The Twelve Days of a Green Christmas…Third Day

…on the third day of Christmas my green friend gave to me…three bags of taters, two quarts of milk and a potted cypress tree!

Taters? For you Clemson Alumni, I’m not talking about Clemson Tiger fans, aka “Taters”, I’m using the southern slang version of potatoes LOL!  Really…my gift was 3 bags of certified Non-GMO potatoes.

Just before the holidays my Green Friend and I were discussing a book that had been published in October, 2018 called “Pandora’s Potatoes” written by Caius Rommens and was soon afterwards “retired”. The book is no longer available and you will find this statement “THIS BOOK HAS SERVED ITS’ FUNCTION AND IS RETIRED” on every supplier’s website. Makes me wonder, how about you?

In 1995 Mr. Rommens, with his newly earned Ph.D. from UC Berkeley was invited to join Monsanto (now Bayer) to lead their new “disease control” program. He arrived intending to help further GMO (genetically modified organisms) processes to help the world.

In 2000 Mr Rommens left Monsanto to start an independent biotech program at one of the largest potato processing companies in the world, The J.R. Simplot Company. He wanted to develop GMO potatoes, potatoes that wouldn’t bruise easily and resist blight. He also wanted to create a potato that provided a lighter and more consistent color for french fries. He created what was to be called the GM(genetically modified) Innate potato. They are sold in most stores under the name White Russet, Simplot Innate and Hibernate.

gm-innate-potato-marketing
GM Innate Potato Credit: NaturalSociety.com

Rommens created this perfect, non-bruising potato by altering the DNA and “silencing the PPO gene”. The image above illustrates the brilliant marketing of the “benefits” of this new genetically engineered potato. During his employment at Simplot Mr. Rommens began having doubts about the effects of “silencing genes”, the effect on animals eating the potato or the bees pollinating the plant since the “gene silencing” properties within the potato would still be active in the pollen. In 2013 Rommens left The J.R. Simplot Company, began working on his book and in October, 2018 his short-lived book, Pandora’s Potatoes, was published.

In this book his GM Innate potato technology was renounced by Mr. Rommens and he wanted these potatoes taken off the market. As other Genetic Engineers also denounced the GMO technology, Rommens outlined all the hidden dangers of these GM potatoes in his book. As Rommens explained in an EcoWatch interview:

“Ex-colleagues of mine had shown that PPO-silencing increases the levels of alpha-aminoadipate by about 6-fold. Alpha-aminoadipate is a neurotoxin, and it can also react with sugars to produce advanced glycoxidation products implicated in a variety of diseases.”

According to Mr. Rommens bruising is not eliminated just concealed, so how would we know if the potato was actually rotten or unsafe to eat and how do we know which potatoes are okay to eat? If you are unfamiliar with the NonGMOProject.org group/website it would behoove you to learn more about their strict certification standards for food certification and recognize the label when you shop. On October 31, 2018 the NonGMOProject classified the GMO Potato as High Risk! You can read their article about the reclassification here.

So three bags of non-GMO “taters” was a fabulous gift from my Green Friend for the Third Day of a Green Christmas! Thank you for joining me on this Third Day of a Green Christmas! If you’re curious about the history of the Twelve Days of Christmas you can find that here. Join me tomorrow and learn some fun facts about something you might like to try. Anything you would like to add…write your thoughts in the comments below.

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