Genetically Modified OrganismsHarmful or Helpful? T Wyatt HIF 101
What is a Genetically Modified Organism? A genetically modified organism (GMO) is a plant, animal or microorganism whose genetic code has been altered, subtracted, or added (either from the same species or a different species) in order to give it characteristics that it does not have naturally.
Transgenesis Scientists can now transfer genes between species that otherwise would be incapable of mating, for example, a goat and a spider. This is what we call transgenesis. Little is known about the long-term effects of such manipulations on both humans and the environment. And while some see GMOs as the way to the future, others believe that scientists have gone too far, tinkering with the essence of life.
Create Your Own GMO http://nature.ca/genome/04/041/gm-e.html
Labelling of gmo’s The Right to Know: GMO’s in YOUR Food
Labelling GMO’s Do you know what is in your food? GMOs are found extensively in many food products. Chances are you have already eaten GMOs.
The principle of precaution In Europe, the labelling of GMOs is compulsory, and caution prevails. The basis of the principle of precaution is, "when in doubt, don’t do it!" GMO products are labelled, and it is left to consumers to make their choice.
The principle of substantial equivalence In Canada and the United States, the labelling of GMOs is optional. If a GMO is essentially equivalent to a non-GMO, then why label it? This is the principle of substantial equivalence.
Examples of GMO’s
Typical GMO Foods Soya is by far the world's most cultivated GM plant; it is followed by corn, cotton and canola.
Golden Rice Golden rice is a new type of rice that contains beta carotene (Vitamin A) The benefit to this rice is that it would bring more nutrition to poorer countries. To see how it is created click here.
Other Common GMO’s Canola, Sugar Beets, Tomatoes, Sugar Cane, Corn
Why make gmo’s?
Agriculture Agricultural products with a higher yield that are also insect- and herbicide-resistant. Fruits and vegetables that grow in dry environments and are cold resistant. But what if insects developed immunity to pesticides?
Food Production Tomatoes that do not rot. Salmon that fatten up quickly. Pigs with less fat and better nutritional value. But what if transgenic salmon escaped into the ocean?
Forestry Fast-growing trees whose ligneous fibre is of higher quality, less difficult to process, and resistant to harmful insects, illnesses and environmental stresses. But what if original tree species ceased to exist?
Health Rice enriched with vitamin A. Bananas as vaccines. Sheep whose milk contains insulin. Alfalfa that produces hemoglobin. But what if these medications had unsuspected side effects?
Environment Fish that detect pollutants in the water. Plants that create biodegradable plastics. PCB-decomposing bacteria. Sugar beets that produce gas. But would you still need GMOs if you stopped polluting?
Basic Research Mice with human diseases to test vaccines and medications. Fruit flies to study the structure and function of genes. Fluorescent fish to understand human development. But what if you could modify human beings?
Organizations Against GMO’s http://www.saynotogmos.org/ Toxic pollen from widely planted, genetically modified corn can kill monarch butterflies, Cornell study shows