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Genetically Modified Foods

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Presentation on theme: "Genetically Modified Foods"— Presentation transcript:


2 Genetically Modified Foods

3 Genetic Engineering Any process where scientists directly manipulate an organism’s genetic material Includes adding, deleting, or changing segments of its DNA Genetically modified organisms (GM) are organisms that have been genetically engineered Transgenic organisms contain DNA from another species

4 Botany of Desire Clip 8

5 Recombinant DNA DNA from multiple organisms is patched together and inserted into an organism

6 Recombinant DNA cont. This can be used to place genes that produce certain proteins and code fore certain desirable traits ex) rapid growth, disease resistance, pest resistance, higher nutritional content Ex) rice has been modified to contain larger amounts of vitamin A, a nutrient lacking in many diets

7 Bt crop video

8 Bt crops Bt is a bacterium that naturally kills caterpillars;
this toxic gene can be inserted into several varieties of crops Corn and cotton are the most widely used Bt crops today This reduces the need for chemical pesticides There is concern that insects will evolve resistance or that they might cause allergic reactions in humans Another concern is that they will harm nontarget species

9 Starlink Corn A variety of Bt corn that is used for
animal feed but not for human consumption In 2000, the corn was found in taco shells, causing fears of human allergic reactions No effects were confirmed, but all products were taken off the market The US government spent $20 million to remove the corn from the market

10 Flavr Savr tomato Tomatoes that ripen longer on the vine, taste better, stay firm during shipping, and last longer It was approved for consumption in 1994, but was taken off the market in 1996 due to public concerns

11 Botany of Desire Clip 1

12 Genetic Engineering throughout time
We have been changing the genetic makeup of crops and livestock for thousands of years We selectively breed certain organisms so that they contain the traits that we desire This has been used as an argument for genetic modification However, the technologies currently used are different and more intensive than past techniques

13 GM technology today In the 1970s, the scientific community debated if GM foods were safe and efficient for public use In the 1980s, industry took science recommendations and started to develop hundreds of new organisms These products began to sell on large scales around the world, especially in the US

14 US use of GM foods Over 2/3 of US harvests of soybeans, corn, and cotton consists of GM strains Worldwide around ½ the soybeans, 1/6 of the corn, and ¼ of cotton is transgenic The US grows 3/5 of the global total amount of GM crops


16 Gm salmon video

17 Studies on GM foods Several studies have shown that GM crops can produce long-term financial benefits, even if the short term are minor There is little to no evidence of harm to human health GM fields of beets supported less biodiversity than non-GM fields Fields of other GM crops supported greater biodiversity

18 The precautionary principle for GM foods
There is a lot that we don’t know about transgenic foods and further research is needed Therefore, one should not dismiss concerns until they are fully investigated

19 The debate over GM foods
Many people are ethically concerned about GM foods, and do not care about the science involved Partially people do not like the idea that they have no control over their food

20 Patenting Genes Seed companies can patent genetically modified crops
This means that farmers must buy new seeds yearly Many farmers in developing countries are too poor to buy seeds each year and so do not respect the patent

21 Labeling GM foods Labeling is required in Japan, Europe, South Korea, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand The US does not label GM foods

22 Future Ideas for GM foods
bananas that produce human vaccines against infectious diseases such as hepatitis B plants that produce new plastics with unique properties

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