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Genetically Modified Foods - Corn

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Ian Whittingham

on 21 April 2010

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Transcript of Genetically Modified Foods - Corn

Double click anywhere & add an idea Food Biotechnology Corn High Fructose Corn Syrup Ethanol Fuel Transgenic Maize rapidly introduced to many processed foods and soft drinks between 1975 and 1985 as a replacement for sugar
cheaper due to high taxes on sugar and government subsidies on corn Production Process Corn starch treated with alpha amylase
Oligosaccharides treated with glucoamylase
Xylose Isomerase converts glucose to fructose Corn that has been genetically modified to have agronomically desirable traits
80% of corn planted in the U.S. is transgenic maize
Resistant to herbicides and resistant to insect pests through the "Bt toxin" Bt Toxin Corn is genetically altered to express the Bt Toxin which is poisonous to insect pests acting as a built in pesticide

A gene is taken from the bacterial microorganism Bacillus Thuringeinsis and inserted into the corn genome Pros Cons Development of pest-tolerant plants can increase productivity while reducing pesticide use.
possible to develop pest-tolerant plants that safely target specific pests and are safe for human consumption
pest-tolerant transgenic plants have been shown to reduce the incidence of pesticide resistance
Potential to improve food safety by removing allergens from plant products Not enough is known about whether genetically engineered plants are safe for human consumption.
foods are not labeled to show whether they contain genetically engineered plants
There's a risk that genetically engineered genes could be introduced into wild plants Enzymes break down corn starch into simple sugars which then go on to be used in yeast fermentation to produce ethanol. Production Process Fermentation sugars gained from the broken down corn starch are combined with yeast and allowed to ferment producing ethanol Distillation and Dehydration process by which water is removed allowing the ethanol to be used as a fuel Pros Cons contains less energy than gasoline

more expensive than gasoline

low availability for producers and consumers using ethanol made from corn instead of gasoline would lead to a moderate 13 percent reduction in greenhouse emissions

renewable resource

valuable byproducts e.g. corn oil http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Fructose_Corn_Syrup Since the introduction of HFCS in 1975 obesity rates have nearly quadrupled.

Princeton University recently did a study proving that HFCS causes significantly more weight gain than standard sugar. http://sagamorejournal.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/obesity-watch-high-fructose-corn-syrup-makes-you-fatter/ Uses of Corn Corn Controversy On average $5 billion is spent every year subsidizing corn making it the chief crop export in the U.S. and making it available to agribusinesses below cost of production. Corn as feed In cattle acidifies the digestive system allowing E. Coli 0157:H7 to survive

Antibiotics are needed in order to kill the bacteria

Causes cattle to grow fat quickly http://www.gbmnews.com/articles/3048/1/When-corn-is-king---The-Corn-Controversy/Page1.html Conclusion At the heart of all the issues involving corn is the government subsidies it receives. Its the reason corn is cheaper to use as feed than grass. Its also the reason agribusinesses can buy corn below cost of production giving them complete control over the industry. It is a backwards system and steps need to be taken correct it.
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