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GMO's

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Oonagh Tunney

on 3 April 2013

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Transcript of GMO's

What are GMO's? - An organism that has been genetically altered by something other than natural causes.

- The initial objective for developing plants based on GM organisms was to improve crop protection. History Myth VS Fact GM Foods can be toxic or allergenic. Three Possible Sources of Harmful Health
- Effects from GM foods:
- The GM Gene Product
- GM Transformation Process
- Change in Farming Practices
Animal Tests Have Shown Negative Effects
Round Up FACT Genetically engineered crops will allow us to reduce, if not eliminate, environmentally toxic pesticides and fertilizers. Biotechnology is therefore good for the environment. MYTH - Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Affects on Human cells

- Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin was quoted New York Times Magazine, "There's no way of knowing what the downstream effects will be or how [genetic engineering] might affect the environment. We have such a miserably poor understanding of how the organism develops from its DNA that I would be surprised if we don't get one rude shock after another" GM Plants are needed to feed the world’s growing population. MYTH No Significant Contribution, No Lack of Food &
Conventional Plant Breeding GM foods are designed with built-in crop protection characteristics. FACT Ability to Add Nutrients/Vitamins, Resist Plant Diseases,
Can Incorporate Insect Resistance & Anti-Virus Genes - The Grocery Manufacturers Association estimates that between 75% and 80% of all processed foods available on grocery store shelves contain GMOs.

Genetically Engineered Crops in the US

Crop                             Percent
Soy...................................................89%
Cotton...............................................83%
Canola..............................................75%
Corn..................................................60%
Hawaiian Papaya.................more than 50% - 1953 discovery of DNA's actual structure

- 1973 is when GMO technology took a huge leap.

- 1982 the Food and Drug Administration in the United States approved the use of a medicine that was a product of genetic modification.

- 1990s the United States Department of Agriculture Which foods have GMO's ? TOP 10
GENETICALLY ENGINEERED CROPS: 1. Corn 2. Soy 3. Potato 4 .Tomato 5. Canola 6. Cottonseed oil 7. Squash 8. Papaya 9. Ridicchio 10. Dairy Products - The term Golden Rice refers to a genetically engineered, yellow-orange rice grain that contains beta-carotene.
- The human body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A. What is Golden Rice? How can golden rice help improve human nutrition? Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children and increases the risk of disease and death from severe infections Ensuring an adequate food supply for this booming population is going to be a major challenge in the years to come. GM foods promise to meet this need in a number of ways: Pros/ Advantages of GMO's Pest Resistance Herbicide Tolerance For some crops, it is not cost-effective to remove weeds by physical means, so farmers will often spray large quantities of different herbicides (weed-killer) to destroy weeds, a time-consuming and expensive process and harms the enviornment

Crop plants genetically-engineered to be resistant to one very powerful herbicide could help prevent environmental damage by reducing the amount of herbicides needed There are many viruses, fungi and bacteria that cause plant diseases.

Plant biologists are working to create plants with genetically-engineered resistance to these diseases Disease Resistance Cold Tolerance Unexpected frost can destroy sensitive seedlings.

An antifreeze gene from cold water fish has been introduced into plants such as tobacco and potato. With this antifreeze gene, these plants are able to tolerate cold temperatures that normally would kill unmodified seedlings Drought Tolerance As the world population grows and more land is utilized for housing instead of food production, farmers will need to grow crops in locations previously unsuited for plant cultivation.

Creating plants that can withstand long periods of drought or high salt content in soil and groundwater will help people to grow crops in formerly inhospitable places Nutrition Malnutrition is common in third world countries where impoverished peoples rely on a single crop such as rice for the main staple of their diet.

If rice could be genetically engineered to contain additional vitamins and minerals, nutrient deficiencies could be alleviated. This is known as Golden Rice.
For example, blindness due to vitamin A deficiency is a common problem in third world countries. Pharmaceuticals Medicines and vaccines often are costly to produce and sometimes require special storage conditions not readily available in third world countries.

Researchers are working to develop edible vaccines in tomatoes and potatoes. These vaccines will be much easier to ship, store and administer than traditional injectable vaccines. Cons of GMO's Environmental activists, religious organizations, public interest groups, professional associations and other scientists and government officials have all raised concerns about GM foods…. Environmental Hazards - Allergies
There is a possibility that introducing a gene into a plant may create a new allergen or cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals.

- Unknown affects on human health
There is a growing concern that introducing foreign genes into food plants may have an unexpected and negative impact on human health Human Health Risks - Unintended harm to other organisms in nature

- Reduced effectiveness in pesticides

- Gene transfer to non-target species

- Another concern is that crop plants engineered for herbicide tolerance and weeds will cross-breed Economic Concerns - Bringing a GM food to market is a lengthy and costly process

- Consumer advocates are worried that patenting these new plant varieties will raise the price of seeds so high that small farmers and third world countries will not be able to afford seeds for GM crops, thus widening the gap between the wealthy and the poor. Genetically-modified foods have the potential to solve many of the world's hunger and malnutrition problems, and to help protect and preserve the environment.

There are many challenges ahead for governments, especially in the areas of safety testing, regulation, international policy and food labeling.
We must proceed with caution to avoid causing unintended harm to human health and the environment as a result of our enthusiasm for this powerful technology. Eat THIS, Not THAT Avoid: AGAVE
- highly processed sweetener.
- The chemical process for manufacturing agave nectar is nearly the same as the corn refiners using in making high-fructose corn syrup

- nearly pure fructose (70 percent or higher).

Healthy Alternative: Stevia or Organic Honey
- Stevia is a plant based sugar Avoid: NON-ORGANIC CORN
- Uses GMO seeds, herbicides, is nutritionally bankrupt, and full of pesticides
- Corn is the major ingredient in the processed Western diet
- today’s mass-produced corn barely resembles the plant from which it came

Healthy Alternative: Non-corn products, or Organic corn products
- Example: Don’t eat GMO induced KIX cereal, instead try Envirokids Organic Gorilla Munch Cereal Avoid: COMMERCIALLY PREPARED SALAD DRESSINGS
- contain dairy, chemicals, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, sugar
- GMO ingredients such as soybean oil


Healthy Alternative: Make your own salad dressing from balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and herbs/spices. Avoid: SOY PRODUCTS / TOFU
- 87 percent of soy in the United States is genetically modified
- Soy is linked to a number of health problems including certain cancers, thyroid disorders, and impaired fertility

Healthy Alternative: Fermented soy products
- like tamari, miso and tempeh
- The allergenic proteins are deactivated in the fermentation process AVOIDING GMO FOODS:

- Avoid processed foods that come in cans, bags, boxes and packages because they contain many of the staple crops that are often genetically modified.
- Purchase your produce from local farmers that use organic farming practices and heirloom seeds
Choose organic grains, such as quinoa and millet.
- Eat mostly plant foods
-Consider growing your own produce. Union Square Greenmarket:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 8am to 6pm (grownyc.org/unionsquaregreenmarket)

Eagle Street Rooftop Farm:
Sundays, 9am to 4pm
44 Eagle St. (rooftopfarms.org)

Park Slope Farmers’ Market:
5th Ave. and 4th St. (communitymarkets.biz)

Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket:
Brooklyn
Saturdays, 8am to 4pm (grownyc.org/grandarmygreenmarket)

Fulton Stall Market:
opens May 29
Sundays, 10am to 4pm (fultonstallmarket.com) Local NYC Farmer’s Markets Crop losses from insect pests can be staggering, resulting in devastating financial loss for farmers and starvation in developing countries.

Growing GM foods such as corn can help eliminate the application of chemical pesticides and reduce the cost of bringing a crop to market
Avoid: CORN-FED BEEF
- Cattle are fed GMO corn creating an acidic environment in the cows’ stomachs, causing all kinds of health problems for cattle, including the growth of E. coli
- Corn also makes the meat much fattier, containing higher levels of dangerous saturated fats than grass-fed beef, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Healthy Alternative: Grass-fed Beef raised on pastures (try local Farmer’s Markets!) Chemicals – How to tell a GMO by the label 1. If there are only four numbers in the PLU, this means that the produce was grown conventionally or “traditionally” with the use of pesticides. The last four letters of the PLU code are simply what kind of vegetable or fruit. An example is that all bananas are labeled with the code of 4011. 2. If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “8″, this tells you that the item is a genetically modified fruit or vegetable. Genetically modified fruits and vegetables trump being organic. So, it is impossible to eat organic produce that are grown from genetically modified seeds. A genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be: 84011 3. If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “9″, this tells you that the produce was grown organically and is not genetically modified. An organic banana would be: 94011 Check out the True Food app to learn more about which foods are GE (genetically engineered same as genetically modified)
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