are all crookneck squash GMO ??

jeanwedding(6 ky)July 25, 2008

Im a long time listener of talk radio and garden reading

The author of a book I remember said ,12 diff crops were GMO

I definitely remember soy, corn, canola and CROOKNECK Squash mentioned in lots of radio interviews

I can not remember the other species off hand.

I have a small garden scattered around my smaller property. Cause of a very shallow backyard. with a tree and a fruit tree and small berry patches

I bought several(5) squash like straight neck and couple of zucchini plants back in May unfortunately I bought a Crookneck I'm thinking about pulling it up and garbaging it

Its the ONLY one producing so far here in zone 6 The others, the insects knock off the blooms and eat holes the leaves Years ago all my vines shriveled.

I got some Safer brand BTU powder from years ago I bought. a pain to apply with the squeeze duster plastic container

I read in one of the past posts more about BTU

The reason I ask too is in case someone offers me some, too I hate waste of GOOD FOOD

I love fresh organic vegetables. Also wish I had a somewhat bigger property

Thank You all Really enjoy this site and forums. Sharing and passing on knowledge

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"crookneck" and "straightneck", are not different species, merely slight variations. So I highly doubt one would be GM and not the other. I have not heard to date that any common garden vegetable varieties are a GMO. I think crookneck squash has been around for quite a long time, so I doubt that any of those varieties are GM.

The fact is, I believe, that any GM crop plant could contaminate the gene-pool of any or all other plants in the species. The question is how likely is it to happen? The most widely grown GMO's are various trademark corns and soybeans. So I'd be most concerned about a corn variety, which is why I'm careful to get heirlooms from small and hopefully isolated seed companies. In Mexico, some of the very valuable heirloom corns have been shown to be contaminated which could be a real tragedy.

I wouldn't worry about the squash, myself.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 1:57PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The only way to insure that you aren't purchasing GMO seed is to buy from seed houses that guarantee it. Some squash and zucchini (for example) have been modified with genes from a virus that infects those plants, thus creating a sort of vaccination against that virus.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 3:23PM
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jeanwedding(6 ky)

Those two plants in the 5 squashes are the ONLY two squahes not affected by an chewed on leaves etc. They look intact. Thats why Id bet they are GMO
The book is "Seeds of Deception" It is an eyeopener
The GMO should be outlawed . prob will harm us all eventually
Thank you all

    Bookmark   July 25, 2008 at 10:53PM
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A Genetically Modified Organism, GMO, is one that the genes have been messed with. Generally, when an organic gardener talks about a GMO seed or plant they mean one that has been modified in a way that nature would never allow, a modification that could not take place naturally.
Your crook neck squash are, in reality a genetic modification, but one done by nature, a natural process and one that does occur even today, through pollination not by injecting a non plant gene in the plants DNA. There are plant scientists that are trying pollination of plants to get new strains, new varieties of plants, new resistance to diseases, etc. using age old techniques that are acceptable. What is not acceptable is injecting a gene from something that would never happen through normal pollination techniques into a plants DNA and then selling that concept as "substantially equivalant" to Ma Natures way and not doing the research to see if this would be harmful to those that consume this product. We went this route with the industry barons telling everyone that the filth they spewed from their manuafcturies was not harmful.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 7:09AM
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adirondackgardener(Western Maine)

I do not believe any seed companies are selling GMO seeds to the general gardener. They are selling them to commercial growers where they can control the licensing agreements.

You can by heirloom varieties of crookneck squash. (Heirloom being a variety over 50 years old.) You certainly can buy many dozens of heirloom varieties of corn. I don't know of any vegetable variety that is only available as a result of GMO manipulation.

If you bought your seeds in packets and not in commercial bulk lots, you do not have GMO seeds.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2008 at 9:25PM
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tomakers(SE MA Zone 5/6 or ?)

You might have a hybrid crookneck squash, but I doubt you have any that are GMO. Crookneck squash have been around for a very long time, the straight neck ones were developed from the crooknecks, if I remember correctly.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 12:14AM
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If the seeds you use are even F1 hybrids they are genetically modified organisms, and most likely at some point in time the genes from two other sources got together to produce this Crookneck which also makes it a GMO.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 6:37AM
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adirondackgardener(Western Maine)

Traditional bred hybrid seed are not GMO seed.

Why are you trying to muddy the waters here, Kimm? You know as well as I that hybridizing or the simple act of crossing two strains of the same type of plant does not fall under the realm of GMO. Note the captital letters. GMO has a precise, legal definition and does not include traditional methods of crossing.

In describing accepted and excluded methods of plant propagation, the U.S. National Standards on Organic Agricultural Production and Handling has excluded GMO methods from acceptible practices:

"Such methods include cell fusion, microencapsulation and macroencapsulation, and recombinant DNA technology (including gene deletion, gene doubling, introducing a foreign gene, and changing the positions of genes when achieved by recombinant DNA technology). Such methods do not include the use of traditional breeding, conjugation, fermentation, hybridization, in vitro fertilization, or tissue culture."

The USDA definition:

" A Genetically Modified Organism ⢠an organism, including
micro-organism, virus, viroid, and any other unicellular or multicellular entity that has undergone change by means of genetic engineering, and that is related to plants in any way throughout its life cycle. "

It further defines Genetic Engineering as: "the genetic modification of organisms by recumbant DNA techniques."

Even though genes are modified through natural methods, they are not the subject being discussed here.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 12:41PM
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Many people are clearly confused between genetic engineering and hybridization. No doubt due to the bad rap hybrids have been getting in many organic circles.....

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 2:04PM
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tomakers(SE MA Zone 5/6 or ?)

kimmsr said: "If the seeds you use are even F1 hybrids they are genetically modified organisms, and most likely at some point in time the genes from two other sources got together to produce this Crookneck which also makes it a GMO."

You obviously have no clue. Do you ever post anything positive?


    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 2:18AM
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Does hybridization alter the genetics of a plant? Yes. it does, and that is Genetic Modification. Does the simple act of pollinating a plant alter the genetics? Yes, it does, and that too is genetic modification. Are you the result of genetic modification? Yes, you are, the result of the combining of the genes of both your parents, genetic modification.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 6:33AM
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Kimm, don't you understand that such a definition makes the term "GM" useless?

So what do you call the process of cutting and splicing a gene from one species into another? We call it "genetic engineering", and the result a "genetic modification".......

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 8:31AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Good grief, kimmsr! Sometimes you have a real knack for shedding 'dusk' over the science you try to talk about.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 10:01AM
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rhizo_1 is kim blathering on again making no sense. Looks like he has added another repeating set phrases to his limited arsenal of babble. I really need to get hin to contribut the the magzine with intials M J if email me I will tell you the full name since it violates the posting rules to post it here.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 8:17PM
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tomakers(SE MA Zone 5/6 or ?)

kimmsr said: "Does hybridization alter the genetics of a plant? Yes. it does, and that is Genetic Modification. Does the simple act of pollinating a plant alter the genetics? Yes, it does, and that too is genetic modification. Are you the result of genetic modification? Yes, you are, the result of the combining of the genes of both your parents, genetic modification."

You have got to be kidding me!!!

So by your definition there are no non-GMO plants in existence???

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 11:29PM
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adirondackgardener(Western Maine)

Yeah, Kimm, in the broadest possible ( and non-legal) sense you are correct. Any entity on the planet produced by natural means, short of those single-cell individuals "born" through the process of cell-division, are genetically modified organisms since they have the genes of two parents. I'll concede that you and I and, most likely, any human reading this forum, by virtue af having parents, are genetrically modifid organisms. Kimm, note the lower case letters. (Cloned individuals, please disregard this thread with my apologies.)

Jeanwedding 6. I'm not sure why Kimm has seen fit to hijack your thread to play a silly word game. He knows exactly what "GMO" refers to and he knows it isn't hybrid seed.

Your crookneck squash is most definitely not "GMO" in the sense that you and I and the rest of the world, including the US government and other world wide agencies think of GMO. It may be a hybrid, but, ignoring Kimm's silly reasoning, it is definitely not GMO seed. If you bought it in a seed packet, it is definitely not GMO seed. Monsanto (and other bio-tech seed comapanies following their lead would have no way to control and intimidate you if you bought it like that. They need to know who, where and when their Frankenstein seeds are sold so their team of lawyers can root out possible victims for their after-market law suits.

Kimm, why not try to help the original poster, not cloud the issue with silly irrelevancies unless you really are intentionally blathering.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 11:46PM
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sudzy(5b IL)

Educate me. Speaking of plant life ONLY (no human/animals) why is GMO a bad thing?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 11:54PM
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In the sense that some people here think of GMO plants that are genetcially modified by inserting into a plants DNA a gene that would never get there naturally, Genetic Engineering in that way is bad because no one has tested the affects of what that will do to humans. In some instances people have experimented with what is called "pharm foods" plants that have been genetically engineered to provide a drug (think of Starlink corn a few years ago) that if it got into the normal food chain could kill people. In other instances it is not good to have the source of seed of some plants in the hands of only one company, as is on the horizon today, because that one company has, artificially altered a gene in the plant.
While all plants have been, sometime, genetically engineered and are then GMO's, you need to know what is good and/or bad about modifying the genetic makeup of anything. Am I muddying the waters of this discusssion? No. I am trying to make things clear.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 7:27AM
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sudzy(5b IL)

kimmsr, I don't think your mudding the waters at all. Your posts always start me thinking in areas that I never gave a thought to in the past. I believe that I need to do some reading on this subject.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 11:50AM
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If I was the OP and had only certain portions of this thread to go on, I'd be very confused indeed.......

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 6:48AM
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Calling hybrid squashes genetically modified is like calling all gardening organic gardening, because all gardening involves carbon. It's technically accurate, but it's not very helpful if you believe that the point of language is communication.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 12:36PM
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all that's been said, aye?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 10:54AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

SOME crookneck squash are GMOs. There have been some introductions of genetically modified virus resistant squash in recent years. How widespread the introduction, I don't know. For all I know, much of the commercially grown crookneck are from GM crops. I don't think so, though.

The resistance isn't hybrid selection, but honest-to-goodness trangenic splicing.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 12:32PM
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bcday(z5 NY)

genetically modified vs. genetically engineered vs. transgenic:

Here is a link that might be useful: Types of GM Foods

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 6:33PM
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I'm a plant breeding graduate student and I'd just like to add my two cents. A lot of people here have accurately stated that a GMO is not produced by natural pollination (such as an F1 hybrid) but rather through gene insertion involving Agrobacterium or biolistics.
That being said, some squash cultivars are GMO. These were developed in the 1990s by Asgrow (which has been bought and sold over the years becoming Seminis which is now owned by Monsanto). They have released GMO versions of yellow summer squash (both crookneck and straightneck) as well as zucchini. The GMO cultivars contain virus coat protein genes, which make the plants immune to virus infection. The original lines developed by Asgrow are 'ZW-20' (resistant to ZYMV and WMV) and 'CZW-3' (resistant to ZYMV, WMV, and CMV). The following cultivars have been bred from those original GMO lines and also contain the transgenes:

Patriot II
Declaration II
Freedom 2
Independence II
Prelude II
Destiny III
Freedom 3
Liberator III

Hope that clears some things up. If you are growing other cultivars of squash they should not be transgenic, regardless of what type. The GMO cultivars are not available from seed catalogs designed to sell seed to the home gardner. You have to buy it from seed suppliers in bulk and thus yes, several people are correct in noting that they are generally just grown on commercial fields, especially in the Southeast US where viral pressure is high.

- Jason

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 5:07PM
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To answer the question of how much GMO squash is grown I've done some research.

According to the two references at the end of this posting there are about 7000 acres of GMO summer squash planted each year, accounting for around 12% of US commercial acreage.

Regarding a few comments I've read that GMO plant varieties are untested for human health I'd just like to say that any genetically modified plant variety has to undergo pretty intensive scrutiny by the USDA, FDA, and EPA before it is "deregulated" (approved for commercial release). This generally costs tens to 100s of millions of dollars (paid for by the company producing the product), depending on what gene is being expressed, what selectable marker (if any) is used, and what regulatory elements are included. I think an intelligent argument and discussion can be made for whether we need additional testing, but to say that these products are untested really is not accurate.

Great discussion guys, I'd enjoy answering any other questions people have and hearing your input. Please please everybody make sure your beliefs are based on sound arguments. As I think Kimmsr shows a little bit of information can be very dangerous.

- Jason (email:

Fuchs, Marc, and Dennis Gonsalves. 2007. Safety of Virus-Resistant Transgenic Plants Two Decades After Their Introduction: Lessons from Realistic Field Risk Assessment Studies. Annual Review of Phytopathology 45 (1):173-202.

Shankula, S. 2006. Quantification of the impacts on US agrigulture of biotechnology-derived crops planted in 2005. Available online at:

    Bookmark   February 17, 2009 at 7:25PM
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Bravo Jason and thank you! My less educated intuition told me that based on the way the seed companies handled their true GMO products (very restrictive access) that there was no way in hell you'd see them showing up in the hands of home gardeners. Do you recall what happened with the canolla growers in Canada a few years back?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 3:32PM
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Yes I believe you are referring to the case of Percy Schmeiser, a Canola farmer in Canada who was sued by Monsanto because he was found to have Monsanto's roundup ready gene in his own canola field and they wanted him to pay them $400,000. He claimed that he simply saved seed of his own variety and that Monsanto was negligent for allowing his field to become contaminated. He even counter-sued for 10 million dollars.
It got tied up in the court system for years - in the end he was essentially found guilty but not forced to pay any damages.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 1:51PM
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paulns(NS zone 6a)

"in the end he was...not forced to pay any damages."

That sounds good but keep in mind the vast amounts of time and money spent all those years by Schmeiser and his supporters, defending him from the attack by Monsanto.

And balance that, I guess, against the benefit to humankind of bringing the issue into public forums, his Right Livelihood prize,etc.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 4:27PM
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I realize I am coming in to this discussion a little late in the game, but I wanted to comment of Jason's comment. I agree with most of what you said, except for the testing part. There has been some testing done, but the long term affects may not be known for decades. As far as human health concerns go, I don't know of any tests related to that have been done except one about Brazil nut allergens in soybeans and people with severe allergies to nuts may be affected. Most studies that have been done have been done in relation to how the plant grows or how much crop is harvested. One of the major concerns however, is what kind of impact this will have on the environment. Is this going to cause us to lose any beneficial insects? Will "superweeds" be created? Also, are we going to cause bacteria and viruses to become stronger and resistant to treatment? These are concerns that will take a very long time to find out if they are valid or not. I just wrote an essay on this topic for Biology, and what I found out, is that 1) there are no mandatory labeling requirements on these foods to allow us consumers to choose if we want to eat the GM food or not. 2)The way the system has been set up by the government to monitor these crops is not very well organized. Three groups have been combined to do this and they aren't doing a very good job at it. The EPA is set up to regulate pesticides and if they are safe to use, however, because they see the crops such as the Bt laced corn is not related to pesticide sprays, so they do not have any real regulations set up for this. The FDA puts these foods in the same category as whole foods and it is not subject to FDA regulations. The only real guideline set in place, is that a company wanting to manufacture GM crops should have a voluntary meeting with the FDA. The company does not have to follow the FDA's recommendations and the FDA does not have the authority to intervene. 4)The FDA has a lousy stance as far as health concerns go, their stance is "the agency currently does not have the time, money, or resources to carry out exhaustive health and safety studies of every proposed GM food product. Moreover, the FDA policy as it exists today does not allow for this type of intervention.("; I just wanted to put my two cents in.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 9:57PM
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In terms of the GMO corn varieties that have been spliced with bt ( an organic pesticide, usually applied as a spray for corn ear worm) I think the environmental problem will be that the corn ear worm will develop immunity to the bt. Any time that a field is treated with a pesticide, no matter the delivery method, the greater the percent kill the faster the pest develops immunity to the pesticide, thus rendering a wonderful organic control for CEW ineffective.
Simply put, when you kill 98% of the pest population with a pesticide, you have "selected" the surviving individuals with a natural immunity to the pesticide to reproduce.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 8:38PM
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Immunity to pesticides? -- don't worry, they'll come up with new, stronger pesticides so they can keep using the GMO crops. (Isn't that what that R2D2 stuff is?)

Anyone else find the names of the GMO squash varieties rather chilling?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 10:32PM
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Long ago, the USDA and everyone else involved in food safety accepted the concept that inserting a gene into a plant tht would otherwise never get inot that plant, genetic engineering, is the same thing as hybridizing, cross pollinating or genetic modification, a plant. Therefore since they are the same no testing for what adverse affects these plant might have is needed. There has been no testing done by the purveyors of Geneticially Engineered foods for human safety.
I find Genetically Engineering of any food chilling, because we do not know what these foods are doing to us.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 6:39AM
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This thread has been a great read, thanks to all. I put GMO foods in the same catagory as Pink Slime in my beef. If these things are so gosh darn safe, why are they kept secret and not disclosed?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 12:13AM
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