What Is a GMO

Genetic engineering is a laboratory technique used to make new kinds of plant, animal or other living organisms. It is now possible, using these techniques, to cross natural boundaries and force together DNA from any different species, such as jellyfish genes with corn plants or human genes with rice.


Examples of genetic engineering experiments that have already been done include:

~ Spider/Goat – taking a gene from a spider that leads to the production of spider web and putting it into goats so the goats can then be milked for the spider web protein.

~ Fish/Strawberries – taking a gene from an Arctic flounder and putting it into a strawberry to try to make it frost-resistant.

~ Corn/Human – taking a human gene and putting it into corn so that the corn contains human antibodies that attack sperm. The idea is to develop the corn as a plant-gel contraceptive that kills sperm on contact.

Hawai‘i has the highest recorded number of open-air experiments with genetically engineered plants in the world. Examples include:

~ Corn engineered with human genes (Dow)

~ Sugarcane engineered with human genes (Hawai‘i Agriculture Research Center)

What is a gene?

Every plant and animal is made of cells, each of which has a center called a nucleus. Inside every nucleus there are strings of DNA, half of which is normally inherited from the mother and half from the father. Short sequences of DNA are called genes. These genes operate in complex networks that are finely regulated to enable the processes of living organisms to happen in the right place and at the right time.

~ Corn engineered with jellyfish genes     Stanford University

~ Tobacco engineered with lettuce genes    University of Hawai‘i

~ Rice engineered with human genes    Applied Phytologics

~ Corn engineered with hepatitis virus genes     Prodigene

Haven’t we been breeding new plants and animals for thousands of years? Isn’t that just like genetic engineering?

Genetic engineering is completely different from traditional breeding. In traditional breeding it is possible to mate a pig with another pig to get a new variety, but it is not possible to mate a pig with a potato or a mouse. Even when species that may seem to be closely related do succeed in breeding, the offspring are usually infertile—a horse, for example, can mate with a donkey, but the offspring (a mule) is sterile.

How is genetic engineering done?

Because living organisms have natural barriers to protect themselves against the introduction of DNA from a different species, genetic engineers have to find ways to force the DNA from one organism into another. These methods include:

~ Using viruses or bacteria to “infect” animal or plant cells with the new DNA.

~ Using electric shocks to create holes in the membrane covering sperm, and then forcing the new DNA into the sperm through these holes.

~ Injecting the new DNA into fertilized eggs with a very fine needle.

~ Coating DNA onto tiny metal pellets, and firing it with a special gene gun into a layer of plant cells.

Is genetic engineering precise?

The technology of genetic engineering is currently very crude. It is not possible to insert a new gene with any accuracy, and the transfer of new genes can disrupt the finely controlled network of DNA in an organism.

Current understanding of the way in which DNA works is extremely limited, and any change to the DNA of an organism at any point can have side effects that are impossible to predict or control. The new gene could, for example, alter chemical reactions within the cell or disturb cell functions. This could lead to instability, the creation of new toxins or allergens, and changes in nutritional value.

For example, when genetically engineered salmon were compared to normal salmon, it was found that the genetic engineering unexpectedly increased the amount of a protein identified as a major food allergen.3 In another case, Australian researchers reported in November 2005 that after 10 years spent developing a genetically engineered pea they had to abandon project after they found out that the altered peas caused lung inflammation and other adverse effects in mice.4 “The reaction of the mice… might reflect something that would happen to humans,” said deputy chief of CSIRO plant industry T. J. Higgins.5

Why do genetically engineered foods have antibiotic resistant genes in them?

The techniques used to transfer genes have a very low success rate, so the genetic engineers attach “marker genes” that are resistant to antibiotics to help them to find out which cells have taken up the new DNA. These marker genes are resistant to antibiotics that are commonly used in human and veterinary medicine. Some scientists believe that eating GE food containing these marker genes could encourage gut bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance.

The British Medical Association6 stated in 1999 that, “Antibiotic resistance, the threat of new allergic reactions and the unknown hazards of transgenic DNA mean that on health grounds alone the impact of GMOs must be fully assessed before they are released. The environmental implications and the long term effects on human health cannot be safely predicted at this stage and caution must therefore prevail.”

Lorrin Pang, MD, and MPH Advisor to the World Health Organization echoes those concerns relative to Hawaii’s genetically engineered papaya. “The genetically engineered papaya contains three antibiotic resistant marker (ARM) genes. I am concerned about the possibility that they might transfer to the human gut bacteria, and then create new disease strains that will be resistant to the three important antibiotics.”

Isn’t genetically engineered food thoroughly safety tested?

The U.S. regulatory agencies such as the FDA have deregulated GMOs. What this means is that in most cases it is left up to the corporations themselves (those who stand to profit from the introduction of genetically engineered crops) to decide whether or not their products are safe. There is no long-term safety testing of genetically engineered food. The genetic engineering corporations sometimes conduct short-term animal feeding trials, but most of this research is kept confidential. Neither the public, farmers, elected officials nor regulatory agencies are given vital information that would be needed to determine safety concerns associated with these experiments.

No evidence from human trials for either toxicity or allergy testing is required. No independent checks of the company’s claims are required. The corporations producing GMOs have also avoided liability that would hold them accountable in case of any hazardous effects.

But nobody’s fallen over dead from eating genetically engineered food, have they?

Proponents of genetic engineering often make comments such as: “We’ve been eating genetically engineered food for years in the United States and there have been no problems. No one has even caught a cold.” Considering that there have been no studies done (following people who have eaten genetically engineered food over years, comparing them with a group of people who have not eaten GE food, taking blood samples, etc.) how would we know if people are being affected? Many scientists feel that an evaluation of genetically engineered food would require studying the cumulative effects of eating it over many years.

“This technology is being promoted, in the face of concerns by respectable scientists and in the face of data to the contrary, by the very agencies which are supposed to be protecting human health and the environment,” says Dr Suzanne Wuerthele, a toxicologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “The bottom line in my view is that we are confronted with the most powerful technology the world has ever known, and it is being rapidly deployed with almost no thought whatsoever to its consequences.”

Why isn’t genetically engineered food labeled in the U.S.?

Examples from around the world show that when genetically engineered food is labeled, people vote with their wallets and boycott food containing genetically engineered ingredients. The industry has lobbied hard to prevent labeling in the U.S., spending $6 million, for example, to defeat a citizens’ labeling initiative in Oregon.

The fact that GMO foods are not labeled as such eliminates traceability of these products in the food chain, and does not allow for the tracking of food illnesses and allergic reactions.

Countries around the world with labeling of GMOs include Australia and New Zealand, Brazil, China, the Czech Republic, all 15 countries of the European Union, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Taiwan and Thailand.

Don’t GMOs reduce the use of pesticides?

A 2003 study which analyzed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s own statistics found that pesticide use actually increased by about 50 million pounds with the planting of genetically engineered crops from 1996-2003.9 This is hardly surprising – the corporations selling genetically engineered crops own 60 percent of the global pesticide market.10 These are not corporations that want to see farmers using fewer chemicals; these are corporations that want to profit by selling more of their chemicals.

More than 70 percent of the genetically engineered crops that are grown are crops engineered to be resistant to these corporations’ own- brand chemicals.11 This means that a farmer can spray the field with the chemicals without harming the genetically engineered crop.

Herbicide-resistant genes are being transferred from genetically engineered crops to weeds via cross-pollination, and higher and higher doses of chemicals are being needed to have the desired effect, leading to a rise in herbicide use.

How can GMOs cause pollution?

Genetically engineered organisms are alive. This means that once they are released into the environment, genetically engineered plants and animals can reproduce and contaminate any other plants or animals with which they can breed. In many cases genetically engineered organisms can never be recalled or contained after they have been released, and any problems could then multiply for future generations.

One example is a study at Purdue University in the U.S., where researchers studied the potential effects of the release of a small number of genetically engineered fish into the wild. They estimated that just 60 genetically engineered fish released into a wild population of 60,000 could lead to the extinction of the wild fish within 40 generations.12

“Open-air testing of genetically engineered plants in vulnerable ecosystems presents unacceptable risks to Hawaii’s fragile biodiversity,” says Cha Smith, executive director of KAHEA, an alliance of Hawaiian and environmental activists. “Pollen from plants that are engineered to produce powerful chemicals will assuredly be carried by trade winds and eaten by insects and birds. There is no way to prevent the spread of genetic material to native plants and animals.”13

Luke Anderson is the author of the book “Genetic Engineering, Food and Our Environment.” Since 1997 he has worked with environmental, farming and social justice groups around the world as an advisor on genetic engineering and related issues.


You can view the statistics on field tests for genetically engineered crops available on the website of “ Information Systems for Biotechnology ” established as part of the National Biological Impact Assessment Program, a program administered by USDA

Quoted in Michael Pollan, “Playing God in the Garden,” New York Times Magazine, October 25, 1998.

Hill, J.A., A. Kiessling, R.H. Devlin. 2000. Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) GE for a growth hormone gene construct exhibit increased rates of muscle hyperplasia and detectable levels of gene expression. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 57: 939-50. In “Elements of Precaution: Recommendations for the Regulation of Food Biotechnology in Canada,” The Royal Society of Canada, Ottawa, January 2001, p.182, www.rsc. ca/foodbiotechnology/GMreportEN.pdf.

Lindstrom, C.D., T. van Do, I. Hordvik, C. Endresen, S. Elsayed. 1996. Cloning of two distinct cDNAs encoding parvalbumin, the major allergen of Atlantic salmon salmo salar. Scan. J. Immunol. 44: 335-44.

Vanessa E. Prescott, Peter M. Campbell, Andrew Moore, Joerg Mattes, Marc E. Rothenberg, Paul S. Foster, T. J. V. Higgins, and Simon P. Hogan, “Transgenic Expression of Bean- Amylase Inhibitor in Peas Results in Altered Structure and Immunogenicity,” Agric. Food Chem., 53 (23), 9023 -9030, 2005.

“Australian researchers scrap GM peas after mice fall ill,”AFX News Limited, 17 November 2005

“UK Medical Group Urges Moratorium On GM Crops,” Reuters 18 May 1999.

FDA, “Statement of Policy: Foods Derived from New Plant Varieties,” (GMO Policy), Federal Register, Vol. 57, No. 104 (1992), p. 22991.

Quoted in Michael Pollan, “Playing God in the Garden,” New York Times Magazine, October 25, 1998.

Benbrook, CM (2003), “Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use in the United States: The First Eight Years,” BioTech InfoNet, Technical Paper No 6, Nov 2003, http://wwww.biotech-info. net/technicalpaper6.html.

“SEEDless in Seattle,” RAFI news release, Rural Advancement Foundation International, 26 November 1999.

C. James, “Global Review of Commercialised Transgenic Crops: 1998,” ISAAA Briefs No. 8. ISAAA: Ithaca, NY, 1998.

Muir, WM, Howard, RD (1999) “Possible ecological risks of GE organism release when transgenes affect mating success: sexual selection and the Trojan gene hypothesis,” PNAS 96:13853- 13856.

“Lawsuit Challenges Open-Air Testing of Genetically Engineered ‘Biopharm’ Crops. USDA Not Adequately Protecting Food Supply,” EarthJustice Press Release, November 12, 2003.

Tips For Keto Muscle Building

If you are someone that is looking to build muscle on the keto diet, you will want to be sure to implement some of the best tips to maximize your results. In this article, we will go over specific tips that you should be implemented to achieve the greatest amount of success in doing so.

Tips For Keto Muscle Building:

1. Get Enough Protein.

One of the most important things that you are going to want to do when you are implementing the keto diet and looking to build muscle would be to get enough protein. Protein provides the building blocks for your muscles. Because of this, you want to take in enough protein to provide your body with everything that it needs to build muscle. Ideally, you will be getting a majority of your protein through diet intake alone. However, if you are unable to get sufficient intake of protein through diet alone, you should aim to include a high-quality protein supplement in your keto diet. You want to get a minimum of 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight when you are looking to pack on muscle.

2. Eat Enough – Period.

Another big thing that you are going to want to do when it comes to building muscle would be to ensure that you are eating enough calories and not putting your body in a caloric deficit state. Many people might find it difficult to take in enough calories while implementing the keto diet. If you are looking to pack on muscle, you absolutely must keep track of the total amount of calories that you are taking in on a regular basis to ensure that you are taking in enough to achieve your desired results.

3. Take Supplements.

When implementing the keto diet, you might be finding it difficult to sustain high energy levels if you are exercising frequently. The best way to solve this issue would be through supplementation. You can take all kinds of supplements that should help you pack on muscle including but not limited to MCT oil, caffeine, fish oil, creatine, and more.

By following the tips above, you should be able to achieve muscle gains while following the keto diet.

Laneway Homes For Beginners

How much do you know about laneway homes? If you’re not very familiar with these homes, you’ll want to take the time to learn a little bit more about them. If you familiarize yourself with laneway homes and learn about what they can offer, you’ll be able to decide whether or not a home like this could be a match for you.

What Are Laneway Homes?

Laneway homes are homes that are built on a lot that already houses a property. For example, a laneway house might be built in the backyard of an existing home.

These properties allow new homes to be built in areas that are extremely congested. Even if there isn’t enough room to build a brand new house in an area, building a laneway house is still a possibility. It’s likely that these types of homes will only become more popular in the years to come.

Why Do People Choose To Live In Laneway Homes?

People are drawn to laneway homes for a number of reasons. These kinds of properties tend to be very popular in areas where there simply isn’t enough housing to meet demands. As an example, a significant number of laneway homes are being built in cities like Toronto.

Of course, this isn’t the only reason that people are moving into laneway homes. A lot of people are drawn to these homes because they’re so affordable. People that can’t afford to move into a traditional home can afford to live in a laneway home. These homes offer a number of benefits.

What You Need To Know If You Want To Move Into A Laneway Home

These homes have exploded in popularity over the last few years. With that said, moving into a home like this isn’t necessarily going to be easy for you. You’ll want to learn more about what you will have to do if you’re interested in homes like this.

In some cases, you may be able to buy an existing home. In other cases, you’ll have to build a laneway home yourself. No matter what you wind up doing, you should make sure that you learn more about these homes and the options that you have.

Are you interested in laneway homes? Now that you’ve read over this beginner’s guide to laneway homes, you’ll be able to decide whether or not a home like this could meet your unique needs. Look at these homes and see what you discover.

Top Natural Food for Muscle Gain

It takes more than pumping iron to build muscle mass. Any bodybuilder, nutritionist, and trainer who know their craft knows that. Of course, you still need to exercise a little to achieve any serious gains in strength and size but relying on lifting weights alone will not always get your muscles and bulk like the Hulk.

Earnest bodybuilders know that stimulating muscle development properly is important. Eating foods that are high in protein and full of healthy fats and vegetables will help you lose the fat and at the same time provide the much-needed nutrients of your muscles to repair and recover such as D Bal. But a whole foods diet is not enough to sustain the muscle building processes of the body, this is why gym enthusiasts take supplements to attain their goals, whether it is an increase in muscle mass, greater endurance, or fat loss. However, not all supplements are created equal and will give the same effect to everyone who uses them.

Here are 5 of the top natural food for muscle gain that you should know about:

Collage Protein

Collagen is a vital supplement for recovery because it is the building block of strong muscles, ligaments, fascia, and tendons. Performing arduous exercises such as lifting weights or any types of endurance training to build muscles can break down the collagen in the body. The tissues in your body need help to rebuild quickly which is why collagen protein must be added to your diet. It can be taken as a pill or as a powder mixed in your morning smoothie.


An amino acid that is commonly found in the muscle tissues, Glutamine diminishes when the muscles are exhausted. As a result of the strength, stamina, and recovery also decrease. By supplementing with Glutamine, you will increase muscle toning.

Organic Whey Protein

This is the supplement that most amateur and professional athletes use because per serving has 20g of protein. It supports muscle mass and provides another muscle building block, the branch chain amino acids.


MCT Oil is made up of medium chain triglycerides that convey energy directly to the muscles that you’ll toil on the gym. Since developing muscles speeds up the body’s metabolic rate and calorie-burning, weightlifters need to increases their daily calorie intake also. MCTs are a more convenient source of calories because you will not feel that you are force feeding yourself to take in more calories.

Plant-Based Protein Powder

If you have a milk sensitivity, you will like experience some serious bloating and indigestion with casein and lactose in whey protein. With 30 grams of protein per serving, the plant-based protein powder beats whey protein in terms of protein content. It also has natural pro-biotics that keep your gut bacteria healthy. This is important when you’re trying to burn more fat and ingesting more food than you normally do.

Chemically formulated pills, powders and muscle building supplements reviews are not the only aids to acquiring a great physique, there are lots of clean and organic supplements that can give the same results but without the nasty side effects. All these five natural food for muscle gain could definitely help you achieve your goals effectively and in a healthy way.

Skinny on Fat Burners for Women

There are many diet supplements and slimming pills that are sold in the market. And one of the most popular among them is the fat burner. This is beneficial for those who do not have the time or the discipline that is required in sticking to strict diet and meal plans as well as in engaging in regular exercise. Fat burners like Phentermine Australia are effective as a weight loss supplement because of its herbal contents namely HCA, Chitosan, Ephedra, and Pyruvate. These four substances boost energy, hastens metabolism, and curbs one’s desire to eat.


More on Fat Burners

Although fat burners like PhenQ are very effective when it comes to helping you lose unwanted weight. Its effectiveness is boosted even further by regularly participating in a weight reduction program. If you want to obtain faster results, you should also consider cutting down on your food intake especially those that are considered as empty calories as well as those that are high in fat and high in sugar content.

Other Important Considerations

With the multitude of brands of fat burners for women, one may find it confusing to choose which one will be the best for her. There are several health risks when a person is unable to choose a reliable, safe, and effective fat burner. This includes:

  • Feelings of irritability and restlessness
  • Development of heart abnormalities such as palpitations, cardiac arrest, and heart failure
  • Headaches and dizziness as well as blurring of vision
  • Inability to sleep well at night
  • Problems with the functions of the digestive system which is manifested through diarrhea or constipation and stomach aches

To avoid the above-mentioned ill effects, one should be very careful in choosing the right brand of fat burners for women. Make sure that it has been clinically tested if possible. Moreover, take time to read product reviews so you can get to know more about its safety as well as its efficacy in causing weight loss. A good type of fat burner to start would be PhenQ. This is a fat burner which has been formulated from a natural source which is seaweed extract. It works both as a means to effectively prevent and treat obesity. It is capable of decreasing carbohydrate absorption for up to 82%.

Pregnancy Weight Loss Tips

It is true to say that giving birth to your baby is a miracle thing and something that you will always remember. Almost all new mothers look forward to pregnancy weight loss.  It is very rare for all of the weight to be lost straightaway. If you are a new mother and feel overwhelmed then do not worry, as this is the way that most new mothers feel. Once you have had your baby you can start to rebuild your individuality and self-esteem and losing your pregnancy weight is one way in which you can do this. By the way, for those readers who know someone struggling to have a baby, you can refer them to Pregnancy Miracle website. It has helped many women conceive and give birth to healthy babies. Back to our topic.

If you have planned ahead and eaten healthy and exercised both before and during your pregnancy then you will find it easier when it comes to pregnancy weight loss. Once you have had your baby with the use of pregnancy miracle program you will need to wait about six weeks before you can start doing exercises again. If your delivery has been through a cesarean section you will have to wait even longer prior to starting to do exercises again and this could be as long as eight weeks. You will be the best judge about when your body is ready to resume exercise therefore listen to your body.

When you start to do exercises again it is best to do exercise that will challenge your abdominal muscles, as this is the part of the body that will need the most attention. Other parts of your body that you will have to focus on for pregnancy weight loss are your back and your arms. Remember it is very important to do stretching exercises and these can actually be started only days after you have had the baby.


It can be very hard trying to find time when you can exercise and if you seriously struggle for time then try just doing short bursts of exercise. Even short bursts of exercise will be worth it, as it will all add up. One way that you can try and make some free time is to get up earlier in the morning. Research has shown that people that exercise in the morning with the use of flex belt abs toner tend to be more consistent.

It is also very important to get your diet back on track as this will help with pregnancy weight loss. It is a good idea to eat a diet that contains a lot of fruits and vegetables. A good balanced diet will also contain lean protein and complex carbohydrates. There is a well known program available for pregnancy weight loss known as Pregnancy Without Pounds. It has helped hundreds of mums to lose post-pregnancy weight and get back into the pre-pregnancy shape!

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