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Genetically Modified Food
Transcript of Genetically Modified Food
Commercial sales of GM foods first started in the year 1994 (first GM food commercialized was the tomato)
Most popular kinds of genetically modified foods mass produced today include corn, canola oil, soybean and cotton-seed oil)
* There has also been recent evidence of genetically modified livestock but as of 2010 there has been no livestock on the market due to various ethical issues etc. What are Genetically Modified Foods? Scientists first discovered in the year 1946 that DNA can be transferred between various organisms.
The first genetically modified food was actually made/produced in in the year 1983 using a antibiotic-resistant plant
1994 (as stated above) the first tomato was introduced and distributed throughout the US
Shortly after in 1995, canola oil, corn, cotton, potatoes, squash and soybeans all received marketing approval.
*As of the year 2013 the US leads the world in the consumption and production of genetically modified foods. History of GMFs More disease and pest resistant:
Through genetic modification a plant that would normally be susceptible to pests and disease is now able to protect itself independent of pesticides. This in turn reduces losses by farmers.
Crops can be grown and cultivated faster in areas that have shorter growing seasons.
More nutritious crops:
Both plants and animals can be modified to contain more vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, etc.
Production of medicines and vaccines:
It may be possible to modify foods so that ingesting them in your diet would prevent you from catching diseases.
Resistant to Herbicides:
Crops can be modified to be resistant to herbicides that way herbicides could be sprayed an only affect the weeds. Pros Related to GMF's More than 40 GMCs are currently allowed in commerce in the US
2 traits (herbicide tolerance and insect resistance) are engineered into the 4 commodity crops
Corn, cotton, soybeans, and canola
Papaya and squash are planted on small acreages in the US
HT and BT crops have been very popular with US farmers (convenience and profit)
Soybean growers are also won over by the convenience of using glyphosate instead of other, older herbicides
Top 3 major producers of GMOs
DuPoint/Pioneer- largest producer of hybrid seeds for agriculture- Johnston, Iowa
Syngenta- Large global Swiss specialized chemicals company which markets seeds and pesticides
Dow/Mycogen Seeds- headquartered in Indianapolis, IN- produces, markets, and sells hybrid corn seeds Farmers take on GMCs Conveniently buying produce to offer best and cheap prices:
All stores buy and sell foods according to demand, which happens to be socioeconomically distributed
Kmart Stores that sell GMFs
Greenling Organic Delivery
Wheatsville Food Co-Op
Randalls Anti-GMF Stores In 2009, Austin-based Whole Foods began a non-GMO project.
Verify and label its store brand products and others which are sourced to avoid GMOs
California was the first state that voted to approve labeling for GMF's in the past election-- but it failed
Produce in stores
1: conventionally grown
9: organically grown
8: Genetically Modified
Avoid Hybrid foods- they tend to be sweeter and seedless
Avoid processed foods
70% of processed foods contains Genetically modified Ingredients and the food manufactures themselves don't know for sure whether their products contain GM elements –since no labeling is required for GMFs GMFs in Stores Unintended harm to other organisms
Example: Monarch butterfly caterpillars
Reduced effectiveness of pesticides
Just like mosquitoes developed a resistance to the banned pesticide DDT, insects that act as pests to growing crops could become resistant to B.t. or other crops that have been genetically modified to produce their own pesticides.
Gene transfer to non-target species
Crop plants engineered for herbicide tolerance and weeds will cross-breed, resulting in the transfer of the herbicide resistance genes from the crops into the weeds.
These "superweeds" would be herbicide tolerant as well.
Other introduced genes may cross over into non-modified crops planted next to GM crops.
In the long run, there could be a loss of biodiversity Environmental Impact BENEFITS
Using GM crops that are resistant to attack by pests or disease allows farmers to reduce their use of pesticides and herbicides and the residual levels of these chemicals in the environment.
However, resistance can undermine and reverse this benefit!
Genetic engineering can be used to increase amounts of particular nutrients (like vitamins) in food crops
GM golden rice & vitamin A gene used in countries where there is a deficiency
Research is also being done on major health problems like iron deficiency and the removal of proteins that cause allergies from nuts. Environmental Impact, Cont. Monsanto
“Terminator technology” Environmental Impact, Cont. Food web relevance
Can genetically modified foods really be avoided?
Crops are grown with genetically modified seeds
Animals are fed a high protein diet which generally contains the GMF soy
Humans are omnivores so they consume both plants and animals.
Therefore, GMFs and their products are widespread and consumed more frequently than not. Environmental Impact, Cont. Allergenicity
There is a possibility that introducing a gene into a plant may create a new allergen or cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals.
Unknown effects on human health
Growing concern that introducing foreign genes into food plants may have an unexpected and negative impact on human health.
GMFs are generally safe
Scientists believe that GMFs do not present a risk to human health.
More extensive research would have to be done to prove whether new allergens could arise or if human health is negatively affected. Suspected Impact on Human Health Monopolization of the world food market by large multinational companies that control the distribution of GM seeds, like Monsanto
Concerns related to using genes from animals in plant foods.
Example: Eating traces of genetic material from pork is problematic for certain religious and cultural groups
Animal welfare could be adversely affected.
Example: Cows given more potent GM growth hormones could suffer from health problems related to growth and metabolism
New GM organisms could be patented so that life itself could become commercial property. Social and ethical concerns
-Farms that produce crops and raise animals without relying on toxic chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified seeds or practices that degrade soil, water, or other natural resources.
-These farms also grow a variety of plants and use techniques such as crop rotation, conservation tillage, and pasture-based livestock husbandry
-Finally, these sustainable farms protect biodiversity and foster the development and maintenance of healthy ecosystems.
Overall, this is method of raising food that is healthy for consumers and animals, does not harm the environment, is humane for workers, respects animals and provides a fair wage to the farmer and supports and enhances rural communities Alternatives to GMFs Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985 to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on their land
Avoided selling GE foods at the concerts– all foods in concession stands are homegrown
Idea is to show people that there are ways to have fun, enjoy yourself, and eat healthy if people actually make an effort
Promote food from family farms
Help local farmers thrive in this economy that is letting GMOs take over Farming aid Forming an Opinion
Another video, that you should watch on your own!
Truths & Myths What's your stance on GMFs? GMFs present both positive and negative aspects to society
GMFs are a topic of deliberation and contradicting viewpoints; they are prevalent in some parts of the world and banned in others.
Ultimately, GMFs are still a relatively premature technology and in the developmental process. Only time will reveal their ultimate effect on humans. Conclusion http://library.thinkquest.org/20830/Manipulating/Experimentation/GenEngineering/history.htm
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Genetically_modified_foods Sources Dr. Oz can explain... Unexpected side effects:
The effects of GMF's on humans are somewhat unpredictable over time, even despite rigorous testing.
Labeling of GMF's:
It isn't required everywhere to have GMF's labeled, so many people may not even know they are taking a risk when they buy them.
Genes meant to be toxic to some insects may kill other insects which could affect other animals that use those insects as a food source.
Increased Herbicide use:
Farmers would be able to use more herbicides to kill weeds. They would no longer have to worry about killing their crops, and this could lead to pollution of the environment.
Commercial interests may actually limit the use of GMF's in nations that could use them the most. Cons Related to GMFs