ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network
22 October 2002


There's been much hype about the break through represented by a GM tear-free onion that Shinsuke Imai of the House Foods Corporation in Chiba Japan, and colleagues have developed (Imai, S. et al. An onion enzyme that makes the eyes water. Nature, 419, 685, 2002)

'[Richard Dixon, a plant geneticist at the Noble Foundation in Ardmore, Oklahoma] argues that it could be one of the first GM organisms acceptable to consumers... For cooks the world over, this onion would have direct benefits that most existing genetically modified crops lack.

"A non-lachrymatory onion would perhaps be one of the first examples where the consumer was the main beneficiary," Dixon says.' [Enzyme discovery may lead to tasty tear-free onions]

But it's fast looking more like another useless GE wonder-crop outsmarted by traditional breeding!


AUSTRALIA: Oz selling non-GM tearfree onion

22 Oct 2002
Australian food producers have responded to reports of a new genetically  modified onion that does not produce tears by saying that they already make such an onion - and it is not genetically modified.

The Aussie Mild Śno more tears‚ Onion is currently in season. The season lasts from September to April. The onion is grown throughout Australia with harvesting beginning in the Top End and finishing in South Australia. Production is coordinated throughout Australia by growers to ensure long-term supply.

The Aussie Mild Onion is said to be sweeter, fleshier and boast thicker  concentric rings than normal types of onions. It is grown with a tailored  fertiliser programme, in alluvial soils low in sulphur. The Aussie Mild is grown from unique seed varieties and has been especially bred to give it a mild flavour.


FORCE FEEDING THE WORLD - a primer on the food aid crisis
Eating GM or starving is a false dilemma. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of non-GM grain are available and it should be sent to where it's needed most. But instead the Bush Administration is exploiting famine in Africa in an effort to support America's biotech industry. It's just the latest twist in a long and cynical marketing campaign.
See also:
feeding the world? ARTICLES, LINKS, AUDIO and BOOKS
more quotes on feeding the world

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