At Fry’s, we support science, but when science fiddles with nature and the result compromises our values, we certainly won’t take part. We respect our environment, we respect Mother Nature and most of all, we respect our consumers.
An Update on Genetically Modified Foods…
Modern science has allowed agricultural crops to be modified genetically to improve their inherent traits in various ways from faster growth and an enhanced yield, to pest, herbicide and climate resistance. Genetically modified (GM) foods have had foreign genes (those from another plant or animal) inserted into their genetic codes in order to achieve better farming outcomes.
As most scientific ventures are initiated with good intentions, genetic modification was adopted with the rationale of providing benefit to both farmers and the population (increased yield for farmers and increased food supply at lower cost for consumers.) However, this experimental journey has unfortunately raised concerns along the way and the concept of bioengineered food is being ethically questioned regarding the potentially negative impact that this may pose to human health and the environment.
Experimentation often presents an unexpected element and in the case of genetic modification, the following controversial questions have been raised:
· Can interbreeding of modified organisms with natures ‘original’ organisms lead to eventual extinction of the originals?
· Will there be an explosion of allergic responses to an increased number of foods? (If peanut genes are transferred to soya beans would someone allergic to peanuts become suddenly allergic to soya too?)
· Are GM crops toxic to wildlife?
· Would large scale genetic modification have a ripple effect of disruption on environmental cycles? (What happens to the insects, which would have lived off naturally farmed crops and what happens to the birds and animals which eat those insects etc.?)
· If GM crops naturally breed with weeds, what effect will herbicide resistant ‘super weeds’ have on the surrounding environment?
· Although plants may be manipulated for herbicide tolerance, can humans be affected by consumption of such plants, which may well survive, but still contain potent chemicals?
Although the FDA has encouraged manufacturers of genetically engineered foods to consult with the agency regarding safety before marketing of such products, this consultation remains voluntary! Further, as of May 2013, the position of the FDA neither supports GM foods based on perceived benefits nor opposes them based on perceived risks, which unfortunately leaves us with a large degree of uncertainty on the general safety of GM foods.
When it comes to food quality, Fry’s doesn’t take short-cuts. We are traditionalists, who remain updated on scientific food affairs and whilst there has been no adequate testing to ensure the long-term safety of GM foods, let alone the environmental impact, we will not drop our standards for a cheaper source of soya.
According to the USDA, 93% of soybeans produced in the US and 77% produced by the rest of the world are genetically modified varieties! At Fry’s we work very hard to obtain our soya from natural sources, and the hard work is worth it in the form of a clear conscience and a 0% GM product, (guaranteed by the highest international testing standards), of which we are very proud!