PLAYING GOD WITH SAFFRON & VANILLA: THE IMMINENT THREAT OF GENETICALLY-MODIFIED FRANKENSPICE

Neil from the Black Narcissus reports his reaction to a story this morning in the New York Times. I will do some further research before I comment myself. What do you think of this development?

The Black Narcissus

 

 

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A disturbing article appeared in The New York Times this morning, detailing the work in progress by fragrance and flavouring congomerates such as IFF, Sanofi and Evolva to produce (with ‘extensive genetic rejiggering’), synthetic substitutes of vanilla, saffron, and patchouli using GM yeasts. Utilizing a new technique called synthetic biology, lab technicians are able to not only approximate the scent of these biologically complex aromas, but will also, because they originate from organically active yeasts, be able to make claims for them as ‘all natural products’, destined for products including icecreams, confectionery, and perfume. While I hate to come across as reactionary, I must say that I find the idea of these beautiful, naturally harvested crops being potentially usurped by money-grabbing mega-corporations quite horrifying. While ‘supporters’ of the new technology (read shareholders) cite advantages for ‘consumers’…

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One response to “PLAYING GOD WITH SAFFRON & VANILLA: THE IMMINENT THREAT OF GENETICALLY-MODIFIED FRANKENSPICE

  1. Yisssshhh – sounds pretty revolting to me. It is true I can probably be considered a tree hugger, but I’m still pro-science. I understand that there are pros and cons. My biggest problem is the “safe-washing” that would be legally endorsed by being able to refer to these substances as “all natural”. I believe all new technologies – even the most far out and murky – need to be manifested to consumers. If others feel good about using them, I will not criticize their choice, but I would like to know, so that I can make my own choice. There is a great discussion in the comment section of the Black Narcissus that adds both distance and dimension – highly recommended reading. This is a great post for the Ecological Conscience – it adds lots of food for thought!

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