I read with tremendous interest the recent article featured by World Tea News about the young neuroscience major who is trying to create a non-caffeinated tea via genetic engineering.
When you purchase decaffeinated tea, you must compromise a bit on taste and quality and this research could certainly be a game-changer. Truth is, for most people, the amount of caffeine in green tea, for example, is so small and – being genetically paired with L-theonine – doesn’t really create any problems for the consumer. There are some people, however, who refuse to ingest anything with caffeine, or want to significantly reduce their intake. This research, if positive, would serve these people well.
The promise is that the antioxidant load would be virtually unchanged. Although my first instinct was to applaud this research, I’m reminded about GMO’s and how my initial interest in the genetic engineering process was favorable. Today, I’ve come to understand that GMO’s are dangerous. The United States is the only first world country which allows these products to be grown on our soil – let alone appear on our shelves -without informational labeling. This Frankenstein-like engineering creates a potential for physiological harm to consumers.
The lesson I’ve learned from GMO’s is that it’s best not to mess with Mother Nature.
Green tea has been used for medicinal purposes for over 5000 years. The small amount of caffeine hasn’t yet created a problem for the countless people who have enjoyed the plethora of benefits from this humble plant. Perhaps we should leave well enough alone.
I’d love to hear what you think.