Introduction of GM food

neighgreasycornerBiotechnology

Dec 14, 2012 (4 years and 10 months ago)

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Introduction of GM food


GM

foods

mean

foods

or

food

ingredients

that

are

or

are

derived

from

organisms

that

have

been

modified

through

the

use

of

modern

biotechnology
.

The

new

biotechnology

is

actually

an

extension

of

traditional

plant

breeding
.

The

traditional

plant

breeding

techniques,

such

as

cross
-
fertilization

of

selected

plants

help

people

to

produce

desired

traits
.

This

is

“old

biotechnology
.


The

new

biotechnology,

known

variously

as

gene

splicing,

recombinant

DNA,

or

genetic

engineering,

involves

direct

modification

of

DNA,

a

living

thing‘s

genetic

material
.

This

new

technique

is

more

precise,

making

it

possible

to

direct

and

predict

changes

without

introducing

extraneous,

undesirable

traits
.

The

new

technique

will

also

allow

scientists

to

introduce

genes

from

essentially

any

organism

into

a

plant
.



Recombinant DNA
techniques

Formation of
recombinant DNA
(plasmid, target DNA)


Transformation
techniques

Methods that put the
recombinant DNA
into cell

3 main types of GM food technique


1. Inserting genes:


Genes are determined by different DNA sequences, when the
isolated gene is inserted into a plant, it becomes part of the plant’s
gene and works with its own function .


This method can increase or improve the plant such as resistance to
insects, which increases the yield of food afterwards.


2 Removing genes:


The function is reduced or stopped through genetic modification. We
reduce the function of virus which causes dried and spot of the
tomato by removing parts of the gene, thus that virus cannot be
reproduced and tomato can grow healthily.


3. Changing the process of catabolism


Food can be enhanced by changing the process of catabolism, such
as controlling the percentage of starch of glutinous rice, and it also
includes controlling the taste, mass, colour, and usefulness of food.

How common is GM food?


80% of rice and wheat used nowadays.


Half of the field
s

are

used for planting GM
food.


40% soy bean of US
are

genetic modified,
and 60% of soy bean’s product
s

become
GM food.


71 kind
s

of plants and micro
-
organisms in
US were reported until 2005.


Example of GM Food
[2]



The first GM whole food, FLAVR SAVR
TM

tomato, was
marketed in the United States in 1994.


Slower ripen rate


Ripen longer on vine


Fully developed flavors

Flavr Savr Tomato developed by Calgene

(Sources: http://www.ca.uky.edu/agripedia/glossary/flavr.htm)


Other examples of GM Food


Soy bean


Corn


Papaya


Potato


Tomato


Milk from GM
cow


Pumpkin


McDonald’s hamburger


KFC’s Zinger burger


Maxim’s Ham
-
egg
sandwich


KFC’s Mashed potato
with gravy


Wyeth Nursoy Soy Based
Infant Formula


Nissin Chicken Cup
Noodles


Pringles Sour Cream'N
Onion









Other examples of GM Food

Potential Benefits

1.
Cure diseases or other medical uses


A Singapore doctor is working on removing a gene
from mice, if it is transferred to potato’s gene, it can
produce a protein abbreviated as ANF, which is used
to cure hypertension, congestive heart failure, and
failure of kidney.

2.
Increase the yield of food


If the gene of plant is altered, their life cycle can be
reduced. Compare with normal plant in same period of
time, their yield is increased.


Example: Normal corn’s life cycle is half year and GM
corn’s life cycle is 3 months. Each cycle can produce
500 corns. After 1 year, there are 1000 normal corns
while 2000 GM corns, which is doubled of the normal
one.

Potential Benefits

3.
R
esistance to bad living condition
s


In bad living conditions, the quantity and quality of
normal plant decreases a lot, changing the gene of
plant can make them
grow

healthily under bad
conditions, and it brings advantages to companies and
consumers.


Besides, the plant may not be necessarily grown in
original region but could be
in
mountains, desert or
snowfield.

4.
Improve the appearance and taste of food


The juice of tomato can have a better taste, and
watermelon will have no seeds after genetic
ally

modified.


Example: Cubic watermelons and much larger apples

which

have been grown in Japan.


Potential Benefits



5.
M
ore resistance to insects


The immunity towards insects is increased, hence less
insecticide is used and less production cost is needed,
the price can also be reduced.


As no insecticide is used, it is safer to eat as
insecticide

is harmful to human.

6.
Enhance the nutrition of food


The nutrition value increases by changing the genes of


food, thus consumer will gain advantages from it.


Example: GM rice produce more protein.


GM tomatoes have more vitamin.

Potential Benefits

7.
Alter the properties of food so that it is easier
for

food
processing


The production cost is reduced as it is easier to process
the food, which leads to a lower price of that food hence
it is economical.


As there
are

fewer

process
es
, less raw material
s

are

wasted and it protects the environment.

8.
Remove the parts caus
ing

allerg
y


The substance
s

caus
ing

allerg
y

can be removed, and
things that
have never been

eat
en

by human
before can
be

genetically modified

so that it is suitable for eating,
hence there are more choices of food.

Potential Hazard

1 Affect the ecosystem


There
are

cycles among different food chains, the
y

relies on each other to
form a steady

and stable

condition. GM food will affect this equilibrium
seriously and it may cause extinction of certain species as many GM food
is resistan
t

towards insects.


2
Super
-
germs
may
exist


GM plant with immunity towards insect may develop super germs that have
immunity towards GM plant. GM food may suffer from some new diseases
and pass them to human through food chain.


GM food’s pollen grain or seed will be pollinated to other farmlands which
cause the change of tradition species. When grass gain the new genes, it
may become super grass which affect the ecosystem and cause hazard
towards food production. It also leads to the more frequent use of grass
remover and brings hazard towards the land.


Example: GM soybean’s pollen grain cross with grass to form super grass
that will not be killed easily.

Potential Hazard

3.
Cause allerg
y



As the structure of GM food is altered, it may cause
allerg
y

and the affected area may spread seriously.


4.
Cause failure of antibiotics


When genes are inserted to cell
s
, scientists will add
some antibiotic to determine whether it is successful or
not. If it is a success, new cell
s

will gain immunity
towards antibiotic and increase the strength of germs.


As many plants have gained immunity towards insect,
when people suffer from the disease or eat the plants,
the antibiotics will become useless. And there
may be

no ways to fight against the super germs.

Potential Hazard

5.
Alter the nutrition of food


One of the use
s

of GM food is to increase the yield by
shorten
ing

the life cycle, however, as the growing
period is shorten, the nutrition value may decrease.

6.
Produce toxin and fatal disease


The process of making GM food may produce toxin and
fatal disease which may cause death after eating the
food.

7.
Transfer harmful substance to other organism
s


As virus is used to transfer gene for making GM food,
and the gene transfer process cannot be controlled
easily, it is possible for virus to gain harmful substance
and harm other animals since.


Potential Hazard

8.
Extinct of certain genes


Companies want to earn as much as possible hence
they insert genes to their food so that no further
generation can be produced, this causes extinction of
food.


When new genes are used commonly, the old one
s

will
be
abandoned

and face extinction.

9.
Indistinguishable between GM and non
-
GM food


Soy bean from USA resist the insecticide hence 40%
soybean were imported to Europe, however, both GM
and non
-
GM
soy bean

are mixed and USA claims that
there is no difference between GM soybean and normal
one.


Evidence of hazard




The evolution of bacteria



German scientist has discovered and shown GM food’s gene has been
passed onto organisms, and change the structure of gene of micro
organism living in ileum. This proves that it will affect the human’s health,
and it makes us worry as our gene
s

may also be altered.


An experiment was set up as follows:


Genetic modified pollen grains were fed to young bees for a period of time,
and the bacteria found in the bees’ ileum contains genes of GM pollen grain.



Another example was introduced, the GM potato were fed to mice, and it
thickens the wall of stomach, this shows that the chance of having cancer
increases. Besides, the mice become weaker in fighting against disease
and the brains of the mice wither. Other bad effects were found in kidney,
intestine and spleen. GM potato will harm the liver and immune system.


A person who is allergic to Brazil’s walnut
a
t
e

some soybean that contains
gene of the Brazil’s walnut show
ed

same allergic symptom
s

in1991.


Amazing Findings of GM food


A 2005 study conducted by PG Economics
investigating the global impact of GM crops reported
that they contributed to significantly reduced
greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural
practices. This reduction results from decreased fuel
use, about 1.8 billion litres in the past nine years,
and additional soil carbon sequestration because of
reduced ploughing or improved conservation tillage
associated with biotech crops. In 2004, this
reduction was equivalent to eliminating more than 10
billion kg of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, or
removing 5 million cars


one
-
fifth of the cars
registered in the United Kingdom


from the road
for one year.


Conclusion


After knowing the principles behind genetic engineering and GM
food and realizing the potential benefits and hazards of GM food, we
can overall or at least have a better understanding of the scope of
GM food. Undoubtedly, GM food has both potential benefits and
hazards. But no matter you like GM food or not, it is widespread
globally and can be found worldwide. Just look around and you will
see them all around you. The worldwide spread of GM food is still a
controversial issue nowadays. No one can surely say that GM food
has more benefits than demerits or say that it has more hazards
than merits. The truth of GM food is not yet unlocked for the time
being. It takes time and effort for the truth to be unlocked in the
foreseeable generations.


Overall, after comparing the potential benefits and hazards of GM
food, our group agrees that GM food can bring more merits than
demerits to human beings. To a certain extent, GM food is a
valuable asset to the modern world.

Group Member List



Chan Kwing Lam (1)


Chu Ho Shing (5)


Lam Chung Kwun (12)