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"When people realize that genetically modified food has good properties for health, they will prefer to consume it"

This is what Prof. Joachim Messing, the recipient of the 2013 Pekez Wolf Award for Agriculture who was unable to attend the ceremony last year, and who will receive the award at the ceremony to be held today in the Knesset, together with the recipients of the 2014 prize, says in an interview with the Hidan website.

Prof. Joachim Messing. From Wikipedia
Prof. Joachim Messing. From Wikipedia

"There is no doubt that genome sequencing and genetic engineering had an impact that was not foreseen in advance on extending our lives through diagnostic and treatment tools, saving people from starvation, and improving the quality of life through a greener environment." Says Prof. Joachim Messing, professor and director of the Waxman Institute for Microbiology at Rutgers University.

Messing developed in 1974 a method for 'cutting' DNA which later had consequences for sequencing the human genome, that of animals as well as the genome of plants. On Thursday, he participated together with the new winners in a seminar held in the Knesset, at the beginning of which the laureates gave scientific lectures, and in the second part of the day, panels were held on various topics related to science and society.

"Today, every life science laboratory and most farms on Earth are equipped with copies of a piece of DNA from work that originated today 40 years ago. "

"In 2012, 17.3 million farmers sowed genetically engineered seeds. Since 1996, the area of ​​farms growing genetically modified crops has increased from 1.7 million hectares to 170 million hectares." (One hectare is 10 dunams).”

"Of the 28 countries that planted genetically modified grains in 202, 20 were in developing countries. The total area allocated to cultivated grains in developing countries exceeds that of the Western world. The economic benefit to developing countries in 2011 from the use of genetically modified food plants reached 10 billion dollars (a significant part of this amount is the savings achieved by growing soybeans that are more durable and have more nutritious properties for the people of China."

"In contrast, in the European Union, so far only two plant species have been approved for sowing in commercial quantities - insect-resistant corn and potatoes that contain more starch for industrial use. Of the 129 hectares where these transgenic plants were grown, Spain is responsible for 90%."

In a conversation with the science website, Prof. Messing tries to explain why many people are afraid of genetically modified plants: "When you interview people, for example in the supermarket, they believe that if they eat DNA, it also enters their genome. People have a misconception about genetically modified plants. The source of the concern is the case of mad cow disease, which caused people to fear contamination in the food chain. In addition, most GMO products were created for farmers and benefited them and not consumers, so consumers had no motivation to switch to genetically modified products."

Was this the fate of the yellow rice? (Rice engineered to contain vitamin A, the absence of which causes blindness in countries that consume A.B. rice)

"The yellow rice is a good example of a genetically modified food developed for consumers. People have also become accustomed to eating white rice, and it is very difficult to convince them to eat yellow rice, even though it is healthier. We must use genetic engineering to improve the nutritional quality of food. If we do this we will be able to reduce the area of ​​the fields but increase the nutritional value extracted from them and thus we will be able to improve nutritional security and food supply. I am convinced that if the health properties of the engineered food are highlighted, people will want to eat it, as is done in the case of the organic food. People think it's healthier and are willing to pay more for it."

"We will have no choice, we will have to reach the tipping point, because we will not be able to manage without genetically engineered food."
One of the consequences of the public debate is that today it is very difficult to bring a new variety of food plant to the market, just like medicine. It is necessary to prove to the FDA that the new plant does not have any health consequences and that its cultivation is not harmful to the environment."

Is it possible that the ways in which Monsanto operates, which are not always the best, have something to do with the fear of genetically modified food?

"Indeed, they are very bad at public relations. Everyone hates them but they don't understand why. I think people don't like someone making money off of food, but that's bullshit. All the supermarket chains take a lot of money from us, most people don't know that."

On the same topic on the science site


8 תגובות

  1. Regret in the pita. Engineering is simple destruction without brain confusion

  2. Snofkin, this article is not for you. This article is intended for the public who does not really get into the thick of it. The site owner has agendas. Trying to sell us a genetic Hindu with the story of the yellow rice, the vitamin in question is found in sweet potatoes. And sweet potatoes are in huge quantities in China, Uganda and Nigeria.

  3. The problem is usually not health but environmental and social.
    What are the consequences of the increasing patenting on the genes themselves?
    What are the effects of the genetic identity of crops on biodiversity?
    What are the long-term effects of monoculture in general and monoculture of genetically identical plants in particular?
    What are the consequences of creating sterile plant varieties while traditional diverse seed banks rot without use?
    Is the power of genetic engineering not necessarily used for the benefit of humanity but in order to gain corporate power and take over the world's food industry?
    Is inducing plants to produce their own insecticides healthy? What is its effect on insect populations? Are they not important in the ecosystem?
    Is distributing sterile seeds for free in third world countries for several years until the traditional seed banks lose their vitality and farmers have to buy expensive seeds from the companies because they have no other choice something we want to encourage?
    Is the introduction of special plants that are resistant to certain chemical sprays so that the farmer will also have to buy the special sprays a positive thing?
    Is the filing of "patent infringement" lawsuits against farmers due to the penetration of patented genes into their fields through no fault of theirs a practice we as consumers should cooperate with? In the US, these lawsuits also "win" in the courts.
    So don't sell us words like it's a simple debate about "is genetic engineering healthy"!
    That's not really the story. The story is that there is a powerful tool here that is not adequately supervised and can cause serious consequences.
    I am able to carry out genetic engineering myself in a laboratory and I tell you that this is a very powerful and very dangerous tool in the wrong hands of corporations that all they care about is money and not the good of humanity.
    Imagine if private companies were allowed to build atomic bombs? It's not much different.

  4. I don't understand what the problem is. The supermarket will sell the varieties of the types of foods. Those who care about non-GMO food will only buy it, and those who don't care will buy both types. The non-GMO food will run out quickly and those who are careful will manage without food for a few days until the next delivery. There is no problem here.

  5. A have sweet potatoes for vitamin
    There is no need to make dangerous genetic changes in rice
    And how do you know he is healthier? Did long-term studies of two years?

  6. In December 2013, in the European Union the Supreme Court revoked the approval of genetically modified potatoes.
    Nine states in the Union by law prohibit the cultivation of transgenic corn (which, by the way, was all used for animal feed).

    Monsanto has a monopoly on 90% of the GM seeds in the world.
    succeeded in stopping Monsanto in Europe

    But now it is attacking Israel, with an award to a professor and the corporation's deal with the chief scientist of the Ministry of Economy.

  7. Good Morning.
    Just one note.
    Please proofread. There are a lot of mistakes and you have to guess what is written.
    Good day to all of us.

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