The Sceptical Vegan takes a look at the issue.

An issue in relation to genetic engineering of crops often brought up by other vegans and vegetarians is, “What about inserting animal genes into plants, doesn’t that make them no longer vegan/vegetarian?” The short answer is, no, absolutely not, and as pointed out before, the fear of consuming “animal genes” in plants is only theoretical because there are no such products on the market. But in light of the irrational stances taken by groups such as the Vegan Society and the International Vegetarian Union I feel this issue could use further exploration.

You can explore it too by visiting the link. Short version? Without a brain and the ability to move independently a plant is still a plant. Genes are still genes. And one other thing. Plants and animals use the same genetic code. Which is why they can exchange genes.

OK. But there are flies in the ointment. Or why poisons (pesticides) are better than animal genes.

In the town of Harpenden the worlds oldest agricultural research center, Rothamsted Research, is conducting a trial of a new genetically engineered wheat that repels aphids and will drastically reduce wheat farmers’ need for pesticides. Unfortunately, a group calling themselves Take The Flour Back have been spreading misinformation and fear about this trial and have even threatened to destroy it on May 27th 2012 in a public “decontamination”. Ive written previously about the specific claims Take The Flour Back make in their propaganda video and in the end the video is little but distortions, falsehoods, and tired myths. A central scare tactic of the Take The Flour Back campaign is that this wheat has been modified to contain “an artificial gene ‘most similar to a cow’” and they have even whipped up a little graphic (seen above) to really bring it home.

Read the comments at the post. They are especially good.

I wonder if “Genetically Modified” is a scare dreamed up by companies who stand to lose if this sort of thing gains ground. It wouldn’t surprise me since Qatar likes to fund anti-fracking propaganda. After all they stand to lose if you can drill for oil just about anywhere.

GMO scares are as irrational as fracking scares. These same tactics were used to make certain drugs illegal. It can take decades to quell the fears. Which is not to say that care isn’t required. It is just that prudence has given way to paranoia.