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Presentation on theme: "GMOs CGW4U."— Presentation transcript:


2 GMO A genetically modified organism A living thing that…
Has had its genes (DNA) altered to act in a way that does not happen naturally and/or Contains genes from another organism

3 GMO When applied to food, generally means crops that have been genetically engineered so that they… Grow well even when sprayed with pesticides Have less disease caused by insects or viruses Resist damage due to weather, like frost or draught Ripen slower and last longer during shipping Bruise less easily Have more of a certain nutrient like vitamin A found in Golden Rice, a genetically modified rice crop developed in Europe

4 Examples Some genetically modified soybeans contain a gene that comes from soil bacteria This gene helps the soybeans grow even when sprayed with herbicide Some genetically modified corn has a gene that produces a toxin This toxin kills an insect called the corn borer and allows the corn to grow without damage

5 History The first GMO crop (the Flavr Savr tomato) was approved by the FDA in 1994 Since then, GE varieties of corn, soy, sugar beets and canola have become common local crops in Canada In addition to locally produced crops, GE varieties of cottonseed oil, papaya, squash and milk products are imported from the USA into Canada

6 Today Since 1994, over 81 GM foods have been approved in Canada including: Canola Corn Lentils Potatoes Rice Soybeans Squash Tomatoes Wheat

7 Today 88% of the corn grown in the U.S. has been genetically modified to be herbicide-resistant and/or insect-resistant 94% of the soy grown in the U.S. has been genetically modified to resist herbicides

8 Regulating GMOs GM foods do not have to be labelled in Canada or the United States Labelling of GM foods is difficult because a GM food like corn can be used as an ingredient in many other foods like cereal, yogurt, frozen entrees and canned soup All of these foods would need to be labelled as having genetically modified ingredients

9 Regulating GMOs As a Canadian consumer, you will likely not know if the foods you buy have been genetically modified In other parts of the world like Europe, it is mandatory to label GM foods Some countries have issued bans on GMO food production and imports

10 Benefits of GMOs GMO technology can develop crops that:
Have higher yields Require less fertilizer Require less pesticides Contain more nutrients

11 Solving World Hunger? GMO crops, when first introduced, were touted as the answer to world hunger The argument was that by developing pesticide and herbicide resistant crops, farmers would be able to increase their yields and decrease their costs Instead, bugs and weeds have become increasingly resistant to the widespread applications of these chemicals, leading to increased use of both

12 Solving World Hunger? More spraying = more costs for the farmers, more damage to the environment and more health concerns Also means more product purchased from the seed producer The companies that develop and patent GMO seeds are the same companies that develop and patent the pesticides and herbicides to which the unique seeds are resistant Monsanto is the largest seed company in the world and owns about 86% of GMO seeds sown globally, and also makes Roundup

13 Other concerns There is not a large body of research on the safety of GMO foods Some research connects GMO foods to health concerns and environmental damage

14 Other concerns Health problems
Studies have shown that GMOs are dangerous to rats A review of 19 studies in which genetically modified soy and corn were fed to mammals found that a GMO diet often led to liver and kidney problems While results on rats may or may not be relevant to humans, these results show that GMOs may have unintended effects on wildlife and livestock

15 Other concerns Allergies Cross-contamination
GMO foods can trigger allergic reactions in people who are allergic to one of the components of the GMO, or to a “novel protein” (i.e. totally new substance arising from the genetic engineering) Cross-contamination Genetically modified plants or animals could interbreed with wild populations, creating problems such as population explosions or crashes, problems with corresponding predator or prey species, or offspring with dangerous traits

16 Other concerns Crop variety
Some experts say that the variety of foods that the world produces may be lowered due to GM crops This is because farmers may choose to plant only a few types of GM crops since they may produce larger amounts of food The result is a movement towards monoculture – fewer varieties of crops, which puts the global food supply at risk

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