GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS — an ancient Native American tradition?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ancient Americans were changing corn genes through selective breeding more than 4,000 years ago, according to researchers who say the modifications produced the large cobs and fat kernels that make corn one of humanity’s most important foods.

In a study that compared the genes of corn cobs recovered in Mexico and the southwestern United States, researchers found that three key genetic variants were systematically enhanced, probably through selective cultivation, over thousands of years.

The technique was not as sophisticated as the methods used for modern genetically modified crops, but experts said in a study released Thursday that the general effect was the same: genetic traits were amplified or introduced to create plants with improved traits and greater yield.

Next people will be blaming them for massive extinctions. Oh, wait. . . .

UPDATE: Some people are saying that, well, selective breeding isn’t gene-splicing. No, it’s not. (Duh). But it does involve rather drastic modifications to the genome over time. Just compare a Chihuahua to a Great Dane. And certainly there’s nothing “natural” about the products of selective breeding.