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UGEC2210 Food and Hunger

What are genetically modified foods?
What is the difference between GM foods and conventional foods?
Which are GM Foods?
Do you feel safe to eat the GM strawberry?
Why GM foods?
Ethics of GM foods?
Benefits & potential risks of GM Foods?
Is GM Food labeling a must?
Will GM foods eliminate the world hunger?

Genetically Modified Technology:
Is not a set of products
Is a set of technologies for
- creating new products
- improving existing products
- conducting basic research

Biotechnologies in Agriculture

GMOs can be defined as organisms in
which the genetic material (DNA) has
been altered in a way that does not
occur naturally.

A food product containing some
quantity of any genetically modified
organism (GMO) as an ingredient.
GM Foods are …
– Foods that contain an added gene sequence
– Foods that have a deleted gene sequence
– Foods that contain an added gene sequence and
have a deleted gene sequence
– Animal products from animals fed GM foods

How is Genetic Modification Possible?
The components of DNA are the same in all organisms.
Sequences of these components can be moved from one
organism to another to achieve a desired trait.

How to add an insect-resistant gene to a corn? Isolate the gene Extract DNA Recombination DNA Marker gene Clone into vector Put into bacteria Many = bacteria Many constructs .

Corn hybrid with a Bt gene Corn hybrid susceptible to corn borer .Bt corn Corn that contains a chemical normally found in a bacterium (Bacillus Thuringiensis) that is toxic to insects but not to humans.

7 .How are plants targeted? Gene Gun A gun is used to shoot small bits of metal coated with the gene into the plant.

Features of GM Crops Insect resistance Herbicide resistance Disease resistance Drought resistance Cold tolerance Salt tolerance Increase shelf-life Nutritionally enhanced foods .

Herbicide Resistant Roundup Ready™ Soybeans – Development of herbicide resistant crops allows the elimination of surrounding weeds without harm to the crops .

Virus Resistant Crops Papaya infected with the papaya ringspot virus Virus resistance gene introduced The Freedom II squash has a modified coat protein that confer resistance to zucchini yellows mosaic virus and watermelon mosaic virus II. .

– Over 250 million people worldwide are at risk from permanent blindness caused by Vitamin A deficiency. .Nutritionally Enhanced GM Golden Rice – Rice that contains beta-carotene (Vitamin A). which is not found in regular rice.

Increase Yields Crops can be modified to optimize growth conditions: improve nitrogen assimilation increase oxygen absorption efficient photosynthetic pathway Transgenic plant modified to have increase yield Unmodified control plant .

THE NEED FOR GM TECHNOLOGY IN AGRICULTURE Over 1 billion people inaccessible to sufficient food. Increasing population In addition to lack of food. . deficiencies in micronutrients are widespread.

What are the differences between breeding hybridization and GM technology? Hybrid rice .

Development of GM Foods 1st Generation increasing crop yield 2nd Generation improving food nutrition 3rd Generation providing medicinal function .

which are grown extensively throughout the developing world. No. 1999 . Vol. 3 Feb. 19. 1.Edible Vaccines There is hope to produce edible vaccines in tomato. potato. banana.

利用轉基因技術加快水稻的生長和 增加水稻營養. .<<新世代食糧>> 「雜交水稻之父」袁隆平和香港中文大學的辛 世文合作.

A Little Bit of History .

. The Flavr Savr tomato was genetically modified to keep it firm for longer.First on the shelf … The first commercially available GM food approved by FDA appeared on the market in 1994 in USA.

there were approximately 160 million hectares worldwide cultivated with the crops (James 2011). 9 percent the global primary crop production from genetically modified crops in 2006.7 million hectares grown in over 22 countries were planted with GM crops. As of 2011. over 111.GM Crops Production Worldwide In 2006. Worldwide. .

Worldwide GM Crops by Trait .

maize. cotton. and canola. 64% of total soybean crop and 24% of the global maize crop in 2006 2006 Data: Clive James 2006 .and insect-resistant soybean.Main GM Crops Worldwide Herbicide.

The United Sates shares the largest portion .

GM Crops in the U.S. 75% of the cotton crop 71 kinds of plants and micro-organisms until 2005 rice sugarbeet squash tomato papaya potato .

GM Crops in China Non-Bt cotton Bt cotton GM Cotton plants have been commercialized since 1997. .

1996-2003 (thousand hectares) More than 5 million farmers adopted Bt cotton in 2003 .Bt cotton areas in China.

Cotton yield (ton/ha): Bt vs non-Bt cotton .

6% 923 yuan 930 yuan 570 yuan 41days 574 yuan 1283-1857 yuan (US$ 155-225) A net increase of about 30% .Major findings on Bt cotton impacts in 1999-2001 (per hectare) • Reduce pesticide use: • Increase yield: • Increase seed cost: • Reduce labor input: • Increase net income: 34 kg 9.

Bt rice pre-production in 2002 2002年5月8日播種,6月1日插秧,抗蟲轉基因水稻 恢復系株系及其配製的雜交稻組合各18個;轉基因 材料與對照在橫豎二個方向間隔種植如國際象棋 棋盤,每個方塊為正方形,邊長為3m。 .

Bt Rice in China Higher crop yields – Yields of Bt rice was 9 times greater than non-Bt rice Reduced use of pesticides – Bt rice: pesticides applied less than once per season – Non-Bt rice: pesticides applied 3.7 times per season – Quantity of pesticides applied to non-Bt rice was 8-10 times as high as that applied to Bt rice .


Common GM Foods .

Genetically Modified Foods Prospects Increased production efficiency – Labour savings Increased production function – Improved crop quality and yield – Improved nutritional value – Improved flavour and taste – Elimination of allergy-causing properties .

water.Genetically Modified Foods Prospects Reduction of wastage and cost – Reduced maturation time – More efficient processing Expiry date Mar 05 Environment friendly – Reduced use of pesticides and herbicides – Conservation of soil. and energy – Reduced strain on nonrenewable resources Expiry date Jan 05 .

Genetically Modified Foods Prospects Easing of world hunger – Production in more marginal environments – Increased nutrition and yields – Increased food security Improving pure research – More understanding of life processes .

Potential Benefits Insect resistance Herbicide resistance Cold tolerance Improved farming Drought tolerance Increased nutrition Edible vaccines Cheaper food More food Reducing world hunger and improving world health .

– Potentially introduce or create allergens – Compromise human immunity – Unknown health risks Biological processes involve a lot of INTERACTIONS It is often difficult to identify every possible interaction. Potential environmental hazards – Gene transfer to non-target species resulting in "superweeds” and “superbugs” – Unknown effects on other organisms – Loss of biodiversity .Controversies Potential human health risks – Harmless protein in one organism can be harmful in another organism.

11 .Potential Environmental Hazards BT corn on Monarch Butterfly Harm to other organisms Pollen from Bt corn was shown to cause high mortality rates in monarch butterfly larvae.

Syngenta and Bayer – Increasing dependence on Industrialized nations by developing countries Society – New advances may be skewed to interests of rich countries – Elimination of competition .Controversies Access and intellectual property – Domination of GM food production by a few companies Sterile seeds GM seeds are patented – Chemical company Monsanto dominates the 70%-100% market share for various seeds of GM crops – Other companies: Pioneer.

Why not more GE Crops in Africa?? .

Controversies Ethics – Violation of natural organisms' intrinsic values – Tampering with nature by mixing genes among species – Objections to consuming animal genes in plants and vice versa – Concerns: “Playing God” . “Man-made evolution” .

The transfer of human genes to animals used as food 2. . The transfer of genes from animals whose flesh is forbidden to certain religious groups to animals that are permitted as food 3. The transfer of animal genes to crop plants.Ethically Sensitive Genes The committee on the Ethics of Genetic Modification and Food Use identified three areas of potential ethical concern: 1. which might then become unacceptable to vegetarians.

Labeling GM Foods Regulatory systems – To provide consumers correct information on GM crops – To ensure “Right-to-Know” and “Right-to-Choose” .

. Labels would be interpreted as Warnings. Maintaining ‘identity preservation’ is logistically difficult. It is unclear that consumers would use the labels.Critics of GM Food Labeling Providing GM information is costly.

Advocators of GM Food Labeling Not substantially equivalent to non-GM Labeling indicates process used Consumer’s right to know and choose Country’s right to know and choose Must use precautionary principle .

.Views from WHO and FAO The use of modern biotechnology does not result in food which is inherently less safe than that produced by conventional techniques. In addition. no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved.

Nina Fedroff: Adviser to the US Secretary of State “Despite dire predictions.No adverse effects? Ms.” Phnom Penh Post. biodiversity and the environment have been documented to date. 24/12/2008 . no adverse effects of GM crops on health.

Canada and United Sates “Substantially Equivalent” – GM foods should be treated the same as all other foods – GM crops are no different from those breed traditionally – Exception on Introduction of know allergen Change in nutrients or composition Change in identity U. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) U.S.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)) .

9% should be labeled.EU Countries All products containing GM foods have to be labeled since 1998. . Conventional foods with adventitious presence of GM materials of higher than 0.

Labeling is not required for oil and sauce. In January 2003. 5 designated agricultural products and 24 processed food items containing GM materials should be labeled at 5% level. 6 more designated processed food items are required to be labeled. . where the original GM materials can no longer be detected.Japan From April 2001.

GM potato which contains more than 3% of GM materials were also required to be labeled from March 2002. soybean and bean sprout which contain more than 3% GM materials have to be labeled from March 2001.Republic of Korea GM corn. .

Situation in Hong Kong Issues to be considered in setting up a labeling system – Cost implications to the food trade – Limitation of detection methods no standard analytical method Not all GM foods can be identified by end-product analysis. – Practices of the food supply – International practices .

百佳惠康無一標籤 同款豆腐 兩種標籤 .七成豆腐食品基因改造.

Regulator Impact Assessment on Labeling of GM Food. HK: Food and Environmental Hygiene Department .HK’s GM Food Labeling Regulation? Pre-reading material: Environmental Resources Management (2003).