DO NOT EAT KOSHER GMO EVEN IF IT IS TRIPLE KOSHER CERTIFIED. Genetically modified (“GM”) crops are plant products which have been genetically altered for certain traits. Such traits include resistance to viruses, bacteria, fungi, nematodes, insects, herbicides, and drought, as well as aspects of product quality like improved yield, nutritional value, and longer shelf life. (See here and here.)
The characterization is somewhat of a misnomer. Modification of biological organisms is not a new process. It has been occurring in nature for billions of years. Indeed, the natural selection of some traits over others is the driving force of biological evolution, the process by which a species over time secures a competitive advantage in its environment. Today, though, the label of GM foods is meant to identify those products that have been modified or engineered by human means.
Michael Green, a British-based Jewish commentator, who espouses Orthodox Judaism, argues that there is no consensus within Judaism about GMO food technology and he cites a prominent Jewish environmental group in the United States, the Teva Learning Centre (TLC), to support his position. The TLC believes that the GMO food technology is a violation of Kilayim, the mixed breeding of crops or livestock . Green also refers to two Bible verses, Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:9– 11, where God prohibits the mixing of species, as proofs that God made “distinctions in the natural world”, which Jews must not breach by eating GMO food or be engaging in GMO food research. Green believes that genetic engineering in its entirety endangers nature and human beings. Similarly, in a paper published in 2000, a Conservative Jewish Rabbi, Lawrence Troster, argues that religious traditions should be more cautious before endorsing genetically modified foods. He calls for an acknowledgment of humankind’s “limitations in the face of the depth and grandeur of the order of creation”
KOSHER GMO FOOD CAUSES CANCER PERIOD.
IT IS A BIG CAUSE OF NON-FERTILITY IF YOU CANNOT GET PREGNANT STOP EATINGKOSHER GMO FOODS
DO NOT EAT KOSHER GMO EVEN IF IT IS TRIPLE KOSHER CERTIFIED
INFORM YOUR RABBIS
STOP BUYINGKOSHER GMO FOODS
MOST IF NOT ALL KOSHER RESTAURANT FOOD IS KOSHER GMO
CELEBRATE YOUR EVENTS AT HOME OR USE YOUR OWN NON-GMO FOOD AND INGREDIENTS
DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY EATING ARTIFICIAL KOSHER GMO FOOD THAT’S KILLING YOU
“While according to the strict letter of Kosher food law a GMO food ingredient is not prohibited, in our view it is not natural. Additionally, there is a Torah (religious)-based law to ‘guard your health’. GMOs are the number-one growing concern among health-conscious consumers and for businesses in the natural and organic food market, as well as in the conventional food industry,” said Rabbi Flamer.
There is a petition currently pending at the FDA that would allow genetically modified salmon into the food supply. These salmon have been genetically engineered to contain the gene of an eel in order that they will grow to market weight more quickly. Eels, however, are not kosher animals and therefore the question is not at all hypothetical as to whether these salmon would be kosher. Not to mention that kosher animals that are fed GMO foods (currently common practice) are less likely to be kosher at the time of slaughter, given their higher rates of organ defects and susceptibility to disease that would preclude an animal from being considered kosher.
OU DOES NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR HEALTH: EREV RAV ONLY CARES ABOUT THE MONEY AND KAVOD REMEMBER THAT
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 under 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 other words, kosher does not mean “fit to eat” and a kosher sign does not mean that a product is safe. If the OU is not qualified to make judgments on food that is detrimental to one’s health, then we must make those decisions for ourselves. This means that we as Jews must look beyond the OU symbol and look for an Organic Symbol or other GMO-Free certification (organic foods are not allowed to contain GMO’s, per the USDA’s current regulations). What’s the point of the OU symbol then, I was left to wonder, as I turned to the second dimension?
“The second issue is as follows. If a non-Kosher genetic material is introduced into a Kosher product, does that render the genetically altered material as non-Kosher? For example, if a new strain of tomatoes is developed by introducing genetic material from a pig cell, is the tomato a Kosher entity?
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 generic 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 “descendants” of the genetically altered tomato.”
The OU here misses the point completely. Genetic manipulation might be small in size in terms of the genes involved, but the implications are nothing short of huge. Think of fish that could be engineered not to have fins or scales (would they then be kosher?) or pigs engineered to have cloven hooves. In fact, there is a petition currently pending at the FDA that would allow genetically modified salmon into the food supply. These salmon have been genetically engineered to contain the gene of an eel in order that they will grow to market weight more quickly. Eels, however, are not kosher animals and therefore the question is not at all hypothetical as to whether these salmon would be kosher. Not to mention that kosher animals that are fed GMO foods (currently common practice) are less likely to be kosher at the time of slaughter, given their higher rates of organ defects and susceptibility to disease that would preclude an animal from being considered kosher.
Other Jewish Responses to the question of GMO’s
Being frustrated with the OU’s ignorance of the issue, I researched other Jewish views on the issue. To the extent that the issue of Genetic Modified Organisms has been examined by Jewish legal scholars, the conclusions have been, “fraught with problems” http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1472-698X-9-18.pdf and