Chapter 23 Homework

Chapter 23 Homework
3. Why are animal-feeding trials important in the evaluation of the safety of genetically
modified foods?
Animal-feeding trials are important in the evaluation of the safety of genetically modified foods
because animals are good indicators of food quality. Animal-feeding trials are indicators of
nutrient levels, anti-nutrient levels, toxins, and allergy inducing compounds. By feeding animals
genetically modified foods, differences can be found in nutrition levels, toxicity, and
allergenicity of foods.
4. What are some of the benefits of golden rice? Why has commercialization been delayed?
An important benefit of the genetically modified “golden rice” is that it supplements dietary
deficiencies due to the lack of Vitamin A. This problem is huge in the developing countries due
to the lack of proper nutrition, and affects lots of children who are affected by retinal and corneal
damage, and untimely death. Due to the unavailability of good dietary sources of vitamin A, the
concept of “golden rice” was introduced.
As we know that the genetically engineered plants or animals have to undergo safety assessment,
it has not been possible in the case of “golden rice” due to the lack of production quantity in the
green house and limited field space. Also, since it is being developed for people in the
developing countries, proper financial support isn’t available for supporting/ funding the project.
The other major hindrance is the involvement of various anti- genetic modification groups who
argue that the vitamin deficiency can be compensated by the use of vitamin tablet and vitamin
fortified foods.
6. What is StarLink corn, and why is it no longer marketed?
StarLink corn is genetically modified corn that encodes Cry9C protein. This protein comes from
an organism that has allergenic proteins. Because of this, the corn was for animal feed only.
Human food was found to contain this corn and was considered contaminated. This caused
StarLink corn to be taken off the market.
7. When is a genetically engineered food required to be labeled in the United States and in
the European Union? Why are the requirements different in the two regions?
In the U.S., genetically modified food is required to be labeled if it has properties different than
the normal food. Labels are required if the food is novel, has an allergen, or has a toxin. In the
European Union, genetically modified food is required to be labeled if it contains more than
0.9% genetically modified organisms. This basically includes all genetically modified food. The
whole process must be traceable as well. The requirements are different in the two regions
because of health concerns, economic issues, and philosophical issues that play different roles in
each region.
9. Discuss the potential for cultivation of genetically engineered crops to decrease
The reason that genetically modified products may be able to decrease overall biodiversity is that
often the modifications give the plants a marked advantage over natural forms. In some cases
the plants are so successful that they outcompete a number of native plant species. This has an
affect on the local animal and insect biodiversity as well because some of these organisms
inevitably depend on the failing plants for survival. There is also concern that the transgene
could be transferred to a native species that could potentially take over.
12. How have farmers benefited economically from growing insect-resistant transgenic
Farmers in develop and developing countries receive great benefits from transgenic plants. New
genetically modified crops increase the yield for farmers which also increases the money made
from these crops. Also, farmers spend less money on chemicals to resist insects, labor, and
machines to distribute the chemicals.
13. How have consumer attitudes toward genetic engineering and stringent regulatory
requirements limited the development of biotechnology products? How do they impact
trade among nations?
Because people in different parts of the world view genetically modified food differently, this
causes a change in biotechnology development and trade. Europeans are opposed to these foods
due to food scares like mad cow disease. Since Europe has more stringent rules, normal crops
must be separated from the modified crops used in trade, which is much more expensive. The
European Union causes biotechnology to decrease because they will not accept it like they accept
normal crops. Trade is difficult not only with the European Union but also with other countries
that trade with Europe. These countries do not want to lose trade with Europe, so they do not
accept genetically modified food. Some nations also feel like the U.S. tries to push genetically
modified foods on them by giving aid in time of need with food that may be genetically
modified. Because of these different requirements, trade can be very difficult between nations
and cause biotechnology to be used less for trade.