identical molecular profiles - De Anza College

polarbearfellowshipBiotechnology

Dec 12, 2012 (4 years and 8 months ago)

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Genetically Engineered Foods:
Overview

What is genetic engineering (GE) and how does it
differ from traditional breeding?


How prevalent are GE foods in our grocery store?


How does the govt. regulate these crops & foods?

FDA, USDA & EPA


Video: Harvest of Fear

GMO synonymous with genetic engineering

Discussion questions

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Traditional Breeding vs
Genetic Engineering

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Genetic Engineering

A technique in which genes can be taken
from one organism (plant, virus, bacteria,
animal) and transferred to another, in this
case a plant.


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How Common are Genetically
Engineered Foods?

1996, govt. approved genetically engineered crops mixed
with non
-
genetically engineered crops. They became a
part of our food supply (soda, cereal, chips, mayo, etc)


Currently, about 70% of processed foods in U.S. contain
genetically engineered ingredients.


4 countries grow most of the GE food:

U.S. (60%)

Argentina (soybeans)

Brazil (soybeans)

Canada (canola)




Corn, Soy, Canola and Cotton

Soy, corn and canola have a herbicide tolerant
(HT) gene in seed so field can be sprayed with
herbicide (Round
-
Up) and not kill the crop.



“Round
-
Up Ready” seeds


Corn & cotton (cottonseed oil) have a Bt gene
incorporated into the plant to resist caterpillars.

Bt is a natural bacteria in the soil that is a toxin for
moth and butterfly larva.

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Government Regulators

FDA:


Monitors GE foods when they are sold as food

Makes decisions on food labeling


USDA:

Oversees GE crops when they are in the field


EPA:

Determines the environmental aspects of GE crops.

Interest is in the effects that the crop has on the
environment. They monitor Bt corn

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Substantial Equivalence

Indicates that two substances or foods have
identical molecular profiles
, so they are
chemically similar to each other. This is possible
because the introduction of a single gene does
not alter the overall organism but allows it to
produce a small amount of a specific protein (a
new protein).


Substantial Equivalence is the reason the FDA
does not label genetically engineered foods.

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To limit GE foods:

Minimize processed foods

Buy organic

Look for “not genetically engineered” for:

Soy: oil, flour, lecithin, protein, isolate, isoflavone

Corn: oil flour, meal, starch, gluten, and HFCS,
modified corn starch, fructose, dextrose, glucose

Canola (rapeseed) & Cotton seed oil

Shop Whole Foods

Choose Trader Joe’s brand products

Shop at farmer’s markets