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Genetically Modified Foods


Genetically Modified Foods What are GM s? are produced as a result of technology that has altered the DNA of living things (animals, plants or bacteria). – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Genetically Modified Foods

Genetically Modified Foods
What are GMs?
  • are produced as a result of technology that has
    altered the DNA of living things (animals, plants
    or bacteria).
  • Other terms that mean the same thing
  • Genetically engineered
  • Transgenic
  • Recombinant DNA (rDNA) technology

What are GM crops?
  • Plants which have been genetically altered to
    express a desirable trait
  • Herbicide resistance
  • Virus resistance
  • Insects/ Pests resistance
  • Environmental Tolerance
  • Increased nutritional value

Why produce GM food?
  • To improve the quality of food
  • To improve food production to feed the world
  • To strengthen the resistance against herb and
  • To cope better with climatic changes
  • To minimize the cost of production
  • To minimize loss during transport and storage

Why are foods genetically modified?
  • Genetic engineering offers a rapid and precise
    method of altering organisms as compared to
    traditional methods that are slow and inaccurate.

How does GM differ from Selective breeding?
  • Selective breeding
  • -slow
  • -imprecise
  • -modification of genes that naturally occur in
    the organism
  • GM
  • -very fast
  • -precise
  • -can introduce genes into an organism that would
    not occur naturally!

Herbicide Resistance
  • Herbicides, like glyphosate and glufosinate, are
    used to eliminate weeds to maintain nutrient
    content in the soil but they decrease the yield.
  • Scientists insert the herbicide resistance genes
    via Agrobacterium into food plants so that they
    will not be affected by the herbicide.
  • This reduces the excessive use of herbicide.

Pest resistance
  • Scientists insert the toxin producing gene from
    Bacillus thuringiensis, a kind of soil bacterium,
    into maize.
  • Destructive insects will be killed when eating
    the crop.
  • The loss due to destructive insects is greatly

What are genetically modified foods?
  • Also called genetically modified organisms (GMO).
  • Involves the insertion of DNA from one organism
    into another OR modification of an organisms DNA
    in order to achieve a desired trait.

A strawberry resistant to frost

Animal products from animals fed GM feed Products
produced by GM organisms
Arctic fish DNA
Genetically modified (GM) food
  • Foods which have been produced from genetically
    modified organisms (GMOs) are likely to appear no
    different from food produced by traditional
  • A series of laboratory tests would be needed to
    show that genes had been changed.
  • The Government has set up a series of controls
    to protect consumers, the environment and people
    who work with genetically modified organisms
    (GMOs) which take account of these concerns.

GM Technology
  • Traditional genetics cross breeding
  • Hundreds of new mutations among the genes
  • Genetic engineering allows scientists to select a
    single gene
  • Soil bacterium, first genetic engineer
  • Biolistics uses a gun to fire the desired gene
  • Protoplasts plant cell walls removed

Examples of GMOs
  • Golden rice rice that contains beta-carotene
    (Vitamin A), which is not found in regular rice.
  • Bt corn corn that contains a chemical normally
    found in a bacterium (Bacillus thuringiensis)
    that is toxic to insects but not to humans.
  • Herbicide resistant plants

Bt-toxins present in peanut leaves (bottom image)
protect it from extensive damage caused by
European corn borer larvae (top image)
Common GM Foods
  • Vegetables
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Cheese
  • Meat

How common are GM foods?
  • 48 foods have been approved for use by the
    Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Products Corn Canola Potatoes Tomatoes Squash Soy
beans Flax Cottonseed oil Sugarbeets
Derived Products Corn syrup Tofu Canned
foods Soya sauce Animals that feed on
How common are GMO foods?
  • Labeling of GM foods is not mandatory unless if
    there is a health or safety concern (Health
    Canada/Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

How are plants targeted?
  • Agrobacterium that normally infects plants with
    disease is used to infect plant with gene of
    interests or
  • A particle gun is used to shoot small bits of
    metal coated with the gene into the plant.

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Social/Environmental Impact Risks Benefits
Potential Benefits These are some of the
potential benefits given in the GM Food argument,
but many are questionable and are they worth more
than all the risks associated?
  • A solution for World Hunger
  • Reduce numbers of children at risk for
    Vitamin-A-deficiency-induced blindness
  • (ie. Golden Rice)
  • Increase crop yields significantly (ie. Herbicide
    tolerant/Insect Resistant crops)
  • Improvement in Nutritional Content (ie. Leaner
    meat, added vitamins/minerals)

Social/Environmental Impact Risks Benefits
Potential Benefits CONT.
  • A solution for World Hunger?
  • The world today produces more food per inhabitant
    than ever before. Enough food is available to
    provide 4.3 lbs. for every person every day 2.5
    lbs of grain, beans, and nuts about a lb of
    meat, milk, and eggs and another of fruits and
  • The real causes of hunger are poverty,
    inequality, and lack of land/resources
  • Reduce number of children at risk for
  • blindness? (ie. Golden Rice)?
  • People do not exhibit Vitamin A deficiency, not
    because too little vitamin A or beta carotene,
    but because their diet has been reduced to rice
    and almost nothing else
  • Beta carotene is fat-soluble, and its uptake by
    the intestine depends on fat or oil in the diet

Social/Environmental Impact Risks Benefits
Potential Benefits CONT.
  • Increase crop yields significantly (ie. Herbicide
    tolerant Insect
  • Resistant crops)?
  • In 1997, yields were not significantly different
    in engineered versus non-engineered crops in 7
    out of 12 crop/region combinations
  • In 1998, yields were not significantly different
    in engineered versus non-engineered crops in 12
    out of 18 crop/region combinations
  • Improvement in Nutritional Content ?
  • It has been said that the opposite is true
    Transgenic foods may mislead consumers with
    counterfeit freshness. A luscious-looking, bright
    red genetically engineered tomato could be
    several weeks old and of little nutritional worth
    (Safe-food Organization 2003)

Potential Benefits
  • Humanitarian

Environmental reduced use of herbicides and
chemicals in farming.
Possible Benefitsof GM Foods
  • Easing of world hunger
  • Development of crops that can be grown in
    marginal soil
  • Reduced strain on nonrenewable resources
  • Development of drought resistant crops
  • Development of salt-tolerant crops
  • Development of crops that make more efficient use
    of nitrogen and other nutrients

Possible Benefits of GM Foods
  • Reduced use of pesticides and herbicides
  • Development of pest resistant crops
  • Reduced herbicide use is better for the
    environment and reduces costs for farmers

Possible Benefits of GM Foods
  • Improved crop quality
  • Development of frost resistant crops
  • Development of disease resistant crops
  • Development of flood resistant crops
  • Improved nutritional quality
  • Development of foods designed to meet specific
    nutritional goals

Who makes sure GM foods are safe?
  • Government agencies regulate GM foods
  • GM foods in the United States are required to be
    labeled only if the nutritional value is changed
    or a new allergen is introduced.

Possible Risks of GM Foods
  • Insects might develop resistance to
    pesticide-producing GM crops
  • Herbicide-tolerant crops may cross-pollinate
    weeds, resulting in "superweeds"

Possible Risks for GM Foods
  • Certain gene products may be allergens, thus
    causing harm to human health
  • There may be unintended harm to wildlife and
    beneficial insects

Improving crops and livestock
  • Improving varieties of crops or livestock by
    introducing or modifying specific genes is fast
    and more accurate than traditional breeding.
  • If the gene can be identified and modified the
    following changes may be possible
  • plant crops may have a longer shelf-life, be
    more resistant to pests or disease, be more
    nutritious, have a better taste or give a higher
  • animals may be made more resistant to disease,
    produce less fatty meat, grow faster or be more

Why do it?
  • Rice- not high in essential nutrients
  • Modification
  • daffodil genes and a bacterium beta-carotene
    content drastically increased
  • genes from a french bean double the iron
  • Tomatoes- Introduce genes to increase shelf life.

Other applications
  • Potato - modified to produce a beetle killing
  • Yellow squash modified to contain anti-viral
    genes that are resistant to the most common viral
  • Develop foods that contain vaccines and
    antibodies that offer valuable protection against
    diseases such as cholera, hepatitis, and malaria
  • Canola modified to resist one type of herbicide
    or pesticide

Benefits of Genetic Engineering and Modifying
  • 1. Higher yielding crops, more efficient use
    of land
  • 2. Can save money and promote higher profits
  • 3. Longer shelf life, less waste
  • Example// Tomatoes from genetically
  • modified seeds stay
  • longer.
  • 4. Enhanced taste and quality
  • 5. Reduced maturation time

Benefits of Genetic Engineering and Modifying
  • 6. Increased and improved nutrients and
    stress tolerance
  • - A single gene genetically
    engineered into cauliflower can increase
  • production of beta-carotene 100
  • - A gene can be implanted into a
    soybean upgrading the soy
  • protein to a quality equal to
    that of milk.
  • - Corn can be modified to contain
    its two limiting amino acids,
  • lysine or tryptophan
  • 7. Improved resistance to disease or illness
  • - Foods can be enhanced with phyto-chemicals
    that help maintain
  • health and reduce the risks of
    chronic disease.
  • 8. Improved crop resistance to disease,
    pests, weeds and herbicides
  • 9. New products and growing techniques
  • - Individuals allergic to milk may
    be able to buy milk that has been
  • treated with the lactase enzyme
  • - Creating decaffeinated coffee beans are
    in a process of research.

Benefits of Genetic Engineering and Modifying
  • Society
  • Increased food security for growing populations
    and growth challenges