Get In The Mood For GM Food





 1953- Watson& Crick discover double helix structure of DNA

1973- Herbert Boyer and Stanley Cohen combine their research to create the first successful recombinant DNA organism.

1980- The U.S. Supreme Court in Diamond v. Chakrabarty rules that genetically altered life forms can be patented. This ruling allows Exxon Oil Company to patent an oil-eating microorganism.

1982- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the first genetically engineered drug, Genentech's Humulin, a form of human insulin produced by bacteria. This is the first consumer product developed through modern bioengineering.

1986- The first field tests of genetically engineered plants (tobacco) are conducted in Belgium.

1987- The first field tests of genetically engineered crops (tobacco and tomato) are conducted in the United States.

1992- Calgene's Favr Savr tomato, engineered to remain firm for a longer period of time, is approved for commercial production by the US Department of Agriculture.

1992- The FDA declares that genetically engineered foods are "not inherently dangerous" and do not require special regulation.

1994- The European Union's first genetically engineered crop (tobacco) is approved in France.
2000- International Biosafety Protocol is approved by 130 countries at the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montréal, Canada. The protocol agrees upon labeling of genetically engineered crops, but still needs to be ratified by 50 nations before it goes into effect.





Importance of GM Foods:

      Emerging genetically modified organisms are now capable of nutrition enhancement, drought tolerance, and protection from plant disease . In order to improve the product, the genes in the two products must be crossed. To cross the two genes recombinant DNA technology is used. A piece of gene is cut from the "donor" gene and inserted into the "host" gene, which is the product being modified. These products cannot be bred in order to get a result like GM foods. An important example of these productions are genes that have been crossed to increase the ability of a plant to grow in conditions it otherwise could not survive in. In watery, cold, and hot temperatures a plant can potentially grow and develop as if it were in the most perfect of weather conditions. In addition, plants can be modified to ensure that pests keep away and ultimately this technology could lead to the end of pesticide chemicals being used on plants. GMO's would allow for food to be more easily accessible in parts of the world that would have otherwise gone without the proper materials needed for a healthy lifestyle.


Major Challenges:

Major challenges behind genetically modified food lie with the safety of the food itself. The first sign of trouble came when a United Kingdom scientist spoke out against GM foods. He did several tests and many of the rats had problems. The scientist concluded the problems were a result of genetic modification. Because European consumers were upset, many of their food companies took away genetically modified foods. Within the next decade, several health scares occurred. Many of these health scares were not related to GM foods however, it led people to think negatively of GM foods. Today, they remain controversial. Several studies have occurred and many have been presented in exaggerated ways. This can be detrimental to the GM food companies because when faced with confusion, people tend to avoid GM foods entirely.



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