So you may have seen this label around, from the Non-GMO project — it’s a kind of seal of approval by unscientific hoodoo artists to declare food “safe”, unlike those foods that were generated by intentional, directed genetic modification. They prefer their crops randomly mutagenized, you know, the natural way, as Herman Muller intended.
Although, truth be told, this whole nonsense began as a marketing scheme by a couple of big grocery stores, who discovered a clever way to slander the products sold by competing chains and set themselves up as an elite source. Slap an orange butterfly on a box and you can sell it for more money!
Now, of course, they continue to spread lies. The latest is the false claim that going non-GMO frees farmers from onerous patents and restores “traditional” farming practices. It doesn’t. The Plant Patent Act was passed in 1930, which gave patent rights to certain kinds of propagated plants, and the Plant Variety Protection Act in 1970 expanded on that. The first GMOs were approved in 1994. 1994 is later than 1930 and 1970.
In the 19th century, we also acquired hybrid seed — where the seed company maintained parental stocks, bred them together, and sold the more productive heterozygous seed. The farmer would not be able to propagate his hybrid stock. These were produced and sold in the 1920s. 1920 is before 1994.
There are lots of seeds that are patented and sold that are non-GMO.
— David🌾Kucher (@DavidKucher) December 18, 2017
What’s going on with this GMO labeling crap is a dishonest game. It’s false advertising. Food that is GMO is not less safe or dangerous or less nutritious, and food that is non-GMO is not “pure” or “natural” or better for you.
The herbicide tolerant Clearfield canola was bred using chemical mutagenesis, in which plants are exposed to chemicals that induce genetic mutations. Desirable results that occur using this technique, like the Clearfield trait, are commercialized. Products made with crops from the seeds shown in Kucher’s image are eligible for the Non-GMO Project butterfly seal (though the herbicide is prohibited on certified organic farms).
You should be aware of how your food is made, where it comes from, and there are agricultural practices that are bad (overuse of antibiotics is just one of them). But that butterfly seal is a fraudulent marketing scheme that has metastasized into a tool to suppress a powerful and safe technique for producing better food crops. Avoid it. Don’t give these con artists more power over agriculture.