Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are on everyone's hit list, including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). A GMO is a genetically modified plant, where another gene is placed inside the original plant. One example is adding a gene in the soybean that helps fight against insect infestation. CRISPR takes it one step further by not modifying but changing the DNA of plants. All genes in a plant are assigned a letter and CRISPR changes the letters.

It does not add an element to the plant it only changes it. This way it will look better in the grocery store for purchasing. I remember growing up as a kid and the inside of my apple would be red. It was from the dye they put into the apples to make them look ripe and fresh. Later on, it was discovered the dye was causing cancer, causing it to be discontinued.

USDA response

According to sciencealert.com, the US Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, said that the USDA had no plans to regulate plants "that could otherwise have been developed through traditional breeding techniques." They will not monitor or place any restrictions on these plants because they are developed using traditional means.

What exactly is Sonny Perdue saying? They can grow them traditionally, then they will not require any special oversight. However, it is impossible to be grown traditionally if the plants' DNA has been changed. They are modifying these plants to resist drought. They have just changed the name of the technique from GMO to CRISPR to pass it off as natural.

The verdict is still out on the effects GMOs have on humans, but genetically altering a plant to have pesticide in a plant cannot be healthy.

According to USDA's logic, it can kill the bugs that regularly attack the soybean plant but has no effect on the humans that eat it. Nature has a way of fighting disease and other harmful products and humans try to eliminate them to make it better. The article on the website thespoon.tech shows that DuPont Pioneer is close to having a product for market. DuPont is a company that develops a variety of different products for animal nutrition, detergents, and biodiesels.

The same company that is developing CRISPR seeds is also the company that develops the fuel for the farm tractors.

The United States is not the only country that will not monitor CRISPR technology. Germany and Sweden have also stated they would not have the same regulations as genetically modified organisms. Why is changing the DNA of plants not considered modifying? The plants DNA is set by nature. If a plants DNA is different than the beginning product by definition it is modified.

Bottom line

The whole purpose of changing the DNA of plants is for the company's profits. That includes the farmers and the seed producers. Unfortunately, companies today put their profits before the well-being of their consumers. There needs to be more protection for the consumer when changing naturally occurring processes. I am not a big advocate for government intervention. Nonetheless, the government needs to step in when it comes to changing the DNA of an existing plant.

The government's inaction on this process will motivate companies to spend even more money developing and implementing CRISPR.

One of the most common sayings I heard growing up was to not mess with Mother Nature. Mother Nature has its own mechanisms to overcome obstacles. We are not superior to Mother Nature overcoming these obstacles ourselves. The bottom line here is that the well-being of humans should outweigh big corporate profits. There are too many farmers that have proven that growing crops naturally and organically produces healthier food for the population. The way we combat world hunger is not by changing Mother Nature but allowing her to create natural, healthier foods.

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