Do seedless fruits and GMO's make seedless people?
Seedless fruit is a bit of an oxymoron: seeded fruit is by definition a fertilized ovum and its nutrition source. It is the source of the next generation of plants. While convenient, consuming seedless fruits might have disadvantages.
The botanical developmental leap to seeded plants (from ferns) allowed the genetic diversity and versatility of plant life that we know today. Seeds are a sign of the fertility and vitality of plants. Seeds are primary in human nutrition; grains, beans, spices that increase the bioavailability of nourishment, and many herbal medicines are made from seeds. Holistic medicine sees the seed (and fruit) as the richest and most nourishing part of the plant. It is the part of the plant that nourishes fertility and vitality. Yet more and more of our food crops are infertile.
Seedless fruits are not as healthy. They have fewer vitamins and minerals. They also contain less fiber, which means they're digested more quickly by your body. Moreover, the lack of seeds means that these fruits have fewer antioxidants, phytonutrients (plant-based nutrients), and anti-inflammatory properties. Farmers have historically grown many seedless fruits because they were easier to sell and ship. Still, we must consider their impact on health, biodiversity, and our food system when deciding whether they are beneficial. Any process that relies on human intervention has financial drawbacks. For one thing, these fruits tend to be more expensive than their seeded counterparts. Thus, a seedless watermelon will cost you more than the regular variety. One might think that seedless fruits grow naturally, but that would be wrong. These fruits, also called “parthenocarpic” or “parthenogenetic,” cannot regenerate via producing seeds. This means that they must be propagated by cloning. Thus we come to the question: do these fruits cause infertility and if not what does? In Ayurvedic medicine the answer is yes seedless fruits could lead to infertility at least that is what Vaidya Mooss said, this quality of infertility would influence those who eat seedless grapes. This idea is unproven by Western science, but makes a kind of intuitive sense.
For the last 20 years, an increasing percentage of the corn crop in the USA has been genetically modified to contain an insecticide (so-called Bt corn). Insects that feed on the corn are killed. In Ayurveda, insecticides and medicines used for killing intestinal worms are generally thought to have a harmful effect on the sperm and ovum of humans and animals. It is interesting that the fertility rate in the USA, where most GM crops are grown and eaten, has fallen to a record low. Is there a causal link between the growing problem of infertility and the rise of GM insecticidal corn? No one knows; the studies have not been done.
Unfortunately, cloning is highly inefficient and leads to a loss of genetic diversity. Infertile plants which are regenerated from tissues (grafts, buds, cuttings, etc.) lead to decreased genetic diversity and all sorts of problems including the current crisis facing the banana crop. In the meantime, there is no level on which infertile crops are going to benefit the long-term, global health of the planet nor our individual health. Terminator seeds are having a dramatic and reprehensible impact on the communities that farm these crops.
The main problem here, of course, being that the power to create food is taken from the farmer and put into the hands of giant multinational seed producers. Infertility is a relatively common health condition, affecting nearly 7% of all couples. Clinically, it is a highly heterogeneous pathology with a complex etiology that includes environmental and genetic factors. It has been estimated that nearly 50% of infertility cases are due to genetic defects. Hundreds of studies with animal knockout models convincingly showed infertility to be caused by gene defects, single or multiple. However, despite enormous efforts, progress in translating basic research findings into clinical studies has been challenging. The genetic causes remain unexplained for the vast majority of male or female infertility patients. A particular difficulty is the huge number of candidate genes to be studied; there are more than 2,300 genes expressed in the testis alone, and hundreds of those genes influence reproductive function in humans and could contribute to male infertility.
At present, there are only a handful of genes or genetic defects that have been shown to cause, or to be strongly associated with, primary infertility. Yet, with completion of the human genome and progress in personalized medicine, the situation is rapidly changing. Indeed, there are 10-15 new gene tests, on average, being added to the clinical genetic testing list annually. A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis identifies a specific gene’s previously unknown role in fertility. When the gene is missing in fruit flies, roundworms, zebrafish and mice, the animals are infertile or lose their fertility unusually early but appear otherwise healthy. Analyzing genetic data in people, the researchers found an association between mutations in this gene and early menopause. The human gene — called nuclear envelope membrane protein 1 (NEMP1) — is not widely studied. Though it varied a bit by species, males and females both had fertility problems when missing this gene. And in females, the researchers found that the envelope that contains the egg’s nucleus — the vital compartment that holds half of an organism’s chromosomes — looked like a floppy balloon.
“This gene is expressed throughout the body, but we didn’t see this floppy balloon structure in the nuclei of any other cells,” said McNeill, also a professor of developmental biology. “That was a hint we’d stumbled across a gene that has a specific role in fertility. The researchers would like to investigate whether women with fertility problems have mutations in NEMP1. To help establish whether such a link is causal, they have developed human embryonic stem cells that, using CRISPR gene-editing technology, were given specific mutations in NEMP1 listed in genetic databases as associated with infertility.
“We can direct these stem cells to become eggs and see what effect these mutations have on the nuclear envelope,” McNeill said. “It’s possible there are perfectly healthy women walking around who lack the NEMP protein. If this proves to cause infertility, at the very least this knowledge could offer an explanation. If it turns out that women who lack NEMP are infertile, more research must be done before we could start asking if there are ways to fix these mutations