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Food Biotechnology Ethics

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Food Biotechnology Ethics Clark Ford, Ph.D. Food Science and Human Nutrition Iowa State University What is Food Biotechnology? Food technology based on biology ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Food Biotechnology Ethics


1
Food Biotechnology Ethics
  • Clark Ford, Ph.D.
  • Food Science and Human Nutrition
  • Iowa State University

2
What is Food Biotechnology?
  • Food technology based on biology
  • Ancient food biotechnology
  • Fermentation by microbes
  • Cheese
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Bread
  • Modern food biotechnology
  • Tissue culture
  • Genetic engineering
  • Different from plant and animal breeding

3
Genetic Engineering
  • Genetic Engineering involves manipulating DNA
    molecules
  • DNA from one species is spliced into the DNA of
    another species
  • Called Recombinant DNA
  • Genetically Engineered organisms are called
  • Genetically Modified
  • Transgenic

4
Milestones in Food Biotechnology
  • 1953 Structure of DNA discovered
  • 1973 First gene cloned
  • in microbes
  • 1977 Asilomar Conference in USA
  • Recombinant DNA safety
  • Regulation
  • Risk assessment
  • Containment

5
Milestones in Food Biotechnology
  • 1990 Recombinant Chymosin Approved by FDA
  • Enzyme for cheese making
  • Originally from calf stomach
  • Bovine gene expressed in GRAS microbes
  • In 80 of U.S. cheese
  • Vegetarian cheese in England

6
Other Products from Genetically Engineered
Microbes
  • Food enzymes
  • Bread
  • HFCS Sweeteners
  • Amino acids
  • Peptides
  • Nutrasweet
  • Flavors
  • Organic acids
  • Polysaccharides
  • Vitamins

7
Milestones in Food Biotechnology
  • 1994 FDA approves
  • Flavr Savr Tomato
  • Prolonged shelf life
  • Improved quality
  • Voluntarily labeled

8
Other Genetically Engineered Plants
  • Agronomic traits
  • BT Corn
  • Roundup Ready Soy
  • Disease Resistance
  • Food quality
  • Nutrition
  • Metabolic products
  • Vaccines

9
Bt Corn
  • Natural insecticide from Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Non-toxic to humans
  • Target insect corn borer
  • Potential to
  • reduce insecticide use
  • reduce mycotoxins
  • 40 U.S. Corn crop Bt (2006)

10
Bt Concerns
  • Bt pollen harms non-target species?
  • Bt crops select for resistant insects
  • Bt pollen can drift to organic fields
  • Food system failed to keep BT Starlink corn out
    of human food products

11
Herbicide Resistance
  • Roundup Ready Soy, Corn, Canola
  • Allows post-emergence herbicide spraying
  • Increases yield
  • Facilitates no-till farming
  • 89 U.S. Soy crop (2006)

12
Herbicide Resistance Concerns
  • Encourages herbicide use
  • Groundwater contamination
  • Kills beneficial soil microbes
  • Cross-pollinates weeds
  • Fosters dependence on Agrochemcial companies

13
Disease Resistance
  • Canola
  • Cantaloupes
  • Cucumbers
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Papaya
  • Potatoes
  • Soybeans
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Wheat

Genetically engineered papaya resistant papaya
ringspot virus
14
Health and Nutrition
  • Golden Rice
  • Vitamin A and Iron enhanced
  • Seeds given to the poor for free
  • Improved Amino Acid Balance for Soy, Maize
  • Banana Vaccines

15
Milestones in Food Biotechnology
  • 1999 GM corn and soybean products are present
    in 80 of processed foods in USA
  • Corn
  • starch, high fructose corn syrup, oil
  • Soy
  • oil, Lecithin, protein

16
Milestones in Food Biotechnology
  • 1999 European Union requires GM labels, blocks
    import of GM corn, beans
  • Ban lifted 2004 but no change in anti-gm
    sentiment in Europe

17
Milestones in Food Biotechnology
  • 1999 Gerber and Heinz baby foods GM-free
  • 2000 Mc Donalds and Frito-Lay products GM-free

18
Milestones in Food Biotechnology
  • 2000 USDA Organic Foods Standards
  • Must be GM-free

19
Milestones in Food Biotechnology
  • 2005 222 million acres worldwide
  • Planted in Genetically modified crops
  • 55 in USA
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Cotton
  • India, China
  • Canola

http//www.isaaa.org/kc/bin/briefs34/es/index.htm
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83/24833301.jpg
20
Controversy over Biotech Foods
  • Debate pits consumer and ecology groups against
    Multinational Corporations
  • Many farmers, scientists, government agencies
    caught in the middle

21
Arguments for Genetically Engineered Food
  • Potential to
  • Increase productivity
  • Increase purity
  • Increase safety
  • Improve nutrition
  • Improve food quality
  • Improve sustainability
  • Benefit ecosystem
  • Process not inherently harmful
  • Similar to traditional Plant and Animal breeding
  • Unless misused, outcome expected to be beneficial
  • Is a powerful technology that could help humanity
  • Bad ideas weeded out by the market, regulation,
    lawsuit

--Paul Thompson
22
Arguments against Genetically Engineered Foods
  • Potential safety risk for humans
  • Unintended Consequences
  • Genetic Engineering is playing God
  • Not Natural to move genes between species
  • Potential safety risk for environment
  • Could spread
  • Genetically Engineered label not required in U.S.
  • Benefits multinational corporations
  • not consumers or developing nations

23
Frankenstein Foods Unintended Consequences?
  • Random gene insertion
  • Toxicity
  • New gene products?
  • Allergies
  • Eating DNA!

24
Arguments for Labeling
  • Not Substantially equivalent to non-GM
  • Must use Precautionary principle
  • Is uncertainty in risk assessment
  • Labeling indicates process used
  • Consumers right to know and choose
  • Countrys right to know and choose

25
Arguments against labeling
  • Suggests non-existent hazard
  • Expensive to segregate crops and change labels
  • FDA labels required if change in
  • Allergenicity
  • Nutrition
  • Food Quality

26
Will it Feed the World?
  • Disease resistance will benefit developing
    nations
  • Technology requiring increased inputs benefits
    wealthy, multinationals, plantations
  • Small, subsistence farmers cant compete, lose
    land
  • Inequity, poverty increase
  • Thus more food and more hunger
  • Green Revolution unsustainable
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