In the age of digital media, it's not uncommon to stumble upon sensational videos that leave viewers astounded. One such video that's been making waves on social media suggests a rather fishy tale: that genetically modified (GMO) tomatoes and wheat grains have the uncanny ability to 'swim' in saltwater.
But how much truth is there to this claim?
The Viral Video's Claim
The video in question, which has garnered significant attention, showcases two distinct clips. The first displays a slice of what's labeled as an organic tomato floating serenely in a bowl of saltwater, while its GMO counterpart seemingly 'swims' with fish-like grace. The second clip portrays a wheat blade, mimicking the movements of a fish in a water-filled bucket.
The video's bold assertion is that these crops have been genetically engineered using fish genes. A post sharing this video even suggests a novel way to test for GMOs: "Here is a way to test your fruit and veggies, if they are gmo. GMO plants swim on their own in salt water!"
Before we address the video's claims, it's essential to understand what GMO crops are. These are plants whose genetic material has been altered using advanced biotechnology techniques.
The World Health Organization (WHO) assures that GMO foods available in the market have undergone rigorous safety assessments and emphasize that no health risks have been associated with the consumption of GMO foods.
The Truth Behind the Video
A meticulous investigation into the video's origins led to the discovery that both clips were sourced from a YouTube channel named 'ViralVideoLab.' This channel candidly admits its content is for entertainment purposes, with some videos potentially featuring computer-generated imagery (CGI) effects.
Upon closer inspection, the 'swimming' tomato video displayed clear signs of digital manipulation, Logically reported. For instance, while the tomato slice 'swam,' the water around it remained eerily still, a stark contrast to the ripples created when the slice was initially introduced.
Experts in the field of media and graphics have voiced their skepticism, noting the video's movements appear unnatural and are likely the result of digital effects.
Dr. Joe Schwarcz, Director of McGill University's Office for Science and Society, weighed in on the matter. Having previously addressed the topic of fish genes in tomatoes, Dr. Schwarcz labeled the viral video as a well-executed fake.
He emphasized that no GMO tomatoes with fish genes exist in the market. While there was once speculation about introducing an antifreeze protein from Arctic flounder into tomatoes, it remained just that – speculation. Dr. Schwarcz firmly stated it's scientifically implausible for tomatoes, wheat, or any GMO crops to 'swim.' And it's ridiculous that some people even believe the video is real.
The idea of fish genes in tomatoes isn't new. Back in 1991, a biotechnology company attempted to introduce fish genes into tomatoes to enhance their cold resistance. However, these tomatoes never exhibited any swimming tendencies and, crucially, never made it to the consumer market.
In conclusion, the notion that GMO tomatoes and wheat grains can swim in saltwater due to fish genes is a myth. The viral video making this claim is a product of digital artistry, not scientific reality.