Dec 14, 2012 (5 years and 5 months ago)


Modified Crops

Miranda Spears

Jared Oldham

Chris Thigpen

How GMOs are Created

Genetic Modification is a collection of many

Molecular identification and analysis

and isolation, then cloning or multiplying fragments
of DNA or genes.

This includes gene

cutting pieces of DNA
and connecting together fragments from different

This also includes shifting DNA from test tube to
Petri dish or from bacteria to other bacteria.

How GMOs are Created

Genetic modification may involve subtle or
substantial alteration of the DNA.

It can include transferring or inserting the DNA into
the cell of a higher plant or animal, then recovering
a complete new organism.

This is what we typically call ‘genetic engineering,’
however each stage is genetic engineering.

The application of GM techniques results in a
genetically modified organism, or GMO, also known
as a transgenic organism.


Recombinant DNA, the physical linking of different
pieces of DNA, starting in the early 1970s, led by
American scientists Paul Berg, Stan Cohen, and Heb

As early as 1972, Paul Berg called for a moratorium
on genetic research until the possible hazards could
be evaluated and discussed.


Over 60% of processed foods carry GM ingredients.

However, we lack a common definition of GMO to
base regulatory policies on.

GMOs are in:

Baby foods

Corn chips

Baking mixes


Breakfast cereals





Salad dressings

Advantages to GM foods

More productive

Larger yield

More nutritional value

Better flavor

Possibly can eliminate allergy causing properties

More resistant to pests, weeds, and diseases

Advantages to GM foods

More capable in regions with poor soil or adverse

More environmentally friendly to an extent

Can stay ripe longer

Can be grown in smaller areas of land

Disadvantages to GM foods

Harming biodiversity

Most companies do not label as being GM

resistant could lead to super weeds

resistant could lead to super pests

GM crops cross pollinate with non
GM crops

Containing antibiotics could contaminate animal or
human corn we would eat

Disadvantages to GM foods

Too often scientists end up with stillborns, mutants,
freaks, and failures that don’t act how they’re
supposed to.

Once GMOs are created and released into the
environment, they are permanent. The can never
be recalled back into the laboratory, and they can’t
be contained within a restricted pasture, farmland,
watershed, or geological space.

Disadvantages to GM foods

Scientists understand very little about the
biological function of most DNA. Geneticists use
the term “junk DNA” to describe the 97% of genetic
material they don’t yet understand.

Geneticists do understand that genes interact with
each other. Genes interact in a complex
Inserting a new gene affects all the other genes in
the organism.


The genetic giant

Founded in 1901 by John F.

CEO: Hugh Grant

Revenues are $5.5 billion/year

Headquarters: St. Louis, Missouri


The genetic giant


167 million acres worldwide: land devoted to growing
GM foods

91%: proportion of GM crops from Monsanto

58%: proportion of Americans in 2003, no idea eating
GM food

14: number of companies Monsanto purchased

1/3: proportion of corn seeds Monsanto owns


The genetic giant


¼: proportion of soybean seeds Monsanto owns

1: Monsanto’s ranking on World’s Largest sellers of
Commercial seed

0: Number of studies FDA and Monsanto conducted
on actual health effects


The genetic giant


Approved by FDA in 1993

Growth hormone to make cows produce 15% more

Believed to increase udder infection(usage of more
antibiotics and also pus in the milk)

Reproduction problems

Possibly carcinogenic (studies shown that produces
cancer, including breast and prostate)


The genetic giant

Round up Ready Line

Can be drenched with herbicide with no harm to plant

Studies show herbicide use is way up

Yields of GM crops are lower than normal crops

GM pollen is drifting and contaminating non

Causing “
” that won’t die


The genetic giant

Seed Spies

Snip samples, snap photos and take notes

Make sure everyone has paid for seeds that season



$500,000 for contaminated seeds
from last season


response “He should have noticed the
contaminated seeds before planting”

Troy Roush

Monsanto dropped charges but

Roush $400,000 in lawyer fees

Cargill: The invisible link


$62.9 billion: Revenues/ year

59: # of countries have operations

42%: proportion of corn exported per year

Largest private company in U.S.

Cargill: The invisible link


Canola oil

Corn syrup


Canned soup


Cargill: The invisible link

Many consumers don’t want GM foods

Forced Africa to take GM foods during food crisis.

Their choice was if they didn’t want GM corn and
soybeans then they have to pay more or hire a
different shipper

Is genetic engineering new?


Genetic modification is not new. People have
been manipulating food and crops for years
through classic selection and fermentation.


Genetic engineering is fundamentally
different than conventional methods because it
crosses biological barriers.

Is genetic engineering new?

Traditional crop breeding relies on the crossing or
interbreeding of selected parents of the same or
closely related species, using natural techniques
such as pollination. The process of conventional
breeding emphasizes certain characteristics

those characteristics are not new to the species.

In contrast, genetic engineering uses special
enzymes as scissors, extracting selected genes
from a donor organism, making copies of this
genetic material, and then artificially inserting this
gene into a completely different organism.

Are GM foods safe?


GM foods have to be “substantially
equivalent” to conventional food. By moving DNA
from one organism to another, scientists haven’t
actually done anything to the DNA. The just made
one organism express the desired trait. GM
products are required to be tested. No one has died
or even gotten sick from eating GM foods.


Only a few independent studies have
been conducted to test the safety of GMOs. Rats
fed GM potatoes suffered organ damage. Allergens
are being introduced into foods that would
normally not have any allergens.

Are GM foods safe?

If we have no hesitation in eating a tomato and
bean salad, why do we question eating a tomato
with a bean gene? Foods that we can safely eat
separately can be safely eaten together. Ultimately,
all those genes and proteins are mixed up together
in our gut anyway. What a GM tomato carrying a
bean gene does is add them together earlier.

Are GM foods safe?

On May 17, 1999 the 115,000 member British Medical
Association issued a report which called for a
moratorium on GE foods and crops. The BMA warned
that the commercialization of untested and unlabeled
foods could lead to the development of new
allergies and antibiotic resistance in humans.

On December 14, 1999, 231 scientists from 31
countries published an “Open Letter to All
Governments” calling for a global moratorium on all
GE foods and crops. The scientists noted that certain
promoters used for GE foods may enhance horizontal
gene transfer and has the potential to generate new
viruses that cause diseases.

Are GM foods safe?

In 1988, a genetically engineered brand of L
, a common over
counter nutritional
supplement used to tread insomnia and depression,
killed 37 Americans and permanently disabled or
afflicted more than 5,000 others with a potentially
fatal and painful blood disorder called


syndrome (EMS). The tryptophan had been
genetically engineered in Japan for the first time.
The U.S. FDA did not require testing of the new GM
tryptophan because it had been sold on the market
GM for so many years that we assumed it was
substantially equivalent.

Are GM foods safe?

Allergies caused by genetically engineered foods
are extremely difficult to predict in advance. There
is no 100% correct tests for newly introduced
proteins to find out whether they will be allergic to

What impact do GMOs have on the


Agriculture itself is really bad for the
environment. GM foods have been created that
allow for less pesticide use and less water use.


Insect resistant crops can harm
unintended insects. “
” and

” could be created if they build up
resistance. GM crops could transfer their genes to
native crops. GMOs lower biodiversity.

Could GM crops reduce world hunger?


GM crops can produce a higher yield and can
be enhanced with a better nutritional value.


GM crops do not actually produce a
higher yield and they are more expensive.
Introducing GM crops to poor countries make them
rely on only a few multinational companies. It
would be better to teach them how to better
farming methods.

Are GM foods safe?

The fundamental cause of world hunger is not a
shortage of food in the world, but rather that these
people are too poor to produce or buy the food
they need.

Also, genetically engineered technology is designed
to make money. The technology allows the seed
company to control the seed and pest control
systems, while locking farmers into tough contracts
to lease the technology.

Should GM products be labeled?


Labeling GM products would create
unnecessary fear.


Consumers have the right to know what
they’re eating.

Should GM products be labeled?

The corporations that have invested billions of
dollars into genetic engineering have successfully
lobbied U.S. government agencies to allow
genetically modified foods to enter our food supply
virtually undetected.

Who benefits from GM crops?


Farmers benefit from GM crops because they
don’t have to use as much pesticide. Consumers
benefit from GM products that have enhanced
nutritional content, taste, and a better shelf


Biotech companies are the only ones who
benefit. Farmers have to pay more for GM crops
and crop yields are not greatly improved. In the
future, because consumers are skeptical, farmers
might not make any money off of GM crops.
Consumers are basically forced to eat GM products
without knowing the long
term effects.

Who benefits from GM crops?

No GE food currently on the market has been
shown to be more nutritious or to taste better than
GE foods. The majority of GE crops have been
genetically altered to survive being sprayed with
herbicides, to produce their own insecticides, or to
have an increased shelf
life. This has nothing to do
with nutrition or taste. In fact, some GE foods have
been shown to have less nutritional value than
conventional foods.

Things to Remember

The biggest company in genetic engineering crops is Monsanto.

Some people get sued when they didn’t even steal Monsanto’s

About 60% of our processed foods contain genetically modified

A disadvantage to GM crops is a decrease in biodiversity.

We have been modifying foods and crops for consumer appeal for
many years.


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