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GMO v. Organic Foods

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Cody Howard

on 23 September 2013

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Transcript of GMO v. Organic Foods

8. Corn

- Bt-corn (named after the Bacillus thruringiensis bacterium) is a form of sweet corn that has been genetically modified to include an insect-killing gene. This means the farmer doesn't have to spray with pesticides, because the insects die from eating the corn. No spraying means less harm to the environment and the workers handling the toxic spray.

7. Tomatoes
- Tomatoes were the first genetically modified food group to reach the mark but have since been modified for one reason only which is to make them last longer

6. Squash
- Experts also believe that the GM squash may have already found its way into the wild by accident. GM foods are meant to be grown under controlled environments, in well-tended fields.

Only way to feed a growing population
Majority of testing shows GMOs as safe
Reduces the use of pesticides
Research is biased, people are afraid to speak out
Long-term effects are hard to link specifically
About 80% of the packaged foods in the U.S. Contain GMOs.
In Europe, there are tight restrictions. Labeling is required.
Yet to be approved in much of Asia.
Banned in most of Africa.
Why are GMOs being used?
“The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the world will have to grow 70 percent more food by 2050 just to keep up with population growth.”

GMOs can provide:
Higher yields
Increased resistance (pests, disease, weather)
Overall cheaper crops
What are GMOs?
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been altered by technology enabling scientists to insert into a plant’s genome genes from another species of plant or even from a bacterium, virus or animal.

"Scrambling" DNA has been used for the past 60 years.
Viruses have always crossed paths between plant & animal species.
One of the reasons for the debate between GMO’s and Organic foods is the fear of the effects of genetically modified foods on people’s health and welfare.

Many customers fear that genetically modified food is covered in pesticides and chemicals, and so they decide to start eating only organically and naturally grown foods.

It is also believed that organic foods are healthier than genetically modified foods.
Restrictions around the world
Ten Interesting Genetically Modified Foods
Are GMOs harmful?

Benefits of consuming organic food
These foods embody thousands of antibiotics and antiviral elements present only in highly composed organic soil
When we consume these foods, the elements absorbed help us fight against disease.
These disease fighting elements and high levels of nutrients that organic foods receive from the soil are very powerful and it has been proven to return many diseased individuals back to health.
What triggered the controversy?
Roundup Ready alfalfa - Glyphosate-based herbicide
Monsanto patented in their Roundup brand glyphosate-based herbicide.

Glyphosate does huge damages to crops plantations by:
increase of SDS (sudden death syndrome)
deprives vital minerals necessary for healthy plant function
interferes with photosynthesis and changes the soil Ph
Causes the release of other toxins such as: AMPA (amino methyl phosphonic acid

13 years later GMO's came to scene and the greatest contributor to this problem was the use of Roundup
5. Golden Rice

- Golden rice was first created to fight vitamin A deficiency, which affects 250 million people around the world and can cause blindness and even death. Rice is one of the most common foods on Earth. In fact, almost half of the world's population survives on a single daily bowl of rice. Because getting vitamin supplements to every single person on the planet would be impossible, scientists believed that the answer was to create a grain of rice that already had vitamin A in it. And so golden rice was born. Scientist are now working on a new GM rice that has an iron gene. Iron-deficiency causes low-birth-weight babies and anemia, both of which can be fatal. It hasn't been possible to combine both vitamin A and iron in the same grain, but scientists are hopeful that this will be possible at some point in the future.
4. Soybeans
- 85% of soybeans in the U.S. are GM but majority of the soybeans created are not for human consumption but for livestock feed.

3. Oils
- Before GM oils such as canola oil were too bitter to use for cooking now they are used in most US kitchens. GM oils are used in a lot of fatty foods we consume such as potato chips and margarine.

2. Animal Feed
- A large part of the GM presence in animal feed does not come from foodstuff but instead from additives aimed at making food more nutritious. Animal feed is commonly enhanced with vitamins, amino acids, enzymes and even coloring. These additives are passed on to the animal's system and eventually make their way into your body when you consume meat, eggs or dairy products. Traces of GM cannot, however, be detected in animal by-products, so it's impossible to know if an animal was raised on GM-enhanced feed. Unless you buy organic meat and dairy products, it might be impossible to determine what you're eating.
1. Salmon
-Genetically engineered food from animals might not be on the market yet, but a few already have been approved. GM salmon is, as we speak, on its way to our dinner table. Wild salmon matures slowly, taking up to three years to reach its full size. GM salmon, on the other hand, not only will grow faster but also should reach about twice the size of its wild cousin. The creators of the GM salmon, a private company called AquaBounty, promises to harvest the salmon before it reaches its full size, thus preventing "giant" versions [source: Discover Magazine]. The GM salmon, known as AquAdvantage, is meant to be grown in fish farms. According to proponents of the modification, this would reduce fishing of wild salmon, in turn protecting both the wild population of fish and the environment from human intrusion.
Africa and Asia's resistant to GMO's
- European Influence- Bio-tech Monopolies
-Large amounts of Africa and Asia's population is malnourished
-Kenya( 1/4 of their population is malnourished) refuses to import GM foods
- How could Africa and Asia Benefit?
- What harm could be caused by allowing GMO's?
- Why do you think this is not made a bigger issue?

What does Organic mean?
Now that you understand what GMO and organic really means...
any questions?
GMO vs. Organic Foods
Over time, pesticide use has gotten out of control due to te fact that many types of weeds that would once keel over with just a tiny dose of Roundup now require heavier and heavier applications.

Some are nearly invincible. In reality, these super-weeds are resistant not to the glyphosate itself, but to the soilborne pathogens that normally do the killing in Roundup sprayed fields.

That's one of the reasons why consumers began to buy more organic products and started searching for a healthier foods.
Are Organic foods more nutritious?
Not necessarily.

A study performed by researchers at Stanford University found that organic foods are no more nutritional than conventional foods.

Dr. Crystal Smith-Spangler says, “Both organic and conventional foods seem to have a similar risk of contamination with bacteria, so consumers shouldn’t assume that one type of food has a lower risk or is safer in terms of food-borne illnesses
Certified organic means that foods have be grown free of synthetic additives like pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and dyes, and must not be processed using industrial solvents, irradiation, or genetic engineering. The USDA requires food to be made with 95% organic ingredients in order to be certified organic. The remaining 5% may only be foods or processed with additives on an approved list.
- Consumers of cowpea in Africa: 200 million
- Cowpea yield increase expected from pod-borer resistance: 70%
- Reduction in insecticide spray expected with resistance: 67%

-Poor people (living on less than US$1.25 per day) eating rice each day: 400 million

-Preschool children affected by vitamin A deficiency: 250 million
- Deaths in children under five years that could be prevented through vitamin A provision: >1 million

- Africans dependent on maize as their staple: 300 million
- Proportion of sub-Saharan maize that suffers yield loss due to drought: 10–25%
- Potential yield increase with drought tolerance: 20–30%

"Natural" and "Organic" are not the same
Many consumers believe that terms like 'natural' and 'organic' are interchangeable, when in reality, there are much stricter restrictions on foods labeled organic.

Companies label foods as natural in order to make customers believe that what they are eating is healthier or better than what it is. There are not regulations regarding what can be labeled as 'natural', so many foods labeled this way often contain foods processed with pesticides, chemicals or GMO's.
So is buying organic worth it?
Not necessarily.

Since there is no real difference in nutrition between organic and conventional foods, it is sometimes not worth to spend extra money on organic. This is especially true when shopping on a budget.

There are some types of produce that are beneficial to buy organic though, as they tend to have less pesticide residue on them that can be consumed.

The foods that really show a difference between organic and non-organic are meats, mostly chicken and pork.
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