From today, packaged food will have ‘GM’ label

“Every package containing the genetically modified food shall bear at top of its principal display panel the words ‘GM’,” the notification under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) (2 {+n} {+d} Amendment) Rules 2012 said. Such packaged commodity rules are applicable to 19 products including biscuits, breads, cereals and pulses among others.

While GMO labeling is a bit of a distraction and in no way addresses the key issues at hand – it’s not overall bad. However, the fact that it covers only 19 product categories (albeit some of the most pervasive ones) can create trouble even if the consumer is aware of what the label means – if you look at a product not covered under the 19 heads you might assume that it lacks GMO because it lacks the label.

Naturally, as always, a rule is a rule but implementation will be a completely different matter. A shoddy implementation is worse than not having labeling at all, meaning again that this is mostly a distraction.

Rotten Tomato Science


The successful sequencing of the tomato genome will lead to tastier varieties within five years say scientists.

They believe that the elusive flavour of home grown tomatoes will by then be widely available in supermarkets.

Writing in the journal Nature, the researchers say the genetic information could reduce the need for pesticides.

Nice, tasty, tomatoes. Two methods.

Method 1

Step 1.1: Get some seed

Step 1.2: Get some compost (or make some)

Step 1.3: Plant seed in said compost

Step 1.4: Wait (water occasionally)

Step 1.5: Pick tomato. Eat.

Method 2

Step 2.1: Sequence tomato genome

Step 2.2: Develop genetic hybrid

Step 2.3: Develop complimentary chemical fertilizer mix and pesticide mix

Step 2.4: Patent said hybrid, genome, fertilizer and pesticides

Step 2.5: Develop marketing materials, sell new gmo tomato to farmers (it’s all new it actually tastes like tomatoes!)

Step 2.6: Get farmer and greenhouse, get oil to run it, grow tomato

Step 2.7: Harvest tomato

Step 2.8: Make deal with supermarket to sell tomato

Step 2.9: Transport tomato to supermarket (spray it some more for good measure)

Step 2.10: Have supermarket sell tomato to customer

Step 2.11: Bring tomato home. Eat.

Anybody think that what we might be missing is not a genome (though that’s all cool to have tomato genome sequenced) but rather a radical rethink?