GMO Foods Genetically Modified Foods – Do you really know what you are eating? Who is protecting the people? It is in soya bean, corn, cottonseed oil, alfalfa, hawaiian pineapple, tomatoes, rapeseed (canola), sugar cane, sugar beet, rice, squash (zucchini) and sweet peppers. Reading this from the insert below:  “In addition, various genetically engineered micro-organisms are routinely used as sources of enzymes for the manufacture of a variety of processed foods. These include alpha-amylase from bacteria, which converts starch to simple sugars, chymosin from bacteria or fungi that clots milk protein for cheese making, and pectinesterase from fungi which improves fruit juice clarity.” I don’t think we really know what we are eating do we? Here is some information I gathered about GMO foods to show how wide spread it has become without us really being aware of it really happening. Here is some information on GMO.

Genetically modified food

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods derived from genetically modified organisms. Genetically modified organisms have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering techniques. These techniques are much more precise than mutagenesis (mutation breeding) where an organism is exposed to radiation or chemicals to create a non-specific but stable change. Other techniques by which humans modify food organisms include selective breeding (plant breeding and animal breeding), and somaclonal variation.

GM foods were first put on the market in the early 1990s. Typically, genetically modified foods are transgenic plant products: soybean, corn, canola, and cotton seed oil. Animal products have also been developed, although as of July 2010 none are currently on the market.[1] In 2006 a pig was controversially[2][3] engineered to produce omega-3 fatty acids through the expression of a roundworm gene.[4] Researchers have also developed a genetically-modified breed of pigs that are able to absorb plant phosphorus more efficiently, and as a consequence the phosphorus content of their manure is reduced by as much as 60%.[5]

Critics have objected to GM foods on several grounds, including possible safety issues,[6] ecological concerns, and economic concerns raised by the fact that these organisms are subject to intellectual property law.

Genetically modified organism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically engineered organism (GEO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques, generally known as recombinant DNA technology, use DNA molecules from different sources, which are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified or novel genes. Transgenic organisms, a subset of GMOs, are organisms which have inserted DNA that originated in a different species.

Growing GM crops

Between 1997 and 2009, the total surface area of land cultivated with GMOs had increased by a factor of 80, from 17,000 km2 (4.2 million acres) to 1,340,000 km2 (331 million acres).[13]

Although most GM crops are grown in North America, in recent years there has been rapid growth in the area sown in developing countries. For instance in 2009 the largest increase in crop area planted to GM crops (soybeans) was in Brazil (214,000 km2 in 2009 versus 158,000 km2 in 2008.)[13] There has also been rapid and continuing expansion of GM cotton varieties in India since 2002. (Cotton is a major source of vegetable cooking oil and animal feed.) In 2009 84,000 km2 of GM cotton were harvested in India.[13]

In India, GM cotton yields in Andhra Pradesh were no better than non-GM cotton in 2002, the first year of commercial GM cotton planting. This was because there was a severe drought in Andhra Pradesh that year and the parental cotton plant used in the genetic engineered variant was not well suited to extreme drought. Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu had an average 42% increase in yield with GM cotton in the same year.[26] Drought resistant variants were developed and, with the substantially reduced losses to insect predation, by 2009 87% of Indian cotton was GM.[13] Though disputed[27][28] the economic and environmental benefits of GM cotton in India to the individual farmer have been documented.[29][30]

In 2009, countries that grew 95% of the global transgenic crops were the United States (46%), Brazil (16%), Argentina (15%), India (6%), Canada (6%), China (3%), Paraguay (2%) and South Africa (2%).[13] The Grocery Manufacturers of America estimate that 75% of all processed foods in the U.S. contain a GM ingredient.[31] In particular, Bt corn, which produces the pesticide within the plant itself, is widely grown, as are soybeans genetically designed to tolerate glyphosate herbicides. These constitute “input-traits” are aimed to financially benefit the producers, have indirect environmental benefits and marginal cost benefits to consumers.

In the US, by 2009/2010, 93% of the planted area of soybeans, 93% of cotton, 86% of corn and 95% of the sugar beet were genetically modified varieties.[11][12] Genetically modified soybeans carried herbicide-tolerant traits only, but maize and cotton carried both herbicide tolerance and insect protection traits (the latter largely the Bacillus thuringiensis Bt insecticidal protein). In the period 2002 to 2006, there were significant increases in the area planted to Bt protected cotton and maize, and herbicide tolerant maize also increased in sown area.[32

Coexistence and traceability

The United States and Canada do not require labeling of genetically modified foods.[45] However in certain other regions, such as the European Union, Japan, Malaysia and Australia, governments have required labeling so consumers can exercise choice between foods that have genetically modified, conventional or organic origins.[46][47] This requires a labeling system as well as the reliable separation of GM and non-GM organisms at production level and throughout the whole processing chain.[46][47]

For traceability, the OECD has introduced a “unique identifier” which is given to any GMO when it is approved.[48] This unique identifier must be forwarded at every stage of processing.[citation needed] Many countries have established labeling regulations and guidelines on coexistence and traceability. Research projects such as Co-Extra, SIGMEA and Transcontainer are aimed at investigating improved methods for ensuring coexistence and providing stakeholders the tools required for the implementation of coexistence and traceability.

Controversy

Main article: GM food controversy

While it is evident that there is a food supply issue, the question is whether GM can solve world hunger problems, or even if that would be the best way to address the issue. Several scientists argue that in order to meet the demand for food in the developing world, a second Green Revolution with increased use of GM crops is needed.[51] Others argue that there is more than enough food in the world and that the hunger crisis is caused by problems in food distribution and politics, not production.[52][53] Recently some critics and environmentalists have changed their minds on the issue with respect to the need for additional food supplies.[54][55][56] Further, it has been widely noted that there are those who consider over-population the real issue here, and that food production is adequate for any reasonable population size.

“Genetic modification is analogous to nuclear power: nobody loves it, but climate change has made its adoption imperative,” says economist Paul Collier of Oxford University. “Declining genetic modification makes a complicated issue more complex. Genetic modification offers both faster crop adaptation and a biological, rather than chemical, approach to yield increases.”[57]

On the other hand, many believe that GM food has not been a success and that we should devote our efforts and money into another solution. “We need biodiversity intensification that works with nature’s nutrient and water cycles, not against them,” says Vandana Shiva, the founder of Navdanya, the movement of 500,000 seed keepers and organic farmers in India, argues that GMF’s have not increased yields. Recently, Doug Gurian-Sherman, a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit science advocacy group, published a report called “Failure to Yield”, in which he stated that in a nearly 20 year record, genetically engineered crops have not increased yields substantially of food and livestock feed crops in the United States.[58]

Some claim that genetically modified food help farmers produce, despite the odds or any environmental barriers. “While new technology must be tested before it is commercially released, we should be mindful of the risks of not releasing it at all,” says Per Pinstrup-Andersen, professor of Food, Nutrition and Public Policy at Cornell University. Per Pinstrup-Anderson argues, “Misguided anti-science ideology and failure by governments to prioritize agricultural and rural development in developing countries brought us the food crisis.” He clearly states the challenge we face is not the challenge of whether we have enough resources to produce, but whether we will change our behavior.

Read the full article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food

« »