GMOs linked to 3rd generation sterility, yet OU says they are Kosher, why?

Home Coffeeroom Health & Fitness GMOs linked to 3rd generation sterility, yet OU says they are Kosher, why?

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    Multiple independent studies of GMOs done in France,
    UK, and now Russia confirm, that GMOs cause sterility in the third generation of those mammals that consume them. This is why GMOs are banned across Europe.
    In other words mama lab rat eats GMOs, her offspring have increased mortality rates, her offspring also have reduced fertility, but the next generation is completely sterile.
    This has been demonstrated time and again.
    This should not surprise those Individuals who are familiar with the Torah. The Torah strictly prohibits the mixing of unlike organisms. This mitzvah is referred to as Kil’ayim.
    I learned when I studied at Yeshiva Aish HaTorah in the old City, that GMOs would be strictly prohibited by Jewish Law, in the event they were ever legalized because they were an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. Now that they have been legalized the OU says they are Kosher. My question is-. Why?



    Out of curiosity, have you contacted the OU and asked them the question directly?


    Neville ChaimBerlin

    99% sure this is a troll thread, but there is a 1% chance that just is just another sad case of someone woefully uninformed on what GMO’s are.

    When Gregor Mendel changed color of pea pods by moving pollen from one type of pea plant to another (the same way bees do), the resulting plant is technically a genetically modified organism. The genetically modified corn that yields more ears per plant is similarly done using farming techniques with pollination. The uninformed masses seem to think they’re shooting death rays over crops to turn them into evil GMO’s.



    It seems no one else seems to think so. Virtually all food we eat has been genetically modified, and the process began over several generations ago, so the human race is probably extinct by now. If you honestly believe the anti-GMO nonsense, feel free to live off wild grass, but don’t be disappointed when you do NOT have the world do yourself in 50 years.

    The only halachic issue with GMOs might be if you introduce genes from one plant or animal into another, and that would deal with questions of kilayim. The consensus seems to be that unless it is done with actual grafting or cross breeding (mating), there is not an issue, and that deriving benefit is not as problematic as doing it ourselves (e.g. we can use a mule, but we can’t cause one to be made).



    This is neither a troll post, nor is it someone who is uninformed as to what GMOs are.
    Background in Biochemistry and my grandfather is one of the original researchers into GMOs and tried to get a moratorium on them because they thought they were too dangerous to even keep them in the lab. He Died long before they were ever legalized. I’m not going science with someone who
    Thinks Gregor Mendal was working with GMOs. GMOs are banned in most countries across the world, because easily reproducible tests conclude that they result in total sterility
    In the third generation. If you don’t believe me
    Just Google. “third generation sterility gmo”
    My question is not whether GMOs are dangerous, I already know how dangerous they are.
    Bmy question is why they are being considered Kosher when
    It says in the Torah that mixing unlike creatures is one of the primary abominations that brought on the flood of Noah?



    Many many people have stopped eating any food made in china because they have a track record of using questionable hazardous ingredients in foods.(just do a google on search on imported food from china)Many frum candy companies import candies made in china with a chassidishe hashgachos and others. How can any kosher hashgachos with this knowledge give a hechsher and call it kosher.?



    Thank you for the question iacsrmma,
    Their answer was not not acceptable to me.
    This is what their response:

    “In Jewish Kosher law, a person is not permitted to eat food that is detrimental to one’s health. Nonetheless, the OU views the determination of whether or not a particular substance poses a health danger to be outside of the realm of its expertise. This issue is not in the purview of a kashruth organization, and should be decided by responsible government agencies and health professionals. In practice, the OU would generally agree to certify a product that the USDA considers to be safe. The presence of an OU symbol on a product should not be misconstrued as an endorsement of the safe status of a product, since, as stated, we view this matter to be outside our domain.
    In our opinion, the genetic engineering does not affect the Kosher status. This is the case for two reasons: Firstly, the genetic material is generally microscopic and is not significant enough to change the Kosher status. Secondly, the genetic material is only introduced in the initial stage. Subsequently, the genetically altered item produces new offspring, which has not been the recipient of non-Kosher genetic material. The presence of a non-Kosher gene in a tomato does not render as non-Kosher all subsequent tomatoes that are “descendents” of the genetically altered tomato.”

    The problem here is that when you take genes from a jellyfish and splice them into a tomato using a modified form of the Ebola virus as the mechanism, this is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord. Even Elephant DNA is microscopic so the Idea that somehow this makes the process Kosher is ludicrous.


    Avram in MD

    Neville ChaimBerlin,

    “99% sure this is a troll thread”


    “When Gregor Mendel changed color of pea pods by moving pollen from one type of pea plant to another (the same way bees do), the resulting plant is technically a genetically modified organism.”

    Not true – that is cross-pollination, or cross-breeding, and does not fall under the GMO rubric. GMOs are produced through genetic engineering (direct manipulation of the genes of an organism) or transgenic techniques (artificial transfer of genes from one organism to another – doesn’t necessarily even have to be the same species). Neither technique can happen naturally.


    Avram in MD


    “Multiple independent studies of GMOs done in France,
    UK, and now Russia confirm, that GMOs cause sterility in the third generation of those mammals that consume them.”

    If this is so, it should be fairly simple to cite such a study. Can you provide the title of such a study, and the publication? Thanks!


    Neville ChaimBerlin

    “Not true – that is cross-pollination, or cross-breeding, and does not fall under the GMO rubric.”

    You’re correct. I looked into it and it looks like hybrid corn also is not technically a GMO, so that was my mistake.



    Ok, so I googled it. Monsanto says the guy asking the question is probably talking about the Seralini study, and then says peers said it was flawed and the publisher retracted the study.

    BTW, it’s not just candy that from companies get from China. Check out frozen vegetables and even dry yeast.



    josh2336: Thanks for sharing both the OU’s response and your background.



    “my question is why they are being considered Kosher when
    It says in the Torah that mixing unlike creatures is one of the primary abominations that brought on the flood of Noah?”

    If that is your only question, it is an easy one to answer. While it is assur for a Jew to graft species it isnt for a non-Jew and the result is Kosher. Thus even IF GMO’s where Kilaim (which they likely aren’t) it till doesnt make the product assur

    “this is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.”
    Try not to decide what He finds an abomination. LEt HIm tell us. He gave us the Torah and eating Kilayim done by others is allowed as abominable as you may find it.



    Akuperma, thank you for respectful answer but you are gravely mistaken. The first GMO for human consumption
    Was introduced to the market in 1994, that is not even 1 generation.
    No one else seems to think so?
    Only 28 countries produce GMOs while nearly 3 dozen
    Ban its production.

    Are you trying to say it is ok to eat a mule?
    This does not make sense.



    The problem here is that when you take genes from a jellyfish and splice them into a tomato using a modified form of the Ebola virus as the mechanism, this is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.

    Practical halacha is determined by poskim using a specific process. It is not determined based on philosophical concepts such as “this is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord”.



    Paleontologists have found clear evidence of humans engaging in genetic modification of plants and animals since longer than there has been writing. If your grandfather was one of the first to dabble in creating GMOs, he must have known Noah personally, if not Adam ha-Rishon himself.

    All that happened in the last cenutry was an improvement in technique. No reputable scientist claims GMOs have been proven to be “bad” – however in many countries (particulary in Europe) they have a rule that something must be proven to be “safe” (though in all fairness, the rule is designed primarily to protect inefficient farmers against competition from farmers in American and Britain using modern methods) . GMOs even if the definition is defined to the newer methods of accomplishing it are widely used, and are a major reason why people have enough to eat.

    Without GMOs people would be starving in the streets. And if you really believe that falling birth rates are caused by GMOs, you are incredibly naive.



    Ok, so I googled it. Monsanto says the guy asking the question is probably talking about the Seralini study, and then says peers said it was flawed and the publisher retracted the study.

    BTW, it’s not just candy that from companies get from China. Check out frozen vegetables and even dry yeast.
    I agree other food products are imported from china. Reason i mentioned candy is because candy in its entirety is made in china and then sold as candy specifically for children. (remember tainted baby formula from china )Frozen veggies is first planted its not manufactured like candy.



    The process is the abomination my friend, not my attempt state it as so. Mixing unlike organisms is an abomination. That’s what it says in the Torah. I’m not exactly sure what you are trying to say. I did not write the Torah, it was G-d who wrote it. G-d who said mixing unlike creatures was an abomination. I am merely agreeing with G-d.



    Aku, I am discussing exclusively Genetic Modification utilizing recombinant DNA, allow me to present you with the timeline because you seem to be a bit confused:

    1935 – DNA Discovered

    Russian scientist Andrei Nikolaevitch Belozersky isolates pure DNA.
    1973 – Recombinant DNA Created

    The idea for man-made DNA, or rDNA, comes from a grad student at Stanford University Medical School. Professor Herbert Boyer and a few of his biologist colleagues run with it.
    1975 – Asilomar Conference

    A group of biologists get together with a few lawyers and doctors to create guidelines for the safe use of genetically engineered DNA. Source
    1980 – First GMO Patent Issued

    A 1980 court case between a genetics engineer at General Electric and the U.S. Patent Office is settled by a 5-to-4 Supreme Court ruling, allowing for the first patent on a living organism. The GMO in question is a bacterium with an appetite for crude oil, ready to gobble up spills. Source
    1982 – FDA Approves First GMO

    Humulin, insulin produced by genetically engineered E. coli bacteria, appears on the market. Source
    1994 – GMO Hits Grocery Stores

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the Flavr Savr tomato for sale on grocery store shelves. The delayed-ripening tomato has a longer shelf life than conventional tomatoes.



    It’s not ok to eat a mule because it does not have split feet/chew its cud, not because it is a result of kelayim.
    Once made, we are allowed to eat kelayim and/or benefit from it. (except to use a grafted esrog for the 4 minim)
    I’m wondering if you ever ate a grapefruit- it’s actually a cross of an orange and a pomelo, made back in the 1700s (check out Wikipedia). Totally kosher.



    Ubiquiton, thank you for actually answering my question, this is what I am looking for
    So you are telling me that if a goy takes a non kosher creature and mixes it with a kosher one then we are allowed to eat the offspring?

    But can this actually be correct?
    I don’t believe this to be the case




    you ask
    “Are you trying to say it is ok to eat a mule?”

    No because it doesnt have split hooves and chew its cud

    It is however ok to eat a nectarine, grapefruit etc.
    (And again GMO’s are likely not even Kilayim)



    Someone asked me for a list of sources, here are some
    Thank you for your concern:

    “1. E. Abdo, et al. “Feeding Study with Bt Corn (MON810: Ajeeb YG) on Rats: Biochemical Analysis and Liver Histopathology,” Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 5 No. 2, 2014, pp. 185-195.

    2. Battistelli S., Baldelli B., Malatesta M. (2008), Influence of a GMO-containing diet on pancreatic acinar cells of adult mice: effects of a short-term diet reversion, “Microscopie”, 10, pp. 36-43

    3. S. Battistelli, B.Citterio, B. Baldelli, C. Parlani, and M. Malatesta (2010) Histochemical and morpho-metrical study of mouse intestine epithelium after a long term diet containing genetically modified soybean Eur J Histochem. September 26;54(3): e36

    4. Brasil FB, Soares LL, Faria TS, Boaventura GT, Sampaio FJ, Ramos CF.(2009) The impact of dietary organic and transgenic soy on the reproductive system of female adult rat. Anat Rec(Hoboken).292(4):587594.

    5. B Cisterna, F Flach, L Vecchio, SML Barabino, S Battistelli, TE Martin, M Malatesta, M Biggiogera (2008) Can a genetically modified organism-containing diet influence embryonic development? A preliminary study on pre- implantation mouse embryos. Cisterna.Vol.52(4)

    6. Joël Spiroux de Vendômois, François Roullier, Dominique Cellier, Gilles-Eric Séralini (2009) A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health Int J Biol Sci; 5(7):706-726.

    7. O. P. Dolaychuk, R. S. Fedoruk (2013) Biological Effects of Different Levels of Soybeans Conventional and Transgenic Varieties in the Second-Generation Female Rats Ration. The Animal Biology, 2013, vol. 15, no. 2

    8. Thanaa A. El-Kholy, Mohammad Abu Hilal, Hatim Ali Al-Abbadi, Abdulhalim Salim Serafi, Ahmad K. Al-Ghamdi, Hanan M. Sobhy and John R. C. Richardson (2014) The Effect of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Soybean on DNA, Cytogenicity and Some Antioxidant Enzymes in Rats. Nutrients, 6(6), 2376-2386

    9. El-Shamei ZS et al. Histopathological changes in some organs of male rats fed on genetically modified corn (Ajeeb YG). J Am Sci. 2012;8(10):684–696.

    10. Ermakova IV (2006) Genetically modified soy leads to weight loss and increased mortality of pups of the first generation. Preliminary studies. EkosInform. Federal Environmental Law Gazette. a | -1,, p. 4-10.

    11. Ermakova IV (2007) New data on the impact of GMOs on physiological state and the higher nervous activities mammals. All-Russia Symposium TRANSGENIC PLANTS AND BIOSAFETY Moscow, October 22 – 25, pages 38-39

    12. Irina Ermakova (2007) GM soybeans—revisiting a controversial format NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY VOLUME 25 NUMBER 12 DECEMBER 1351-1354

    13. Ermakova IV, IV Barskov (2008) Study of the physiological and morphological parameters in rats and their offspring using a diet containing soybean transgenic EPSPS CP4 Biological sciences. 6. p.19-20.

    14. Ermakova IV (2009) Influence of soybean gene EPSPS CP4 on the physiological state and reproductive functions of rats in the first two generations Contemporary Problems in Science and Education Number 5, p.15-20.

    15. Finamore A, Roselli M, Britti S, Monastra G, Ambra R, Turrini A, Mengheri E. (2008) Intestinal and peripheral immune response to MON810 maize ingestion in weaning and old mice. J Agric Food Chem. Dec 10;56(23):11533-9.

    16. Gab-Alla AA et al. Morphological and biochemical changes in male rats fed on genetically modified corn (Ajeeb YG). J Am Sci. 2012;8(9):1117–1123.




    20. G.I. Gubina-Vakulik, S.A. Denisenko, T.V. Gorbach, N.G. Kolousova, A.V. Andreev (2014) Morphofunctional Adrenal State in Adults Descendants With the Diet by Genetically Modified Soy. ЕКСПЕРИМЕНТАЛЬНА І КЛІНІЧНА МЕДИЦИНА. 2014. № 2 (63)


    22. Kiliç A, Akay MT. (2008) A three generation study with genetically modified Bt corn in rats: Biochemical and histopathological investigation. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Mar;46(3):1164-70.

    23. Hasan Kiliçgün, Cebrail Gürsul, Mukadder Sunar, Gülden Gökşen (2013) The Comparative Effects of Genetically Modified Maize and Conventional Maize on Rats J Clin Anal Med ;4(2): 136-9

    24. MA Konovalova, VA Blinov (2006) Influence of genetically modified soybean in mice and their offspring. Commercial Biotechnology 2006

    25. Konovalova, MA, VA Blinov (2007) Morphometric parameters and features of the spectrum Blood enzymes mice receiving GENETICALLY MODIFIED SOY. All-Russia Symposium TRANSGENIC PLANTS AND BIOSAFETY Moscow, October 22 – 25, page 48

    26. Konovalova MA, Potemkin EG (2007) Influence of genetically modified soybean on transport of carbohydrates in tissue.

    27. Kuzmin, J. Yu, A. Kuzmin, and N. Pasieshvili (2012) Histological and Hormonal Features of Ovaries in an Experiment at Application of GMO-Soya in Nutrition. Journal of Research. 2012. № 4

    28. Magaña-Gómez JA, Cervantes GL, Yepiz-Plascencia G, de la Barca AM. (2008) Pancreatic response of rats fed genetically modified soybean J Appl Toxicol. Mar;28(2):217-26.

    29. Malatesta M, Caporaloni C, Gavaudan S, Rocchi MB, Serafini S, Tiberi C, Gazzanelli G. (2002) Ultrastructural morphometrical and immunocytochemical analyses of hepatocyte nuclei from mice fed on genetically modified soybean. Cell Struct Funct. Aug;27(4):173-80.

    30. Manuela Malatesta, Chiara Caporaloni, Luigia Rossi, Serafina Battistelli, Marco BL Rocchi, Francesco Tonucci, and Giancarlo Gazzanelli (2002) Ultrastructural analysis of pancreatic acinar cells from mice fed on genetically modified soybean J Anat. November; 201(5): 409–415

    31. Malatesta M., Biggiogera M., Manuali E., Rocchi M.B., Baldelli B., Gazzanelli G.(2003) Fine structural analysis of pancreatic acinar cell nuclei from mice fed on GM soybean. Eur J Histochem. 47,3858.

    32. Malatesta M, Tiberi C, Baldelli B, Battistelli S, Manuali E, Biggiogera M. (2005) Reversibility of hepatocyte nuclear modifications in mice fed on genetically modified soybean. Eur J Histochem. Jul-Sep;49(3):237-42.

    33. Malatesta M, Boraldi F, Annovi G, Baldelli B, Battistelli S, Biggiogera M, Quaglino D. (2008) A long-term study on female mice fed on a genetically modified soybean: effects on liver ageing. Histochem Cell Biol. Nov;130(5):967-77.

    34. Maligin AG, Ermakova IV (2008) Soy diet suppresses reproductive function rodents. Modern problems of science and education № 6. (Annex “Biological sciences”). – C. 26

    35. Nazarova AF, Ermakova IV (2010) Effect of soy diet on reproductive function and testosterone levels in rats and hamsters. Academy Trinitarism, № 77-6567, publ.15788, 12.02.

    36. SG Nimbueva, R. Shirokov, SA Polyakov, SD Evgaldaev (2012) Influence of long term use of genetically modified soybeans on some morphofunctional indicators in pancreas of rats in the experiment. Articles XVII International Ecological Student Conference “Ecology Russia and adjacent territories “: in 2 volumes. Volume 2 / Novosibirsk State. Univ. Novosibirsk, 2012. Pages 119-120.

    37. Oliveri et al (2006) Temporary depression of transcription in mouse preimplantation embryos from mice fed on genetically modified soybean. 48th Symposium of the Society for Histochemistry. Lake Maggiore(Italy), Sept.7- 10.

    38. Hanaa ORABY, Mahrousa KANDIL, Nermeen SHAFFIE, Inas GHALY (2014) Biological impact of feeding rats with a genetically modified-based diet. Turk J Biol (2014) 38:

    39. Séralini GE, Cellier D, de Vendomois JS.(2007) New analysis of a rat feeding study with a genetically modified maize reveals signs of hepatorenal toxicity. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. May;52(4):596-602.

    40. Gilles-Eric Séralini, Emilie Clair, Robin Mesnage, Steeve Gress, Nicolas Defarge, Manuela Malatesta, Didier Hennequin and Joël Spiroux de Vendômois (2014) Republished study: long-term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Environmental Sciences Europe , 26:14

    41. AV Surov, NY Feoktistov, MV Ushakov, AV Gureeva (2010) Changing the physiological parameters of mammals feeding genetically modified ingredients of vegetable origin. Institution of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Ecology and Evolution behalf ANSevertsov RAS (IEE RAS)

    42. Vecchio L, Cisterna B, Malatesta M, Martin TE, Biggiogera M. (2004) Ultrastructural analysis of testes from mice fed on genetically modified soybean. Eur J Histochem. Oct-Dec;48(4):448-54.

    43. Irena M Zdziarski, John W Edwards, Judy Carman, Adrian Jones, Marni Spillanie, Ysabella Van Sebille, Julie I Haynes (2012) GM feed and its effect on the stomach mucosa of rat. 6th Australian Health and Medical Research Congress 2012

    44. ZHOU Ze-wei et al. (2012) Comprehensive Evaluation on Functions & Safety of Imported GM Soybean Using BDI-GS System Soybean Science Oct. Vol. 31 No 5″



    “Are you trying to say it is ok to eat a mule?”

    No but it is ok to eat a Kvi which some say is a cross between a goat and gazelle.
    This halacha is codified in Rambam MAchalos issuros 1:13

    “כִּלְאַיִם הַבָּא מִבְּהֵמָה טְהוֹרָה עִם חַיָּה טְהוֹרָה הוּא הַנִּקְרָא כְּוִי. חֶלְבּוֹ אָסוּר וְאֵין לוֹקִין עָלָיו וּמְכַסִּין אֶת דָּמוֹ. וְאֵין מִין טָמֵא מִתְעַבֵּר מִמִּין טָהוֹר כְּלָל:”

    “This does not make sense.”

    I dont make the rules



    Corn and wheat were genetically modified in prehistoric times (i.e. before there were written records), the same goes to dogs and cattle. While unmodified dogs still exist (wolves), unmodified cattle became extinct. None of the basic foods exist in pre-modified form.

    So now they can do it faster. Big deal. If mass sterility is a problem caused by GMOs, you would see it among groups such as Mormons and Orthodox Jews, but in fact both groups have close genetic cousins with whom they share diet (both eat GMOs), but only the seculars have falling fertility, somewhat proving that the well documents fall in fertility is caused by religion and culture, not diet.

    Abusing small rodents with disgusting experiments designed to get tenure for professors proves very little. Such experiments in the past have proved whatever the professor thinks will get him tenure. A century ago, they proved that Jews and Blacks were inferior, since at the time that was a politically correct view (which is how democratic governments enacted the holocaust in Europe and Jim Crow in America – relying on best science).

    Your hypothesis that GMOs cause infertility is easy to test, and the evidence is pretty overwhelming that GMOs are safe.



    Each GMO has very little in common with other GMOs and more in common with the original version of whatever it is.



    Akuperna – experiments on small rodents actually proves a lot, and is used all the time in valid science, as models for many diseases, preclinical trials for meds, and to dissect basic biological processes. Such experiments in the present have proved that a drug may have potential to cure a particular cancer and serve as the basis for designing a phase I human clinical trial. Or show how a particular gene mutation leads to a particular disease. You cannot dismiss the studies that the OP brings down just because they were done in rats, this is not something reserved for eugenics and pseudoscience. Please stick to valid arguments involving things like flawed methodology, improper design of controls, conclusions based on correlations and not causations, results that are not reproducible.



    Josh, after reading your original post, I am a little bit confused.

    You basically make two statements:

    Statement #1: “GMOs cause sterility in the third generation of those mammals that consume them” (This seems to be the point everyone is discussing)

    Statement #2: “GMOs would be strictly prohibited by Jewish Law, in the event they were ever legalized because they were an abomination in the eyes of the Lord” (This seems to be your main point)

    What is the connection between these two statements?



    Akuermaq, would you PLEASE stop it! There is a world of difference between cross-breeding two similar species in a natural way and creating GMO’s by splicing genes in a laboratory.



    Regarding the pomello,
    That is an excellent point, now we are getting somewhere…
    So if for example they spliced a pig and cow together and came out with some wierd
    New pig like creature, that had cloven hoods and chewed it’s cud, this creature would be kosher right?



    I’m surprised none of the responses that I’ve seen so far mentioned that there are and probably have always been a lot of kosher certified foods one could classify as unhealthy, though this post focuses on GMOs alone.

    I mean foods and drinks with high sugar content or foods high in fat and salt are obvious targets.

    I think the better question comes down to how paternalistic do we want or expect the supervisory agencies to be vs how much choice and control do we wish to retain for ourselves?



    Hey Josh,

    A few things. First of all, o believe you have a misunderstanding of the halachic status of klayim. As others have noted, a Jew is prohibited from producing Klayim, but may partake in it if produced by others. It is for this reason that we can own a mule if we so desired.

    Regarding the “tests” that claim that GMO’s cause sterilization, there is a scientific consensus that currently available food derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food, but that each GM food needs to be tested on a case-by-case basis before introduction. The issue of sterilization seems to be unfounded.

    Third, you should keep in mind what GMO’s were created to solve. Farmers have issues with insects eating their plants and parasites infecting them. Many farmers turned to pesticides as a response, but there was a lot of harm to the environment and to humans with pesticides, as it is in essence poison. In turn farmers found a different solution, using genes from a similar more immune plant to build up the immune system of this plant. If not for GMO’s there would be more pesticide, and that has had proven negative effects.



    Meno,. I am concerned about GMOs because of there long term effects on human DNA when they are ingested, as well as the inherent danger they represent to all life on Earth when introduced to our ecosphere, hence the first statement.
    I learned many years ago at Yeshiva when it was all theoretical, that they were an abomination, and in the event they were ever legalized, could not be accepted as Kosher for this reason, hence the second statement. The two are separate issues I understand this.
    Its no longer theoretical, so there has been much more discussion About it, and apparently the ruling is not what my Rav at Yeshiva had anticipated so many years ago.

    I am trying to understand why.
    Thank you



    I took a look at ref 12 in the list- it stood out to me because of the journal it was published in. Turns out it is a letter/interview by a scientist who conducted a well publicized but unpublished (at the time) study about the affects of GMOs on fertility and mortality. What is interesting is that for each of her points, there is a rebuttal by other scientists. One by one they question her results. Some of the issues that they raise: there is a much higher than normal death rate among newborn rat pups in the control group, and lower weights in controls than is normally found in these rats. This was a rad-flag to them that there was something wrong with the way these rats were taken care of during the experiment, which raises questions on any conclusion made from the study – when the background death of controls is abnormally high, it is hard to conclude that the even higher death rate in the experimental group is due to whatever they claim. Another issue, since rats were grouped together several in a cage and the food given out freely, sometimes along with regular food, they have no way of knowing how much of the GMO each rat actually consumed. Also, The GMO food was not matched to the control in terms of strains, type of food, nutritional content etc, so there are other factors that can affect the results besides whether it was GMO or not. Basically, hard to know if the results are meaningful since proper protocols for taking care of the animals, for feeding them, for determining the origin of the food and the actual GMO content were not followed.



    Winniethepooh, interesting, I have to admit I have not looked at all the sources,
    I will tell you the fundamental problem with recombinant DNA as my grandfather saw it. It is a problem with the fundamental mechanism of recombinant DNA itself and there’s no way around it and this is the reason why my grandfather thought there should be a moratorium on Research that it was too dangerous for you in the lab let alone releasing it into the ecosystem.
    Recombinant DNA utilizes viruses as the delivery mechanism. You attach the DNA with the gene that you want to insert into the host. The virus will penetrate the wall of the host cell and in this way the gene that you are inserting can recombine with the host genes and creating new genetic material.
    The problem is this: there is a casing around the nucleus that prevents the wrong species DNA from entering. With recombinant DNA because of the viruses they can circumvent this wall they go right through it like it’s not even there because of the viruses that are attached to the DNA now.
    So something that’s been genetically modified through recombinant DNA can potentially combined with any other species. Once they get out into the ecosystem they are impossible to control because they will mate or cross with anything and if The Offspring is viable it will be able to mate and cross with anything. So our whole fragile ecosystem could come down like dominoes. The other problem is of course they when you eat them that and you chew them up and swallow them and then they come into contact with you or stomach acids you mind up with loose this loose DNA in your body and it can actually attach it can actually go into the walls of your cells penetrate the walls of yourselves and come with buying with your cells and then those cells will start dividing combining with other cells and that’s why you see so many different kinds of weird never before seen cancers in people



    I don’t claim to be an expert in kashrut, but a couple of points
    In general , halacha ignores the microscopic.
    You can drink water bc the microorganisms aren’t hallachically significant. Blights on an estrog are evaluated at arms length.
    Chassidush poskim tend to be more machmir on this in regards to IVF and it’s status as a mamzir. But gene splicing should be considered kosher
    As to your case of hybrid kosher animals created from treif DNA, you run into a separate problem of animals needing mesorah to be considered kosher.



    Hi Josh.
    You posted a long list of sources which you haven’t read. I googled one or two & they seem to come from a Facebook group FreeGMO Canada.
    I randomly clicked on study #12. Here is a direct quote from the abstract: “No statistically significant differences were found in relative organ weights of rats within groups but there were some minimal histopathological changes in liver and kidney.”

    I am not clear if you are asking a sincere question here or have an agenda. In my experience, if one has a question about something learned from a Rav in the past, it is more helpful to go back to that Rav for follow up, or if not possible to get in touch with an associate. Posting on the internet is going to get you responses like you’ve received.

    I posted the above to clarify for the other posters what I found when trying to follow the sources. I am also unclear why you’d post 40 sources you haven’t read to support a question about kashrus.


    Jersey Jew

    I guess P T Barnum was right again, there’s a sucker born every minute.

    It is clear that the OP has no idea in the world what a GMO is. The fact that he believes the garbage on the internet tells me that there is a serious issue with him. With all due respect to Aish and all the good work they do, you still have a lot to learn. Perhaps you should come back after learning for another 15 years or so when you can actually paskin shaylos.

    Why doesn’t it bother you that you, yes you, are also a genetically modified organism? You have to be because otherwise you wouldn’t be here.

    A person has to learn to think when they see narishkeit on the internet. You have to think is this true. Can it be true? Does it make sense in reality? In this case, it makes no sense whatsoever. GMO foods have been around for a long time, longer than three generations yet we keep procreating.

    Without GMO, we would not have many of the foods that we have and their availability because the crops would not be able to handle the various temperatures or seasons or any other reason that crops are bred the way they are.

    If you want to be careful for whatever the reason is to eat non-GMO, go right ahead and spend the extra money in order to be able to do so but please please please stay out of my business!



    josh your description of the horrors of recombinant DNA is not based on reality, at least not the one that I live in (I have worked with recombinant DNA using viral and non-viral vectors). Once the recombinant gene has been integrated into the target genome, it is no longer “infectious”, The virus that was used as its vehicle of delivery is long gone. The gene can’t just pop out and enter some other cell and integrate into its genome, which is what you seem to be describing. What can happen is that if the modified plant in question is mated with another plant, there can be recombination between the chromosomes and therefore genetic inheritance to the next generation. But they cannot mate or cross with anything, only with species similar enough genetically to them- so the trait can spread only within species that are close enough, not the entire ecosystem.
    In terms of us being affected when we eat in, whole genes cannot enter our cells from the digestive track- first because the DNA content of what we eat is broken down to its molecular components, and second because there are no transporters on the cell surface for genes, only the building blocks can enter (hence the need for the virus carrier that you described). Even if a gene could enter, it would not spontaneously recombine with your genes. Is this could happen as you describe, then anytime we ate a plant we would be acquiring plant genes and eventually turn into plants, and we would have to be as wary as regular food as GMOs. If GMOs are causing cancer or infertility- IF – it is because of something else, not because the recombinant gene is entering our genome.



    Re your question about the theoretical hybrid pig/cow, to explain what Mentsch was referring to:
    if one would discover a new breed of cows, even though it has the signs of a kosher animal, we could not automatically eat it, since our Rabbanim have established an additional criteria – that there is a tradition (mesora) that the animal is kosher. Without that mesora, we cannot eat it. These are real questions that have come up from time to time. Since your new hybrid obviously cannot have had a mesora establishing it as a kosher animal, we cannot eat it. In this way animals are different from plant products.



    Another point
    Let’s call it hashkafic
    The overall fear is common of what I consider to be a secular attitude of a need to save the world . Nuclear war can wipe us out. Ebola can mutate and wipe us out. Sure bad things can happen but Hashem runs the world.
    Clearly we can’t poison our water and expect it to magically be drinkable. But without implicit proof of harm, trying to feed the world is probably an endeavor that Hashem will guide in a beneficial manner.



    Ubiquiton, that is brilliant, thank you for the clarification
    And helping me make sense of this.

    Blubluh, very good point and well stated, the OU to their
    Also pointed this out.

    Thank you for the explanation, on mesorah, this makes
    Sense. I appreciate your patience with me, you have helped me understand the OU ruling on this . While I have a background in Biochemistry, it is through my undergraduate degree in biopsychology. I wound up persuing an unrelated career in business.
    My Grandfather was one the orginal fathers of modern biochemistry, and cancer research. He built McArdle Laboratory with Frank Loyd Wright in the Fifties, and headed it for the next 40 years. He believed that Recombinant DNA represents the single largest threat to all life on Earth, not just humanity.
    You are wrong about the virus just magically disappearing once it has served it’s purpose, once the virus incorporated into the DNA it is forever a part of that DNA, it replicates with it, and will be present in every cell of whatever organism the zygote develops into.
    We have already seen cross species pollination occurring in fields where GMOs are planted
    And this technology has only been out for 20 years or so. They are called superweeds
    and they are seeing the pesticide resistant genes that they have inserted into the crops, appearing in the very weeds they are trying to suppress. So my Grandfather s fears are proven to have veracity. I would caution all of you before making
    Yourselves and your families part of the largest biochemical experiment in human history. Just because it is Kosher does not mean it’s safe. I thank all of you for helping me understand OU ruling, it now makes sense to me, and unfortunate though it may be, I now respect it. I leave you
    With this final Quote from the OU–
    “…The presence of an OU symbol on a product should not be misconstrued as an endorsement of the safe status of a product…”
    Be Well, G-d bless all of you, and Baruch Hashem.



    Those 40 or so studies (which have serious flaws in and of themselves) are the list that comes from all the non-GMO people. The problem is that there have been 1700+ studies (mostly way more robust than the studies listed) which have shown there is no difference in safety between GMO and non-GMO.
    If you run enough studies (especially with small sample sizes like the 40 studies shown) you will end up with some results that can show a certain result.
    Just as an example, the first study quoted was with 36 mice. 18 male and 18 female. those were divided into 3 groups – control, non-GMO corn, GMO corn. So, the results showed some differences in organ weight for males on GMO corn. That is a group of 6 mice.Not so statistically significant. (aside from the fact that it is not necessarily bad for then to be larger mice)
    The larger studies done have at least in the hundreds of animals. A much more statistically significant study.
    Somehow the thousands of larger studies seem to be forgotten.
    Also, not sure where your information on Europe bans are coming from but the EU released a paper in which they spent about 300 millions euros on studying the impacts for 10 years and said it is 100% safe.



    One more thing-scientists who designed viral vectors are aware of the potential dangers inherent in using viruses and have accordingly adapted these viruses for safe use. when viruses are used to deliver recombinant DNA, the real virus is not used. A special packaging cell containing viral proteins prepares a viral capsid with the DNA of interest inside – not the complete viral genome, just the components necessary for getting the DNA to where it needs to get. The virus is missing the essential genes to produce more of itself – it can only be made in the packaging cell. These fake virus particles are used to infect the target cell. The DNA of interest integrates into the target genome. Not the viral DNA, because it is not there. No new virus can be made, it’s a dead-end infection.
    With all due respect to your grandfather, recombinant DNA technology has totally revolutionized research biology and made huge contributions to medicine (think insulin, growth hormone..) It is not the same field that it was 40-50 years ago.


    Jersey Jew

    Having been in the food industry for over thirty years, I would file this thread under NARISHKEIT.



    Whoa, Jersey Jew, you sound REALLY hostile when you say “you, yes you, are also a genetically modified organism?” I think that you’re using the term GMO differently than Josh (and I ) are here. How am I a GMO?


    Jersey Jew

    Do we really have to explain it to you? I don’t think there moderator will be happy if I really went into it for you.



    Right, I am a hybrid of my mommy’s DNA and my daddy’s DNA. That’s not a GMO. I don’t think that anybody objects to, for example, a tomato that has been cross-bred from a plum tomato and a beefsteak tomato. But genetically engineering a tomato to contain DNA from a flounder? That can’t be right.



    Mrs Plony , I don’t believe yo understand GMO’s. It’s not sed to crossbreed flounders and tomatos.
    Take your example of plum and beefsteak tomatos. Let’s say that the plum tomato has a trait you want to incorporate ( disease resistance ) into the beefstake. Historically, farmers had to keep crossbreeding until he got lucky. GMO simply shortens the process .



    Halevai it should be that GMO’s are just to ‘shorten the process’. But if that were the case then there would be no controversy.

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