Are GM foods with ‘foreign’ genes still vegan?

An issue in relation to genetic modified of crops often brought up by vegans and vegetarians is “What about inserting animal genes into plants?”

There is no special category for “animal genes” or “plant genes,” because living things “all share a common ancestor and significant amounts of genetic code,” writes blogger Jamie Foley. If a genetically modified plant contains a gene from an animal—and no such GM plant exists on the market today–it is still vegan.

An example of this controversy is the GM wheat currently being tested by the UK’s Rothamsted Research. Scientists developed the wheat to be resistant to aphids by inserting a gene that codes for a protein that naturally repels aphids. A similar form of the gene is found in peppermint—and cows. An activist group called “Take the Flour Back” latched onto this fact and has been spreading misinformation about the wheat containing “an artificial gene most similar to a cow.”

“The level of fear and distrust displayed by Take the Flour Back is unwarranted and the continued promotion of misinformation in order to drum up fear is highly irresponsible.”

Read the full, original story: Animal Genes and Rothamsted Wheat Trial

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