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Genetically Modified Food
Transcript of Genetically Modified Food
A Brief History of Genetic Modification
Importance and Benefits
Why is it important to solve these problems?
Drawbacks and Problems
- Scientists could put more funding and effort into research towards the effects of GMOs on people. As of now, genetically modified foods haven't been found to cause any lasting harm for humans, but we don't know for sure, seeing as GMO products have only been sold in stores beginning in the 1990's.
- There is the option of eliminating GMOs altogether in the United States - the country would be following the example of countries in the EU, as well as Japan, among others.
- To placate public outcry, legislation could be passed that would require companies to label GMO fruits and foods containing genetically modified ingredients - this is vital for individuals with serious food allergies.
The history of genetically modified organisms in agriculture actually began before recorded history. Prehistoric farmers selected the most productive plants and seeds from their domesticated crops for up to 10,000 years.
The FDA approved the first genetically engineered drug - Humulin. It was the first consumer product developed through modern bioengineering.
The first genetically modified plant is developed - antibiotic resistant tobacco.
The first commercially produced plant is being grown and distributed - Calgene's "Flavr Savr" tomato, which was genetically modified to ripen without softening,
The European Union adopts the world's strictest and most comprehensive rules on GMOs, requiring that all genetically enhanced ingredients (anything from consumer products to animal feed) be labeled.
- Associated Press. "Protesters around the World March against Monsanto." USA Today. Gannett, 26 May 2012. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.
- Diaz, Julia M. "Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.
- Ganzel, Bill. "The GMO Age Begins." The GMO Age Begins. Ganzel Group, 2009. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.
- "Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms." Human Genome Project Information. US Department of Energy, 17 May 2012. Web. 27 Oct. 2013.
- Gilbert, Natasha. "A Hard Look at 3 Myths about Genetically Modified Crops: Scientific American." A Hard Look at 3 Myths about Genetically Modified Crops: Scientific American. Scientific American, 2013. Web. 29 Oct. 2013.
- "History of Genetically Modified Foods." History of Genetically Modified Foods. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.
- "A History of GM." GM Education. Genius CMS, n.d. Web. 28 Oct. 2013.
- Whitman, Deborah B. "Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?" Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful? CSA, Apr. 2000. Web. 27 Oct. 2013.
What is a GMO?
GMO stands for "genetically modified organism." This acronym can be used to describe plants, animals, and microorganisms that have been genetically altered through techniques such as gene cloning and protein engineering.
Mendocino County in California becomes the first jurisdiction in the US to ban the cultivation, production, and distribution of GMOs in the US.
Offers disease resistance
Reduces the need for fertilizer
Reduces the need for pesticides
Can improve food's nutritional content
Can be drought tolerant
Enhances crops' taste and/or quality
Crops have the potential to grow throughout all seasons
Helps conserve soil (less tilling and plowing means less erosion)
Increased food security for growing populations
Faster crop growth
Enhance food production and quality
Lower food prices
Ultimately, GMO crops allow the potential for higher yields and therefore higher farm incomes.
Many view the spread of GMOs as further industrialization of agriculture, disadvantaging small farmers
Favors larger, richer countries that have the ability to pay for the necessary technology
Transgenic technology brings about phenotypes and genotypes that would not occur otherwise in nature and could therefore have unforeseen consequences
Can introduce allergens and toxins to food
No stringent regulation system
Possibility for cross contamination with unmodified crops
Long term effects of GMO foods remain largely unknown
Are rarely identified as GMOs in the US, as there is no law requiring companies to do so
There are a lot of unknowns and potential hazards regarding GMO foods, and its widespread use could have unwanted and possibly even dangerous results.
GMO's offer appealing advantages, but they carry different levels of drawbacks. It is important to understand GMO's and solve the issue of unknown risks because it could
possibly cause harm to the public. The public has to be made more aware of the possible risks of GMOs as well as the possible benefits. This would allow individuals to make fully informed decisions regarding their food.