Definition of Genetically Modified Foods
Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods that have been altered through
genetic engineering techniques. These techniques allow scientists to "cut
and paste" DNA from one organism to another in order to create a new
hybrid. For example, a certain gene can
be inserted into tomatoes in order to
maintain their freshness and colour. A different gene can be inserted into
corn and soybean plants to give them resistance to a certain herbicide. A
farmer can then control weeds in the corn and soybean crops by
ng with that herbicide.
A statement from Monsanto,
one of the world's leading biotechnology firms
"We all share the same planet
and the same needs. In agriculture, many of
our needs have an ally in biotechnology and the promising
advances it offers
for our future.
Healthier, more abundant food. Less expensive crops. Reduced reliance on
pesticides and fossil fuels. A cleaner environment. With these advances, we
prosper; without them, we cannot thrive.
“As we stand on the edge of a n
ew millennium, we dream of a tomorrow
without hunger. To achieve that dream, we must welcome the science that
promises hope. We know advances in biotechnology must be tested and
safe, but they should not be unduly delayed. Biotechnology is one of
s tools in our hands today."
Statements from Genetically Engineered Food:
Defence Guide for Consumers
GE foods are not being adequately safety
tested for possible damage to
our health . . .
Mounting scientific evidence
indicates that genetically engineered foods
and crops may present serious hazards for our health and environment . . .
The . . . British Medical Association . . . has called for a moratorium on all
genetically engineered foods because they may not be saf
e . . .
GMOs (genetically modified organisms) once created and released into the
environment, are permanent. They can never be recalled back into the
laboratory, nor can they be contained within a restricted pasture, farmland,
environment, or geographical space.
Opinions About GM Foods
"The social benefits of genetic engineering are considerable: treating human
and animal diseases; increasing food production from crops and animals;
the nutritional value of foods; extending the shelf life of
food products. . . and helping to provide a cleaner environment. "
George G. Khatchatourians, Department of Applied Microbiology,
"If left to me, I certainly would no
t eat it. We are putting new things into
food which would not have been eaten before. The effects on the
immune system are not easily predictable and I challenge anyone who
will say that the effects are predictable."
Dr. Arpad Pusztai, Research Scientist
“The risks of modem genetic engineering have been studied by
technical experts at the National Academy of Sciences and World Bank.
They concluded that we can predict the environmental effects by reviewing
past experiences with those plants and animals pro
selective breeding. None of these products of selective breeding have
harmed either the environment or biodiversity."
Jimmy Carter, Former U.S. President
"The fact that we do not really know what the long
of genetic engine
ering will be, and are not prepared to move slowly and
take the time to find out, means that a grand experiment is taking place
and the outcome is anyone's guess. The Bt potato, Roundup Ready
canola, or Liberty
link soybean might be harmless, or they might
a disaster. We won't know until it is too late."
Brewster Kneen, Author of Farmageddon: Food and the Culture of