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SAFETY OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS

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SAFETY OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS E Jane Morris Any unintended consequences of genetic modification? EU project looked at GM vs non-GM potato Analyzed ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: SAFETY OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS


1
SAFETY OF GENETICALLYMODIFIED FOODS
  • E Jane Morris

2
Is GM food safe?
  • All food presents some risk to the consumer
  • Non-GM risks include
  • Food allergens
  • Toxic agrochemicals (pesticides etc)
  • Microbial contamination
  • Mycotoxin contamination
  • Food toxins (lectins, alkaloids etc)
  • BSE

3
What are the issues for GM food?
  • GM food has been on the market in the US for 10
    years with no ill effects reported
  • Risk assessment eg
  • Any changes in nutritional composition
  • History of safe use of substances in the GM food
    (toxicity, allergenicity etc)
  • Stability
  • Unexpected products (secondary metabolites etc)
  • NB Processed foods are not
  • themselves GMOs

4
Any unintended consequences of genetic
modification?EU project looked at GM vs non-GM
potato
  • Analyzed
  • Glycoalkaloids
  • Protease inhibitors
  • Vitamin C
  • Fatty acids
  • Amino acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • No negative compositional effects found in any of
    the GM lines

5
Emerging techniques transcriptome, metabolome
and transcriptome analysis to detect any
unintended effects
AGRONOMICS
PHENOTYPICS
GENOMICS
PROTEOMICS
METABOLOMICS
STATISTICS
Genome expression
Unintended effects?
Function
Metabolome expression
Proteome expression
Data integration
DIFFERENCES
COMPONENTS
PROTEINS
DNA/mRNAs
TISSUE
PLANT
6
Safety and benefits
  • We subject GM foods to more stringent safety
    testing than non-GM foods!
  • GM foods hold potential benefit not just risk
  • Better nutritional quality
  • Reduced risk of poisoning from mycotoxins and
    agrochemicals
  • Increased food production

7
Food control is exercised by
  • The Department of Agriculture
  • The Department of Health
  • (enforced by local authorities)
  • The South African Bureau of Standards

8
Food safety legislation
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Health
  • South African Bureau of Standards
  • Agricultural Product Standards Act, 1990 (Act 119
    of 1990)
  • Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972
    (Act 54 of 1972)
  • Standards Act, 1993 (Act 29 of 1993)

9
Should the consumer be told?
  • General information on GM food should be provided
    in a reasonable and balanced manner
  • Labelling of individual foods is a complex issue,
    with no general agreement at international levels
  • The Codex alimentarius commission of the FAO and
    WHO is attempting to achieve international
    agreement on labelling, traceability etc

10
Labelling of foods/GMOs
  • Identification in terms of article 18 of the
    Cartagena Protocol
  • Not only food - all live GMOs (LMOs).
  • Only live GMOs
  • Proposed labelling in terms of the FCD Act, 1972
  • Food only
  • Includes live GMOs plus processed (non-live) GMOs

11
Labelling of GM foods in terms of the FCD Act,
1972
  • Draft regulations published for comment in the
    Government Gazette of 4 May 2001
  • Final regulations submitted to DOH Legal Unit
    during November 2002
  • Dilemma
  • - No consensus at the Joint FAO/WHO Codex
    Alimentarius Commission
  • - Health obligation i.r.o. food control is
    safety nutrition

12
Contents of proposed regulations under the FCD
Act, 1972
  • Must indicate presence of allergen (safety)
  • Must indicate different composition, different
    nutritional value, different method of storage,
    preparation or cooking (nutrition)
  • May indicate enhanced characteristic (nutrition)
    or reduced hypersensitivity (safety) subject to
    validation/certification

13
Contents of proposed regulations under the FCD
Act, 1972 (continued)
  • Must indicate presence of genetic material from
    humans or animals (religion, moral)
  • Must comply with general labelling regulations in
    terms of the Act

14
Contents of proposed regulations under the FCD
Act, 1972 (continued)
  • Included in draft regulations but not in the
    proposed final regulations
  • Conditions for claiming not genetically
    modified
  • Prohibition on the claim GM free
  • No Identity Preservation System in place
  • Not a health issue
  • No global consensus

15
Mandatory labelling of all genetically modified
foods?
  • Unless identity preservation systems are
    introduced through the whole food chain, it can
    be assumed that the majority of foods will have
    some GM content
  • Identity preservation is expensive for
    producers/industry and therefore for consumers
    (8/tonne for maize?)
  • Analytical methods to test for the presence of GM
    products are not completely reliable, lack
    sensitivity and are expensive
  • Cost for Government, and therefore for consumers
  • Right to know versus Right to eat
  • Not a Health issue

16
The way forward
  • South Africa should adopt a pragmatic approach
  • South Africa has potential to provide leadership
    and direction in its approach to GM foods
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