Friday, March 16, 2012

Blue Strawberries! Something Berry Fishy about This...

Today I got done teaching and sat down at my computer only to find 50 emails about blue strawberries.


What?

The Blue Strawberry- The product of a clever photoshopper, has created quite a stir in anti-GMO circles that think the product is a danger to all of us.  Oops. 


Turns out that there is a story gaining traction in anti-GMO circles about this hideous new beast that adds a fish gene to strawberries.  Allegedly it makes the strawberry blue and resistant to cold.

The original report is here. The website introduces the blue strawberry, making a statement that it is not clear it if it exists or not.  It has no citations to the blue strawberry.  It has no reference to a person or company that makes it.

To my eye, it is a made up story- and the anti-GMO folks are buying it!  Congrats to Cynthia Bu Jawdeh for getting their knickers in a twist.


It shows again the level of evidence they use in making a decision.  Somebody posts it on a website, so it must be true! 


The readers of this blog know my frustrations with the anti-GMO movement, or any movement based on a pseudoscientific foundation.  There is no evidence of a blue strawberry- other than a photoshopped picture. Luckily there are plenty of good skeptics out there that see right through this garbage. They have been keeping reddit honest for the most part.

For the record, there are absolutely no transgenic (GMO) strawberries in production.  I can state this with tremendous authority.

They've all been fooled again, as usual.

18 comments:

Mary said...

Hi Kevin--thanks for this. I needed it to refute a lot of stuff over at G+.

It appears they are getting the story from this source:

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/blue-strawberries-raise-more-gmo-questions.html

Karl Haro von Mogel said...

I left a comment pointing out that this strawberry is not real, and that there are no GE strawberries on the market, linking back to here. It never appeared.

PythagoreanCrank said...

It's even a shitty-ass photoshop job.

ENHANCE:
http://www.images.pythagoreancrank.com/bluestrawberry_enhanced.png

PythagoreanCrank said...

MarkedUp:

"ENHANCE!"

Kevin Folta said...

@PythagoreanCrank very cool program. Now go debunk those fake moon landings or that birth certificate!

Anonymous said...

Wow are you an idiot. I thought it must be a hoax also, but I spent the 30 seconds to google it and not be a moron like you.

http://rdo.psu.ac.th /sjstweb/journal/27-4/02-strawberry-gene.pdf

http://www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=484_99

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_tomato

Jennifer @noteasy2begreen said...

Thank you for injecting some much needed sanity into the anti-GMO frenzy. I'm not a scientist, but I do read multiple perspectives and evaluate evidence. I've come to think that a lot of the hysteria about synthetic chemicals and GMO comes from having a little information (but not a genuine understanding) and confirmation bias.

Kevin Folta said...

Dear Anonymous,

I'm sorry to tell you this, but you call me a moron and then post three links that have nothing to do with a blue strawberry.

None of them even show an item geared toward production.

Maybe look in that mirror first before using terms of derision.

kevin

TerrorBite said...

I went and read the scientific paper written about the experiment in question. Yes, they did add the fish genes to strawberry plants, and yes the resulting plants were frost resistant. But nowhere in the article does it mention anything about blue fruit.

Source: http://webfortesting.com/journal/27-4/02-strawberry-gene.pdf

Kevin Folta said...

Terror Bite- but MOST importantly, they were never released as a food item! No blue, not food, no story, yet strong reaction.

Anonymous said...

While the BLUE STRAWBERRY may or not be TRUE, the major point to get out of articles like this is the fact that there IS Genetically modified food made to seem safe, spoken of as being better than natural, that is VERY DANGEROUS to our bodies/health.

To those of you on the board resorting to name calling, please don't. The juvenile-ness of that is asinine and shows a lack of intelligence in regard to understanding the importance of working together as a team in getting the food industry to stop killing us all with GMOs and/or chemically laced foods

Anonymous said...

Do you know what "jawdeh" directly translates to in Vietnamese? It's "son of a b*tch"

Anonymous said...

If you are talking about @PythagoreanCrank I would agree.... I took some time and reviewed she/he/it's website.... just a bunch of overwritten articles.... good read if you want to be put to sleep.....

onepiece666 said...

Well, I'm going to create a blue strawberry someday, but it'll be non-transgenic (for a greater challenge otherwise it would be quite easy ;)

濱中康至 said...

こういうフェイクのseedsが堂々と売られていることに問題がある。それらは日本では決して有名ではないが、英語が苦手な俺たちには非常に伝わりにくく誤解を招くんだな。

Anonymous said...

What about this Amazon seed seller? Is this a hoax?
http://www.amazon.com/100-Strawberry-Seeds-Treasures-Copyright/dp/B00HH644JS/ref=sr_1_4?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1392730745&sr=1-4&keywords=strawberry+seeds

Anonymous said...

What about this Amazon seed seller? Is this a hoax?
http://www.amazon.com/100-Strawberry-Seeds-Treasures-Copyright/dp/B00HH644JS/ref=sr_1_4?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1392730745&sr=1-4&keywords=strawberry+seeds

Anonymous said...

Yes @Anonymous.... that amazon seed seller is a hoax. read the reviews, not a single person got a single seed to sprout.