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New food technology could feed the hungry and not only

New food technology could feed the hungry and not only

Neither fish nor fowl – but very similar

Today at 10:08, views: 37

As reported by Bloomberg, one of the world’s largest companies for the production of agricultural products – Cargill Inc., as well as billionaires bill gates and Richard Branson has financed an innovative project in the field of food industry. We are talking about the production of meat by growing animal cells: do not need any animals to the slaughter, no pasture for them, no food, no water, no meat. But will the Americans, in their majority, to consume such meat.

At the end of 2015 “VNS” wrote about genetically modified foods – those that carry the labeling of GMO (genetically modified organisms). We wrote about the fact that since the advent of such products are heated debate about their usefulness or harmfulness. We talked about how the breakthrough that occurred in November 2015: the Federal Agency on control over foodstuff and medicines (FDA) first issued a permit for the cultivation, reproduction and consumption of genetically modified salmon. Before GMOs were permitted only in plant foods – cereals, vegetables and fruits. What happened since then, “salmon front”? In America nothing.

Entangled in “red tape”

Almost two years later, Americans are still not started are allowed to sell GMO salmon. But the Canadians over a shorter period (they have a state regulatory bodies – Health Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency has approved the use in food of such a “modified” salmon in may 2016) ate more than five tons of the product – and nothing, no one got sick.

How can we explain this difference? Canadian regulators immediately and clearly wrote in his authorization document that genetically modified salmon “is as safe and nutritious for humans and livestock as conventional salmon”. For this reason, commercial companies selling GMO salmon were allowed to specify or not to specify at its reasonable discretion, in a product’s labeling that the salmon is a GMO.

In America, so just nothing happens. New product the regulator has tried to bring under the old statutes, although it does not fit there. Biotechnological innovations require the adoption of new laws or regulations, but in the United States so much “red tape” (“red ribbon” – this English idiom means bureaucracy) that this “tape” entangled for many years, and therefore prefer to fit a new under the old. For example, the FDA regulates genetically modified plants as “pests” (sic!) for the sole reason that they are grown using bacteria, which can be a pest. And regulate genetically modified animals as… drugs – so they have not engaged the Ministry of agriculture (which would be more natural), and the FDA, which oversees drugs, and food.

GMO salmon, in fact, was created in 1989, but “red tape” has delayed his legalization until 2015, and it still does not allow him to appear on American shelves.

Last year the Congress passed and President Obama signed the national act on the disclosure of information about food bioengineered origin. The Ministry of agriculture of the USA, which basically regulates and fish, and meat, on the basis of this act develops the national standards, which should come into force in July 2018. But will the FDA act in unison with the Ministry of agriculture? We can’t be sure. Red ribbon might do the trick.

In 30 years will not kill animals

Bureaucratic confusion became even greater after in America there are companies that produce meat of domestic animals and poultry through artificial cultivation of animal cells. There is no longer any manipulation of a living organism – goat, cow, chicken or salmon, and to date, American policy makers no answer to the questions whether such cell cultivation of GMOs and which of the agencies – the Ministry of agriculture or the FDA (and maybe someone else) – should regulate the new biotechnology industry. Scientists conduct research, present their findings and recommendations to the government, and it thinks (unacceptably long), what about this to say.

The business is not waiting – it catches every new technology that promises to make a profit. Meat production without the mass killing of animals without pasture, fodder, disposal of organic wastes without meat plants and poultry farms, no transportation of livestock and poultry – this industry can not be the future. Hunger on planet Earth and fly to other, distant planets, ethical considerations (many people fundamentally do not want to eat meat of dead animals), etc. – you can not continue the list of arguments in favor of the new technology of cell cultivation.

Therefore, the agroindustrial giant Cargill, as well as billionaires bill gates and Richard Branson poured millions in investment (today, this is already $22 million with the prospect of a continuation) in the company Memphis Meats, which is involved in cell growing meat. In an interview with Bloomberg Branson said: “I believe that in thirty years we would not have to kill animals: all we need meat, we will receive net or by (so-called cultivation of the cells. – I. B.), or from plants. It will have the same taste, and it will be more useful.”

Even the largest US producer of “conventional” meat products, Tyson Foods Inc., sees the future in this new industry, the Corporation established a venture capital Fund that invests in biotech companies such as Memphis Meats. Thus, the Fund invested in the company Beyond Meat (literally: “Beyond meat”), another investor of which is the same bill gates.

Americans don’t trust experts

In the future artificial meat and fish (which, perhaps, do not differ from the usual, produced in a traditional way) believes is a great business but that doesn’t mean it will – or, especially, takes now – the consumer. (Although people like gates and Branson certainly has a nose for the demand). Let’s not talk about the starving population of Africa, which will gladly eat any fish-meat products, not interested in methods of cultivation. In well-fed America, where up to 40% of food not eaten and goes to waste, the attitude to GMOs and other phenomena of this series is quite another.

A study conducted in 2016, the magazine Consumer Reports, showed that 73% of Americans are trying to find products in stores with a label that says “Natural”. Unfortunately, people do not realize that this word, in fact, means nothing and gives no guarantees, as regulators still have not determined what needs to stand behind these words. Another thing, if you see the label “USDA Certified Organic”: this means that the product meets the requirements that the USDA imposes for organic products. Just “Organic” doesn’t mean anything.

Online resource of The Conversation (he is an independent nonprofit organization that presents the public with scientific studies and expert opinion) published the results of a study conducted by Cheryl Kirshenbaum and Douglas Buhler of the University of Michigan. They write that Americans do not know the real scale of the real presence of GMOs in their food and their positive potential. Of the participants of the survey conducted, 46% are in the naive belief that they do not consume GMO food. Meanwhile, over 75% of all products sold in America contain GMOs.

The FDA claims that genetically modified foods are safe for health, but millions of people do not believe this, and various organizations and lawyers who hunt for collective claims, convince them of the danger of GMOs to human body and environment. Only 59% of respondents indicated the survey responded that they believe scientists regarding the safety and quality of food. Scientists working in government institutions, trust is even smaller at 49%. Well, those scientists who work in corporations, trust only 33% of respondents.

Instead, scientists consumers trust friends, family, celebrities and all sorts of news from the Internet, much of which is nothing more than a “fake news”. Among scientists, of course, also meet bought business characters, but still experts ‘ opinions (opinions in the plural, which can be mapped) – a much more reliable source than the questionable sites on the Internet, where everyone writes what he wants. And even than brother, friend and mate.

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