GMOs Are Part of Nature’s Technology
March 23, 2017
Lowell Catlett On Ag, Part Two
GMOs Are an Ancient Technology
By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor
There is not a morsel of food that 7.2 billion people put it their mouth today that is not GMO. “That is called agriculture,” said Dr. Lowell Catlett, Ph.D. He is a futurist with a positive and upbeat predictions about agriculture.
Catlett gave California Ag Today the inside story on hybrids and GMOs. One question arose about whether hybrids are indeed considered genetically modified organisms. “Of course they are,” he said. “If you want to say it’s transngenetic, somebody moved a gene out of a fish into corn, that’s trans genetic. If you say GMO, that’s all of agriculture.”
What many people do not understand is that their non-GMO products, do come from GMO sources. “I get a kick out of people saying, ‘Well, this is non-GMO milk for ice cream.’ That Holstein has been genetically modified for 400 years. She is a genetically modified organism. There is no question about it,” Catlett said.
“We have the ability to move things around with genetics. The whole green revolution that gave people more food than at any time in history was all about accelerating genetically. Genetic modification in the old traditional ways is [what] we now call hybridization or crossing, ” Catlett said.
Corn is a GMO crop as well. “It was domesticated about 8,000 years ago by Neolithic women by crossing two grasses. Also, diabetic insulin is the result of GMO technology,” Catlett explained. “If you love yogurt, most yogurt in the United States is manufactured through a genetic modification called CRISPR, which is mother nature’s way of modifying genes.”
This process is caused by the bacteria in the yogurt. “It is the technology that bacteria use to protect themselves from invading other bacteria or pathogens. Right now, the 27 countries that are the EU, or soon to be the 26 EU countries that have banned GMOs, are now having to come back and say, ‘Wait a minute, CRISPR technology is Mother Nature’s technology.’ Mother Nature was a good genetic engineer long before we did it in laboratory” Catlett said.
“It is going to be an interesting time for GMOs in the next few years as the technologies merge to help us have better understandings and better control over things,” Catlett said.