHow do we 'proceed with caution?',require%20labeling%20of%20GM%20food.)

Covers the history, which I did not know about, as CG100 pointed out some GM crops have been grown for a long time in the EU - although none are currently being grown commercially in the UK.