Presentation on theme: "Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)"— Presentation transcript:
1 Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) Friend or Foe
2 genetically modified foods Also called genetically modified organisms (GMO), or GE foods (Genetically Engineered).Created by inserting DNA from one organism into another (Fish DNA into an Apple) or, modifying an organism’s DNA to attain a desirable traits (I.e. crops that can resist drought and disease).Image credit: Microsoft clipart
3 Examples of GMO’sIn 1994, the Flvr Savr tomato (apple DNA combined with Tomato DNA) was introduced as the first GMO food. It is supposed to be“tastier, firmer and fresher” than the average tomato.Golden Ride - enriched rice containing beta-carotene (Vitamin A). This vitamin is not found in normal rice.Bt Corn - corn containing a chemical normally found in bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis). This is toxic to insects, not humans. Insects try to eat the plant and die.Herbicide resistant plants (roundup ready corn) - these plants are immune to a certain herbicide, so they live while all the other plants in the field are killed.
4 GMO foods…are commonAccording to Greenpeace, up to 70% of processed foods in Canada contain GMO ingredients. Most common are corn, soy, canola and cotton.
5 What is grown globally?In 2001 the area of genetically modified crops grown globally was 52.6 million hectares. That is an area the size of France or Spain. This includes food and non-food crops (I.e.cotton)4 countries produced 99% of the world's genetically modified crops. These are:USA (68%)Argentina (22%)Canada (6%)China (3%)More than 80% of canola grown in Canada and a high proportion of the country’s soybean and corn crops are genetically modified.Image credit: Microsoft clipart
7 GMO’s In CanadaHealth Canada groups GMO foods into a category called “Novel Foods”Foods resulting from a process not previously used for food;Products that have never been used as a food; orFoods that have been modified by genetic manipulation, also known as genetically modified (GM) foods, genetically engineered foods or biotechnology-derived foods
8 GMO’s in Canada 70 novel foods have been approved for sale in Canada. PotatoesCanolaCornTomatoesSquashSoybeansFlaxAre all examples!!70 novelfoods havebeenapprovedfor salein Canada.These crops are processed into the goods we buy in grocery stores….Fries, cakes, oils, sugars, saucesAnimals that feed on GMOs…And more… all without mandatory labeling.
9 Benefit #1 Increased Crop Productivity This includes herbicide tolerance,pest and disease resistanceE.g. “Roundup ready” crops, and BT corn.Could mean using less spray
10 Benefit #2 Cold Tolerance Drought Tolerance plants developed to tolerate cold temperatures withstand unexpected frost that could destroy seedlings.Drought Tolerancecurrently inhospitable regions can now be cultivated
11 Benefit # 3 Improved Nutrition crops like rice are a staple in developing countries but are nutritionally inadequate.GMO "golden rice" is high in beta-carotene (vitamin A)Vitamin A - reduces eye-related problems like blindness due to malnutrition
12 Benefit #4 Phytothoremediation Plants like poplar tees clean up the heavy metal soil contaminationGMO plants with higher tolerance for heavy metals like mercury are created
13 Benefit #5 Future Benefits food without allergens; (I.e. anyone could eat nuts)grains, fruit & vegetables with improved nutrition (multi-vitamin potatoes=healthy fast food french fries!)longer shelf life and better taste (reduced food waste due to spoilage)rice enhanced with iron (prevent anemia)foods used as vaccines (bye-bye needles)And many more possibilities
14 Challenge #1Environmental – possibility of unintended harm to other organismsA pest resistant crop that produces toxins could harm both crop-damaging and non crop-damaging insects. (e.g. of this is the BR corn is thought to affect/kill the larvae of a Monarch Butterfly.
15 Challenge #2Pesticides will become less effective as pests become resistant and start to adapt to the GMODifferent varieties and strengths of pesticides will be needed once weeds have adapted to the existing effective pesticides.
16 Challenge #3 Super weeds Gene transfer to non-target species where herbicide tolerant plants crossbreed with weeds potentially creating herbicide resistant weeds.Some Western Canadian farmers are calling Monsanto’s round-up ready canola a superweed.
17 Challenge #4 Human Health Risk introducing a gene into a plant may create a new allergen or cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals.Also if one was to insert the genes from a nut into another plant could be dangerous for people who are allergic to nuts
18 Challenge #5 Economic Hazards GMO seeds are patented (must buy each year)This presents problems for poor farmers in both the developed and developing worlds.Large companies like Monsanto have resorted to suing small farmers found to be using their seed without paying.Suicide SeedsIn order to compete with the global market, farmers are forced to by GMO seeds. Problem – some seeds they buy are infertile and yield NO CROPS.