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Genetically Modified Organisms!. Is Genetically Modified Food Safe Enough to feed the World’s Growing Population?. ISU Nicketta Lagadoo Dec. 8, 2009 Mr. Watts SBI4U. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Genetically Modified Organisms!Is Genetically Modified Food Safe Enough to feed the Worlds Growing Population?ISUNicketta LagadooDec. 8, 2009Mr. WattsSBI4U

  • What Is Genetic Modification? Genetic Modification of an organism, is a process where by the genetic material( DNA or RNA) of an organism is transferred to another organism using biotechnology to achieve a desired effectScientists alter the genetic make up of an organism to enhance a desired trait for commercial advantage for agricultural productionTraits are taken from other plants, bacteria, viruses and animalsTraits that are desired include: resistance to insects or pathogens, increase nutritional content, herbicide tolerance, longer shelf life in grocery stores, ability to grow faster and bigger, delayed ripening, or higher oil content, etc.

  • History of GMOs:Genetic Modification is not one of the 21st century, but has been around since the begginning of agucultureHumans have been naturally genetically modifying plants, to create the best offspring using selective breedingThe process included the mixing of many genes together in order to achieve a specific result Since traditional breeding techniques are time consuming, and not accurate, genetic modification allows scientists to target the exact desired gene to be inserted into an organism in a short amount of timeIn 1994 , the first commercially grown, genetically modified food was a tomato created by Flavr Savr

    Crops that have been genetically modified include: canola corn, including popcorn and sweet corn but not blue corn cotton flax papaya potatoes soybeans squash (yellow crookneck) sugar beet tomatoes, including cherry tomatoes

  • How the Process Works:The process of genetically modifying a plant is as follows: A plant with the desired characteristic is identified.

    The specific gene that produces the characteristic is located and restriction enzymes are used to cut the plants DNA.

    A plasmid is joined to the gene to act as a carrier inorder to insert the gene into the cells of the plant.

    A promoter is included with the gene and the plasmid, to help the gene function properly when inserted into the plant.

    The gene package is then inserted back into the bacterium, which reproduces to create many copies of the gene package.

    The gene packages are transferred into the plant that is being modified, using a particle gun or a soil bacterium.

    The plant tissue that has taken up the genes is grown into full-size genetically modified plants.

  • Contd.

  • Pros of GMOs:Pros of GMOs:Enhance the taste and quality of foods

    Reduced maturation time

    Increase nutrients, yields, and stress tolerance

    Improved resistance to disease, pests and herbicides

    New products and growing techniques

    Conservation of soil, water and energy

    More efficient processing

    Increased food security for growing populations

    Golden Rice:

    Rice for many countries in the world is a primary food sourceVitamin A from beta-carotene is made from mammals and is not found in polished white riceWhite rice was missing many essential vitamins and minerals, so people whose diet is heavily based on rice were malnourishedThe most severe consequences of malnutrition is blindness cause by the vitamin A deficiency Scientists genetically modified rice so that it could be high in vitamin ATurned rice, yellow in colour

  • Cons & Ethics of GMOsCons of GMOs: Human health impacts (allergens or the transfer of antibiotic resistance markers) The transfer of transgenes through cross-pollinationLoss of flora and fauna biodiversityDomination of world food production by a few companiesIncreasing dependence on industrialized nations by developing countriesHarmful pollutants as a result of cross breeding plants and the formation of super weedsEthics for GMOs:Violation of natural organism intrinsic valuesTampering with nature by mixing genes among species

  • Labeling of GMOs in Canada:Canada is one of the largest producers of genetically modified crops, up to 70% of processed foods in the grocery stores contain genetically modified ingredients

    When a manufacturer wants to sell or advertise a new genetically modified product in Canada, they must submit data to Health Canada for a pre-market safety assessment as required under the Division 28 of Part B of the Food and Drugs Regulation.

    The information that is submitted is assessed by the evaluators who are experts in molecular biology, toxicology, chemistry, nutritional sciences, and microbiology.

    The criteria for assessing the new product is as follows:

    How the modified product was developedHow the GM food compares to a non-modified counter part food in terms of composition and nutrition qualityThe potential for production of new toxins in the foodThe potential for causing allergic reactionsThe microbiological and chemical safety of the food

  • Organizations Pro or Anti-GMOs:Pro GMOs: Organizations that support the creation of genetically modified foods are: AAEA (African American Environmentalist Association): -founded in 1985 -a national, non-profit environmental organization that encourages participation in environmental issues

    -insist that GM foods are beneficial to helping feed hungry populations across the world -Starvation is much more dangerous to more people than any threat presented by GM foods

    Anti-GMOs: Organizations that do not support the creation of genetically modified foods are:The Royal Society of Canada:it is scientifically unjustifiable to presume that GM foods are safe, and that the default prediction for any GM foods is the creation of unintended side effects

    Greenpeace: Oppose the release of GMOs into the environment

    advocates interim measures like the labeling of GM foods, and the segregation of GM crops and seeds from conventional and organic seeds

  • References:

    _________.(2006). Genetically Modified Foods. Retrieved Oct. 17, 2009, from Science Reference Center database.

    Eubanks, Mark W. (2003). Genetically Modified Foods. Retrieved Nov. 8, 2009, from Science Center database. Food Standards Agency. (2003). GM Basics. Retrieved Nov. 18, 2009, from, Clare (edu.). (2008). Global Resources. New York: Green Haven Press.

    Health Canada. (2009). The Safety of Genetically Modified Foods. Retrieved Nov. 10, 2009, from Genome Project Information.(2008). Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms. Retrieved Nov. 17, 2008, from hotos/greenpeace activists-protest-a-10.jpg