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 GM potatoes!

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Pete
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PostSubject: GM potatoes!   Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:08 am

It seems those 'clever' scientists have been at it again & started playing around with the potato (often called a 'spud' in the UK). They have now created a high protein version by sticking some genes from the amaranth plant into the humble spud.
I must admit why you don't just eat amaranth I don't know...but apparently no you have to design a new high tech spud with unknown side effects & problems.
I avoid all GM foods, when you realise that the people doing the modification are basically ramming in genes (it's not 'engineering', it's more like taking a shotgun full of genes & firing it into a cell & hoping for the best) & that we do not understand enough about genes (or epi-genetics) to have a clue about what other changes we have caused then you can see there are real concerns with these foods. You only have to look at the whole trytophan debarcle:

The amino acid tryptophan is commonly made by fermenting a type of bacteria that produces a lot of trytophan as a waste product, so a company played around with the bacteria & made a super producer of trytophan...a great success...except it also produced a toxin that damaged humans (the liver as I remember). Many people suffered due to them trying to muck around with a perfectly safe system.

That was changing a one celled organism to produce one substance...& they failed to get it right. How much more can go wrong attempting to create a complex product like a protein using a complex organism like a potato plant? I'd steer clear of it. If you really want potato protein you can get some protein powders that contain potato protein (from non-GM potatoes) already, so you have have as much potato protein as you want (or would that be amaranth protein?).
Anyway I'll add the study below:

Quote :
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/09/13/1006265107

Next-generation protein-rich potato expressing the seed protein gene AmA1 is a result of proteome rebalancing in transgenic tuber

1. Subhra Chakraborty a,1,2,
2. Niranjan Chakraborty a,1,
3. Lalit Agrawal a,
4. Sudip Ghosh a,
5. Kanika Narula a,
6. Shubhendu Shekhar a,
7. Prakash S. Naik b,
8. P. C. Pande c,
9. Swarup Kumar Chakrborti b, and
10. Asis Datta a,2

+ Author Affiliations

1.
a National Institute of Plant Genome Research, New Delhi 110067, India;
2.
b Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh 171001, India; and
3.
c Central Potato Research Institute Campus, Modipuram, Uttar Pradesh 250110, India

1.

Edited* by Eugene W. Nester, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, and approved August 17, 2010 (received for review May 5, 2010)
2.

↵1S.C. and N.C. contributed equally to this article.

Abstract

Protein deficiency is the most crucial factor that affects physical growth and development and that increases morbidity and mortality especially in developing countries. Efforts have been made to improve protein quality and quantity in crop plants but with limited success. Here, we report the development of transgenic potatoes with enhanced nutritive value by tuber-specific expression of a seed protein, AmA1 (Amaranth Albumin 1), in seven genotypic backgrounds suitable for cultivation in different agro-climatic regions. Analyses of the transgenic tubers revealed up to 60% increase in total protein content. In addition, the concentrations of several essential amino acids were increased significantly in transgenic tubers, which are otherwise limited in potato. Moreover, the transgenics also exhibited enhanced photosynthetic activity with a concomitant increase in total biomass. These results are striking because this genetic manipulation also resulted in a moderate increase in tuber yield. The comparative protein profiling suggests that the proteome rebalancing might cause increased protein content in transgenic tubers. Furthermore, the data on field performance and safety evaluation indicate that the transgenic potatoes are suitable for commercial cultivation. In vitro and in vivo studies on experimental animals demonstrate that the transgenic tubers are also safe for human consumption. Altogether, these results emphasize that the expression of AmA1 is a potential strategy for the nutritional improvement of food crops.
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PostSubject: Re: GM potatoes!   Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:45 pm

Most people in the U.S. are not aware that genetically modified foods are in their shopping baskets. Producers of GM foods are not required to mention in labeling that genetic engineering has modified these food products.
Nor are the possible health effects of eating GM foods generally known because the word is not widespread.

Excerpted from Seeds of Deception by Jeffrey M. Smith:
"…The biotech industry claims that the FDA [U.S. Federal Drug Administration] has thoroughly evaluated GM foods and found them safe. This is untrue. Internal FDA documents made public from a lawsuit, reveal that agency scientists warned that GM foods might create toxins, allergies, nutritional problems, and new diseases that might be difficult to identify…"



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