The GLP is committed to full transparency. Download and review our 2019 Annual Report

Frankenfood paradox: Why are (sometimes organic) seedless watermelons — chemical-created mutants — sold without a label?

| | August 8, 2017
Screen Shot at AM
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[Did] you know that seedless watermelons are genetically modified, using a toxic chemical, even though they’re considered non-GMO ? If that sounds confusing that’s because the term GMO is not particularly meaningful. As I wrote earlier this year:

One of the most common food myths of our time is that GMOs are “frankenfoods” while heirloom or organic varieties are natural, the way that Mother Earth created them. In reality, GMO-as-unnatural and organic-as-natural is a false dichotomy. A term inextricably embedded in the public lexicon, and with “non-GMO” labels wielded by marketers chasing an easy sale, GMO is actually an arbitrary and meaningless term.

Breeders treat two-set diploid [watermelon] seedlings with colchicine, a mutagenic chemical also used as a drug to treat conditions like gout and pericarditis, which doubles the number of chromosomes. The triploid (three sets of chromosomes) offspring of the diploid and tetraploid watermelons try and fail to create gametes due to the odd number of chromosomes sets.

Chemicals used in plant breeding and agriculture can seem creepy, but like any chemical, it’s the dose and mode of action that determine whether they are harmful, benign or helpful.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Enjoy The Refreshing Sterile Children Of Chemically Treated Parents On National Watermelon Day

News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.

Send this to a friend