Would opponents of GMO technology object to eating cheese made with chymosin from genetically engineered microbes? Avoiding it might be hard – between 80 to 90 percent of hard cheese produced in the U.S. is made with recombinant chymosin. Most regulatory agencies don’t consider chymosin an ingredient. And in any case, purified chymosin from E. coli is chemically indistinguishable from that taken from calves. And the problem goes beyond cheese, the FDA has approved over 30 recombinant enzymes for use in food production, including α-amylase, which is used in the production of almost all glucose or fructose syrups.
Groups like the Non-GMO Project reject the use of these enzymes, but go even further. Bafflingly, they even oppose the use of recombinant proteins to make small molecule compounds like citric acid, claiming they pose “GMO risk.” This term is meaningless – are they saying a chemical compound can somehow have memory of where it came from like the water sold as homeopathy?
When anti-GMO advocates deny the scientific consensus around crops like Bt corn, it’s frustrating, but still somewhat understandable. Putting foreign genes in plants so they produce a pesticide sounds scary if you don’t understand genetics. But the objection to using purified proteins, or even chemical compounds, that are 100 percent identical to that from other sources, just because it’s being made in a lab demonstrates the rank ignorance that characterizes the professional anti-GMO movement.
Read the full, original article: Genetically modified cheese… Is nothing safe? At the boundaries of the GMO controversy