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Genetically modified crops - February issue

Nigel Colborn NColborn at compuserve.com
Mon Feb 1 13:56:53 EST 1999


Terry Harper wrote in message <7947tl$546$3 at uranium.btinternet.com>...
>Are F1 Hybrids genetically modified? If not, why not?
>
>Snip here

Not genetically modified, in that their DNA has not been zapped with genetic
material from some unrelated organism, usually introduced via a 'gene taxi'
bacterium.
But the terminology is misleading.  You could say that all artificial breeds
are 'genetically modified,' in that the selection process, rather than being
'natural,' is done by man, whether for bigger grapes, milkier cows or
chickens that lay 280 eggs per year.

Personally, I have no problem eating or growing F1 hybrids.  My favourite
Brussels Sprout variety 'Peer Gynt' is an excellent example.  It was bred by
artificial selection and tastes great.

But genetically modified foods or plants -- the ones zapped with alien gene
material -- I would not want to grow or touch.  Why?  Because I don't know
what risks are involved, not risks to me personally -- I don't think they
are very high -- but risk of escape of genetically nobbled material into
wild gene pools.  Who knows what the consequences of that might be, to all
life, including, just to stop this reply being totally off topic, birds.
Best wishes,
Nigel





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