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Copy of MBB194

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Carlo David Cristobal

on 4 March 2013

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Transcript of Copy of MBB194

GMOs and the
Precautionary Principle Cristobal.Geganzo. WHO: Genetically Modified Organisms International Scene Limiting GMOs Genetically Modified Organisms Known Policies Africa Asia Europe Europe Europe Precautionary Principle - "if there are reasonable scientific grounds for believing that a new process or product may not be safe, it should not be introduced until we have convincing evidence that the risks are small and are outweighed by the benefits" (Peter Saunders) Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety - added into the Convention of Biological Diversity at the Earth Summit1992
- international trade treaty that sets grounds for GMO risk assessment and governmental decision-making procedures
- strongly opposed by industrialized countries and biotech industries Algeria
- cultivation and distribution is illegal Egypt
- approval from authorities is needed prior to distribution Sri Lanka, Thailand
- banned importation since 2001

Philippines, Japan
- limiting laws exist to assess safety of consumers Austria
- strong opposition from the public
- no commercial cultivation to date

-open to cultivation and production
-high-latitude temperature unsuitable for most crops Germany
- opposition from the general public
- support from some politicians
-GM maize = 0.1%

- public acceptance vs active opponents of technology Spain
- widespread cultivation and production

United Kingdom
- cautious approaches
- restricted commercial production Asia China
- regulation by agencies, cultivation of authorized crops
- leading biotech developing country

- currently one of biggest producer of GM cotton
- intensive opposition on Bt brinjal resulting to ban United States - inspection and assessment by:
Food and Drug Authority
US Dept. of Agriculture
Environmental Protection

- voluntary labeling of foods and feeds Biosafety scanner Monsanto a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation has been involved in numerous high-profile lawsuits and controversies about its genetically engineered products Patent Fight (2004) - Monsanto exports Roundup Ready canola seeds to Canada. Canada exports canola oil.
- Thirty thousand canola farmers in Canada have to pay royalty to Monsanto.
- Roughly half the ten million acres of canola field have been converted since 1996 to Roundup Ready canola.
- As early as in 1980, the US Supreme Court cleared the way for the patenting of newly developed types of organisms and this helped make it more attractive to private corporations to invest in genetic engineering. US - EU food fight for Africa (2003) - Monsanto advocates that GM crops altered to resist disease and insects have a feasible potential to help feed hungry people in poor countries.
- Monsanto is trying to export Bt-corn seeds to South Africa. South Africa exports corns to EU.
- South Africa government wants Bt-corn not only for export but also for feeding the famine-ridden nation.
- The EU is adopting a backward-looking posture for GM crops because of negative associations with mad cow disease. US - EU food fight for Africa (2003) - South Africa fears sanctions from the EU, which is African biggest trade and treaty partner. "African and European countries have a strong historical linkage of economy as a legacy of colonization. European countries determine not only the price of commodities but also what to grow."

- The Bush administration claims that the EU's negative atitude for biotech foods is perpetuating famine and poverty in Africa.

-The Bush administration has filed a suit against the European Union with the World Trade Organization, saying the ban is illegal.The administration also filed a suit against the EU with WTO, saying that the US is missing out every year on about $300 million in corn exports to Europe. US - EU food fight for Africa (2003) - Green groups disagree, citing corporate greed as the reason behind the industry's push to raise GM crop and point to the reluctance of several African nations to accept GM food aid. US - EU food fight for Africa (2003) - Biotech companies say what drives some of skeptical countries is the European policy toward biotechnology, and it is restricting the freedom of choice of farmers in developing countries as a domino effect. “Organisms in which genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally” •Technology used is often called “modern biotechnology,” “recombinant gene techonology” or “genetic engineering”

•Allows selected genes to be transferred from one organism to another, even between non-related species Genetic engineering vs. Traditional breeding Traditional Breeding Possible to yield a new variety by breeding with one organism with another organism from the same species. Not possible to mate one species with another species. Even species that seem to be closely related yield sterile offspring. Genetic Engineering Possible to breach species barriers,e.g. spliced fish genes into tomatoes

Can result in organisms with traits that are virtually impossible to obtain with natural processes like crossbreeding or grafting How is Genetic Engineering done? Naked DNA transfer Calcium phosphate method + DMSO
Lipofection Viral/Bacterial Vectors Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer, Binary vector system Biolistics Microinjection Electro- and chemical poration Early Advances in
GMO production Philip White and Armin Braun found that plant cells were permanently altered after interaction with Agrobacterium 1941 Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen develop recombinant DNA technology to show that genetically engineered DNA can be cloned into foreign cells. 1969 Kerr demonstrated that transfer of genetic material from Agrobacterium to plant cells was responsible for plant cell alteration 1970 Together, they discovered that EcoRI RE cleaves the plasmid at a single site, and they inserted kanamycin resistance gene, yielding E. coli resistant to both tetracycline and kanamycin Their most significant research involved introducing genes from Xenopus laevis (toad) into bacteria, and demonstrating that these genes were still active in E. coli, and the genes could be produced rapidly and in quantity. Boyer & Cohen 1973 Rudolf Jaenisch created the first transgenic animal – a mouse infected with simian virus 40 (SV40), a DNA tumor virus After isolating SV40, he began infecting embryos with SV40 DNA, implanting them into surrogate mothers, and allowing them to develop. Because Southern blotting had not yet been developed, he was unable to view the genomic DNA to determine whether the SV40 genome had been incorporated into the mouse genome Paul Berg, who pioneered the “nick translation” for use in DNA hybridization experiments, advised him to use radioactive DNA as a probe for SV40. He then discovered that the virus had indeed become incorporated into the genome of the mice. Jaenisch 1983-1984 Studies from Barton et al., Zambryski et al., and De Block et al. demonstrate successful production of whole transformed tobacco plants from transformed cells 1977 Chilton, Gordon, and Nester discovered part of the mechanism for Agrobacterium tumefaciens, that only part of the plasmid DNA (Ti plasmid) was transferred to plant cells 1984 Sanford et al. developed the particle bombardment method by the gene gun at Cornell University The Commercialization
of GMO's: Landmarks and issues 1976 Genentech, the first genetic engineering company, was founded by Herbert Boyer and Robert Swanson 1979 Expression in Escherichia coli of chemically synthesized genes for human insulin -Goeddel et al., from Genentech Inc. 1980 The first GMO patent issued after Diamond v. Chakrabarty – Sidney A. Diamond, Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, v. Ananda M. Chakrabarty, et al.
Chakrabarty, working for GE, had developed a Pseudomonas strain to be capable of breaking down crude oil.

Application for the patent was rejected by a patent examiner, because under current patent law at the time, it was generally understood that living things were not patentable. After an appeal, the Supreme Court case was argued on March 17, 1980 and decided on June 16, 1980.

In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme court ruled in favor of Chakrabarty: “Held: A live, human-made micro-organism is patentable subject matter under § 101. Respondent's micro-organism constitutes a "manufacture" or "composition of matter" within that statute. Pp. 447 U. S. 308-318.” In 2010, the 30th anniversary of the case,
Biotechnology Industry Organization President and CEO Jim Greenwood: "The Supreme Court’s decision in Diamond v. Chakrabarty thirty years ago today was instrumental in spurring the creation of a dynamic and flourishing biotech industry.

... the Court provided assurance to biotech companies and their investors that emerging technologies are protected by the patent system" 1982 Genentech's biosynthetic insulin product, Humulin was approved for release by the FDA 1987 Ice-minus strain of P. syringae (Advanced Genetic Sciences) became the first GMO to be released into environment – they compete with and reduce populations of ice-nucleating bacteria on plant surfaces, to reduce frost and frost damage Legal challenges during the testing approval process led to Coordinated Framework for Regulation of Biotechnology, which still governs US regulation 1994 Flavr Savr tomato hits grocery stores – the first modern recombinant crop approved for sale in the US 1997 EU rules in favor of mandatory labeling on all GMO food, including animal feed 2003 GMO-resistant pests – Helicoverpa zea is Bt-toxin-resistant. The insects have adapted to the genetically engineered toxin produced by the modified plants First genetically modified fish Glofish is introduced into the US Market by Yorktown Technologies 2011 Bt Toxin is found in the blood of pregnant women in Eastern Quebec and shows evidence that the toxin is passed on to fetuses - Aris & Leblanc, 2011 The study determines exposure levels of two herbicides:
glufosinate ammonium

and the insecticidal protein:

The herbicides are sprayed on both genetically modified (GM) and non-GM crops

Cry1Ab is produced by the naturally occurring soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, and is also produced by Bt corn.

A glufosinate ammonium metabolite and Cry1Ab toxin was detected in the serum of pregnant women, their fetuses, and non-pregnant women.
There have been claims in the media that this is proof that GMOs are not safe for human consumption. However, from Food Standards Australia New Zealand: "methodical and interpretive limitations" "The assay method (ELISA) used for Cry1Ab protein was not tested (validated) for its suitability to measure Cry1Ab in human blood. Other reports in the scientific literature have shown that the ELISA assay is not suitable for this purpose. In mammals, the Cry1Ab protein is degraded in the stomach. If any fragments of the Cry1Ab protein were to pass through into the blood stream, they would be present at levels much lower than could be quantified by the assay method used in the study." Limitation: "The assumption that GM foods are the source of the Cry1Ab protein" "The authors do not provide any evidence that GM foods are the source of the protein. No information was gathered on the diet of any individual in the study so the assertion that the detection of Cry1Ab is linked to ingested GM food is, at best, speculative. The paper does not discuss the safety implications of finding Cry1Ab in the human body and the authors make no mention of any abnormalities in either the subjects or, in the case of those who were pregnant at the time of the study, the subsequent process of birth or the health of the mothers and babies postpartum."

"The Cry1Ab protein, whether ingested via Btk-sprayed conventional or organic crops or GM corn products containing the protein, is safe for human consumption at the levels likely to be found in these sources." GMO's: Present and Future The Current Use of GMO's Optimize agricultural performance or produce valuable pharmaceutical substances Plants Benefits:
Increased crop yields
Reduced costs for food or drug production
Reduced need for pesticides
Enhanced nutrient composition and food quality
Resistance to pests and disease
Tolerance to harsh conditions, like the presence of heavy metals Animals Animals have also been genetically engineered to increase yield and decrease susceptibility to disease, like larger salmon and cattle resistant to mad cow disease.
Siblings at 14 months of age showing size difference and silver appearance of transgenic individuals indicative of transformation to seawater adaptability. Length of top large fish (fork length), 41.8cm. Non-transgenic (bottom) and transgenic (top) coho salmon. Examples of GMOs Resulting from Agricultural Biotechnology Potential GMO Applications Microorganisms as future clean fuel producers and biodegraders
GM plants may be used to produce recombinant vaccines to greatly reduce the cost of large-scale vaccination Potatoes and lettuce: Hepatitis B Virus, Enterotoxigenic E. coli, Norwalk virus Production of other valuable proteins in plants, like spider silk protein, polymers used in surgery or tissue replacement (Ma et al., 2003). Xenotransplantation Concerns Alterations may change organisms’ metabolism, growth rate, and/or response to external environmental factors Potential health risks to humans:
New allergens in food
Horizontal gene transfer Horizontal Gene Transfer Usually in single-celled microorganisms, occurs at a very low rate, low risk Multiple mechanisms Primary reason for bacterial antibiotic resistance (OECD Safety Assessment of Transgenic Organisms) Possible health hazards:
Transfer of antibiotic-resistant genes to gut flora
Spread of disease
Effects on their wild-type counterparts Effects on other species Effect on wild-type counterparts Transgenic fish with higher mating success released into wild populations of the same species. Japanese medaka
(Oryzias latipes) Muir & Howard (1999): Effect of the transgene Human growth hormone increases size, mating success Lower viability for offspring - only 2/3 of transgenics survived to reproductive age "The Trojan gene effect" "You have the very strange situation where the least fit individual in the population is getting all the matings - this is the reverse of Darwin's model," said Professor Muir.

"Sexual selection drives the gene into the population and the reduced viability drives the population to extinction." Effect on other species: The Bt Corn Controversy Bt Corn Expresses a protein from Bacillus thurigiensis, toxic to a number of pestiferous insects, including the monarch caterpillar Protein successfully used as an environmentally friendly insecticide for several years
Laboratory study that the mortality of monarch butterfly larvae was higher when fed with milkweed covered in pollen from Bt corn than milkweed covered in natural corn. Losey at al. (1999) Jesse and Obrycki (2000)
Natural levels of Bt corn pollen in the field were harmful to monarchs The Debate Scientists from other laboratories disputed the study 2 years
6 teams: government, academia, industry Extremely high concentration of pollen used in the laboratory was unrealistic Migratory patterns of monarchs do not place them in the vicinity of corn during the time it sheds pollen Risk of Bt corn to monarchs was “very low” (Sears et al., 2001) Conclusion: EPA's basis to approve Bt corn for additional 7 years Controversy Ethical and Religious Issues Debate over our right to “play God” Introduction of foreign material that are abstained from into foods Some believe that tampering with nature is intrinsically wrong, or that inserting plant genes into animals or vice versa is immoral For those who feel strongly that GMO’s are against nature or religion have called for clear labeling rules → informed selections for purchase To prevent mixing of GM products with non-GM foods:
Definitive assessment of what constitutes a GMO
Universal agreement on labeling Legislation has to keep pace with research in order to regulate effectively http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/
















References: http://www.lifesciencesfoundation.org/content/media/2011/06/28/1980_Diamond_v_Chakrabarty_scientific_american.com-large.jpg http://trueslant.com/bio/files/2010/04/Jim-Greenwood-300x158.jpg Cohen found a way for E. coli could be made to acquire pSC101 plasmid, that contained tetracycline resistance.
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