A local chapter of the Institute for Responsible Technology is working to educate local consumers about the potential risks of consuming genetically modified foods. Named the The Prometheus Project, the group seeks to shine light on foods that are currently unlabeled in grocery stores while building momentum to pressure the government to accurately label any food products that contain altered DNA.
Genetically modified foods have been a source of debate since the first pesticide resistant strains of cotton, corn, potatoes, soybeans and other vegetables were approved for marketing in the United States in 1995. Despite pressure from activists, what started as a small percentage of overall production swelled to almost completely overtake the cultivation of many of these crops.
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According to the IRT, more than 90 percent of all soy, cotton, canola, sugar beets produced in the country contain modified DNA, and animals are being modified, too.
An Atlantic salmon known as AquAdvantage, developed by AquaBounty Technologies, grows twice as fast as its natural counterpart. In May 2012 the FDA took a step closer towards allowing these fish to be sold to consumers by releasing a draft environmental assessment with an initial finding of no impact. Those documents are still under review.
Should the salmon be allowed on the market, current FDA regulations do not require labeling of the fish, either.
Got a beef with unlabeled modified fish? The Dallas IRT meets the first Saturday of every month. The next meeting is March 2, at 3:00 p. m. at Frame Destination Inc., 13539 Method Street. Prospective attendees should call 214-350-2269 for more information.