Welcoming vegetarians, vegans, raw foodists, fruitarians and the vegcurious
Let's start with a cell. It has 3 main parts: 1. The membrane encloses the whole cell, 2. Organelles: functional components equivalent to the organs in the body, 3. Nucleus: the brain or command center, containing all vital information needed by the cell to function, reproduce and grow. This information is stored as a genetic code on the chromosomes inside the nucleus. They store hereditary information, 'written' along a thin thread called DNA. Chromosomes in the DNA are 'written' in a way that it can be understood by almost all living species on earth (The Universal Code of Life). Proteins are the building blocks of cells and serve different functions. They can transport molecules, be antibodies, messengers, enzymes or hormones. Structural proteins form boundaries and provide movement and elasticity (why muscle needs protein). Nucleotides instruct how to make proteins. They are the units DNA is composed of. The information of how a cell is structured and functions is encoded in a Gene, which codes blood clotting proteins, pigments, insulin and digestive enzymes.
Are you still with me? Good!
Genetic Engineering takes genes and segments of DNA from one species (fish, human, animal, flounder anti-freeze, herbicides, virus, bacteria) and puts them into another. GE splices DNA (sticks them together) or 'shoots' the gene into the cell with a gun (genes are stuck to tiny gold particles for propulsion).
Problem is, a fish gene won't work in a tomato without a 'promoter' so that the tomato will recognize it.
This is where GE gets disgusting (if you're a vegetarian).
Genetic engineers could take the time to use a plant promoter, but time is money, so they speed up the process by using Viruses because they are very active, and nothing can stop them (once they found their victim). They can integrate their genetic information into the DNA of a host cell (such as one of yours), multiply, infect the next cells and multiply again.
By now, you are likely going to buy organic forever...
So, often, for no apparent reason, the new gene only works for a limited amount of time. No one will know. Should the gene get into quiet, non-expressed areas of the cells DNA, it could interfere with the regulation of gene expression of the whole region. It can interfere and cause unpredictable effects. Often the 'experiments' go very wrong: GE fish can change colors, flowers and plants can have altered leaves and roots.
This big science experiment is a ticking time bomb, waiting to go off, or be discovered, down the road, much like smoking, that the experiment has gone very, very wrong. And caused a lot of health problems, which by then will be irreversible, as the plants and animals around the world will have changed the planet we know today.
Unfortunately, we are at that tipping point.