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Genetically Modified Foods

Social Studies 11 : Chapter 17 - Environment Presentation

Patricia Batalla

on 16 January 2013

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Transcript of Genetically Modified Foods

Examples of Genetically Modified Foods Pros for Genetically Modified Foods Clash of Opinions Genetically Modified Foods * By modifying the DNA in some foods that cause allergy in people, the properties that cause the allergies are eliminated successfully.

* Foods grow faster than foods that are grown in the traditional manner. Because of this, productivity increases, providing the population with more food.

* Genetically modified foods can be grown at places with unfavorable climatic conditions. Normal crops can only grow in certain seasons and favorable climatic conditions.

* GM foods have a natural resistance towards pests/insects, and so not many pesticides or insecticides have to be used to protect crops. It makes them free from chemicals and are environmentally friendly.

* GM foods are said to be high in nutrients and contain more minerals and vitamins. It's also said that they taste better than traditionally grown foods.

* Having these foods in stores is better because they have an increased shelf life and there’s less fear of them getting rotten so fast. How are foods genetically modified? By: Queenie, Harman, Patricia,
Tanveer, Lily, and Merlyn There are differences in the laws and regulations of genetically modified foods between countries, and there are the most noted differences between the USA and Europe systems. Regulation and laws of producing genetically modified foods varies in countries depending on the intended use of the modified food products of the genetic engineering. A crop not intended to be used in the food industry is generally not reviewed by authorities responsible for food safety in certain countries, though genetically modified crops intended for use in the food for humans or animal are reviewed by food safety authorities. What are genetically modified foods? Their Effects On Humans Their Effects On Animals Their Effects On the Environment
GM foods can cause 6 potential risks:

* First, is that they could become weeds. A broad term that covers plants in undesirable effects.
* Second, the crops might become conduits in which new genes move to wild plants and become weeds.
* Third, GM foods are made to prevent viruses which could cause new virulent or wide spread viruses.
* Fourth, GM foods might be making potentially toxic substances that could present risks to other organisms that feed on them.
* Fifth, crops may initiate negative effects that ripple through an ecosystem in ways that are difficult to predict.
* Finally sixth, the crops might threaten centers of crop diversity. Scientists say that there are no clear effects of GM crops on many species of animals in acute and short-term feeding studies. They are still testing GM foods on animals to see if it effects the reproduction of male and female animals after feeding daily diets containing the GM crops. Cons for Genetically Modified Foods Fun Facts History of Genetically Modified Foods Why are genetically modified foods made? How are genetically modified foods labeled? Protests Against Genetically Modified
Foods Organizations Against Genetically
Modified Foods How to Tell If Your Food is Genetically Modified How are genetically modified foods regulated and what is the government's role in this process? Governments around the world are working hard to come up with a regulatory process to monitor the effects, and risks to approving new types of generally modified foods. But based on the political, social, and economic climate of a country, different governments will respond to genetically modified foods in opposite ways.

In the country Japan the Ministry of Health and Welfare had decided that health testing of all genetically modified foods would be required as of April 2001. Japanese supermarkets are selling both genetically foods and unmodified foods. But Japanese customers have recently begun to show a strong preference for unmodified foods. India's government has not yet announced a fixed policy on genetically modified foods because of right no genetically modified crops are being grown in India, and therefore no products are commercially available for sale in supermarkets. India however is very supportive of transgenic plant research. It is highly assumed that India will decide that the benefits of genetically modified foods are worth the many initial risks, because Indian agriculture will need to adopt major new measures to solve the country's growing poverty, and ways to feed its vast population.

Some states in Brazil have banned all genetically modified crops altogether, and the Brazilian Institute for the Defense of Consumers, has filed suit to prevent the importation of genetically modified crops. Due to this Brazilian farmers have resorted to smuggling genetically modified soybean seeds into the country, because they fear economic harm will fall upon them if they are unable to compete in the global marketplace with other grain exporting countries.

In Europe, genetically modified food protestors have been especially active. Because in the last few years Europe has experienced two major foods scares: bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) in Great Britain and dioxin-tainted foods coming from Belgium. These food scares have dropped consumer confidence about the European food supply, and citizens are lack trust to believe their government's information about genetically modified foods. Europe now requires mandatory food labeling of genetically modified foods in stores. Papaya is a rich source of Vitamin A and C. The first virus resistant papayas were grown in Hawaii in 1999.
Soybean is genetically modified food resistant to herbicides. Soybean may be used in many foods such as tofu, breads, and pastries.
Cotton is resistant to certain pesticides. The chemical produced kills pests in cotton fields. The oil can be consumed.
Rice is genetically modified to contain high amounts of Vitamin A.
Sugar Cane is genetically modified to resist certain pesticides. Sugar Cane is not a successful product in the market.
Tomatoes are genetically modified to prevent a substance that causes tomatoes to rot and degrade.
Corn is genetically modified to resist certain pesticides. Genetically modified corn products may include snack foods, baked foods, and oil products.
Canola oil that is genetically modified is used in fried foods, bake foods and snack foods.
Potatoes may be included in processed potato products and other processed foods containing potatoes.
Squash is a genetically modified product that is not popular with farmers.
Meat and dairy products mostly come from animals that have been feed genetically modified foods.
Peas inserted with a gene from kidney beans that creates a protein that is like a pesticide. Labeling of genetically modified foods and food products is a worldwide issue. Agribusiness industries think that labeling should be voluntary and only be influenced by the demands of the free market. If consumers show they want labeled foods over non-labeled foods, then industries will have the motivation to use labels on its food products or risk losing the customer support. Consumer interest groups over the years are demanding for mandatory labeling. "People have the right to know what they are eating," fight the interest groups. The FDA's current action on food labeling is governed by the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act which is only concerned with food additives, not whole foods or food products that are considered "GRAS" or generally recognized as safe. The FDA campaigns that genetically modified foods are equivalent to non-genetically modified foods, and therefore do not require labeling.

There are many questions that arise and must be answered if labeling of genetically modified foods becomes mandatory. First are consumers willing to adjust to the cost of this new action? If the food production industry is required to label genetically modifies foods, then factories will have to construct two separate processing streams and monitor the production lines accordingly, costing tons of money. Farmers will have to keep genetically modified crops and non-genetically modified crops from mixing during planting, harvesting and shipping, enabling farmers to get better, expensive equipment. It is hypothesized that industry will pass along these additional costs to consumers in the form of higher prices of food purchases.

In January 2000, an international trade agreement for labeling genetically modified foods was created. More than 130 countries, including the U.S.A, the world's largest producer of genetically modified foods also signed the agreement. The policy states that all exporters are required to label all genetically modified foods, and that importing countries have the right to decide for themselves the risks and reject genetically modified foods, if they choose to. If you read the PLU code on the stickers of your fruits and vegetables, you can tell if the fruit was genetically modified, organically grown or produced with chemical fertilizers such as fungicides, or herbicides.

Here is what to look for on the labels (stickers) on your fruits and vegetables:

A four digit number means it's been conventionally grown.

A five digit number beginning with 9 means it is organic.

A five digit number beginning with 8 means it's genetically

The numeric system was developed by the Produce Electronic Identification Board. As of October 2001, the board had assigned more than 1,200 PLU codes on stickers for individual produce items.

If a product is labeled as organic, it may not be fully organic. FDA regulations and rules allow for products that are not 100% organic to be labeled organic still. Look for labels indicating that the product is 100% organic. When a product has the 100% organic label then it is truly organic. This label also means that the food product does not contain any genetically modified ingredients.

But always read the ingredients of a food product before buying it, to make sure there are no harmful additives, though usually the 100% organic label is the ideal label when it comes to looking for quality food products. So what if a product isn't 100% organic, how will you know it doesn't contain genetically modified ingredients? Products labeled "Non-GMO" or "GMO-free" are statements that show the absence of genetically modified ingredients in the food product. Always remember high-fructose corn syrup is known for being genetically modified, therefore avoid food products containing this ingredient. Genetically modified foods are products made from genetically modified crops that have experienced a specific change in the gene. The combining of genes from seperate organisms produces genetically modified foods, also known as GMOs. Genetically modified organisms can be refered to as organisms in which the genetic material known as DNA has been altered in a procedure that is not natural. This technology of alternating DNA is often called “modern biotechnology” or “gene technology”, sometimes also “recombinant DNA technology” or “genetic engineering”. These techniques allow individual genes to be transferred from one organism into the other, even if they are a non-related species. The usage of commercial genetically modified foods started in 1992 after being approved by the US Department of Agriculture. A company in California changed the genes in a tomato to make it take longer to decompose after being picked. In the year 1997, the European Union first introduced GM labeling requirements for food products. In Canada today, labeling is mandatory for addressing health or safety issues with a food like allergies. Labeling is mandatory to all non-genetically modified foods as well, and especially GM foods. * It’s believed that the consumption of GM foods can cause the development of diseases that are immune to antibiotics.

* Some experts say that people who consume these foods have high chances in developing cancer.

* They are new inventions so we don’t know the long-term effects on human beings.

* Many religious communities are against GM foods because it seems like an unnatural way of producing food. They also don’t like the idea of transferring animal genes into plant genes, and vice versa.

* The cross-pollination/splicing of genes can damage other organisms that live in the environment. The safety of genetically modified products has made many arguments. People who believe genetically modified crops are perfectly fine. They claim the products are only a little different from regular crops and people have been changing the genes of plants for generations. Also approving genetically modified foods can have more harvesting. They think companies and government agencies have tested the products so they can be used. People who oppose genetically modified foods are concerned about the lack of long term testing and the possibility of crops cross breeding. Also developing countries farmers are too dependent on multinational companies, which increase the costs of production. People also believe even though politicians or scientists say the products are safe no one can actually know for sure. A company in the United States produces rice genetically modified with human genes. Approximately 80% of American foods have some form of genetic modification. Heirloom tomatoes were what tomatoes looked like without being genetically modified. In 1999, a group of Scottish scientists genetically modified potatoes that can transmit a certain radiation wavelength when the potatoes need water. Farmers only need to walk around their farms, with a radiation detector pointing at their crops. So if radiation is detected the potatoes need water. This process can save farmers money and water. Genetically modified foods can have a huge affect on humans. You don't have to look hard to find genetically modified food on supermarket shelves, as usually more than 85 percent of the corn and soy grown in the United States comes from seeds in which DNA has been injected into with chemicals. Food crops are genetically modified too, when one or more genes are incorporated into the crop’s genome using a vector containing several other genes, including viral promoters, transcription terminators, antibiotic resistance marker genes and reporter genes. Meaning genetically modified foods may cause bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics, and they can also produce allergies. Genetically modified foods can lead to inflammation, kidney or liver malfunction, reduced fertility and altered metabolism. Inserting new genes into a seed's constructed genome always relies on luck, because scientists can't predict all the consequences. There is for example, the possibility of creating brand-new allergens, weight gain effects, and more problems on a human's health. GM cotton in India has been a failure. The GM cotton did not succeed to becoming resistant against pests there, and it produces lower quality cotton fibers than the local cotton types. Golden rice is a type of rice that has been genetically modified, by being fortified with beta carotene (derived from vitamin A), iron, and zinc. This rice is made for poor, developing countries where the people face deficiency in these three above nutrients. As of right now, 22 countries have GM crops grown on a commercial basis. GM crops cover a total of 81 million hectares, involving more than 8 million farmers, 75 per cent of which are in the developing countries. Although there are many claims of harmful effects to human health because due to GM foods, there has yet been no scientific evidence so far that directly shows the negative effects from GM foods to human health. There are genes in basically everything that lives, or has lived. Genes can be found in people, flies, ham, tomatoes, bacteria and more. A gene is in a way a code that chooses how we look and what characteristics we get. For example, genes decide on the colour of flowers, and how tall a plant can grow up to. In people, the characteristics of a plant will be transferred to its reproduced plants.

Genetic modification changes the genes in an organism, therefore changing the characteristics of the subject. When scientists genetically modify a plant, they begin by inserting a foreign gene from another organism into the plant's own genes. For example, this could be a gene from a bacterium which is resistant to pesticides. Thereby resulting in the plant receiving the characteristics held within the genetic code. The new genetically modified plant can now also withstand pesticides.

Here are the several stages in genetically modifying plants:

1. The scientist first finds and isolates the gene with the right genetic characteristics, a process called mapping.
2. The scientist then makes many copies of the isolated gene, a process called PCR.
3. The scientist transfers the genes into the plant's own genes, by using a part of the plant's tissue. When the scientist wants to insert the genes into the plant they have three options. They can use a 'gene canon', a soil bacteria or a material called protoplast. The ways of gene insertion are called transformation.
4. The scientist finally creates a new plant from the genetically modified plant tissue used.
5. The scientist does tests to checks if the inserted genes function as hypothesized.
6. The scientist also makes sure that the inserted gene shows up in the plant's seeds. Genetically modified foods are marketed/developed because there is advantage gained to either the producer or the consumer of these GM foods. Therefore a product with a lower price and/or greater benefit in the means of durability and nutritional value. Basically developers wished for their products to be accepted by producers, thereby concentrating on new ideas farmers, and the food industry would appreciate more.

GM technology allows plant breeders to bring together in one single plant the useful genes from a variety range of living sources, not only from within that same crop species or from plants closely related to it. Genetically modification enables plant breeders to generate superior plant types, something they have been trying to do for years.

The main objective for developing genetically modified organisms was to improve crop protection. The GM crops currently on the market are targeted to an increased level of crop protection, through the introduction of resistance against plant diseases caused by insects, viruses, or through their increased tolerance towards herbicides.

Virus resistance is achieved in plants from the introduction of a gene from certain viruses that cause disease in plants. Virus resistance makes plants less vulnerable to diseases caused by such viruses, resulting in higher cash from crops.

Herbicide tolerance is achieved in plants from the introduction of a gene from a bacterium, allowing resistance to some herbicides in plants. In situations where weed presence is high, the use of GM crops has resulted in a reduction in the quantity of the herbicides used, helping the environment. In 1983, a bio tech company called Advanced Genetic Sciences applied for a U.S. government authorization to do field tests with the ice-minus strain of P. syringae, but could not because of the environmental groups and protestors who delayed the field tests for a period of four years producing legal challenges.

In 1987, the ice-minus strain of P. syringae got to become the first genetically modified organism to be tested out into the environment, since a strawberry field in California was sprayed with the ice-minus strain of P. syringae. The overall results showed lowered frost damage to the GM plants. Dr. Lindow also conducted this experiment on a crop of potato seedlings sprayed with ice-minus P. syringae. The Doctor was succeeded in protecting the potato crop from frost damage. But both of these test fields were attacked by activist groups the night before the tests occurred.

In May 2012, an activist group called "Take the Flour Back" led by Gerald Miles protested against plans by an organization from the Rothamsted Experimental Station in England, who wanted to conduct an experimental trial to use genetically modified wheat to repel aphids. One member of Take the Flour Back, Lucy Harrap, said that the group was concerned about spread of the crops into nature. Greenpeace is one of many organizations that protests against genetically modified foods
Pesticide Action Network
Friends of the Earth
State Public Interest Research Groups
Organic Consumers Association
National Environmental Trust
Center for Food Safety
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Better check what you are eating, it could contain frog genetics!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHA! You are eating my genes!
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