New initiatives seek to genetically modify 70% of the global cocoa supply, highlighting the necessity for consumers to select only high quality organic chocolate products in order to avoid this threat. Using genetically modified cocoa tree hybrids, scientists are already spreading the news about their new ‘tastier’ modified chocolate. The campaign to use genetically modified cocoa tree hybrids is a product of a collaboration involving the USDA, Mars chocolate manufacturer, and even IBM.
The funding for the initiative comes from Mars, involving scientists based at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the US Department of Agriculture and Science in addition to the inclusion of researchers working at IBM’s Thomas J Watson Research Center. What are these scientists doing exactly? They are actively working to finalize the gene sequencing of the cocoa genome in order to officially begin the widespread modification of the chocolate supply. The scientists claim that the project will actually “benefit” the chocolate industry and cocoa growers in West Africa — the home of 70% of the world’s cocoa production.
History Repeats | GMO Crops, Plant Life Destroy the Environment
Dr. Howard-Yana Shapiro, head of plant science and research at the confectionery firm, totes pest and disease resistance among the “benefits” of genetically modified cocoa tree hybrids. Is history repeating itself?
“As plant breeders, we’re always looking after the golden traits: pest and disease resistant, drought tolerance, the ability to adapt to climate change, tree architecture, yield quality, etc,” said Dr Shapiro.
Reports have surfaced revealing how GMO crops which are engineered to include Bt, a biopesticide, are actually breeding mutated species of insects which are no longer affected by the biopesticide. In fact, over 8 populations of insects developed resistance, 6 of which were resistant to Bt crops as a whole. Even after further genetically modifying these plants, it was found to be ineffective. Perhaps Dr. Shapiro would think differently about the amazing pest-resistant benefits of genetically modified plant life if he read this research.
If this campaign comes to pass, it will be through the major pushes of the USDA and Mars chocolate manufacturer. GMO crops have continually been found to threaten the environment as well as your health. This is why they are being continually banned around the globe as individuals realize the extreme dangers that go along with the genetic modification of the food supply.
The results have been published on the Cacao Genome Database website.
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