Introduction Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have been contested over the last couple of years.

However, these, issues have been scarcely mentioned for it sparkled a lot of controversies and protests. Critics have called these products “ Frankenfoods” due to its alteration and modifications just like the monster Frankenstein. But scientific staffs of the biotechnology firms have told us that this technology is harmless and will increase food supply. GMOs have been removed from grocery shelves and produce stands all over the world due to criticisms and questions about its health risks. Yet in the United States, food containing genetically modified ingredients are sold without even being labeled as such. We maybe eating foods with modified ingredients but there have been no such report of bad or dangerous effects. The future structure of the markets for genetically modified crops is uncertain and farmers and processors are faced with making investment and production decisions in a turbulent business environment. While genetically modified crops have become more available in recent years, consumer acceptance remains an unanswered and important question Definition 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. History International Views In the International arena, there are diverse reactions toward genetically-modified organisms. Some argues that GMOs have the potential to lessen some of the world's problems and to restore environmental health while most assail on its health and environmental risks that efforts to regulate genetically modified organisms have taken place at the international level. Thus various laws, bans, and labels were made to regulate the emergence GMOs, from Ireland and the European Union to Brazil and Japan. Genetically modified foods is definitely controversial and such controversy spans the globe. In Ireland,their government's two coalition partners signed an agreement that officially declares that their country is a “GM-free Zone”. They recently banned the growth of any genetically modified foods, and they also made available a GMO-free label that can be placed on animal products like meat, poultry, eggs and dairy, fish, and crustaceans, that are raised with feed free of GMOs. In the last few years, Europe has experienced two major foods scares like the mad cow disease in Great Britain and dioxin-tainted foods which originate from Belgium. Thus

Although they import a lot of food from countries still growing and exporting GMO foods namely Australia. GMOs are said to be the perfect candidate for application of the precautionary principles due to their complex and uncertain effects on the environment and humans . Europe now requires mandatory food labeling of GM foods in stores. They even use expensive traceability schemes to modified foods like the soy and corn that enters Japan in order to detect carefully that they are sourced explicitly as "non-GM".they are firmly opposed to consuming GMOs. the U. The measure passed with a 57% majority. The EU requires that GM products be labeled as such and even the labeling requirements apply to foods or ingredients that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).The Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan has announced that health testing of GM foods shall be mandatory. In response to the public outcry. and Canada. and the European Commission has established a 1% threshold for contamination of unmodified foods with GM food products.Some states in Brazil have banned the production and sale of genetically modified crops entirely. Prior to 2003.GMOs are highly invasive which can easily propagate into the environment and have possible effect to human health when they are consumed. Regulatory Policies concerning GMOs were agreed upon and precautionary principles were widely included in international agreements. This proposed policy was sent to all 19 national governments for consultation in September 2010. In 2010. These food scares have moved consumer confidence about the European food supply. Meaning. European nations administer regulatory policies more in line with the precautionary principle. has filed suit to prevent the importation of GM crops. in collaboration with Greenpeace. At the moment. The damage that may be cause by GMOs could be both serious and irreversible. They are designed in the possibility of minimizing the negative effects of the genetically modified organisms. In 2004 Mendocino County. after nine years of talks. they have banned the import and export of GMOs.anti-GM food protestors have been active. the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) produced a draft policy on GM technology. Under the policy. Japan as well says no to GMOs.. Brazilian farmers have resorted to smuggling GM soybean seeds into the country due to a fear of economic harm if they are not able to compete in the global marketplace with other grain-exporting countries. few countries have the . In Egypt. California became the first county in the United States to ban the production of GMO’s.S. However. which means GM crops must be shown to be safe for the environment and consumption to be sold. they cannot import from any countries growing GMO foods they want at the same time they cannot grow any GMOs either. and the Brazilian Institute for the Defense of Consumers. a member country which wants to grow a new GM crop would inform COMESA who would have sufficient scientific expertise to make the decision as to whether the crop was safe for the environment and for humans. and citizens are afraid to trust government information about GM foods.

g. Uses GMOs are used in biological and medical research. sugar beet. and herbicides • New products and growing techniques Animals • Increased resistance. Advantages: Crops • Enhanced taste and quality • Reduced maturation time • Increased nutrients. water. and energy • Bioprocessing for forestry products • Better natural waste management • More efficient processing Society • Increased food security for growing populations Disadvantages • GMOs may present unforseen dangers • The creation of GMOs can lead to negative environmental impacts which might not be foreseeable when the GMO is created. soybean. and feel efficiency • Better yields of meat. 25 GMO crops (including corn. and cotton) have been approved by the BPI fro direct use in food. feed. potato. and milk • Improved animal health and diagnostic methods Environment • “Friendly” bioherbicides and bioinsecticides • Conservation of soil. Once COMESA had their decision. yields. and stress tolerance • Improved resistance top disease. pests. Member Countries would retain the power not to grow the crop in their own country if they wanted. while four GMO crops are approved for propagation. which do both. productivity. permission would be granted for the crop to be grown in all 19 member countries. experimental medicine (e. or stacked trait seeds. and processing. production of pharmaceutical drugs. hardiness. gene therapy). eggs. To date the most controversial but also the most widely adopted application of GMO technology is patent-protected food crops which are resistant to commercial herbicides or are able to produce pesticidal proteins from within the plant. .g. alfalfa. and agriculture (e. • Potentially harmful to humans • Reduce the amount of competition between farmers and give the companies that create GMOs great power in the agricultural industry. golden rice). National Views In the Philippines.resources to make their own decisions.

however. 2. which we cannot analyze for and seriously limiting the selection criteria. which need to be reduced/eliminated by selection. and contains gene coding for antibiotic resistance.) GM foods may cause bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics.) GMO corn approved in RP shows signs of toxicity A genetically-modified corn strain approved for food. Its presence was discovered during the testing phase. • Mixing of GM products in the food chain: Unauthorized GM products have appeared in the food chain.Issue: Whether or not it is safe to use GMOs and apply it daily life Arguments: (from news articles from the net) 1. The study. feed and processing in the Philippines show signs of toxicity to mammals. For example.4 Gut bacteria can take up genes and GM plasmids5 and this opens up the possibility of the spread of antibiotic resistance. antibiotic resistance marker genes and reporter genes. For example: DNA does not always fully break down in the alimentary tract. Although there was no evidence that Starlink maize was dangerous to humans. transcription terminators. When food-crops are genetically modified.3. This may lead to the development of unknown toxic/allergenic components. For example. including as a minimum. strict processing controls may be required to avoid similar cases in the future. was accidentally used in products for human consumption. • Insertion of genes into the genome can also result in unintended effects. MON 863 is corn genetically manipulated to produce its own insecticide to kill rootworm insects in the soil. This approach is now being replaced with the use of marker genes that avoid medical or environmental hazards. They can also produce allergies. . intended only for animal feed. (“genetically modified” food is a misnomer!) one or more genes are incorporated into the crop’s genome using a vector containing several other genes. showed that laboratory rats fed with the GMO corn Monsato (MON) 863 Yiield Gard Rootworm deisplayed kidney and liver toxicity. 3. an allergenic Brazilnut gene was transferred into a transgenic soybean variety. Data on the safety of these are scarce even though they can affect the safety of the GM crop. since some of the ways the inserted genes express themselves in the host or the way they affect the functioning of the crop’s own genes are unpredictable. the GM maize variety Starlink. • Transfer of antibiotic resistance: Genes that confer antibiotic resistance are inserted into GMOs as "markers" to indicate that the process of gene transfer has succeeded. and the soybean was not released.) Potential negative effects on human health • • Transfer of allergenic genes: These could be accidentally transferred to other species. causing dangerous reactions in people with allergies. viral promoters. and written by a panel of three independent scientists in France. Concerns have been expressed about the possibility that these "marker genes" could confer resistance to antibiotics.

when the gene responsible for the allergenicity is known. Assessment of the allergenicity of a GM foodcrop.) The toxin level of GM cotton is unpredictable. even though these should have been tested for and eliminated before their introduction. One has to agree with the piece in Science1 that there are many opinions but scarce data on the potential health risks of GM food crops. Unfortunately. The concept that most allergens are abundant proteins is also misleading because for example Gad c 1. GM cotton: Several lines of GM cotton plants have been developed using a gene from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp.4. Our present data base is woefully inadequate. the scientific quality of what has been published is. in the absence of reliable methods for allergenicity testing. • Presently only indirect and rather scientifically unsound methods.16 5. the major allergen in codfish. such as the gene of the alpha-amylase/trypsin inhibitors/allergens in rice. is difficult when the gene is transferred from a source not eaten before or with unknown allergenicity or on gene transfer/insertion a new allergen or adjuvant is developed or the expression of a minor allergen is increased. particularly as its stability to gut proteolysis is assessed by an in vitro (simulated) testing34 instead ofin vivo(human/animal) testing and this is fundamentally wrong. kurstaki providing increased protection against major lepidopteran pests. such as finding SHORT sequence homologies (at least 8 contiguous amino acids) to any of the about 200 known allergens. it is at present impossible to definitely establish whether a new GM crop is allergenic or not before its release into the human/animal food/feed chain. while there are good animal models for nutritional/toxicological testing. In conclusion We need more and better testing methods before making GM foods available for human consumption. because of the use of inappropriate statistics it is questionable whether the GM and non-GM lines were truly equivalent.35 • • Thus. Moreover. is not a predominant protein. The lines were claimed to be “substantially equivalent” to parent lines15 in levels of macronutrients and gossypol.29 However. are used for the assessment of allergenicity. cloning and sequencing opens the way for reducing their level by antisense RNA strategy. The decision-tree type of indirect approach based on factors (such as size and stability) of the transgenically expressed protein33 is even more unsound. however. cyclopropenoid fatty acids and aflatoxin levels were less than those in conventional seeds. no such models exist for allergenicity testing. particularly as environmental stresses could have unpredictable effects on antinutrient/toxin levels. However. in most .) There are no reliable ways to test GM foods for allergies.

instances not up to expected standards.6. the entry of products developed through proprietary biotechnologies could be prevented in those external markets where patent protection exists. Although it is argued by some that small differences between GM and non-GM crops have little biological meaning. if applied. prevent a crop from being grown the following year from its own seed. nutritional/toxicological and metabolic differences between GM and conventional crops and into the safety of the genetic techniques used in developing GM crops if we want to put this technology on a proper scientific foundation and allay the fears of the general public. Farmers fear that they might even have to pay for crop varieties bred from genetic material that originally came from their own fields when they buy seeds from companies holding patents on specific genetic modification "events". Some believe that this technology. could have the advantage of preventing out-crossing of GM seeds. • Impact of "terminator" technologies:Although these are still under development and have not yet been commercialized. poorly defined and unscientific concept outlived its possible previous usefulness and we need novel methods and concepts to probe into the compositional. most developing countries still do not provide patent protection to biotechnological products and technologies. If. they would. It provides for an international framework to regulate access to plant genetic resources and establishes a mechanism to share the benefits derived from their use. We need more science.” In any case. also known as the Technology Protection System. not less. Also. but there are options to protect farmers' traditional practices within that agreement. this crude. it is clear that most GM and parental line crops fall short of the definition of “substantial equivalence. This might have a stronger negative impact in developing countries where no private research initiatives are in place. Because patents have a national scope. more nutritious and safe GM foods. This could have a negative impact on small-scale farmers all over the world. In addition. the new International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture recognizes the contributions of farmers to the conservation and use of plant genetic resources over time and for future generations. the inescapable conclusion of this review is that the present crude method of genetic modification has so far not delivered these benefits and the promise of a superior second generation is still in the future.) Potential socio-economic effects • Loss of farmers' access to plant material:Biotechnology research is carried out predominantly by the private sector and there are concerns about market dominance in the agricultural sector by a few powerful companies. our future is dependent on the success of the promise of genetic modification delivering wholesome. as claimed. Some argue that the World Trade Organization's agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) encourages this. This means that farmers could not save seeds for planting the next season.7 6. • Intellectual property rights could slow research: The proprietary nature of biotechnology products and processes may prevent their access for public-sector research. . plentiful.

) GMO canola contaminates majority of land on organic farm Friday." explained Harrison. the seeds caught air and traveled in the wind to the organic land. He believes that when his neighbor swathed the modified crops prior to harvest. says that the Australian government has basically decided to give preferential treatment to the GMO industry and its growers. According to reports. "Laws need to be enacted to protect the majority of farmers [sic] want to stay GM-free." . but was recently unbanned back in March. the National Association of Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA). "Governments that allow GM canola to be grown must ensure whatever a farmer does within their boundary does not impact on neighboring farms. choosing to look the other way in spite of obvious contamination problems. citizens cannot be sure whether or not the "organic" products they buy and eat are truly organic anymore. Huff. an organic farmer may sue the creator of a variety of GMO canola that has invaded his fields and contaminated at least two-thirds of them. But clearly. "The government mislead us and now our farmers and consumers are paying the price. Now. in Australia and in overseas markets. a technician at Gene Ethics Cropwatch. is currently conducting an official investigation into the matter to see what can be done about it." Marsh told reporters. December 10. But Jessica Harrison.7. say the concerned groups. staff writer (NaturalNews) Just as many in the natural health community have been saying for years. The government had declared that the "Frankencrop" could be safely segregated from natural crops." Marsh's certifier. GMO canola had been previously banned in Australia. "Our livelihood is at stake as we are a certified organic farm and rely on the premium that comes with selling guaranteed GM-free organic food. but that has proven not to be the case. Steve Marsh's organic fields were contaminated by a nearby GMO canola field whose seeds somehow traveled nearly a mile into his own land and took hold on over 540 acres of it. a recent report out of Australia explains that genetically-modified organisms (GMO) are fully capable of spreading to and contaminating nearby non-GMO and organic crop fields. the technology can't be contained. In the first case of its kind in Australia. 2010 by: Ethan A. Farmers must be compensated for any loss of premiums and certification that result from GM contamination.

GM RR soy is grown there to supply European and Australian farmers with cheap GM animal feed. Every test for GM contamination of S-26 formula has been positive for GM contamination. Prof Carrasco said childhood cancer had increased by 300% and babies with birth defects by 400% during the past decade in parts of then the ACCC should intervene. They found serious health impacts from Roundup’s active ingredient. and is also widely spread in Brazil. This routine contamination requires GM labelling under the law. Paraguay.naturalnews. highlights new research by Argentine government scientist Professor Andrés Carrasco and an international coalition of scientists.) GM soy linked to birth defects. other chemicals in the formulated herbicide and its breakdown products. The report also provides a global overview of scientific papers and other documents on the impacts of GM soy production. cancer and miscarriages. says a report released at the European Parliament by an international group of scientists. and Roundup Ready canola and cotton are grown. while Coles and Woolworths refuse to remove S-26 from their shelves. If FSANZ won’t act on this false and misleading failure to label GM ingredients. GM Roundup Ready (RR) soy is now more than 90% of soy grown in North American and Argentina. cancer: new study 06 October 2010 Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup used on genetically manipulated (GM) Roundup Ready crops is linked to human cell death. The report. An intergenerational study of hamsters fed GM soy found slower growth rates and higher mortality among pups. Yet our food regulator FSANZ refuses to mandate a recall. Uruguay and Bolivia. The report comes at a crucial time for Australia. where a popular infant soy formula has tested positive to unlabelled GM soy and corn. birth defects. The amount of toxic herbicide now used on soy has public health implications. This study is just the latest example of the dangers of GM. glyphosate. “GM Soy: Sustainable? Responsible?”. The report also refers to studies that found: the uterus and ovaries of female rats fed GM RR soy showed changes.Learn more:http://www. and the Australian response to GM ingredients in baby formula is grossly inadequate. At the European Parliament in Brussels where the report was presented. . Monsanto’s own data shows Roundup herbicide sales have skyrocketed since GM RR crops were first planted in the USA in 1996.html#ixzz1TTwPWZY3 8. rabbits’ kidney and heart enzyme functions were disturbed. and widespread infertility in the third generation.

socially acceptable. develop further and implement the practice of organic agriculture in the Philippines that will cumulatively condition and enrich the fertility of the soil. pesticides and pharmaceuticals. and save on imported farm inputs. That the biotechnology herein to shall not include genetically modified organisms of GMOs. and the general public. varietal breeding and selection under chemical and pesticide-free conditions.It is hereby declared the policy of the State to promote. soil fertility Position of the Philippines regarding GMO’s There was a law enacted in the Philippines which denounces genetically modified organisms namely Republic Act No. Labels must enable parents to choose baby formulas that that are not GM polluted. Towards this end. a comprehensive program for the promotion of community-based organic agriculture systems which include. pesticides and other farm inputs. further protect the health of farmers. the use of biotechnology and other cultural practices that are consistent with the principles and policies of this Act. reduce pollution and destruction of the environment. 10068 or the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010. increase farm productivity.The Gillard Government must support independent Senator Nick Xenophon and Greens Senator Rachel Siewert who both want to fix up our food labelling laws. Section 3 Definition of Terms (b) Organic agriculture includes all agricultural systems that promote the ecologically sound.5 that exempt most GM and other novel food products from any requirement to be labelled as such. economically viable and technically feasible production of food and fibers. consumers and the environment as defined by the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movement (IFOAM): Provided. propagate. Section 2 Declaration of Policy. The Government should ensure the assessment criteria of all novel foods. http://www. farmer-produced purely organic fertilizers such as compost. prevent the depletion of natural resources. together with a nationwide educational and promotional campaign for their use and processing as well as adoption of organic agriculture system as a viable alternative shall be undertaken. and enhance productivity without destroying the soil and harming farmers. consumers. but not limited to. Organic agricultural dramatically reduces external inputs by refraining from the use of chemical fertilizers. are amended and to remove the loopholes in Standard 1. including GM. It also covers areas such as.geneethics. . among others. .

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