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International Food Production

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Becca Weiner

on 29 April 2014

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Transcript of International Food Production

Agriculture, cereals production

World’s grain production increases but population does too, so production per capita decreases

Innovation is needed to feed a growing world population

Current issue: the world needs to produce more food but the land converted to agriculture is increasing greenhouse gas emission

The effect of population growth on food production provokes Global Warming which then decreases the efficiency of food production.

Population , food production , land converted to agriculture , greenhouse gas emission ,

global warming , food production , prices of production .

International Food Production
GMO News
from March 2014

Genetically Engineered Food
Beneficial or Detrimental?
Works Cited
Ines Plet
Becca Weiner
Laura Vannucci
Guadalupe Melchor
Phufah Wongkongkathep

Genetically Modified Foods
Genetically engineered food that can be altered to:
GMO News
Global Diets are Changing
Solving the world hunger crisis?

Impact of climate change on food production

•Heat waves decrease the expected agricultural production

•First examples: Europe in 2003, United States’ Corn Crop in 2012

•In 2003, researchers affirm that the climate change is responsible of the heat

•Climate change is very likely to be responsible for 2012. Predicted production decreased by 27%

Consequences and possible solutions for agriculture

•Destabilizing the world’s food system. Quantities decrease, prices increase

•More hunger, or even mass starvation

•Problem already rose in 2007, but it was just a risk, now it’s an actual issue

•Much more serious effects as global warming continues

•Agriculture is becoming a gambling: quantity, price can’t be predicted

•Food supply: world’s priority list

•Agriculture has a capacity to adapt to new conditions

-Crops can be planted earlier

-New varieties: more resistant can be developed => GMOs?
“When scientists change the genetic makeup of a plant or animal in order to produce desirable traits in the organism, they are engaging in what is called genetic modification” (Jefferson, 2009, p.11).
What’s the debate?
Do the benefits of developing and supplying the world with GE foods outweigh the future consequences that these foods could have on humans, animals, and the environment?

It is necessary to do more than send emergency food aid to countries facing famine.

Better quality
Nutrition benefits
Disease/pest resistance
Herbicide tolerance
Drought tolerance/salinity tolerance
Environmental Damage
Growth in allergic reactions
Human health risks
Labeling issue
Reduced species diversity
Effects on non-GM crops
A “new era of hunger”
Since the turn of the millennium, food prices drastically increased- agriculture has not kept up with an increase in demand
Most consumers in rich countries are only marginally affected, however in poorer countries many spend most of their income on food
Many families have to cut spending on education and health

Issues that should be addressed
The globalized food system-
One that favors large corporations and exporting crops RATHER THAN local farmers
Excessive meat production- requires feed grains that could be used to feed the hungry
Big companies like McDonalds and Monsanto are at the top of the agricultural food chain, building a “global dependence” on unhealthy and genetically modified products.

Trials of drought-resistant durum wheat varieties at the International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement in Mexico.

How do people eat around the world?
Hungry Planet by Peter Menzel
Peter Menzel and Faith D’Alusio do a photographic study of families from around the world, revealing what they eat during the course of one week
Developing Countries
Developed vs. Developing Countries:
Developed Countries- typically have more processed foods
Developing Countries- typically have less processed foods

Diet based on availability of processed vs fresh produce

Greatest change in global diets since agriculture
Globalization, mass tourism, and big agribusiness have filled shelves with new foods- McDonald’s, KFC, etc
These are being exported all over the globe

Developed Countries
These crops can grow faster, produce a greater yield and are more resistant to severe weather.
World Hunger
The adaptability of GE crops can allow for us to farm in places that are currently considered unsuitable.
Genetically modifying crops allows breeding to occur faster and allows us to transfer genes between any organisms.
Toxins and poisons can be created and the environment can be harmed.
Toxins and poisons
L-tryptophan (a dietary supplement) was found to be harmful.
It killed 37 Americans and permanently disabled others; it also left individuals with a blood disorder, eosinophilia myalgia syndrome (EMS).
Dr.Arpad Pusztai found that GE potatoes could be poisonous.
His results were inconclusive due to his funding being cut and he was fired when he spoke to the media about his findings.

The Cauliflower Mosaic Virus (CaMv) was present in the GE potatoes.
What's worrisome is that CaMv is spliced into many GE crops.
When rats ingested these potatoes he found damage to the vital organs and immune systems - the damage was from a viral infection in the stomach lining.
Transgenic crops
Genetically engineering crops lets us bring in proteins from organisms that may not have even been used as food before.
In addition, some proteins used in GE foods can be food allergens.
Many food allergens are proteins.
For example: Brazil-nut proteins have been used in soybeans and this creates a problem for those who are allergic to Brazil-nuts.

If they eat the soybeans that have been genetically engineered to contain Brazil-nuts, they can have an allergic reaction to the soybeans.
This is a problem because not all GE foods are labeled, so those with allergies cannot be certain about what is in the food they are buying.

Antibiotic resistance genes

If antibiotic resistance genes are put in foods there can be harmful effects:

Eating these foods can reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics when the antibiotics are taken with meals.
The enzymes in the antibiotic-resistance genes are what weaken the antibiotics that a person can be taking.

Resistance genes that are transferred to humans
or animal pathogens can make them less receptive to the antibiotics.

"It was suggested that the bacteria became contaminated during the recombinant DNA process" (Cummins, 2011, p.14).
Removing genes can be problematic:
Coffee that is made to be decaffeinated can lead to toxin production.
The caffeine that is naturally present in coffee helps to protect against fungi that produces toxins - deleting this gene can lead to toxin production.
Creating "edible vaccines" can allow for more people to vaccines for cheaper.
This allows developing countries to have the ability to plant crops in lands that has salty soil, land that is eroded.
March 15, 2014 from Reuters
French government bans GM maize MON 810
The sale, use and cultivation of Monsanto’s genetically modified maize MON 810 was banned by France’s agricultural ministry.
The French banned the MON810 (the only insect-resistant authorized in EU) because of significant environmental risks.
The European commission is still approving the GM crop for cultivation.

March 26, 2014 from Forbes
Increased meat consumption in China changes landscapes across the globe
The ratio of China’s meat consumption is significantly increasing compared with US.
The problem of consumption is followed by the grain fed to the animals, such as pork.
The most important grain for pork is soybean.
Soybean yields are difficult to expand, which means, if we need more soybeans, more land must be converted to make room for the legume.
A report by Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology found:
This massive adoption [of genetically engineered soy] has led to excessive reliance on glyphosate for weed control in world soybean production
A major cause for the increasing use of herbicides in soybeans is the rapid evolvement of glyphosate-resistant weeds in GE glyphosate-tolerant crops.
In Brazil, there are signs of increased use of older and more toxic herbicides in the soybean crop.
Imports of the toxic herbicide, paraquat, have increased strongly in the past few years.
There are reports of increased use of paraquat and 2,4-D in soybean regions.
Meat consumption increasing in China is responsible for reshaping landscapes in the west hemisphere.
It is also responsible for the health and well being of communities.
March 26, 2014 from Cornucopia Institute
Gut-wrenching: New studies reveal the insidious effects of Glyphosate
Glyphosate may rather be the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in westernized societies.

Glyphosate interferes with fundamental biochemical reactions and may predispose humans to obesity, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other health problems.
It also inhibits the growth of beneficial bacteria.
March 26, 2014 from Associated Press
25 drug companies to phase out animal antibiotics from associated press
The Food and Drug administration said that 25 pharmaceutical companies are voluntarily cease the use of antibiotics for growth promotion in processed meat from animal.
They will be used only the drugs with a veterinarian’s prescription.
The FDA said they are working with the industry on this issue because it is an easier and faster route than the protracted regulatory process.
March 31, 2014
Sri Lanka, Brazil, Chile, South Africa are against Monsanto from sustain business
Glyphosate, the most dangerous product according to many scientific evidence, is what Monsanto try to defend as safe to use.
This substance has been found to cause kidney disease in Sri Lanka.
Dr. Channa Jayasumma explains that glyphosate carried heavy metals such as arsenic and cadmium in drinking water to the kidneys.
Brazil also tried to change against glyphosate and other GMO herbicides such as 2,4-D and active ingredients such as methyl parathion.
Meanwhile, in South Africa, the ad that touts GMO crops without substantiation was pulled because of the deception about Monsanto’s information.

In Chile, the farmers try to cheer derailment of “Monsanto’s law” after the new Chilean government withdrew the bill.
•improve the nutritional value
•increase resistance to disease/insects/weeds
•allow for longer shelf life.
From April 2014
April 6, 2014 from Reuters
Russia will not import GMO products
Russia insisted not to import GMO products because they had enough space to produce organic food in their own country.

By the end of February, the government imposed a temporary ban all genetically modified products in Russia.
A moratorium ban was placed on the breeding and growth of genetically modified plants, animals and microorganisms.
The government passed this resolution about genetically modified plants which will come into force in July.
April 10, 2014 from Reuters
Bill seeks to block mandatory GMO food labeling by states
The bill, named the “safe and accurate food labeling act” was drafted by Mike Pompeo, a US republican congressman.
He introduced that nullify efforts in multiple states require labeling of genetically modified food.
The problem is that controlling a food system scares consumers instead of informing them, even though this bill is just a standard.
Markets said that labeling would mislead consumers into thinking that GMOs are safe and healthy.
No matter what manufacturers say, the vast majority of Americans insist their right to know whether there are genetically engineered ingredients in their food or not.
April 15, 2014 from Reuters
French parliament bans cultivation of GM maize
The French lower house of parliament adopted a law prohibiting the cultivation of any variety of genetically modified maize because of its risk to the environment
This law adopted by the French National Assembly was applied to any strain of GMO in the EU.
This made French farmers and seed firms challenge the decree at the top of administrative court saying there was insufficient justification.
April 16, 2014 from Reuters
Vermont Senate passes mandatory GMO food-labeling law
The Vermont Senate is the first state in the United States to enact mandatory labeling of foods made with GMO.
Consumer groups wanted labels to conduct/certify the safety of GMOs for the environment and human health.
The Vermont bill makes it illegal to describe any food product containing GMOs as “natural” or “all natural."
Maine and Connecticut were waiting for other states to pass GMO labeling laws before they could be enacted in their state.
The Global Cereal Harvest has grown steadily since the 1960w, but has not kept pace with population rise, and per capita production has fallen from its peak in the mid-1980s. A recent increase in per capita production was likely due to farmers’ planting more acreage in response to price increases.
Processed Food on the Rise
Many corporations are selling their products to remote areas in developing countries to expand their market.
“As western markets reach a saturation point, global food and drink firms have been opening up new frontiers among people living on $2 a day in low and middle income countries. The world’s poor have become their vehicle for growth.”
Felicity Lawrence, The Guardian
The Fear is:
that the arrival of processed food and drink will cause an increase in “lifestyle diseases” such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Nearly ⅔ of all deaths reported in 2008 were attributable to lifestyle diseases, according to the UN.

is using a floating supermarket to sell its products in the Amazon
now has door-to-door vendors selling to low-income villages in India and Africa
Brewery SABMiller
has developed cheap beers in African countries and, as a leading Coca-cola bottle distributor, is aiming to double sales in South America

Dr. Motsoaledi,
former anti-apartheid activist

“It is like climate change. Are we going to do something about it when we are looking down the barrel of a gun and it is at its worst, when budgets become unmanageable because of the sheer weight of the disease? If those of us in power don’t do something now, that is what is going to happen.”

The GM variety, Pioneer 1507, was developed jointly by DuPont and Dow chemical and was a decree to halt the planting of Monsanto’s insect-resistant MON 810 maize.
Gillis, J. (2013, November 1). Climate Change Seen Posing Risk to Food Supplies. The New York Times: Environment. Retrieved April 15, 2014, from

Gillis, J. (2013, November 11). A Jolt to Complacency on Food Supply. The New York Times: Environment. Retrieved April 15, 2014, from

Global Policy Forum. (n.d.). Trade and Food Production System. Retrieved April 15, 2014, from

Harris, N. (2004). Genetically engineered foods. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press.

Henningfeld, D. A. (2009). Genetically modified food. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.

Holden, J. H., Peacock, W. J., & Williams, J. T. (1993). Genes, crops, and the environment. Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press.

Lawrence, F. (n.d.). Alarm as Corporate Giants Target Developing Countries - Our World. Alarm as Corporate Giants Target Developing Countries - Our World.
Retrieved April 15, 2014, from

Lawrence, F. (2011, November 24). Alarm as corporate giants target developing countries. The Guardian. Retrieved April 15, 2014, from

Miller, D. A. (2012). Genetically engineered food. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.

Nottingham, S. (1998). Eat your genes: how genetically modified food is entering our diet. New York: Zed Books Ltd..

Pros and Cons of Genetically Modified Foods - HealthRF. (n.d.). HealthRF. Retrieved April 15, 2014, from

Recent GMO News Archives - GMO Inside. (n.d.). GMO Inside. Retrieved April 15, 2014, from

Spiegel, A. (2014, March 28). 'What I Eat: Around The World In 80 Diets' Shows Stunning Portraits f Daily Meals. The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 15, 2014, from

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