Editor's Note: Brian Scott farms with his father and grandfather on 2,300 acres of land in northwest Indiana. They grow corn, soybeans, popcorn and wheat. He blogs about it at The Farmer's Life, where a version of this post originally appeared. Corporate relationships and the use of genetically modified products are complex and controversial issues, and Eatocracy will be presenting points of view on it from more farmers, food scientists and environmentalists in the coming weeks. We invite you to become part of the dialogue.
As a farmer who is active on social media, I’ve seen a lot of posts online about how corporations control farms or how farmers are slaves to “Big Ag.” Some people claim we are beholden to companies and must sign unfair contracts to be privileged enough to use their biotech seed. They also claim the contracts rope us into buying other inputs like pesticides and herbicides from the same company.
Others make claims about how family farmers are treated by big corporations that they see as enemies of nature, monopolizing agriculture and ruthless in their greed. It’s easy to misunderstand something if you aren’t directly involved.
At every election, California's ballot is filled with initiatives, but none received more attention this year than Proposition 37.
After the polls closed, Prop 37 - also known as the "Right To Know" initiative to require labeling of foods that have been genetically modified - failed to pass. If approved, California would have been the first state to require such labeling for foods sold in the state, and would have prohibited products containing genetically modified ingredients to be labeled or marketed as "natural."
Last September's Food and Drug Administration hearings on the introduction of genetically modified salmon into the consumer food system, and issues around labeling the fish as such gave rise to heated debates in Washington and on this very site.
Consumer protection advocates said food should be labeled as such if it derives from a genetically modified organism. AquaBounty - the creator of the "AquAdvantage® Salmon" at the center of the debate, argued that genetically modified salmon should not be required to display additional labeling as it has the same qualities as the non-GMO Atlantic salmon.
Editor's note: all week, CNN Newsroom, Rick's List and Eatocracy are teaming up to take a look the effects our dining choices have on our minds, bodies and wallets. Tune into CNN Newsroom daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET for on-air coverage and join in the discussion here on Eatocracy. ALL COVERAGE
Susan Chun is a Producer with AC360°. She tagged alongside Eatocracy's managing editor Kat Kinsman to an old-fashioned pig roast.
The first thing I smelled when I arrived at the International Pig Roast was that rich, fatty, meaty scent of roast pork. Not just any old roasted pork, this was a whole hog barbecued by Pitmaster Ed Mitchell. He drove all the way up to Connecticut from his Raleigh restaurant The Pit to cook us North Carolina-style barbecued pork. It smelled so good that even while I was shooting video of that pulled pork cooking on the grill, I couldn't help but reach out my free hand out to steal a piece and eat it.
This week's Food and Drug Administration hearings on the introduction of genetically modified salmon into the consumer food system, and issues around labeling the fish as such has given rise to heated debates both in Washington and in the comments section of Eatocracy.
We were once again struck by the passion and intelligence of our readers, and are sharing some highlights from both sides of the conversation - as well as some who are just in search of sensible answers, minus any hype.
Editor's note: Yonathan Zohar is professor of marine biology and chairman of the Department of Marine Biotechnology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and is interim director of the newly established University of Maryland Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology. His research and writings focus on the application of modern biology and biotechnology to fish farming and aquaculture.
The debate over genetically engineered salmon should be put in the proper context: As the world's population grows at an accelerating pace, so does the consumption of seafood.
This is true not only because there are more mouths to feed, but also because as people become more aware of the health benefits associated with eating seafood, more are switching from meat to fish. To satisfy this demand, we have become very sophisticated fishers, with ever-growing fleets, factory fishing ships and very effective gear.
We efficiently hunt our own seafood in the wild; it seems natural to all of us, while we do not hunt for wild chicken, beef or pork. But fish is harvested at a rate that exceeds the fisheries' ability to replenish themselves.
CNN Opinion has the FULL STORY
Read more about Genetically Modified Salmon
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration held a hearing Tuesday as it considers genetically engineered salmon for human consumption. The hearing specifically focused on the food labeling policies that might be made for the AquAdvantage Salmon.
Speakers included AquaBounty Technologies Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ron Stotish; Alison L. Van Eenennaam of the University of California Davis; and Abby Brandel, Associate Chief Counsel at Food and Drug Administration
Consumer protection advocates said food should be labeled as such if it derives from a genetically modified organism. AquaBounty, on the other hand, argued that genetically modified salmon should not be required to display additional labeling as it has the same qualities as the non-GMO Atlantic salmon.
In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology we're attempting to do the same.
If you pay attention to food labels, you might have to read between the lines when it comes to genetically engineered ingredients.
When Eatocracy polled readers yesterday if they would eat genetically modified salmon, approximately 45.1 percent of respondents answered: “not on your life.”
The irony of the results is that, according to the Center for Food Safety, it has been estimated that 70 to 75 percent of processed foods in supermarkets contain genetically engineered ingredients - they just aren’t required by the Food and Drug Administration to be labeled as such.
Chefs like Rick Moonen and Dennis Lange are deeply skeptical about the environmental and health benefits of genetically altered and modified food - and they're not tremendous fans of the flavor, either.
Time.com columnist and James Beard Award-winning food writer Josh Ozersky is willing to make sacrifices for the sake of progress.
Get the rest of Josh's story at Time.com
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