GM Foods are derived from GMOs (genetically modified organisms).

Genetically Modified Organisms
Summarize how biologists genetically modify plants and animals.
Compare & contrast different country’s regulations on genetically modified organisms.
Cite evidence to defend your position on using GMO’s.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
Industry, government, and many academic scientists tout the benefits of genetically modified (GM) foods
for agriculture, ecosystems, and human health and well-being, including feeding a world population
bursting at the seams. With equal passion, consumer groups, environmental activists, religious
organizations, and some scientists warn of unforeseen health, environmental, and socioeconomic
The debate concerns something very personal to each of us: what we and our families are eating. And
whether you realize it or not, you've been consuming GM foods for some time. GM ingredients, in the form
of modified enzymes, are found in virtually all breads, cheeses, sodas, and farmers have been raising GM
food crops such as corn, soybeans, and potatoes since the mid-1990s. While you'll find few GM whole
fruits or vegetables in your supermarket today, highly processed foods like breakfast cereals and vegetable
oils very likely contain varying amounts of GM ingredients, because food companies pool raw materials
like soy and corn from many sources into a single processing stream.
GM crop farming is expanding rapidly around the world. Global acreage of GM crops has risen 25-fold in
just four years, from approximately 4.3 million acres in 1996 to about 100 million acres in 1999.
Worldwide sales of GM foods rocketed from an estimated $75 million in 1995 to a staggering $2.3 billion
in 1999.
It's too early to know which of the aids or ills foreseen for GM foods will materialize. In the meantime, GM
technology raises thorny questions of science, ethics, law, and economics that need to be thoroughly
debated. (Modified from:
Guess What’s Coming to Dinner?
Whether you think genetically modified food is a solution or a Pandora's box, one thing is clear: Biotech companies
and university laboratories are cooking up new ideas for GM foods all the time. The U.S. Department of Agriculture
lists 7,516 field tests on new GM foods currently underway. It remains unclear which if any of these foods will pass
the strict series of tests that stand between the laboratories and our supermarket shelves. Nevertheless, it's fun to
sneak a peak into the future. Tuck in your napkin, pick up your fork -- well, your mouse, anyway -- and get a taste of
the next wave of GM foods. Please go to the following website.
Write down how the following items may contain GMO
French Fries:
Engineer a Crop: Transgenic Manipulation
Write down the steps and a concise summary for each of the steps on how to
create a transgenic plant. If you do not know what a word means, look up the
definition. Do not just write down the steps.
Please also answer these questions as you complete the activity.
1. What is your specific task in this activity?
2. What is a vector?
3. How are copies made of the desired gene?
4. Were you successful in transferring the gene? How do you know?
Scientists and government regulators maintain that GM food
presents no food safety issues at the moment. Biotechnology
critics and other scientists disagree, arguing that there's
inadequate testing and regulation of GM food, and that we
don't really know whether GM food is safe or not. Go to this website to read viewpoints of various people
in the US.
1. Before you research GMO’s, Do you think genetically modified food is safe to eat?
2. Visit these websites to read arguments for and against genetically modifying food. You must visit the
first website, the other websites are optional.,8599,1970471,00.html or (Europe’s stance on GMO) (what other countries
think about GMO’s around the world)
gnutrition/ucm059098.htm (The USA’s Food & Drug Administration (FDA)’s legal code on GMO) (World Health Organization
(WHO) top 20 questions about GMO)
Support your position on whether genetically modified food is safe to eat by using evidence from the
above websites. Must be at least 2 paragraphs with 4-6 sentences in each paragraph.
Organic Foods Without Genetically Modified Organisms Becoming Harder To Find retrieved 5/26/2011
Article Date: 26 May 2011
It is becoming harder and harder to find organic foods in the USA that do not contain genetically modified
(GM) ingredients, which goes against the definition of "organic". US law does not require labeling to tell you
whether the food contains genetically modified ingredients.
93% of all canola seeds, 86% of all corn and 93% of all soy planted in the USA are genetically modified, and
make up over three-quarters of all processed foods in the country. Organic food retailers say this makes it
very hard for them to stock 100% non-GM ingredients.
Organic foods are defined as those that:
Do not involve chemical fertilizers
Do not involve genetically modified organisms
Are not processed using industrial solvents
Are not processed using irradiation
Do not contain chemical food additives
Do not involve pesticides
Many people are asking for safety tests to be done on genetically modified ingredients.
A growing number of Americans are becoming concerned about the health safety of GM foods and would like
to see clearer labeling.
According to the Chicago Tribune, most other industrialized nationals require labeling of GM ingredients.
Those in the GM-crops industry claim that their products are safe, making it unnecessary to bring in
legislation forcing marketers to include details in their labeling. A 1992 FDA (Food and Drug Administration)
statement said that the FDA had no evidence that GMOs "differ from other foods in any meaningful or
uniform way."
However, advocates for organic foods say consumers have the right to choose, and obscure or unclear labeling
undermines their ability to choose. Surely, if there is nothing wrong with genetic engineering, the industry
should be happy to label it - they say.
Genetically modified foods (GM foods)
GM Foods are derived from GMOs (genetically modified organisms). GMOs have had certain changes made in
their DNA by genetic engineering techniques.
GM foods first came onto the market during the early 1990s. All GM foods today are plant based foods.
However, animal products have been developed, but none are on the market yet. A pig was genetically
engineered to produce omega-3 fatty acids through the expression of a roundworm gene in 2006. Scientists
genetically modified a breed of pigs so that their manure could have 60% less phosphorous.
Resistance to GM foods is generally based on safety and ecological concerns. There are also economic concerns
because the organisms are subject to intellectual property law.
Opinions change
In 2002 the British Medical Association (BMA) was completely against GM foods. In March 2004 the BMA
said in a statement that GM foods were "highly unlikely" to harm human health. The prestigious organization
called for an end to the hysteria around the GM debate.
Dr Vivienne Nathanson of the BMA, said that GM foods have enormous potential to benefit both the
developed and developing world in the long term.
Resistance to GM foods in UK and the rest of the European Union has been strong. However, most scientific
studies have failed to find any potential health risks. A review by the Royal Society of Medicine in 2008 wrote
that no reports of ill effects were found after millions of people worldwide had been consuming GM foods for
over 15 years.
Some scientists point out, however, that there have been no proper epidemiological studies to find out
whether genetically engineered crops have been the cause of harm to humans. As no studies have been carried
out, they say that any harm, if it has occurred, would most likely not have been attributed to engineered
Put simply - on the one hand, the GMO industry point to a lack of evidence of any hazards and
say that that is good news, while such organizations as Greenpeace and the Organic Consumers Association say
that lack of research in the long-term health and environmental consequences of such products is worrying they would like to see comprehensive studies.
Organic foods contain modified ingredients
Organic foods contain modified ingredients
CHICAGO, May 25, 2011 (UPI) -- Genetically modified foods have become so common that even organic
retailer Whole Foods says it can't avoid having them in its stores.
Organic foods, by definition, can't knowingly contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, but modified
corn, soy and other crops are now such common ingredients in processed foods that Whole Foods, one of the
nation's top organic food retailers, says it hasn't been able to avoid stocking some products that contain them,
the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.
Genetically modified crops make up 93 percent of all soy, 86 percent of all corn and 93 percent of all
canola seeds planted in the United States and are used in an estimated 70 percent of all American processed
food, the newspaper reported. That makes stocking only non-GMO products difficult, said Joe Dickson, quality
standards coordinator for Whole Foods Market.
"Until there's federal government mandated labeling of GMO ingredients, there's no way to tell if
packaged products contain GMO ingredients," Dickson said. "Our approach is to work in the spirit of
partnership with our suppliers … to encourage them to take active steps to avoid GMO ingredients."
Consumer activists say products containing genetically modified ingredients should be tested for safety and
should be labeled as containing GMOs.
The United States is one of the few industrialized nations that do not require such labeling or testing, the
Tribune reported.