GMO - Global Food Crisis

giantsneckignoredBiotechnology

Dec 12, 2012 (4 years and 10 months ago)

218 views

Health

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No proven health risks of GMO’s

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A 2008 review published by the Royal Society of Medicine noted that GM foods have been eaten
by millions of people worldwide for over 15 years, with no reports of ill effects.

o

Key S, Ma JK, Drake PM (June 2008).
"Genetically modified plants and human health".
J R Soc
Med

101

(6): 290

8

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Similarly a 2004 report from the US National Academies of Sciences stated: "To date, no adverse
health effects attributed to genetic engineering have been documented in the human
po
pulation."

o

NRC. (2004). Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods: Approaches to Assessing Unintended
Health Effects. National Academies Press.

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Transfer of antibiotic resistance:

Genes that confer antibiotic resistance are inserted
into GMOs as "markers" to i
ndicate that the process of gene transfer has succeeded.
Concerns have been expressed about the possibility that these "marker genes" could
confer resistance to antibiotics. This approach is now being replaced with the use of
marker genes that avoid medica
l or environmental hazards.

-

Identification of allergenic genes:

Although some are worried about the transfer of
allergenic genes (see Brazil nut example under arguments against GMOs), molecular
biology could also be used to characterize allergens and remo
ve them. Indeed, the Brazil
nut incident actually led to identification of the allergenic protein.

o

an allergenic Brazil
-
nut gene was transferred into a transgenic soybean variety. Its
presence was discovered during the testing phase, however, and the soyb
ean was
not released.

o

http://www.fao.org/english/newsroom/focus/2003/gmo8.htm


Safety

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Health testing of GM foods must be mandatory

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In the united states:

o

USDA evaluates whether the plant is safe to grow

o

FDA evaluates whether the plant is safe to eat

o

EPA evaluates GM plants for environmental safety (regulates substances such as
pesticides or toxins that may cause hard to the environment and human health)



There are strict limits on the amount of pesticides that may be applied to
crops

during growth and
production, as well as the amount that remains in
the food after processing.



Growers using pesticides must have a license for each pesticide and must
follow

the directions on the label to accord with the EPA's safety
standards



Government inspectors

may per
iodically visit farms and conduct
investigations to ensure compliance. Violation

of government regulations
may result in steep fines, loss of license and even jail sentences.



Growers must have a license from the EPA for B.t corn, and the EPA has
issued a

l
etter for the 2000 growing season requiring farmers to plant 20%
unmodified corn, and

up to 50% unmodified corn in regions where cotton
is also cultivated.
41
This planting strategy may help prevent insects from
developing resistance to the B.t. pesticides
as well

as provide a refuge for
non
-
target insects such as Monarch butterflies.



A GM plant does not require a

permit if it meets these 6 criteria: 1) the
plant is not a noxious weed; 2) the genetic material

introduced into the
GM plant is stably integrated

into the plant's own genome; 3) the

function
of the introduced gene is known and does not cause plant disease; 4) the
GM

plant is not toxic to non
-
target organisms; 5) the introduced gene will
not cause the creation

of new plant viruses; and 6) the GM pla
nt cannot
contain genetic material from animal

or human pathogens

o

USDA evaluates whether the plant is safe to grow

o

FDA evaluates whether the plant is safe to eat



A 2003 review in
Trends in Biotechnology

identified seven main
parts of a standard safety te
st.

1.

Study of the introduced DNA and the new proteins or metabolites that it produces;

2.

Analysis of the chemical composition of the relevant plant parts, measuring nutrients,
anti
-
nutrients as well as any natural toxins or known allergens;

3.

Assess the risk of

gene transfer from the food to microorganisms in the human gut;

4.

Study the possibility that any new components in the food might be allergens;

5.

Estimate how much of a normal diet the food will make up;

6.

Estimate any toxicological or nutritional problems
revealed by this data;

7.

Additional animal toxicity tests if there is the possibility that the food might pose a risk.

-

Kok EJ, Kuiper HA (October 2003). "Comparative safety assessment for biotech crops".
Trends Biotechnol.

21

(10): 439

44





















-

There are currently no proven health risks of GMO’s


-

According to th
e Royal Society of Medicine, GM foods have been eaten by millions of
people worldwide for 15 years with no reports of ill effects.


-

Another report by the
US National Academies of Sciences also stated: "To date, no
adverse health effects attributed to genetic engineering have been documented in the
human population."

-

Rigorous testing is done on GMO’s to assure appliance with safety and health standards.

o

An
example of this testing can be seen by the Brazilian nut case when an
allergenic brazil
-
nut gene was transferred into a transgenic soybean variety. Its
presence was discovered during the testing phase and consequently the soybean
was not released.

-

In th
e US, there are three government agencies that have jurisdiction over GMO’s.

o

USDA evaluates whether the plant is safe to grow

o

FDA evaluates whether the plant is safe to eat

o

EPA evaluates GM plants for environmental safety (regulates substances such as
pesticides or toxins that may cause hard to the environment and human health)

-

There are seven main parts to a standard safety test:

1.

Study of the introduced DNA and the new proteins or metabolites that it produces;

2.

Analysis of the chemical composition of t
he relevant plant parts, measuring nutrients,
anti
-
nutrients as well as any natural toxins or known allergens;

3.

Assess the risk of gene transfer from the food to microorganisms in the human gut;

4.

Study the possibility that any new components in the food
might be allergens;

5.

Estimate how much of a no
rmal diet the food will make up

6.

Estimate any toxicological or nutritional

problems revealed by this data

7.

Additional animal toxicity tests if there is the possibility that the food might pose a risk.