Natural Foods Merchandiser

GMO timeline: 1976-2011

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James (not verified)
on Jun 30, 2011

Nice job. This is one of the most important and under-reported stories of our time. The only way it will change is by making a critical amount of people aware of it, who then will demand change en masse.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jun 30, 2011

You have some facts wrong here: FlavrSavr tomatoes were removed from the market because of serious health issues in a rat study. First, the rats wouldn't eat them (in this case, smarter than humans). So, to conduct the study, the rats were force fed the genetically modified FlavrSavr tomatoes. Within weeks, over half the rats had stomach lesions. 24/40. And a third of them died within 4 weeks. Due to the implications on possible human health issues, they were quietly removed from the market. WHO heard of this? Only the most diligent! I heard this from a lecture at continuing education credits seminar for health care professionals last year. Do more research, before you share incorrect and misleading information. Please.

Kristina Hubbard (not verified)
on Jul 5, 2011

There is an error in what otherwise is a nice, useful timeline.

The 1970 blurb states that the "Plant Variety Protection Act allows individuals and companies to patent seeds developed in a lab."

The Plant Variety Protection Act (PVPA) did not allow the "patenting" of seeds. The PVPA provides patent-like protections for plants (through certificates) and Congress included two important exemptions in this law: 1) farmers can save seed from these varieties to re-plant on their farms, and 2) researchers can use these protected varieties (the genetics) to breed new varieties and further innovation.

The PVPA represented a compromise by Congress, which had long argued that sexually reproducing plants should not be awarded utility patents for fear of curtailing innovation, threatening the free exchange of genetic resources, and increasing market concentration. But in 1980, the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) awarded the first utility patent on life in the landmark case of Diamond v. Chakrabarty. The Supreme Court upheld this decision in 2001. It was the PTO and the cases that followed -- especially this Supreme Court case (JEM Ag Supply v. Pioneer Hi-Bred) -- that ultimately paved the way for seeds to be patented, not the PVPA.

You can read an overview of this history in a report called Out of Hand: Farmers Face the Consequences of a Consolidated Seed Industry (the implications are described in section 3).

Kristina Hubbard
Organic Seed Alliance

Anonymous (not verified)
on Dec 5, 2012

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Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 13, 2013

I noticed that when you hover over the image your web page coding appears can you change that so that when I hover over the next image it doesn't block the image I am looking

on Aug 14, 2013

Should be taken care of now, thanks for pointing that out.

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on Aug 30, 2014

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