Right To Know MN is a campaign started by concerned citizens to make the labeling of GMOs the law in Minnesota. We are a coalition of farmers, health advocates, families, and others who support healthy foods. We're moms, dads, brothers, sisters, daughters, and sons, from all different walks of life, who believe we have the right to know what's in the foods we eat.


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    Haven't people been genetically modifying plants and animals for centuries? NO !!!!

    No, genetic modification is not centuries old. Selective breeding and hybridization have been used to produce desired characteristics in plants and animals, but genetic modification was developed recently, in the 1990s. Selective breeding is choosing which animals or plants will sexually reproduce.  For example, breeding successive generations of the cows that produce the most milk, or saving seeds from the most drought-resistant wheat.  It’s like evolution by human selection. (The way that species evolve in nature is through natural selection – the survival of the fittest.) Selective breeding only happens within a species or between two very closely related species.  Unrelated species cannot naturally interbreed.  For example, you can breed a dog with a wolf, but not a dog and a rabbit. The term “hybrid,” which you’ll often see in seed catalogs, refers to a plant that’s been developed through a specific, controlled cross of two parent plants. Usually, the parents are varieties within the same species. This hybridization happens naturally in the wild; plant breeders are able to steer the process to control the outcome.  Hybridization is done to introduce traits from one variety into another.  For example, a mildew-resistant but low-yielding pea may be crossed with a high-yielding, mildew-susceptible pea.  The result would be a mildew-resistant, high-yielding pea. In both selective breeding and hybridization, the genetic exchange happens in the organism’s reproductive cells and occurs between related chromosomes.  The amount of DNA and spacing between the genes remain the same. When plants or animals are genetically modified, the genetic exchange doesn’t happen in the reproductive cells; it occurs in random, unrelated, chromosomes.  The gene spacing and amount of DNA are also altered. Genetic modification (also called genetic engineering) occurs when genetic material from one species is inserted into the DNA of another species.  This could never happen in nature.  For example, “Bt corn” is created by putting genes from the Bt bacteria into the DNA of a corn plant.  Other examples include the Flavr Savr tomato, which was created by inserting genes from fish into tomatoes, and AquAdvantage salmon which contains genes from eel.  These products are “transgenic.”  Because living organisms have natural barriers to protect themselves against the introduction of DNA from a different species, genetic engineers must force the DNA from one organism into another. They do this by using viruses or bacteria to “infect” the animal or plant cells with the new genes, or by coating DNA onto tiny metal pellets, and firing it with a special gun into the cells. The techniques used to transfer genes have a very low success rate, so genetic engineers attach “marker genes” that are resistant to specific antibiotics.  This helps them determine which cells have taken up the new DNA – the ones that have successfully taken the new genetic material won’t die when exposed to the specific antibiotics. The marker genes are resistant to antibiotics that commonly used in human and veterinary medicine.  It’s not possible to place genes into DNA with accuracy, and our current understanding of how DNA works is limited.  It’s impossible predict or completely control the results of genetic modification, and changes to the DNA of an organism can result in unintended side effects. Common unintended side effects include the creation of toxins, plants reacting to weather differently than expected, plants containing too few nutrients, or plants/animals becoming diseased.   Other common side effects include the creation of new or unknown proteins, or increasing or decreasing the output of existing proteins inside the plant or animal. The effects of consuming these new combinations of proteins are unknown.  Genetic modification is new technology and its effects on human health have not been studied.  Not labeling GMO ingredients in food prevents epidemiological tracking and impedes an essential function of public health.  Please call Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar (202) 224-3244 and Al Franken (202-224-5641), and ask them to support GMO labeling so potential adverse health effects from consuming GMOs may be tracked.  Get Involved!                                                                                                                         Find us at RightToKnowMN.org   or   www.Facebook.com/RightToKnowMN
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    Right To Know MN's Jim Riddle's Visit To Iran

    Read the Press Release about Right To Know MN Board Member and all around Organic Farming Rockstar Jim Riddle and his recent visit to Iran. Jim Riddle Presents at Organic Conference in Iran On August 25, 2015, Jim Riddle, Director of Organic Independents LLP, spoke at the 3rd International Conference on Trade and Market Development of Organic Products in Tehran, Iran. Riddle spoke on the “Environmental and Health Impacts of GMOs.” The daylong conference was attended by 600 persons, with extensive media coverage. Other speakers included Dr. Vandana Shiva and Andre Leu, President of IFOAM. This is the second time the Jim Riddle has traveled to Iran, having been invited to speak on “US Organic Regulations and Markets” at the same conference, in May 2014. During this visit, Riddle also presented a two-hour, interactive workshop for 100 attendees on regulations for the organic production of horticultural crops. Mr. Riddle, Dr. Shiva and Mr. Leu met with Iran’s Vice President for the Environment, Massoumeh Ebtekar, where they discussed organic research and development needs to support the expansion of organic agriculture in Iran, along with environmental concerns related to the cultivation of genetically engineered crops. “Iran has a long history of agricultural production and is a center of biodiversity for many domesticated crops and animals. It is good to see interest in organic production growing in Iran, since organic has much to offer in terms of protecting biodiversity, building soil health, better water use efficiency, cutting pesticide use, and producing healthy foods,” commented Riddle on his return.     Here is the information he presented. 8/25/2015 Presentation   https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/righttoknowmn/pages/278/attachments/original/1441816765/Riddle-GMO_Risks_(1).pdf?1441816765
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