I found this very enlightening and thought provoking article about GMO changes in the orange crops. And while there is a lot to think about with GMOs, it really took my mind down a whole new path that I hadn’t considered before.
While they are talking about genes and not actual pork (per se) that really is making me wonder how this affects the views that avoid pork for religious reasons or allergies.
Where does this go? How far? Without GMO labeling and an understanding of the components of GMO foods, how do we determine what is considered acceptable for personal health choices as well as religious choices as well. It’s really hard to speculate at this point with so much information unavailable.
Thu. Aug. 1, 2013 by Eric L. Zielinski, staff writer
(NaturalHealth365) The future of orange crops are at risk and pig genes may be considered part of the solution. (I’m not kidding)
On July 27, the New York Times (NYT) officially staked its flag into Big Ag’s garden and into the soil of the GMO camp with its wildly controversial piece, “A Race to Save the Orange by Altering Its DNA.”
The feature highlights the story of a highly influential orange grower and his undying quest to stave off Asian jumping lice and the bacteria that they carry, which has been devastating Florida’s orange crop since 2005.
Committed to engineering the world’s first genetically modified orange tree, the article centers on Ricke Kress, the president of Southern Gardens Citrus who is in charge of two and a half million orange trees and a factory that squeezes juice for Tropicana and Florida’s Best. According to NYT, Kress’s GMO savior would fight C. liberibacter and citrus psyllids through whatever means science determines necessary. As for public acceptance, Kress told his industry colleagues, “We can’t think about that right now.”
Rick Kress’ mission to save oranges by whatever means necessary
Kress’ crusade has led him along a path, the past several years, widely out of public view. His work has tested potential DNA donors from two vegetables, a virus, a pig, and a synthetic gene manufactured in a laboratory. Unbeknownst to the world, the NYT reports that later this summer Kress “will plant several hundred more young trees with the spinach gene, in a new house.
In two years, if he wins regulatory approval, they will be ready to go into the ground. The trees could be the first to produce juice for sale in five years or so.”
According to the NYT, whether it is his transgenic tree or someone else’s, Kress insists, “Florida growers will soon have trees that could produce juice without fear of its being sour, or in short supply.”
What is the danger of the “Greening” disease?
C. liberibacter, the bacterium that has all but annihilated Florida’s citrus crop, chokes off the flow of nutrients and are spread by Asian citrus psyllids that can carry the germ a mile without stopping, and the females can lay up to 800 eggs in their one-month life. It was first detected more than a century ago in China and has earned a place, along with anthrax and the Ebola virus, on the Agriculture Department’s list of potential agents of bioterrorism.
When it first hit, Florida growers attempted to subdue the contagion known as “Greening” by chopping down hundreds of thousands of infected trees and by spraying a broad spectrum of pesticides on the lice that carries it. However, the disease could not be contained. It has thus been determined by University of Florida agricultural analysts that the Asian bug and bacteria has cost Florida $4.5 billion and 8,000 jobs between 2006 and 2012.
Presently, there is no known cure for Greening disease. Continue reading