Week #5 - Social and Ethical Issues (Due 2/20)

  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to securepages_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /usr/local/apache2/htdocs/courses/spring2011/biol/coursedrupaltemplate/includes/common.inc on line 2892.

In 1992, the biotechnology company Calgene applied for approval of their rot-resistant tomato, the Flavr Savr tomato. They had engineered the tomato plant by introducing a copy of the gene encoding a softening enzyme downstream of, and in reverse orientation to, a strong promoter active in the fruit. When the engineered gene is transcribed, an "antisense RNA," complementary in sequence to the softening enzyme mRNA, is produced. The antisense RNA binds to the normal RNA and blocks translation of the softening enzyme so the tomatoes stay ripe longer. The FDA approved the sale of the tomato without any additional labeling because the DNA that had been introduced into the tomato was tomato DNA. (The FDA's policy on bioengineered foods is to label food as genetically engineered only when a new substance has been introduced that could cause an allergy or when there has been a change to the foods nutritional value.) Several consumer groups were upset by the FDA's action and wanted to see labeling about genetic modification appear on the tomatoes in the stores. Their protest significantly stalled the sale of these tomatoes. Were the consumer groups' actions, which blocked an advance that people might have wanted, warranted? Are these groups important watchdogs of everyone's well-being, or are they hindering progress?

Comments

Blog #5

I think that the consumer groups could be seen as both watch dogs and hindering progress. I do think that the tomatoes should have been labeled as genetically altered because, lets face it, the tomatoes technically have been genetically altered. Although the sale of the tomatoes was stalled, they were not completely stopped. I think that there should not be any leeway in regards of FDA regulations and and actions. If the FDA were to start just letting certain food items slide by on a technicality then we would be in some serious danger.
I think that these consumer groups were just doing what was right.

Week #5 Response

If every other genetically-modified food is labeled as genetically modified, then the Flavr Savr tomatoes should have been too, but if not, then what’s the difference between this fruit and others? The FDA feels that they don’t need to label other foods as modified, as long as it doesn’t change its nutritional value or allergenic properties, so the tomatoes shouldn’t be any different. It therefore seems that the consumer groups overreacted – I understand if they are worried about unknown effects of this genetic modification, but if the FDA approves this type of modification based on a few simple criteria, then small modifications could be made all the time which would cause unknown effects. The only way to know exactly what is happening to your food is to grow it yourself, so if people are that worried about it, then they should be encouraged to become farmers rather than deter people from buying a product without proof that it has negative effects.

Week #5 Response

If every other genetically-modified food is labeled as genetically modified, then the Flavr Savr tomatoes should have been too, but if not, then what’s the difference between this fruit and others? The FDA feels that they don’t need to label other foods as modified, as long as it doesn’t change its nutritional value or allergenic properties, so the tomatoes shouldn’t be any different. It therefore seems that the consumer groups overreacted – I understand if they are worried about unknown effects of this genetic modification, but if the FDA approves this type of modification based on a few simple criteria, then small modifications could be made all the time which would cause unknown effects. The only way to know exactly what is happening to your food is to grow it yourself, so if people are that worried about it, then they should be encouraged to become farmers rather than deter people from buying a product without proof that it has negative effects.

Blog 5

In my opinion, these type of groups provide a nice check on regulations set forth by the FDA, however in this case I believe the response may have been a bit of an overreaction. The modified tomato did not have any new material introduced, it was the tomato DNA itself. Even though it is not "natural" I do not think this poses a problem for anyone, it may only affect individuals who pride themselves on eating all natural foods. In this case there should not have been any uproar over this because it was not problematic. New developments will occur in the future as our technology and understanding continues to grow thus we must be ready to accommodate these advancements. When there is no harmful effect the advancement should be taken in stride.

Week 5

Even though the Flavr Savr tomato was genetically modified with its own DNA, it was still modified and I believe that consumer should be informed that the tomato that they may be consuming is not “natural”. This modified tomato may not contain any new or different allergens from a regular tomato but customers should be able to choose whether or not they want that tomato. It seems deceiving to not label the product as genetically modified. If the new tomato is not harmful to other then producers should not have to worry about labeling it as modified. The label should also include an explanation of what that modification is and that it isn’t harmful, so that consumers can make an educated decision on whether or not they want to buy it. The consumer groups’ protests were definitely warranted, and although it delayed the release of the tomato, it was only for the public's benefit.

Blog 5

I feel that these groups are hindering progress. If people want to buy food that is purely organic, there's a section for that in the grocery store. However, if people want to buy food that will last longer or taste better, they should be able to do that too. While it is important to have watchdogs out there looking out for everyones well-being, if the FDA has approved it, its obviously not going to harm whoever eats it, and they should drop the protest. Just because they wouldnt eat it themselves, doesnt mean other people take such offense to the idea of food staying good for longer. It is one thing for protests to happen while the FDA is deliberating and testing the food, to show them that not everyone will be accepting of this new development, but once the OK has gone through, I think the protest groups should have stopped.

Week 5

The FDA's policy on bioengineered food labeling is inaccurate and misleading. The tomato is still genetically engineered even though the DNA introduced is tomato DNA. The consumer groups' actions are warranted because we should have the right to know the facts about what we are eating. With this said, more information should be provided to the everyday consumer who may not understand the concept of food being genetically engineered and the potential implications. I think consumer groups are important overseers of consumer health and well-being and I don't believe they are stopping progress by protesting the FDA labeling policies. Progress for GMOs can still continue as these advances may be very beneficial in decreasing levels of starvation.

Blog 5

The consumers had a right to protest the lack of a label for the new strain of tomatoes. The fact that the tomatoes were not transgenic is a point worth bringing up and should be a distinction made by the FDA but the tomatoes were still genetically modified in a way that isn't “normal” by agricultural standards. Since a specific “antisense RNA” was engineered for these tomatoes people have a right to know. They may hinder immediate progress but the consumer groups are functioning as watchdogs and should continue to do so. The companies should be willing to provide explanation of how the new product has been altered and the rigorous tests they have performed to check the safety of their product. The FDA should work on their guidelines when it comes to labeling genetically modified food products.

week 5 blog response

The FDA's labeling of this food, or lack thereof, was completely inaccurate to begin with. While the tomato was engineered with its own DNA, this still is clearly a form of genetic modification and the consumer has the right to know about it. Yes, the consumer groups delayed the sale of a potentially highly beneficial strain of crop. But their protest was completely warranted in this situation. It is ultimately the responsibility of both the producer of a GMO as well as the FDA to label these foods as genetically modified. In this way, consumers can choose whether to buy the food. Furthermore, the producers of any given GMO must ensure that the transgenic strain of crop will not interfere with or out-compete natural varieties.

Personally, I have no problem with consuming many GMO's, yet I can understand why most consumers don't like the idea. The FDA should provide some means to educate the public on the safety and potential extreme benefit of GMO's when grown in a contained agricultural setting. These transgenic crops have the potential to solve many issues of starvation throughout the world.

Week 5 Blog

I believe that the consumer groups' actions were warranted, since we should know the procedures for how our food is made. There should be labeling about genetic modifying, however, there also should be information about what genetic modifying is. The public most likely will be adverse to many genetic modifiers, so it is important to note which could be detrimental and which would be safe. As long as there is education alongside experimentation there will be progress, since everyone will understand what is happening, there will be reasonable guidelines set up that will aide progress. Though this advancements might come at a later date, I believe it is important that we understand what is taking place in the scientific community so we can make well educated decisions and aid in research beneficial to the public and detract from those that are negative.

Week # 5 blog response

From the consumer point of view the blockage is unwarranted. However, general populous is not well educated about the implication of genetic modification, which is why the consumer's point of view on the obstruction created by the consumer group is insignificant and should be inconsequential. Such groups are definitely needed to keep a constant check on the FDA. FDA is an understaffed organization due to which it could potentially fail to do a comprehensive impact analysis of the gene modification. Such watchdog groups are essential in conjunction with the FDA for the general well being of the populous. However, it would be more responsible of the consumer watchdog groups if they would conduct some scientific study on products before blindly causing hinderance in progress benefiting the world at large. Lastly, any genetically modified product should be appropriately labeled even if the gene modification is not causing a great impact on the products nutritional value. Products must be appropriately labeled as 'genetically modified' solely for the benefit of the consumer, in addition to this the consumer must also be educated about the impact of this modification on the product. Genetically modified products have not lead to any reported cases of allergies, on the contrary they have helped in addressing critical humanitarian crises related to shortage of food supply.

Week 5 Response

The consumer groups’ actions were warranted. Even thought these specific tomatoes may not be harmful, a precedent must be set for future products that have been genetically modified in any way. Consumers should be informed about the products they are purchasing. However, at the same time, the public should be educated about the meaning of the term “genetically modified” in order to make a more informed decision when purchasing products. Many people may harbor misconceptions about genetically modified food, so an effort should be made to address concerns about its safety. The groups themselves are important watchdogs. They may actually be fostering progress by bringing up the issue of genetic modifications in the first place. As a result, a movement towards education about genetically modified food may benefit the public by emphasizing the benefits of such techniques.

week # 5- Social and Ethical issues

Yes, I agree that the groups had a good reason to protest. The tomatoes were genetically modified and consumers have the right know regardless of whether the gene is new or simply just modified. I don’t see any harm if the tomatoes are labeled, on the contrary it simply makes consumers aware of what they are buying. So, I think we need groups like this because they can fight for consumer’s rights.

Blog 5

In the case of the Flavr Savr tomato, I think the opposition/acceptance of this genetic modification can go both ways. Because the tomato is not technically transgenic -- and the knockdown was engineered using genes found within the tomato genome, it probably isn't necessary to raise a huge deal about the issue. Mutations occur naturally, and in some natural variants of tomato I'm sure there may be gene silencing, or overexpressing happening. This being said, many people may feel it wrong to have people "playing god" in the sense that they are manipulating a tomato genetically such that it stays hard longer as it would not do so naturally. These people are not necessarily hindering the progress of genetic engineering/modification in food, but they do raise awareness to the issue and by doing so allow more people to either side with or against these practices in the future.

Blog 5

I think the consumer groups have a warranted complaint. Consumers of the tomatoes should be made aware of what they are eating. There is, however, an issue of what the FDA or company would say. Words like “genetically modified” have an automatic negative connotation for the general public which might lead to a loss of sales, so I can understand that companies might not want to have their products labeled as such, even if it might technically be correct. On the other hand, as a consumer, I would not want the labeling to be written in a way that masks the true nature of the food. For example, foods treated with ionizing radiation are often labeled as “cold pasteurized” because of the negative associations with the word “radiation”. Since technically pasteurization is a completely different process, I would want to know for sure if my food was treated with radiation and the same goes for genetically modified plants. So although I can see both sides of the story, I have to side with the consumer and I think that foods should be labeled as truthfully and clearly as possible.

I believe the consumers

I believe the consumers groups actions should be warranted because people should have the right to know that they inserted a gene into the tomatoes that was not originally from the tomatoes itself. They should also have the right to know what is being put into the their own bodies. Labels should be displaced during sales that should tell the consumers that their product is organic or genetically modified. Who knows what could happen in the long run, that the genetically modified tomatoes would affect them.

Week 5

I believe that the consumer groups' actions were warranted because consumers should be informed about what they are purchasing. Even if there was no new substance added to the tomato, it was still genetically altered. These consumer groups were not trying to remove the product from the market, they were just trying to make people aware of what they are eating.

Week 5 Response

I think the consumer groups' actions were warranted for two reasons.
The first is that while there was no novel genetic information introduced into the tomato genome, the genetic modifications could have unforeseen side effects. What if the presence of the softening enzyme was a feedback inhibitor on something else? What if the process of genetic manipulation changed other things without our knowledge? The fact is, the tomato genome was changed, and I don't think our knowledge of science is comprehensive enough to say with 100% confidence that there could be no unknown side effects. Second, even if we were able to somehow verify with 100% confidence that the only difference between a Flavr Savr tomato and a "heirloom" tomato was that the Flavr Savr took longer to spoil, I still think on principle that people have a right to know about the food they are purchasing and eating. I think clear labeling is always important and consumers should always be allowed to make informed decisions. To do otherwise is simply misinformation, which is something I find a lot of discomfort in as a student of science.

Week 5 Response

I believe the protests by the consumer groups was unwarranted. It is true that the tomato is genetically altered, however, there is no new substance added to the tomato. The only thing different about this tomato is that there is a protein not being made. If there was an extra protein being made then maybe this would be a different story. I do believe these consumer groups are beneficial because they can help keep the FDA in check. They are like watchdogs for the consumer. However, in the case of the Flavr Savr, they were wrong.

wk_ Flavr Savr

The consumer groups' actions were warranted. They have a right to know if what they're eating has been genetically modified. Consumer groups are important watchdogs because most Americans don't understand everything about what genetically modified food is. They understand it in terms of what they see like giant fruits and vegetables and so that is all they are concerned with. But genetic modification of food is still a young growing field and there hasn't been enough time to see if these foods have negative effects. Basically people should have a choice of what they are putting into their bodies.

Week 5

I do feel that FDA should ask the company to label the genetically altered food even though there wasn’t any new substance that was introduced. As a consumer, I want to know what kind of product I am eating. I want to know if the product I am purchasing is organic or genetically modified. That being said, I also feel that stalling the sales of these tomatoes were unnecessary. I doubt that these newly introduced tomatoes will do any harm since it is FDA approved. In my opinion, I don’t think group like this who act without any evidence are important watchdog. I feel they are more like an obstacle that is hindering progress.

Week 5

DNA is DNA, whether from a tomatoe or a mouse essentially they encode for the same things-peptides. The question is will the function exhibited by x protein in organism A be fully conserved with out side effects when placed in organism B. Besides breaking down the tomatoe flesh, what is the purpose of the target enzyme and what pathways may be affected by its inhibition. Does it breakdown reaction intermediates that may become toxic should they accumulate, for example? Tomatoes are in the nightshade family which includes some poisonous cousins. Though a rather stretched example, it would be prudent to take the mechanisms and pathways in a most whollistic sense into account. It may also be wise to investigate the possible impact of random mutations in the antisense sequence for potential issues such as inhibition of a non-target peptide. Genetic engineering for the most part is nature sped up. Given enough time and resources, selective breeding would produce a flavr savr tomato. I believe that the watchdog group is right to demand labeling of GMO. Sure there could be conflicts of interest if for example the group consists of non-GMO tomatoe farmers. Personally I would like to know if my food is manually GMO and how, thereby allowing me to make informed decisions. Also, freshness would play a key factor. Softening is a sign of the tomatoe's age which affects nutrition and flavor. I would definitely prefer to be able to visually guage its freshness because I'm not too keen on eating a Joan Rivers tomatoe. But I am lucky enough to have access to nutrition sources of my choosing. Therefore, I also believe this would be a great advance. Tomatoes are notoriously hard to transport because they become bruised very easily. Therefore they would be more available to those who may not have otherwise have access to such nutrition source. In summary, yes the group is hampering an advance potentially very beneficial to many peoples, but no they are not wrong to call for labelling.

Week #5 - Social and Ethical Issues (Due 5/20)

In the case of the transgenic tomato the consumer groups action were wholly unwarranted. Not only are they blocking the sale of a product that many people could potentially want to buy. They are acting with no hard evidence as to why the GMO is bad. In most cases like this one so called consumer groups are motivated by reasons other than having everyone’s well being in mind. For example the group could have ties with local tomato farmers who would see a drop in sales as a result of the release of the transgenic tomato. They may be blocking the sale of the transgenic tomato to further the interest of the farmers who sell non transgenic tomatoes. Furthermore many of these groups cite unsupported evidence such as the idea that the GMO will create a super bug or will damage human DNA. Most o these groups are only interested in furthering their own agenda and should thus be barred from protest unless they have legitimate evidence to back up their often wild claims.

Week five

The tomatoes are truly genetically modified, so the company should be required to say so on the package. However, I think that it may be the FDA that should change the policy. There is a difference between modifying with tomato DNA and modifying with DNA from another organism. I think that the FDA should change their policy to reflect this, as seems to be the desire of the public based on the groups trying to get GMO put on the label. It should be explained that there is a difference between changing the DNA in the tomato, and putting completely different DNA from another organism in the tomato.

Week 5 Response

The consumer groups' actions are warranted. This is simply people trying to look out for other people and wanting people to be made aware of what they are eating. The FDA's definition of genetically engineered is different than how I would define it as I would say this is a plant that is genetically engineered simply without introduction of outside elements, not that it is not genetically engineered because outside elements were not introduced. I believe as of right now these groups are simply watchdogs, of course in time this could eventually change. I believe people should be able to access the information if there food is genetically engineered.

Week 5 Blog

The actions of the consumer groups were warranted. Though the FDA may have a very specific definition of what has to be labeled as genetically engineered, and these tomatoes didn't meet that definition, the tomatoes still needed to be labeled as engineered. It is possible that while the fruit of this new tomato lasted longer, it could also have carried potentially damaging organic compounds in new, highly elevated amounts. The engineers also basically trick the consumer into thinking he or she is going to buy a 'natural' piece of produce. I assume most consumers believe their produce is the product of clever selective breeding, with 'nature taking its course' as opposed to scientists physically manipulating the DNA of the plants. Consumers have the right to know and choose if they wish to purchase genetically modified foods. In this case, the consumer groups were looking out for everyone's well-being.

Blog Entry 5

The simple fact the tomatoes were genetically modified I feel the consumers had a reason to protest against this genetically modified tomatoes. Yes its FDA policy label food as genetically engineered only when a new substance has been introduced, but I feel that the FDA has a responsibility to label all genetically altered food. I feel that public should in fact some fact in mind when purchasing food what type of food that they are buying. The consumer should be informed of their purchases and what they are consuming for their safety in the future. In considering about these groups I believe that groups are doing more good than harm. They are making sure the necessary steps are being taken before anything in fact is being launched to the public for consumptions. I feel their the one that are keeping check on these pick corporations that rush for profit and less on the security and health for the public. With the aspect in mind I feel that these groups are doing some good for well-being of everyone then hindering in progress.

Week 5 Blog Entry

The fact that the tomatoes weren't appropriately labelled probably justified the protest that ensued. While the FDA deemed the tomatoes nutritionally equivalent to the originals and otherwise safe, there was still the possibility that they were wrong. Unsafe food and drug items can pass FDA testing and become available to the general public. It is better for the consumers to be informed in this case than for them to blindly purchase new products. Groups that are critical of genetically modified products are likely doing more good than harm. Progress can only be achieved if safe, beneficial products are released in the market, and some companies might be more interested in turning a profit. With this in mind, criticism towards new products ought to be welcomed.

Week 5 Comment

Strictly speaking, the tomatoes were indeed genetically modified. It maybe FDA’s policy that bioengineered food label should only appear when a new substance has been introduced, but if you go strictly by definition, then the tomatoes were modified and the consumer groups have a reason to protest. I think that most of these groups cannot achieve much without public support. It’s understandable that many people might have wanted ‘an advance’ but many people must have supported the groups too. In the end, majority wins. If these groups were able to gather enough support to stall the sale of these tomatoes, then they are justified in their actions. I won’t go as far as to say that these groups are important watchdogs of everyone’s well-being. But if they consider an issue important and bring it to the public’s attention, then I don’t see any harm in that. Besides, they weren’t against genetic modification of the tomatoes, they only wanted the label to appear on the tomatoes.