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GMO’s / Biotechnology

A Reference Resource List

Compiled by Emerson Library Staff

2001-2009

 

2009    Journal Citations:

 

Clapp, Stephen. “UCS says biotechnology has failed to boost U.S. crop yields.” (April, 20, 2009) Food Chemical News. (51) 8:1,8.

A report by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) evaluating the effectiveness of genetic engineering on crop yields has found that there is little evidence of significant increases in yields through GE technology. The advocacy group claims that traditional breeding continues to produce better results. However, Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, executive vice president at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) states, "It's absurd to deny biotechnology's contribution, among other factors, to increased crop production. Since the introduction of agricultural biotechnology in 1996, we have seen double-digit growth in corn and soybean yields." She states the benefits of biotech crops as "a reduction in the environmental impacts of agriculture, increased production on the same amount of acreage, improved food quality, and increased farmer incomes." The UCS report is available online at www.ucsusa.org.

 

Kleter, Gijs. “Assessing the safety of genetically modified crops used for food and feed purposes.” (February 2009) New Food. (12)1:53-55.

In 2007, genetically modified agriculture has reached 114 million hectares globally. Common traits for GM crops are resistant to herbicides and resistant to insects. Discusses the harmonized approach created by international organizations to assess the safety of GM products. Commonly addressed issues include: molecular characterization, comparative analysis of compositional/phenotypic/agronomic characteristics, unintended effects, potential toxicity & allergenicity, horizontal gene transfer, nutritional value, and pesticide residues.

 

Nachay, Karen. “Genetic engineering guidance issued.” (March 2009) Food Technology. (63)3:13.

Announcement that the FDA has released the final guidance for industry on the regulation of genetically engineered (GE) animals. Available online at www.fda.gov/cvm/GEanimals.htm.

 

Regenstein, Joe. “Labeling: Are we leveling with consumers?” (March 2009) Food Technology. (63)

 3:136.

This editorial considers how forthcoming the food industry should be in labeling controversial food processes/ingredients. The argument is that the food industry does much more harm by being viewed as "secretive and uncommunicative" than they would in acknowledging novel/controversial technologies. Issues include irradiation, carbon monoxide, nanotechnology and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

 

“Truth in labeling.” (February/March 2009) Food Quality. (16)1:15-17.

The “Final Guidance on Regulation of Genetically Engineered Animals” has been published by the FDA. This standard does not address the issue of labeling GE animals, as labeling is not legally required. The FDA's policy on GE animals states that as they are not different than conventional foods, they do not require additional labeling. However, according to a survey conducted at the Consumers Union has found that 95% of consumers desire labeling of GE animals.

 

 

2004 Journal Citations:

 

Adamy, Janet.  “Modified DNA Found in Test of Traditional Seeds.”  (2004) The Wall Street Journal (243) 37:D6.

Genetically modified material has been found in traditional supplies of seed.  The genetically modified material is not supposed to be in the traditional supplies.  The report was done by the Union of Concerned Scientists.  The group says there is no known danger to consumers from where the material was found.  It does raise questions of how crop biotechnology can be controlled.

 

Bansasiak, Karen.  “Vermont Requires Labels for GM Seeds.”  (2004) Food Technology (58) 6:10.

Governor James Douglas of Vermont signed into law on April 26 requiring labels on seeds that are genetically modified or engineered.  The law will take effect October 1.  Sales of these seeds must also be reported to the state’s secretary of agriculture.  This is the first state to require labeling of GM seeds.

 

Conover, Robert V.  “Biotech Labeling Still Unresolved in Codex.”  (2004) Food Technology (58) 6:208.

Since 1991, the labeling of genetically modified foods has been an unresolved issue on the Codex agendas.  The Codex Alimentarius Commission is used as a forum to set international standards for food safety and quality.

 

Essig, Juliane S., Main, Marcy L., and Trick, Harold N. Ph.D.  “Genetically Modified Crops: Part II. Risks and Regulations.”  (2004) AIB Research Department Technical Bulletin (26) 2:1-8.

This technical bulletin is the second in a two part series discussing genetically modified or genetically engineered crops.  The authors discuss in this bulletin if it is dangerous to eat genetically engineered crops and StarLink corn.  They include a table on terms and abbreviations that are used when talking about genetic engineered crops, which include allergen, APHIS, Bt, bioengineered, DNA, EPA, FDA, RNA, GMO, GE, GRAS, monoculture, nucleotide base, organic, pathogen, transgene, roundup, roundup ready crops, and USDA.  A table on responsibilities of U.S. agencies that have oversight of plant biotechnology including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal, and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration.  The authors also discuss how bioengineered crops are involved with antibiotic resistance, the labeling issue if GE food is safe, how genetically engineered crops affect the environment, are GE crops creating super weeds, how they affect genetic diversity of crops, if an increased use of Bt crops are used will pest management tools stop working after awhile, does Bt crops kill Monarch butterflies, if Roundup Ready is working as effective as herbicide, and why Europe is so opposed to genetically engineered foods.

 

Fagan, John.  “GMO Traceability Requirements Expand.”  (2004) Food Technology (58) 3:124.

The author discusses the new European Union’s genetically modified organism traceability and labeling regulations.  These new regulations can be seen as an opportunity for North American ingredient producers to keep or expand their market share in the European Union.

 

Giese, James.  “EU Adopts New GM Food Regulations.”  (2004) Food Technology (58) 5:20.

The EU has adopted a Genetically Modified Food and Feed Regulation 1829/2003.  They cover the applications and authorization of new GM food and feed products.  More information can be found at http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/pri/en/oj/dat/2004/l_102/l_1022040407en00140025.pdf.

 

Henry, Robert J.  “Genetic Improvements of Cereals.”  (2004) Cereal Foods World (49) 3:122, 124-129.

For this article, cereals include barley, maize, millet, oat, rice, rye, sorghum, and wheat.  The author discusses the importance of cereal improvement and quantity versus quality.  Genetic resources include genetic resources in wild populations (in Situ conversation), genetic resources in cultivated crops, genetic resource collection, DNA banks, and techniques for expansion of genetic resources.  The author discusses traditional traits, novel traits, and cereal genomics.

 

Joy, David.  “What Do Europe’s GM Regs Require?”  (2004) Food Processing (65) 6:14.

The European Union’s last set of regulations for foods that are from genetically modified sources took effect in April.  The author discusses the difficulties of these new regulations, traceability of food additives, and approval of GM-derived additives.

 

Kilman, Scott.  “Monsanto Drops Plans for Now to Make Bioengineered Wheat.”   (2004) The Wall Street Journal (243) 92:A2.

Monsanto Co. has given in to the resistance to bioengineered wheat from the U.S. food industry.  They have decided not to make the wheat for now.  The wheat would have made it easier for farmers to kill weeds without harming the wheat itself.

Kilman, Scott.  “U.S. Considers Overhauling Biotech Rules for Crops.”  (2004) The Wall Street Journal (243) 16:A5.

The Agricultural Department is thinking about greatly overhauling its crop biotechnology regulations that started in 1987.  There have been few details about the coming changes so far but it has been reported that they will meet the food industry’s demand for stricter control of the newest biotechnology crops.

 

Lewis, Sara and Clapp, Steve.   “EU Lifts Moratorium but U.S. Won't Drop WTO Case. (2004) Food Chemical News (46) 15: 1, 10-11.

(pdf file available by paid subscription at: http://www.foodchemicalnews.com

The European Union has ended the six-year moratorium against the bt11 variety of corn from human consumption produced by Syngenta.  There was a "consensus" among the commisoners present at the meeting to lift the moratorium.  The United States did not support this decision

 

McGregor, Richard.  “Taste Modification in the Biotech Era.”  (2004) Food Technology (58) 5:24, 26, 28-30.

The author discusses some of the advances in understanding the science of taste.  This allows a biotechnological approach to develop new tastes and foods.  The author discusses some of the science of taste and includes a table on a deeper understanding of the science of taste and how it is offering new solutions and ideas to food industry problems.   The author also discusses overcoming bitterness and potentiating sweetness.  He also discusses that biotechnology will increase in its role in the future of the development of new flavors.

 

Miller, Scott.  “Bayer Won’t Sell Gene-Altered Seeds in the U.K.”   (2004) The Wall Street Journal (243) 64:A12.

                Bayer CropScience AG has decided not to sell its corn seeds in Britain that are genetically altered.  The conditions that were attached to selling the corn made the seeds not profitable for the company.

 

Miller, Scott.  “EU’s New Rules Will Shake Up Market for Bioengineered Food.”  (2004) The Wall Street Journal (243) 75:A1, A6.

The author includes a table of total acres of modified crops grown throughout the world from 1996 to 2003.  Europe has started a new labeling rule on products in European supermarkets.  The labeling will be a warning for consumers if 0.9 percent or more of the ingredients are from bioengineered foods.

 

Miller, Scott and Champion, Marc.   “Britain to Allow Farmers to Grow Biotech Corn.”  (2004) The Wall Street Journal (243) 48:A14, A15.

Britain is going to allow farmers to grow a biotech corn strain.  Some see this as a weakening in Europe’s resistance against genetically modified food.  The corn that will be grown will mostly be used for cow feed.  Included is a table of how many acres are planted with modified crops (figures in the millions).  The U.S. has 105.7, Argentina as 34.3, Canada has 10.9, Brazil has 7.4, China has 6.9, and Spain has 0.1.

 

Regalado, Antonio and Kilman, Scott.  “Better-Tasting Beef Through Genetic Testing?”  (2004) The Wall Street Journal (243) 110:B1, B5.

Cargill Inc. announced that they found genetic markers in cattle that indicate for good tasting meat.  They will make a prototype blood test to screen their young cattle for the genetic potential to taste good.   This test could help increase profit margins if they are successful.

 

Stokstad, Erik.  “Monsanto Pulls the Plug on Genetically Modified Wheat.”  (2004) Science (304) 5674:1088-1089.

Monsanto stopped their plans to commercialize Roundup Ready wheat.  They did not pull the project because of resistance from the industry, but because of the risky economy.  Instead, they are focusing on projects that are known moneymakers.  In 2003, Monsanto invested less than $5 million into research and development on genetically modified wheat.

 

Smith, Jeffrey M.  “Are Genetically Engineered Foods Dangerous.”  (2004) Food Quality (11) 1:22-23.

The FDA reports that GM foods are GRAS, while the European Union reports that they are illegal like asbestos.  The author discusses if biotech foods are safe and what the FDA has done so far about them.  Currently, biotech companies test their own food and are not required to tell the FDA if they do introduce a new GM food.  The author suggests that people responsible for food safety to review the information because GM foods should not have been approved for human consumption.

 

Stokstad, Erik.  “Experts Recommend A Cautious Approach.”  (2004) Science (303) 5657:449.

Researchers have developed a way to contain and isolate engineered species so that they do not harm humans.  For example, bioengineered crops’ pollen is damaged so that it does not spread the resistance to weeds and salmon are sterilized so that if they make it to the ocean, they cannot compete with other species.  The National Academy of Sciences reports that all GMO species need to be contained such as traits of plumper fruits.

 

Thomson, Bill. "EU's New Biotech-Crop Laws May Raise, Now Lower, Barriers." (2004) The Wall Street Journal (243) 13: C6.

The European Union is preparing to start new laws in April to label and track all food that is genetically modified food. U.S. farmers and government officials have warned that this does not mean that the food is going to be able to got to market easily.  The new laws may actually cause tougher trade barriers than what is currently in place.  The EU wants labels to help maintained consumer confidence in the foods they eat.

 

“Wal-Mart’s Position on Genetically Engineered Foods.”  (2004) Manufacturing Confectioner (84) 6:14-15.

This paper was published by Wal-Mart as a statement against a shareholder proposal pertaining to genetically modified engineered food products.  The full text of a report is at www.gao.gov/new.items/d02566.pdf.  The proposal number is 9.

 

 

2003 Journal Citations:

 

Abboud, Leila.  “Makers of Modified Crops Faulted on Safety Data Submitted to FDA.” (2003) The Wall Street Journal (241) 4: A6. 

Genetically modified crop makers avoided questions and submitted faulty data on federal applications that were supposed to be used to ensure safety of bioengineered foods before they are marketed to the public.  The review process is flawed and allows these makers to slip through the cracks with false information.  To change this, FDA rules will have to be changed to give the agency more power to ensure that correct information is submitted.

 

Callahan, Patricia and Kilman, Scott.  “Seeds of Doubt: Some Ingredients are Genetically Modified, Despite Labels’ Claim.”  The Wall Street Journal (237) 67.

Discusses how some products that are labeled as “non-GMO” actually do contain ingredients, which have been genetically modified.   The Wall Street Journal had a laboratory analysis of 20 products that were labeled as “non GMO” or “GMO free.”  Eleven of the 20 products tested positive for containing “genetic material used to modify plants,” while five other samples contained higher levels of the material.  Ingredient companies are advising their customers not to use the GMO labels because it is almost impossible to have an ingredient that does not contain minute amounts genetic material.  The problem of contamination of genetically modified crops can be traced back to the seed, and can be contributed to the fact that throughout the whole process there is no way to keep genetically modified crops or ingredients separated from non-genetically modified crops.  Notes how StarLink Corn has caused the recall of over 300 products.

 

Clapp, Steven. “CODEX Biotech Labeling Work Group Fails to Meet Consensus.” Food Chemical News (45) 41:1-18.  Available online through subscription at http://www.foodchemicalnews.com.

                 A Codex Committee has failed to reach an agreement on biotech labeling.   The committee met in Calgary, Alberta, October 28-30, 2003.  Notes that several "underlying issues" were identified in a paper.

 

Conan, Kerri.  “The Top 7 Things That Matter on the Food Label.”  (2003) Health (17) 9:152-155.

The author gives advice on how to interpret food labels in the U.S. Description on several food label designs.  Consumers should know the lingo so that they can make better and healthier choices in food.  The seven things that one should know include new health claims; trans-fats; where food comes from; irradiating foods; growth hormones, antibiotics, and artificial dyes; genetic engineering; and allergens.

“EPA Approves Modified Corn That Targets Rootworm.”  (2003) Food Processing (64) 3:14.

The Environmental Protection Agency granted Monsanto Co. permission for three years to sell the first biotech corn that is designed to control corn rootworm.  They have to do more testing and evaluation during the three-year period.  Monsanto calls the corn "YieldGard Rootworm corn" and contains a protein from Bacillus thuringienis, which is a common soil microbe that targets the corn rootworm larvae.  The EPA will require farmers to set aside 20% of their corn without the protein so that corn does not develop a resistance.  The USDA has estimated that pests cause $1 billion in lost revenue each year for the U.S. corn crop.

 

“EPA Approves New GE Corn Variety.”  (2003) Food Chemical News Daily (5) 213.  

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved Monsanto Co.’s genetically engineered corn variety Yield Guard Plus.  The new corn produces two proteins aimed at damaged caused by the European corn borer (a moth), and root damage caused by the corn rootworm (a beetle).  Notes that more information on EPA’s biotechnology regulatory program can be found at:  http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/biopesticides.

 

“EU to Enact Modified-Corn Rules.” (2003) The Wall Street Journal (242) 1: A2.

The European Parliament is expected to pass legislation that would be a further blow to U.S. farmers.  As part of the legislation, the European Union would require a genetic history of all products, which could be traced back to the farmer.  Further limitation on the planting of genetically engineered crops is also expected.

 

Fassl, Joyce.  “Oreos, Irradiation, Biotechnology.”  (2003) Food Engineering (75) 6:8.

A recent survey showed findings that Americans are supporting the benefits of biotechnology.  The International Food Information Council reports that Americans think that biotechnology will benefit them in the next five years.  The IFIC also reported that 77 percent of Americans could not think of anything else to add to labels.  For trans fats, consumers are not really listening to the media or do not care.

 

Giese, James.  “U.S. Files WTO Case Against EU on Biotech Foods.”  (2003) Food Technology (57) 6:26.

United States, Argentina, Canada, and Egypt are filing with the World Trade Organization against the European Union because of the EU’s illegal five-year moratorium on approving agricultural biotech products.  There are other countries joining the lawsuit as third parties.  The following web site includes more information, www.usda.gov/news/releases/2003/05/0156.htm.

 

Joy, David.  “E.U. Issues New GMO Regulations.”  (2003) Food Processing (64) 12:20-21.

The European Union has issued two new regulations for genetically modified foods.  The first regulation deals with pre-market authorization and the labeling of genetically modified foods, which are intended for human and animal consumption.  The U.S. has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization about the E.U.’s refusal to authorize marketing of GMO foods.

 

Kilman, Scott and Mathews, Anna Wilde.  “Meat and Milk Clones May Get Support.”  (2003) The Wall Street Journal (242) 87:A2.

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to report that eating cloned livestock and their offspring appears to be safe.  Despite this announcement, it will probably be several years before consumers can find cloned animal meat on the shelf because it is currently too expensive.

 

King, Neil Jr.  “U.S.-EU Crop Fight Flares.”  (2003) The Wall Street Journal (242) 10:A4.

The European Union is trying to require a new labeling rule that is meant to replace the ban on genetically modified crops that the U.S. has challenged.  The EU is also trying to require a paper-trail of where the food was produced all the way to consumer who eats it.  Something that would be very costly to farmers and retailers.  U.S. farmers also oppose the new labeling rule and are pleading with the Bush administration to help them challenge the new ruling.  Farmers are claiming that this labeling rule is a trade barrier.  Both sides will have a tough time trying to convince the other that they are right.

 

King, Neil Jr.  “U.S. to Challenge EU Moratorium on Genetically Modified Foods.”  (2003) The Wall Street Journal (241) 2: A4.

In 1998, the European Union put into effect that it would not accept genetically modified foods.  The U.S. wants to file a complaint with the World Trade Organization and wants to reopen this trade.  U.S. growers say that this ban has cost  $300 million in annual sales of bioengineered corn.

 

Macaulay, Jennifer.  “Biopharming: Growing Medicine Crops.”  (2003) Food Technology (57) 9:20.

In the biotechnology industry, a new emerging segment is biopharming.  Biopharming is using plants that are genetically modified to produce pharmaceuticals, also called plant-made pharmaceuticals (PMPs).  Currently, biologics are expensive to manufacture and do not meet current demand.  A facility capable of producing PMPs takes 5 to 7 years to build and costs about $600 million.  These drugs would treat arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, herpes, cancer, and infectious diseases, to name a few.  The FDA has not approved of these drugs as they are still in clinical trials and field tests.  One serious issue about these crops is how they will be contained and not be mixed into the U.S. food supply.  Biopharming could offer many advantages, such as meeting demand of medicines and more affordable medications to patients.

 

McGee, Suzanne.  “Biotech Firms Find Now Isn’t Opportune for IPOs.”  (2003) The Wall Street Journal (105) 88:C1, C20.

Biotechnology companies are entering the market to get more capital for their companies, but they are finding that this is not the right time for companies to do their first initial public offerings.  These companies filed for the IPOs earlier this year when the market was looking good, but now as they are putting their IPOs into the market, they have to offer their stock at lower prices.  During the first ten weeks of the year, biotechnology index rose 93%. 

 

Miller, Scott.  “Biotech Crop Study May Stir Critics.” (2003) The Wall Street Journal (242) 77:A6.

The British government conducted a study that revealed that farming of some biotech crops could significantly lower the number of insects, which is an important link in the wildlife food chain.  This information could increase opposition from Europe on biotech crops.  This report is one of the most far-reaching field studies on biotech crops ever.

 

Mitchener, Brandon, Scott Kilman, and Scott Miller.  “European Ruling Backs Banning of Biotech Crops.”  (2003) The Wall Street Journal (242) 50:A23.

Europe's top court said that governments could block the sale of genetically modified foods in Europe.  But, the governments do have to come up with a better reason for blocking the food.  Europe has written new food label laws that require food producers to give more information to consumers about genetically modified food.  The governments have more time now to do research on genetically modified foods before the European Union will allow modified crops into the country.

 

Morton, David.  “Some Ethical Issues in Biotechnology Involving Animals.”  (2003) Journal of Commercial Biotechnology (9) 2:163-170.

The author presents ethical issues with biotechnology that involves animals.  He discusses the concern of animal welfare and the protection of the environment for other animal species.  Morton believes that animal protection is the most important thing in terms of biotechnology and believes that with the right intentions and motivation that the right actions will follow.  Morton also discusses the benefits of genetic manipulation, ethical issues, animal rights, and future biotechnological considerations.

 

Regalado, Antonio.  “Critics of Biotech Industry Sign Petition Against Patenting of Genes, Plants, Tissue.”  (2003) The Wall Street Journal (239) 23: B4.

Leaders from 200 nongovernmental organizations are planning to create pressure to end patents on plants, genes, microorganisms, and human tissues.  This is a move to block patents from biotechnology firms who claim them as intellectual-property.  Over 250 groups signed a treaty proposal to stop patenting of the information.

 

Sherrid, Pamela.  “Altered Waves of Grain.”  (2003) U.S. News & World Report (134) 9:44.

The author’s main focus is on the controversy of agriculture that is genetically modified (GM).  There has been success in GM crops in the U.S. and in many countries in Europe.  Japan, along with other nations, have raised concerns of GM crops and the potential risks for human consumption.  The author discusses the pros and cons of GM seed.  Monsanto is looking to get approval from the U.S. government for its GM wheat seed.  The author also discusses the impact GM crops will have on organic farmers.

 

“Violent Protests Erupting Over Biotechnology.”  (2003) Business CustomerWire 10/14/2003.

In San Francisco, there is a growing militant movement, which is against genetic engineering in agriculture and medicine.  Sabotage is increasing from this movement.  A biotech company was bombed and genetically modified crops were destroyed.  Because of this, targeted companies are ensuring extra security precautions.  The group that claims the destruction is called Revolutionary Cells and has vowed that more bombings were on the way.

2002 Journal Citations:

 

Johnson, Keith.  “In Debate Over Modified Foods, Famine Weighs In.” (2002) The Wall Street Journal May 22, 2002: B7.

                Farmers in Africa are protesting the right to grow genetically modified food.   Famine in Southern Africa added to the urgency of the campaign.  Biotech imports are banned in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

 

Langen, Sara.  “IFIC Conducts Consumer Food Biotech Survey.”  (2002) Food Technology (56) 1:12.

The International Food Information Council conducted a consumer survey in September 2001 that reported that 61% of Americans believe and can actually state how biotechnology will benefit them or their families over the next five years.  Expected benefits include improvement in health, nutrition, quality, taste, and variety of foods.  Also there will be a reduced chemical and pesticide use on plants, reduced cost of foods, and improved crops and yields.  For more information, the web site is www.ific.org.

 

Miller, Scott. “U.S. Farmers Want WTO Review of GMO Dispute with Europe.” (2002) The Wall Street Journal (240) 104: A13.

The European agriculture ministers are debating if they want to lift a ban on new genetically modified organisms.  U.S. farmers are increasing their pressure on Washington to go to WTO and take their case about genetically modified food.  U.S. farmers would like this ban lifted by the end of the year so they can begin exporting.  Europe would like to require labels on food that have or had genetically modified organisms, but U.S. farmers feel that this would scare European consumers away from the products.  U.S. farmers would also like Washington to file a formal complaint with WTO about this because they would like not to have to put the label on their products.

 

Mitchener, Brandon. “Europe Has No Appetite for Modified Food.” (2002) The Wall Street Journal (240) 59: B3.

Biotechnology researchers in Europe say that they are inventing and improving new and better beans, grapes, wheat and bananas.  They know that this food will probably never be eaten in Europe but will have to go abroad with their findings.  Europeans have such a fear of food that has been bioengineered that politicians have banned the food in Europe.  Some researchers are leaving Europe to go to countries that are not afraid of the new food.

 

Todd, Tim.  “An Earful: Bacteria May Boost Corn Yields, Cut Production Costs.”  (2002) The Wall Street Journal (239) 15:C6.

Eric Triplett got an idea over twelve years ago to use an application of biotechnology to boost corn production.  His idea would help cornfields not need nitrogen fertilizer.  Nitrogen fertilizer is a large component of corn production and a large cost factor to farmers.  His strain of bacteria that he found could increase corn production by 5% to 10%.  This process does not modify the genes of the crop.

 

2005 Journal Citations:

 

Anderson, Clifton E.  “Biotech on the Farm: Realizing the Promise.”  (September/October 2005) The Futurist (39)5: 38-42.

Though genetically modified crops have been available for years, the original goal of GM crops was to end world hunger has not been realized.  Biotechnology has had its success, and its disappointments, but to truly utilize the science and satisfy both local and global consumers a genetic science commission could be the answer.  Some countries do not allow any genetically engineered food products to be imported which hurts U.S. farmers and many activists would like GM foods to be labeled.  This proposed commission could answer these issues and provide proof that the U.S. takes food safety, in regards to biotechnology, seriously.

 

Davis, Donald R.  “Trade-Offs in Agriculture and Nutrition.”  (March 2005) Food Technology (59) 3:120.

The author discusses how environmental and genetic methods can help increase crop yields but a downfall to this is that they may reduce concentrations of some nutrients.  Technology may help us to increase selected nutrient concentrations.   He does ask the question if we will find other side effects down the road.

 

“EU Food Safety Authority Bashed for Pro-GMO Bias.”  (December 2004/January 2005) Food Quality (11) 6:19.

An environmental group, Friends of the Earth Europe, is accusing the European Safety Authority (EFSA) of repeated bias for genetically modified foods and for having links with the biotech industry.  The report can be found at www.foeeurope.org/GMOs/publications/EFSAreport.pdf

2001 Journal Citations:

 

Hollingsworth, Pierce.  “GMO Safety: A Trojan Horse.”  (2001) Food Technology (55) 10:20.

Radical environmentalists destroyed Monsanto’s test site for genetically modified corn in France on August 26, 2001.  Another site was destroyed earlier in southern France.  These people are opposed to the development and testing of GM crops.  They believe that they are unsafe products.  The European Union wants consumers to feel secure about their products so they have made tight regulations for GM products in the food supply.  The EU wants to stress food safety and not that they are blocking crops from the U.S.

 

Hotchkiss, Joseph H.  “Pasteur and Biotechnology: Lessons from the Past.”  (2001) Food Technology (55) 9:146.

The article discusses the history of pasteurizing milk and the fears that went along with it from the public.  The author makes reference to a book called The Milk Question, which was published in 1912.  In it, M.J. Rosenau offered advice for scientists and how they should deal with controversy.  The scientists should have patience, educate, and cooperate.  They should also let “facts speak for themselves.”  In a later book by H. Hill called Pasteurization, which was published in 1947, he recommended to scientists that they should be active in public debate when facing controversy.  This is advice to current scientists who are facing opposition for biotechnology.

 

Kershen, Drew L.  “Avoiding GMOs May Increase Legal Risks.”  (2001) Food Technology (55) 10:124.

Companies that avoid food that is genetically modified because of anti-biotechnology activist groups are increasing their legal liability and negative publicity.  They can increase their risk of product liability and risk of personal injury liability.  Companies should not ban foods from their products because it is announced that they might be genetically modified.  Instead, they should educate consumers and offer reassurance during these times.

 

Page last updated September 11, 2009.

 

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