Monsanto Modifies Soy beans To Grow 'Fish Oil'

The biotechnology firm Monsanto stands just one FDA approval away from growing soybeans that have been genetically modified to produce those omega-3 fatty acids that doctors are always recommending.
That FDA approval is expected this year, according to Science News.
Monsanto is so despised by environmentalists that Google's first suggested search term for the St. Louis company is "Monsanto evil." Readers of Natural News voted Monsanto the world's most evil corporation in a January poll, giving the corporation a whopping 51 percent of the vote.
BP, by contrast, received 9 percent.
But there may be reasons for even health-loving greens to love "stearidonic acid soybean oil," as Monsanto's new product is called. Among them: depleted fisheries, environmental toxins in fish oil, and a new threat, the scope of which has not yet been fully realized: millions of gallons of radioactive water dumped into the ocean at the Fukushima-Daichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan.
The American Heart Association recommends Americans eat two servings of fish per week for the purpose of ingesting omega-3 fatty acids, which health experts say is essential to human health. Even the stodgy FDA agrees that omega-3 reduces risk of heart disease and recommends fish.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also available in whole grains, flax seed, fresh fruits and vegetables, olive oil, garlic, and "moderate wine consumption," according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, but Americans don't eat enough of those. Thus, the fish recommendation. And the "SDA soybean oil."
Monsanto plans to include SDA soybean oil in just about everything: "baked goods and baking mixes, breakfast cereals and grains, cheeses, dairy product analogs, fats and oils, fish products, frozen dairy desserts and mixes, grain products and pastas, gravies and sauces, meat products, milk products, nuts and nut products, poultry products, processed fruit juices, processed vegetable products, puddings and fillings, snack foods, soft candy, and soups and soup mixes, at levels that will provide 375 milligrams (mg) of SDA per serving."
In this weekend's Science News Janet Raloff explained how Monsanto coaxed soybeans to produce the oils:
The commercial ag giant Monsanto inserted genes for two enzymes – one derived from a flower (Primula juliae), the other from a red bread mold (Neurospora crassa) – into a line of soybeans. Although some people object to the biotech manipulation of genes in food crops, this is far from the first genetic manipulation of soy, Deckelbaum observes. Already, he points out, some 70 percent of ordinary U.S. soybeans are genetically modified for some trait or another.
The two enzymes Monsanto has just added to soy effectively turn the legume’s oil into a proto fish oil.
Here's the result, according to the FDA:
The oil is obtained from a bioengineered soybean. Monsanto states that SDA soybean oil is compositionally different from conventional soybean oil. SDA soybean oil contains 15 to 30 percent SDA and 5 to 8 percent gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), neither of which is present in conventional soybean oil. SDA soybean oil also contains slightly higher levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and palmitic acid than conventional soybean oil. SDA soybean oil contains lower levels of oleic acid and linoleic acid (LA) than those present in conventional soybean oil. Monsanto notes that the variability in the oil’s fatty acid composition, notably the SDA concentration, is due to natural variation in growing conditions for the soybean.
What do you think? Cast your vote in comments. Would you rather derive your omega-3 fatty acids from:
Increasingly rare, increasingly poisoned, and potentially irradiated fish,
Processed foods enriched with genetically engineered soybean oil—and you may be fine with that—or
Whole grains, flax seed, fresh fruits and vegetables, olive oil, garlic, and a glass of wine?

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