Genetically Modified Organisms

groupmoujeanteaBiotechnology

Oct 23, 2013 (4 years and 21 days ago)

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Genetically Modified
Organisms

Emily Walls

Zach Witherspoon

What is a GMO?


GM is a special set of technologies that
alter the genetic makeup of organisms
such as animals, plants, or bacteria.


Uses recombinant DNA technology


Basically, genetic modification takes a
gene containing a desired trait from one
organism and sequences the gene into a
new organism.


How does this apply to us?


We eat genetically modified organisms on
a daily basis!


They are right on the shelves of our
grocery stores


We bake them into casseroles and stir
them into soups


We feed them to our children and our
animals

The GM Tomato


The first GM food to be made available to
the consumer was a tomato called
FlavrSavr

in 1994.


Producers wanted a tomato that would
last longer, staying fresher and firmer
once it was picked.


These tomatoes contain less of the
substance which causes tomatoes to rot.



Flavr

Savr

Tomato

What are the advantages over a
regular tomato?


Because the GM tomatoes can remain fresh
longer they can be allowed to ripen in the
sun before picking
-

resulting in a better
tasting tomato.


GM tomatoes can tolerate a lengthier
transport time. This means that market
gardens can avoid picking tomatoes while
they are green in order that they will tolerate
the transport.


The producers also have the advantage that
all the tomatoes can be harvested
simultaneously.


Disadvantages?


At first, these tomatoes were antibiotic
resistant


A
ntibiotics are important for fighting
disease, so it would have been a problem
if these genes had made it into humans or
animals


Now we can grow GM tomatoes which are
no longer resistant to antibiotics

What are the advantages of GM
foods on a larger scale?


Food can stay fresher longer


Crops can be engineered to be pest
resistant without the use of pesticides


GM crops have the potential to be grown
in impoverished areas which don’t
naturally grow food very well or where
nutrient deficiencies are prevalent


Enhanced taste and quality


Increased crop yields and nutrients


Advantages cont.


Increased income for farmers


Reduced need for tillage/plowing, leading
to decreased soil erosion



What are the dangers/potential
dangers of GM foods?


We have only been eating GM foods for a
relatively short time, so we don’t know
what the long
-
term side affects might be


Is there a chance that the GM plant could
breed with other plants and create
something new/unwanted?


Could a gene be inserted into a GM food
which people were allergic to, and might
eat unknowingly?


Dangers cont.


Objections to consuming animal genes in a
vegetable form


A few corporations dominating world food
production


Having to continually create new crops when
pests grew immune to
pesticidal

crop strains


Losing the original naturally growing seed of
a crop


The public not knowing what they are eating
when labeling is not mandatory

A good idea for the use of a GM
crop


Golden Rice



Biofortified

rice as a contribution to the
alleviation of life
-
threatening micronutrient
deficiencies in developing countries”


Vitamin A Deficiency causes 250,000 to
500,000 children to go blind every year


Vitamin A is taken from the green part of the
rice and put into the seed


So why not put Vitamin A in the rice they
eat?




Golden Rice

What are the problems with
Golden Rice?


Greenpeace presents strong opposition to
Golden Rice


They say it does not address the
underlying issues of poverty


And that Golden Rice still provides
ineffective amounts of Vitamin A


Some scientists oppose it on the grounds
that it is not being tested on animals
before tested with humans



Who is looking at GM foods?


Monsanto is one of the forerunners in the
field of Genetically Modified Organism
research. They also produce many seeds for
farming purposes. Ironically, the company
also produces the herbicide Roundup.


The company was begun in 1901, and in
1981 biotechnology was established as their
main focus.


In 1982 their scientists became the first to
genetically modify a plant cell.

What are restrictions on GM
foods?


Americans have been eating GM foods
without necessarily realizing it for about
15 years now


Europe has much more stringent policies
concerning GM foods than the US does


All GM foods in Europe must be labeled,
as well as their GM steps traced and
documented


The US does not require GM foods to be
labeled

How does a GM food become
“safe” for consumption?


The FDA has strict requirements that a
GM food must meet before becoming
available for public consumption.


For example, any new gene being
introduced into a food must be already
approved by the FDA as safe

Common examples of GM
organisms


Honey


Cotton


Rice


Soybean


Sugar cane


Tomatoes


Corn


Sweet corn


Tobacco



Meat


Vegetable oil


Squash


Dairy products


Peas


Sugar beets


Canola


Potatoes


Vitamins


Sources


http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Hu
man_Genome/elsi/gmfood.shtml


http://www.bionetonline.org/English/Cont
ent/ff_cont3.htm


http://www.goldenrice.org/


http://www.disabled
-
world.com/fitness/gm
-
foods.php


http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Testimon
y/ucm115032.htm