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Scientific American The Truth about Genetically Modified Food Proponents of genetically modified crops say the technology is the only way to feed a warming, increasingly populous world.Critics say we tamper with nature at our peril.
Who is right? Share on Facebook In Brief The vast majority of the research on genetically modified (GM) crops suggests that they are safe to eat and that they have the potential to feed millions of people worldwide who currently go hungry 1 Sep 2013 - He is expressing despair at the relentless need to confront what he sees as bogus fears over the health risks of genetically modified (GM) crops. Particularly frustrating to him, he says, is that this debate should have ended decades ago, when researchers produced a stream of exonerating evidence: “Today .Who is right? Share on Facebook In Brief The vast majority of the research on genetically modified (GM) crops suggests that they are safe to eat and that they have the potential to feed millions of people worldwide who currently go hungry.
Yet not all criticisms of GM are so easily rejected, and pro-GM scientists are often dismissive and even unscientific in their rejection of the counterevidence.A careful analysis of the risks and benefits argues for expanded deployment and safety testing of GM crops How is the process of digesting GMO proteins in the body different from digesting those from conventionally grown proteins? In the space under each statement, cite information from the article that supports or refutes your original ideas. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration does not approve new GMO food crops..A careful analysis of the risks and benefits argues for expanded deployment and safety testing of GM crops.Robert Goldberg sags into his desk chair and gestures at the air.“Frankenstein monsters, things crawling out of the lab,” he says.
“This the most depressing thing I've ever dealt with.” Goldberg, a plant molecular biologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, is not battling psychosis.He is expressing despair at the relentless need to confront what he sees as bogus fears over the health risks of genetically modified (GM) crops.Particularly frustrating to him, he says, is that this debate should have ended decades ago, when researchers produced a stream of exonerating evidence: “Today we're facing the same objections we faced 40 years ago.
” Across campus, David Williams, a cellular biologist who specializes in vision, has the opposite complaint.
“A lot of naive science has been involved in pushing this technology,” he says.“Thirty years ago we didn't know that when you throw any gene into a different genome, the genome reacts to it.But now anyone in this field knows the genome is not a static environment.Inserted genes can be transformed by several different means, and it can happen generations later.” The result, he insists, could very well be potentially toxic plants slipping through testing.
Williams concedes that he is among a tiny minority of biologists raising sharp questions about the safety of GM crops.But he says this is only because the field of plant molecular biology is protecting its interests.Funding, much of it from the companies that sell GM seeds, heavily favors researchers who are exploring ways to further the use of genetic modification in agriculture.He says that biologists who point out health or other risks associated with GM crops—who merely report or defend experimental findings that imply there may be risks—find themselves the focus of vicious attacks on their credibility, which leads scientists who see problems with GM foods to keep quiet.Whether Williams is right or wrong, one thing is undeniable: despite overwhelming evidence that GM crops are safe to eat, the debate over their use continues to rage, and in some parts of the world, it is growing ever louder.
Skeptics would argue that this contentiousness is a good thing—that we cannot be too cautious when tinkering with the genetic basis of the world's food supply.To researchers such as Goldberg, however, the persistence of fears about GM foods is nothing short of exasperating.“In spite of hundreds of millions of genetic experiments involving every type of organism on earth,” he says, “and people eating billions of meals without a problem, we've gone back to being ignorant.” So who is right: advocates of GM or critics? When we look carefully at the evidence for both sides and weigh the risks and benefits, we find a surprisingly clear path out of this dilemma.Benefits and worries The bulk of the science on GM safety points in one direction.
Berkeley agricultural and environmental economist and one of the few researchers considered credible by both agricultural chemical companies and their critics.He argues that the benefits of GM crops greatly outweigh the health risks, which so far remain theoretical.The use of GM crops “has lowered the price of food,” Zilberman says.
“It has increased farmer safety by allowing them to use less pesticide.It has raised the output of corn, cotton and soy by 20 to 30 percent, allowing some people to survive who would not have without it.If it were more widely adopted around the world, the price of food would go lower, and fewer people would die of hunger.” In the future, Zilberman says, those advantages will become all the more significant.The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the world will have to grow 70 percent more food by 2050 just to keep up with population growth.
Climate change will make much of the world's arable land more difficult to farm.GM crops, Zilberman says, could produce higher yields, grow in dry and salty land, withstand high and low temperatures, and tolerate insects, disease and herbicides.Credit: Jen Christiansen Despite such promise, much of the world has been busy banning, restricting and otherwise shunning GM foods.Nearly all the corn and soybeans grown in the U.are genetically modified, but only two GM crops, Monsanto's MON810 maize and BASF's Amflora potato, are accepted in the European Union.nations have banned MON810, and although BASF withdrew Amflora from the market in 2012, four E.nations have taken the trouble to ban that, too.Approval of a few new GM corn strains has been proposed there, but so far it has been repeatedly and soundly voted down.Throughout Asia, including in India and China, governments have yet to approve most GM crops, including an insect-resistant rice that produces higher yields with less pesticide.In Africa, where millions go hungry, several nations have refused to import GM foods in spite of their lower costs (the result of higher yields and a reduced need for water and pesticides).Kenya has banned them altogether amid widespread malnutrition.
No country has definite plans to grow Golden Rice, a crop engineered to deliver more vitamin A than spinach (rice normally has no vitamin A), even though vitamin A deficiency causes more than one million deaths annually and half a million cases of irreversible blindness in the developing world.Globally, only a tenth of the world's cropland includes GM plants., Canada, Brazil and Argentina—grow 90 percent of the planet's GM crops.
Other Latin American countries are pushing away from the plants., voices decrying genetically modified foods are becoming louder.
federal government passed a law requiring labeling of GM ingredients in food products, replacing GM-labeling laws in force or proposed in several dozen states.The fear fueling all this activity has a long history.The public has been worried about the safety of GM foods since scientists at the University of Washington developed the first genetically modified tobacco plants in the 1970s.In the mid-1990s, when the first GM crops reached the market, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Ralph Nader, Prince Charles and a number of celebrity chefs took highly visible stands against them.
Consumers in Europe became particularly alarmed: a survey conducted in 1997, for example, found that 69 percent of the Austrian public saw serious risks in GM foods, compared with only 14 percent of Americans.In Europe, skepticism about GM foods has long been bundled with other concerns, such as a resentment of American agribusiness.Whatever it is based on, however, the European attitude reverberates across the world, influencing policy in countries where GM crops could have tremendous benefits.“In Africa, they don't care what us savages in America are doing,” Zilberman says.“They look to Europe and see countries there rejecting GM, so they don't use it.
” Forces fighting genetic modification in Europe have rallied support for “the precautionary principle,” which holds that given the kind of catastrophe that would emerge from loosing a toxic, invasive GM crop on the world, GM efforts should be shut down until the technology is proved absolutely safe.But as medical researchers know, nothing can really be “proved safe.” One can only fail to turn up significant risk after trying hard to find it—as is the case with GM crops.A clean record The human race has been selectively breeding crops, thus altering plants' genomes, for millennia.Ordinary wheat has long been strictly a human-engineered plant; it could not exist outside of farms, because its seeds do not scatter.
For some 60 years scientists have been using “mutagenic” techniques to scramble the DNA of plants with radiation and chemicals, creating strains of wheat, rice, peanuts and pears that have become agricultural mainstays.The practice has inspired little objection from scientists or the public and has caused no known health problems.The difference is that selective breeding or mutagenic techniques tend to result in large swaths of genes being swapped or altered.GM technology, in contrast, enables scientists to insert into a plant's genome a single gene (or a few of them) from another species of plant or even from a bacterium, virus or animal.Supporters argue that this precision makes the technology much less likely to produce surprises.
Most plant molecular biologists also say that in the highly unlikely case that an unexpected health threat emerged from a new GM plant, scientists would quickly identify and eliminate it.“We know where the gene goes and can measure the activity of every single gene around it,” Goldberg says.“We can show exactly which changes occur and which don't.” And although it might seem creepy to add virus DNA to a plant, doing so is, in fact, no big deal, proponents say.Viruses have been inserting their DNA into the genomes of crops, as well as humans and all other organisms, for millions of years.
They often deliver the genes of other species while they are at it, which is why our own genome is loaded with genetic sequences that originated in viruses and nonhuman species.“When GM critics say that genes don't cross the species barrier in nature, that's just simple ignorance,” says Alan McHughen, a plant molecular geneticist at U.Triticale is a century-plus-old hybrid of wheat and rye found in some flours and breakfast cereals.Wheat itself, for that matter, is a cross-species hybrid.“Mother Nature does it all the time, and so do conventional plant breeders,” McHughen says.Could eating plants with altered genes allow new DNA to work its way into our own? It is possible but hugely improbable.Scientists have never found genetic material that could survive a trip through the human gut and make it into cells.
Besides, we are routinely exposed to—and even consume—the viruses and bacteria whose genes end up in GM foods.The bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, for example, which produces proteins fatal to insects, is sometimes enlisted as a natural pesticide in organic farming.“We've been eating this stuff for thousands of years,” Goldberg says.In any case, proponents say, people have consumed as many as trillions of meals containing genetically modified ingredients over the past few decades.Not a single verified case of illness has ever been attributed to the genetic alterations.
Mark Lynas, a prominent anti-GM activist who in 2013 publicly switched to strongly supporting the technology, has pointed out that every single news-making food disaster on record has been attributed to non-GM crops, such as the Escherichia coli–infected organic bean sprouts that killed 53 people in Europe in 2011.research on the safety of genetically modified foods, which is often funded or even conducted by GM companies, such as Monsanto.But much research on the subject comes from the European Commission, the administrative body of the E.
, which cannot be so easily dismissed as an industry tool.The European Commission has funded 130 research projects, carried out by more than 500 independent teams, on the safety of GM crops.None of those studies found any special risks from GM crops.
Plenty of other credible groups have arrived at the same conclusion.
Gregory Jaffe, director of biotechnology at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a science-based consumer-watchdog group in Washington, D., takes pains to note that the center has no official stance, pro or con, with regard to genetically modifying food plants.Yet Jaffe insists the scientific record is clear.“Current GM crops are safe to eat and can be grown safely in the environment,” he says.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Medical Association and the National Academy of Sciences have all unreservedly backed GM crops.Food and Drug Administration, along with its counterparts in several other countries, has repeatedly reviewed large bodies of research and concluded that GM crops pose no unique health threats.Dozens of review studies carried out by academic researchers have backed that view.
Opponents of genetically modified foods point to a handful of studies indicating possible safety problems.But reviewers have dismantled almost all of those reports.For example, a 1998 study by plant biochemist rp d Pusztai, then at the Rowett Institute in Scotland, found that rats fed a GM potato suffered from stunted growth and immune system–related changes.But the potato was not intended for human consumption—it was, in fact, designed to be toxic for research purposes.The Rowett Institute later deemed the experiment so sloppy that it refuted the findings and charged Pusztai with misconduct.
Most recently, a team led by Gilles- ric S ralini, a researcher at the University of Caen Lower Normandy in France, found that rats eating a common type of GM corn contracted cancer at an alarmingly high rate.But S ralini has long been an anti-GM campaigner, and critics charged that in his study, he relied on a strain of rat that too easily develops tumors, did not use enough rats, did not include proper control groups and failed to report many details of the experiment, including how the analysis was performed.After a review, the European Food Safety Authority dismissed the study's findings.Several other European agencies came to the same conclusion.
“If GM corn were that toxic, someone would have noticed by now,” McHughen says.“S ralini has been refuted by everyone who has cared to comment.” Some scientists say the objections to GM food stem from politics rather than science—that they are motivated by an objection to large multinational corporations having enormous influence over the food supply; invoking risks from genetic modification just provides a convenient way of whipping up the masses against industrial agriculture.“This has nothing to do with science,” Goldberg says.He has gone as far as labeling the anti-GM crowd “explicitly an antiscience movement.
The truth about genetically modified food scientific american
” Persistent doubts Not all objections to genetically modified foods are so easily dismissed, however.Long-term health effects can be subtle and nearly impossible to link to specific changes in the environment.Scientists have long believed that Alzheimer's disease and many cancers have environmental components, but few would argue we have identified all of them Should i purchase college gm food essay Platinum Rewriting Academic single spaced.
Scientists have long believed that Alzheimer's disease and many cancers have environmental components, but few would argue we have identified all of them.
And opponents say that it is not true that the GM process is less likely to cause problems simply because fewer, more clearly identified genes are replaced.David Schubert, an Alzheimer's researcher who heads the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif Best websites to purchase a college essay gm food professional Turabian A4 (British/European) 99 pages / 27225 words Standard.David Schubert, an Alzheimer's researcher who heads the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., asserts that a single, well-characterized gene can still settle in the target plant's genome in many different ways Best websites to purchase a college essay gm food professional Turabian A4 (British/European) 99 pages / 27225 words Standard., asserts that a single, well-characterized gene can still settle in the target plant's genome in many different ways.“It can go in forward, backward, at different locations, in multiple copies, and they all do different things,” he says.'s Williams notes, a genome often continues to change in the successive generations after the insertion, leaving it with a different arrangement than the one intended and initially tested best websites to order a chemistry coursework US Letter Size Ph.D. 119 pages / 32725 words.'s Williams notes, a genome often continues to change in the successive generations after the insertion, leaving it with a different arrangement than the one intended and initially tested.There is also the phenomenon of “insertional mutagenesis,” Williams adds, in which the insertion of a gene ends up quieting the activity of nearby genes.
True, the number of genes affected in a GM plant most likely will be far, far smaller than in conventional breeding techniques.Yet opponents maintain that because the wholesale swapping or alteration of entire packages of genes is a natural process that has been happening in plants for half a billion years, it tends to produce few scary surprises today.Changing a single gene, on the other hand, might turn out to be a more subversive action, with unexpected ripple effects, including the production of new proteins that might be toxins or allergens.Opponents also point out that the kinds of alterations caused by the insertion of genes from other species might be more impactful, more complex or more subtle than those caused by the intraspecies gene swapping of conventional breeding.And just because there is no evidence to date that genetic material from an altered crop can make it into the genome of people who eat it does not mean such a transfer will never happen—or that it has not already happened and we have yet to spot it.
These changes might be difficult to catch; their impact on the production of proteins might not even turn up in testing.“You'd certainly find out if the result is that the plant doesn't grow very well,” Williams says.“But will you find the change if it results in the production of proteins with long-term effects on the health of the people eating it?” It is also true that many pro-GM scientists in the field are unduly harsh—even unscientific—in their treatment of critics.GM proponents sometimes lump every scientist who raises safety questions together with activists and discredited researchers.
And even S ralini, the scientist behind the study that found high cancer rates for GM-fed rats, has his defenders.
Most of them are nonscientists, or retired researchers from obscure institutions, or nonbiologist scientists, but the Salk Institute's Schubert also insists the study was unfairly dismissed.He says that as someone who runs drug-safety studies, he is well versed on what constitutes a good-quality animal toxicology study and that S ralini's makes the grade.He insists that the breed of rat in the study is commonly used in respected drug studies, typically in numbers no greater than in S ralini's study; that the methodology was standard; and that the details of the data analysis are irrelevant because the results were so striking.Schubert joins Williams as one of a handful of biologists from respected institutions who are willing to sharply challenge the GM-foods-are-safe majority.Both charge that more scientists would speak up against genetic modification if doing so did not invariably lead to being excoriated in journals and the media.
These attacks, they argue, are motivated by the fear that airing doubts could lead to less funding for the field.Says Williams: “Whether it's conscious or not, it's in their interest to promote this field, and they're not objective.” Both scientists say that after publishing comments in respected journals questioning the safety of GM foods, they became the victims of coordinated attacks on their reputations.Schubert even charges that researchers who turn up results that might raise safety questions avoid publishing their findings out of fear of repercussions.“If it doesn't come out the right way,” he says, “you're going to get trashed.
” There is evidence to support that charge.In 2009 Nature detailed the backlash to a reasonably solid study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA by researchers from Loyola University Chicago and the University of Notre Dame.The paper showed that GM corn seemed to be finding its way from farms into nearby streams and that it might pose a risk to some insects there because, according to the researchers' lab studies, caddis flies appeared to suffer on diets of pollen from GM corn.Many scientists immediately attacked the study, some of them suggesting the researchers were sloppy to the point of misconduct.A way forward There is a middle ground in this debate.
Many moderate voices call for continuing the distribution of GM foods while maintaining or even stepping up safety testing on new GM crops.They advocate keeping a close eye on the health and environmental impact of existing ones.But they do not single out GM crops for special scrutiny, the Center for Science in the Public Interest's Jaffe notes: all crops could use more testing.“We should be doing a better job with food oversight altogether,” he says.In spite of his concerns, he believes future GM crops can be introduced safely if testing is improved.“Ninety percent of the scientists I talk to assume that new GM plants are safety-tested the same way new drugs are by the FDA,” he says.“They absolutely aren't, and they absolutely should be.” Stepped-up testing would pose a burden for GM researchers, and it could slow down the introduction of new crops.“Even under the current testing standards for GM crops, most conventionally bred crops wouldn't have made it to market,” McHughen says.
“What's going to happen if we become even more strict?” That is a fair question.But with governments and consumers increasingly coming down against GM crops altogether, additional testing may be the compromise that enables the human race to benefit from those crops' significant advantages.This article was originally published with the title "Are Engineered Foods Evil?" MORE TO EXPLORE Food, Inc.: Mendel to Monsanto—The Promises and Perils of the Biotech Harvest./news/case-studies-a-hard-look-at-gm-crops-1.12907 Genetically modified plants and human health Correspondence to: Pascal MW Drake @ekardp See "Errors in text" in volume 101 on page 435.This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.
Summary Genetically modified (or GM) plants have attracted a large amount of media attention in recent years and continue to do so.Despite this, the general public remains largely unaware of what a GM plant actually is or what advantages and disadvantages the technology has to offer, particularly with regard to the range of applications for which they can be used.From the first generation of GM crops, two main areas of concern have emerged, namely risk to the environment and risk to human health.As GM plants are gradually being introduced into the European Union there is likely to be increasing public concern regarding potential health issues.Although it is now commonplace for the press to adopt ‘health campaigns’, the information they publish is often unreliable and unrepresentative of the available scientific evidence.
We consider it important that the medical profession should be aware of the state of the art, and, as they are often the first port of call for a concerned patient, be in a position to provide an informed opinion.This review will examine how GM plants may impact on human health both directly – through applications targeted at nutrition and enhancement of recombinant medicine production – but also indirectly, through potential effects on the environment.Finally, it will examine the most important opposition currently facing the worldwide adoption of this technology: public opinion.Introduction Plants with favourable characteristics have been produced for thousands of years by conventional breeding methods.
Desirable traits are selected, combined and propagated by repeated sexual crossings over numerous generations.
This is a long process, taking up to 15 years to produce new varieties.1 Genetic engineering not only allows this process to be dramatically accelerated in a highly targeted manner by introducing a small number of genes, it can also overcome the barrier of sexual incompatibility between plant species and vastly increase the size of the available gene pool.Transgenic (GM) plants are those that have been genetically modified using recombinant DNA technology.This may be to express a gene that is not native to the plant or to modify endogenous genes.The protein encoded by the gene will confer a particular trait or characteristic to that plant.
The technology can be utilized in a number of ways, for example to engineer resistance to abiotic stresses, such as drought, extreme temperature or salinity, and biotic stresses, such as insects and pathogens, that would normally prove detrimental to plant growth or survival.The technology can also be used to improve the nutritional content of the plant, an application that could be of particular use in the developing world.New-generation GM crops are now also being developed for the production of recombinant medicines and industrial products, such as monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, plastics and biofuels.In 2007, for the twelfth consecutive year, the global area of biotech crops planted continued to increase, with a growth rate of 12% across 23 countries.5 The principle crops grown are soybean and maize, although cotton, canola and rice are also on the increase.
However, genetically modified crops grown in the EU amount to only a few thousand hectares (∼0.03% of the world production), 6 which is probably a reflection of European opposition to this technology.In contrast, food derived from GM plants is ubiquitous in the USA.Indeed, many animal feeds used in Europe derived from imported plant material contain GM products.Similarly, GM cotton is widely used in clothing and other products.
Genetically modifying a plant A number of techniques exist for the production of GM plants.The two most commonly employed are the bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens, which is naturally able to transfer DNA to plants, and the ‘gene gun’, which shoots microscopic particles coated with DNA into the plant cell.1 Generally, individual plant cells are targeted and these are regenerated into whole GM plants using tissue culture techniques.Three aspects of this procedure have raised debate with regard to human health.The use of selectable markers to identify transformed cells Transfer of extraneous DNA into the plant genome (i.
genes other than those being studied) The possibility of increased mutations in GM plants compared to non-GM counterparts due to tissue culture processes used in their production and the rearrangement of DNA around the insertion site of foreign genes.To facilitate the transformation process, a selectable marker gene conferring, for example, resistance to an antibiotic (e.kanamycin, which will kill a normal non-GM plant cell), is often co-transferred with the gene of interest to allow discrimination of GM tissue and regeneration of GM plants.
Critics of the technology have stated that there is a risk of the spread of antibiotic resistance to the bacterial population either in the soil or in the human gut after ingestion of GM food.However, these antibiotic resistance genes were initially isolated from bacteria and are already widespread in the bacterial population.In addition, kanamycin itself has GRAS status (Generally Regarded As Safe) and has been used for over 13 years without any known problems.Studies have concluded that the probability of transmission of antibiotic resistance from plants to bacteria is extremely low and that the hazard occurring from any such transfer is, at worst, slight.8 Nevertheless, other selection strategies that do not rely on antibiotic resistance have been developed, 9 and procedures to eliminate the selectable marker from the plant genome once its purpose has been fulfilled have also been designed.
11 Of course, there is no reason that DNA per se should be harmful, as it is consumed by humans in all foods, but again plant technologists have responded to the criticism by designing ‘minimal cassettes’ in which only the gene of interest is transferred into the plant.Finally, it has been claimed that GM plants carry more mutations than their untransformed counterparts as a result of the production method.13 Genome-wide mutations may be produced by the tissue culture process, generating so called somaclonal variation, and endogenous DNA rearrangements may occur around the integrated transgene.13 Theoretically, this may mean that plants may be produced with, for example, reduced levels of nutrients or increased levels of allergens or toxins 13 (although the alternative must also hold true, that positive traits may be expressed).13 have stated that mutations around foreign gene insertion sites have not been fully characterized in either experimental or commercialized GM plants.Consequently, these authors have proposed several recommendations involving improved molecular analysis prior to the future commercialization of GM crops.Food applications for GM plants In the developing world, 840 million people are chronically undernourished, surviving on fewer than 8000 kJ/day (2000 Kcal/day)., 17 and do not have secure access to food.Many of these are also rural farmers in developing countries, depending entirely on small-scale agriculture for their own subsistence and to make their living.
18 They generally cannot afford to irrigate their crops or purchase herbicides or pesticides, leading to a vicious circle of poor crop growth, falling yields and pest susceptibility.18 In addition, the world's population is predicted to double over the next 40 years, with over 95% of individuals being born in developing countries.19 It is estimated that to meet these increased demands, food production must increase by at least 40% in the face of decreasing fertile lands and water resources., 21 GM plant technologies are one of a number of different approaches that are being developed to combat these problems.Specifically, studies are under way to genetically modify plants to increase crop yields, or to directly improve nutritional content.
Increasing nutritional content In the developed world the nutritional content of food items is not of major concern, as individuals have access to a wide variety of foods that will meet all of their nutritional needs.In the developing world, however, this is often not the case, with people often relying on a single staple food crop for their energy intake.18 GM technology offers a way to alleviate some of these problems by engineering plants to express additional products that can combat malnutrition.An important example of the potential of this technology is the ‘Golden Rice Project’.
Vitamin A deficiency is widespread in the developing world and is estimated to account for the deaths of approximately 2 million children per year.
18 In surviving children it has been identified as the leading cause of blindness.22 Humans can synthesize vitamin A from its precursor -carotene, which is commonly found in many plants but not in cereal grains.18 The strategy of the Golden Rice Project was to introduce the correct metabolic steps into rice endosperm to allow -carotene synthesis.23 engineered rice that contained moderate levels of -carotene and since then researchers have produced the much higher yielding ‘Golden Rice 2’.
24 It is estimated that 72 g of dry Golden Rice 2 will provide 50% of the RDA of vitamin A for a 1–3-year-old child.25 Golden Rice will be given to subsistence farmers with no additional conditions 18 and is an impressive example of a health solution that can be offered by plant biotechnology.Increasing food production Crop yields worldwide are significantly reduced by the action of pathogens, parasites and herbivorous insects.26 Two examples of commercial GM crop growth in this area are the insect-resistant crops expressing the bt gene (from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis) and virus-resistant GM papaya.
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27 The first of these has been particularly successful; in the USA, for example, insect resistant GM maize is grown over an area of 10.
6 million hectares and comprises 35% of all maize (GM and non-GM) grown in the country.28 At the laboratory level, resistance has also been engineered to bacterial and fungal plant pathogens Who can help me write a gm food essay Academic AMA US Letter Size 126 pages / 34650 words.28 At the laboratory level, resistance has also been engineered to bacterial and fungal plant pathogens.
A primary cause of plant loss worldwide is abiotic stress, particularly salinity, drought, and temperature extremes.31 In the future, these losses will increase as water resources decline and desertification intensifies.Drought and salinity are expected to cause serious salinization of all arable lands by 2050, 32 requiring the implementation of new technologies to ensure crop survival.
Although a number of promising targets have been identified in the production of abiotic stress tolerant GM plants, research remains at the laboratory-based level.33 demonstrating that expression of an enzyme in GM maize activates an oxidative signal cascade that confers cold, heat and salinity tolerance.Are GM foods safe to eat? GM crops are tightly regulated by several government bodies.The European Food Safety Authority and each individual member state have detailed the requirements for a full risk assessment of GM plants and derived food and feed.
34 In the USA, the Food and Drug Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are all involved in the regulatory process for GM crop approval.Foods derived from GM crops have been consumed by hundreds of millions of people across the world for more than 15 years, with no reported ill effects (or legal cases related to human health), despite many of the consumers coming from that most litigious of countries, the USA.There is little documented evidence that GM crops are potentially toxic.A notorious study claiming that rats fed with GM potatoes expressing the gene for the lectin Galanthus nivalis agglutinin suffered damage to gut mucosa was published in 1999.36 Unusually, the paper was only published after one of the authors, Arpad Pusztai, announced this apparent finding on television.
37 The Royal Society has since stated that the study ‘is flawed in many aspects of design, execution and analysis’ and that ‘no conclusions should be drawn from it’: for example the authors used too few rats per test group to derive meaningful, statistically significant data.Is there any a priori reason to believe that GM crops might be harmful when consumed? The presence of foreign DNA sequences in food per se poses no intrinsic risk to human health.38 All foods contain significant amounts of DNA and RNA, consumed in the range of 0.39 Of potential concern is the possibility that the protein produced by the transgene may be toxic.This would occur if the transgene coded for a toxin that was subsequently absorbed systemically by the host.However, the potential toxicity of the protein expressed in a GM food is an essential component of the safety assessment that has to be performed.40 Potential allergenicity to the novel gene product is another commonly expressed concern.Allergies to non-GM foods such as soft fleshed fruit, potatoes and soy are widespread.
Clearly, new varieties of crops produced by either GM techniques or conventional breeding both have the potential to be allergenic.Concern surrounding this topic relates to two factors; the possibility that genes from known allergens may be inserted into crops not typically associated with allergenicity and the possibility of creating new, unknown allergens by either inserting novel genes into crops or changing the expression of endogenous proteins.Assessment of the allergenic potential of compounds is problematic and a number of different bodies have produced guidelines and decision trees to experimentally evaluate allergenic potential.41–43 These are effective at assessing compounds which may prove to be hazardous through a hierarchical approach which includes determining whether the source of the introduced gene is from an allergenic plant, whether GM foods react with antibodies in the sera of patients with known allergies and whether the product encoded by the new gene has similar properties to known allergens.In addition, animal models are used to screen GM foods.
40 Tests are not performed to formally assess any risk posed by inhalation of pollens and dusts; however, this is not assessed for conventionally grown foods and feeds either, and no allergies have been attributed to commercially grown GM pollen to date.Two examples are frequently quoted regarding GM crop allergenicity: A project to develop genetically modified peas by adding a protein from beans that conferred resistance to weevils was abandoned after it was shown that the GM peas caused a lung allergy in mice Opponents of GM technology often cite these examples as proof that it is inherently unpredictable and dangerous, although another interpretation would be to say that safety testing of GM plants was effective in both cases, having identified allergenic potential before either product was released to market.It is perhaps a sobering thought, that if conventional plant breeding techniques had been used to achieve the same aims, there would have been no legal requirement for the assessment of allergenicity and the plant varieties could have been commercialized without in vivo testing.However, GM technology might also be used to decrease the levels of allergens present in plants by reducing expression levels of the relevant genes.For example, research was recently undertaken to identify an allergen in soybeans and remove it using GM technology.
Non-food applications for GM plants There are also a number of uses for plants outside of the food industry, for example in the timber, paper and chemical sectors and increasingly for biofuels.In all cases, non-GM and GM approaches are both being developed.Of significance to the medical field is the use of GM plants for production of recombinant pharmaceuticals.Molecular farming to produce GM plant-derived pharmaceutical proteins (PDPs) is currently being studied by academic and industrial groups across the world 4.
The first full-size native human recombinant PDP, human serum albumin, was demonstrated in 1990, 47 and since then antibodies, blood products, hormones and vaccines have all been expressed in plants.
48 Protein pharmaceuticals can be harvested and purified from GM plants, or alternatively, plant tissue in a processed form expressing a pharmaceutical could potentially be consumed as an ‘edible vaccine’.As the molecular farming industry is still in its infancy, only one product has been approved for use so far – recombinant human intrinsic factor for use in vitamin B12 deficiency ( ).However, a number of molecular farming candidates are in clinical trials, including hepatitis B vaccine produced in potatoes and lettuce, 49 vaccines for heat labile toxin produced by E.coli and Norwalk virus, Using GM plants as a platform for producing pharmaceuticals has many potential advantages over traditional systems.For example, GM plants can produce complex multimeric proteins such as antibodies that cannot be readily expressed by microbial systems.
In addition, pharmaceutical production can potentially be on a vast agricultural scale., 58 The latter point is particularly important as it opens the way for many new applications that require administration of large amounts of proteins.These include topical application of antibodies and microbicides on mucosal surfaces for the prevention of infection.Not all applications need be on such a large scale; the hepatitis B vaccine is currently produced in genetically modified yeast, but not enough can be made at an affordable price to meet the demands of developing countries.58 It has been estimated that 250 acres of greenhouse space would be enough to grow the amount of GM potatoes required to meet the annual demand for hepatitis B vaccine in the whole of South East Asia.
Currently, over three million people die every year from vaccine-preventable diseases, the vast majority in the developing world.The current model of profit-motivated pharmaceutical production by companies in the developed world is ineffective in ridding the developing world of disease.GM plant technology may provide an alternative, as it is relatively low-tech and can be applied locally in the developing world by scientists working in partnership with governments and not-for-profit research funding agencies.As with all aspects of GM crops, objections have been raised to the use of plants for manufacturing recombinant pharmaceuticals.Of greatest concern is that the pharmaceutical could inadvertently enter the human food chain.
Theoretically, this might happen by uncontrolled dispersal of GM seed or by hybridization with a sexually compatible food crop following escape of GM pollen.In 2002, a company called Prodigene was fined and was severely censured for breaches in safety regulation when, due to inappropriate removal procedures, GM maize expressing a PDP was found to be growing in a soybean crop destined for human food consumption in the next growing cycle.59 Although rare, incidents such as these demonstrate the potential risks of the technology.One proposal is to limit molecular farming to non-food crops, such as tobacco.Whilst feasible, there are significant advantages to the use of food crops for recombinant pharmaceutical production, such as attainment of GRAS status and utilizing well-established agricultural techniques for production.
In the next section, the development of techniques to minimize GM gene flow are discussed.GM plants and the environment Any adverse effects on the environment through the large-scale growth of GM plants may indirectly affect human health.The following concerns have been expressed with regard to GM plants and the environment: That GM plants will sexually hybridize with non-GM plants through the transfer of pollen That GM plants may themselves become invasive weeds That the conditions required to grow GM plants will affect local wildlife populations.In 2001, in a highly publicized study, evidence was presented that GM genes from GM maize had, by cross-pollination, contaminated wild maize in Mexico, the global centre for biodiversity of this species.60 The validity of this work was disputed at the time of publication, , 62 and later studies have also failed to detect any evidence of transgene spread to Mexican maize growing in the wild.
63 More recently, it has been reported that GM herbicide-resistant creeping bentgrass ( Agrostis stolonifera L) planted in Oregon, USA, was found up to 3.8 km outside the designated area of cultivation.64 The authors of the study postulated that this dispersal was a result of both pollen-mediated sexual crossing with plants in the wild, and GM crop seed dispersal.In 1999, a scientific paper was published which claimed that maize engineered to express the insecticidal Bt toxin was harmful to the larvae of the Monarch butterfly, an iconic species in American culture.65 It was claimed that larvae reared on their staple diet of milkweed, dusted with pollen from Bt maize, ate less, grew more slowly and suffered higher mortality rates.
65 A number of longer term studies have since investigated the likelihood of Monarch butterfly larvae being exposed to sufficient quantities of Bt maize pollen in nature to illicit a toxic response, and this was found to be insignificant.It is difficult to evaluate the effect of GM crops, or probably more importantly the regime required to grow them, on surrounding wildlife, particularly when considering long-term effects.The UK Farm-Scale Evaluations 69 were the biggest study of the potential environmental impact of GM crops conducted anywhere in the world.In a four-year programme, researchers studied the effect of management practices associated with ‘genetically modified herbicide tolerance’ on farm wildlife, compared with conventional weed control.69 The study reported that for three of the four crops tested, the wildlife was reduced in the GM fields compared to non-GM, but in the final crop (maize) the opposite occurred.
The researchers stated that this difference did not occur because the crops were genetically modified, but because the farmer was able to employ a different herbicide regime to that used on conventional crops.The study has provided a platform for the government to objectively evaluate the effect of these crops, and even though the results were portrayed by critics of the technology as evidence for environmental hazards of GM, they resulted in government approval for the commercial growth of a herbicide-resistant GM maize in the UK.GM plants are also being assessed for how they might have a positive role to play in the environment by selective removal of pollutants – a process known as phytoremediation.For example, plants have already been genetically engineered to accumulate heavy metal soil contaminants such as mercury and selenium to higher levels than would be possible for non-GM plants, , 71 so not only can they grow on contaminated sites but they can also remediate contamination.These plants can be harvested and destroyed, the heavy metals disposed of or recycled, and the decontaminated field re-used.
Gene transfer in the environment A number of strategies have been proposed to prevent gene flow from GM plants to the wider environment.The transfer of a gene to wild or non-GM crops is a particular concern when it is expressing a protein that is designed for use in industry or pharmaceuticals.It is widely agreed that food should not contain products that have been specifically designed for these applications.72 Two strategies to prevent this happening are physical isolation and genetic containment.Physical isolation can be difficult and costly and must be carried out at every stage of production.
The crop must be bred in isolation and both small- and large-scale field trials should also be carried out in isolated areas.72 The seed and commercial crops themselves could be grown either in contained greenhouse conditions, or in areas where no weed or food crop relatives are grown.72 In addition, the ground where the GM crop has been grown and the surrounding fields should be left to ‘lie fallow’ for a time to ensure no seeds remain and grow in the next crop cycle.72 In practice, the most likely approach will be to have specified farms where dedicated planting and harvesting equipment, transport, grain-handling, drying and storage systems would be used.
72 as can Genetic Use Restriction Technologies (GURTS) which interfere with fertility or seed formation.
72 Transfer of the foreign genes into the chloroplast genome is another strategy, as in many plant species chloroplasts are maternally inherited and not contained in pollen.The co-existence of crops for human consumption alongside related varieties grown for industrial products, that would be harmful if consumed by people, is not a new phenomenon, nor one that is confined to GM plants.For example, farmers in Canada grow two varieties of (non-GM) rapeseed – high and low erucic acid producers.The erucic acid extracted from the high producing variety is used as an industrial lubricant and is toxic to humans if consumed, whilst the low producing rapeseed variety, called canola, is used to make cooking oil.Canadian farmers have developed systems to routinely keep the two apart during growth and processing.
GM plants and public opinion Several NGO and media organizations are implacably opposed to GM plants.Crops that have been designed to help relieve malnutrition in the developing world, such as Golden Rice, are attacked on the basis that it ‘tastes awful’ 25 and that ‘to be of any benefit a child would have to eat approximately 7kg of cooked Golden Rice’, 74 an over-estimation by more than 15 times according to the founder of the product.75 Insect-resistant cotton engineered to produce the Bt toxin requires far less pesticide application and produces higher crop yields than the non-GM counterpart, 76 generating savings of up to $500 per hectare for farmers.77 Despite this, the crop has been criticized on the unsubstantiated grounds that it ‘is killing the natural parasitic enemies of the cotton bollworm and increasing a number of other pests’ and that ‘its success will be short-lived as the bollworm will become resistant to the insecticide’.74 These allegations have been made in spite of the fact that Bt bacteria have been widely used as a spray on organic crops by farmers for decades without any resistance developing in insects, in addition to no evidence of any emerging resistance after eight years of growing the GM crop.
In some quarters, GM food is cited as being ‘unnatural’, although this accusation could be levelled at all of our food, which has been produced over millennia by artificial breeding.Very few commercialized crops would be able to survive unaided in nature.When considering ‘natural’ food production, it should be recognized that technology has always played an important part in the food industry.For example, antibiotics are widely used in feed in the poultry industry, and modern varieties of wheat were produced with the aid of radiation-induced mutation.78 Scientists were greeted with expressions of outrage in many quarters when they genetically engineered frost-resistant plants with a gene from a cold water fish 79 – and yet fish and plants have a large proportion of genes in common, as do all living creatures.
Opposition to GM crops is perceived to be greater in the EU compared with other countries such as the USA, where food from GM crops has become part of the normal diet.37 However, the situation is complex and UK public opinion is perhaps not so set against GM crops as is generally believed.Surveys have reported findings in which only 13% of consumers said they actively avoid GM foods, while 74% were not sufficiently concerned to actively avoid it.80 This seems surprising considering the amount of anti-GM media coverage.From many of these articles it would seem appropriate to assume that the public as a whole are adamantly opposed to GM foods, but this is not substantiated by the surveys conducted.
Nevertheless, considerable opposition to GM crops does exist and scientists must engage with the public to a much greater extent to ensure that the subject is debated rationally.This opposition is having many serious effects, not least because many developing countries that could benefit from the technology will not take it up as long as they believe that there remain significant areas of concern and that they will not be able to export produce to the EU market.83 The implementation of the improvements to the design of GM crops discussed in this report would also further reassure the general public and pave the way for widespread acceptance of a technology that will be crucial in helping to alleviate current and future challenges in food and medicine supply.Footnotes Acknowledgements References 1.Southgate EM, Davey MR, Power JB, Merchant R.
Factors affecting the genetic engineering of plants by microprojectile bombardment.Plant genetic engineering to improve biomass characteristics for biofuels.
Should i purchase an gm food essay 30 days platinum double spaced college
Polymers from plants to develop biodegradable plastics.The production of recombinant pharmaceutical proteins in plants.Executive summary of Global Status of Commercialised Biotech/GM crops: 2007 How To Genetically Modify a Seed Step By Step Popular Science.Executive summary of Global Status of Commercialised Biotech/GM crops: 2007.
Overview of the current status of genetically modified plants in Europe as compared to the USA.Antibiotic resistance markers in genetically modified plants; a risk to human health.Bennett PM, Livesey CT, Nathwani D, Reeves DS, Saunders JR, Wise R 1 day ago - Mais essayons dit le coeur de la mit sloan 2016 essays on success odysseus and the sirens essay help my favourite plant rose essays essay about the essays on deviance 6 pages single spaced essay a 5 paragraph narrative essay insead essays jan 2017 horoscope food security research paper pdf .
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An assessment of the risks associated with the use of antibiotic resistance genes in genetically modified plants: report of the Working Party of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.Goldstein DA, Tinland B, Gilbertson LA, et al.
Human safety and genetically modified plants: a review of antibiotic resistance markers and future transformation selection technologies.Excision of selectable marker genes from GM plants.Characterisation of T-DNA loci and vector backbone sequences in GM wheat produced by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation.Linear transgene constructs lacking vector backbone sequences generate low-copy-number GM plants with simple integration patterns.The mutational consequences of plant transformation.Pinstrup-Anderson P, Pandra-Lorch R, Rosegrant MW.World food prospects: critical issues for the early twenty-first century.Washington DC: International Food Policy Research Institute; 1999.The State of Food Insecurity in the World.The geography and causes of food insecurity in developing countries.The potential of genetically enhanced plants to address food insecurity.Population growth, food production and nutrient requirements.Realising yield gains for food staples in developing countries in the early 21st century: prospects and challenges.In: Chang BM, Colombo M, Soronolo M, editors.Food Needs of the Developing World in the 21st Century.Vatican City: Political Academy of Sciences; 2000.Rosegrant MW, Paisner MS, Mejer S, Witcover J.2020 Global Food Outlook Trends, Alternatives and Choices.A 2020 Vision for Food Agriculture and the Environment Initiative.
Engineering the provitamin A ( -carotene) biosynthetic pathway into (carotenoid-free) rice endosperm.Improving the nutritional content of Golden Rice through increased provitamin A content.Anderson PK, Cunningham AA, Patel NG, Morales FJ, Epstein PR, Daszak P.Emerging infectious diseases of plants: pathogen, pollution, climate change and agrotechnology drivers.Engineering plants with increased disease resistance: what are we going to express? Trends Biotech.Peschen D, Li HP, Fischer R, Kreuzaler F, Liao YC.Fusion protein comprising a Fusarium- specific antibody linked to antifungal peptides protect plants against a fungal pathogen.Expression of Bs2 pepper gene confers resistance to bacterial spot disease in tomatoes.Recent advances in engineering plant tolerance to abiotic stress: achievements and limitations.Breeding for salinity tolerance in plants.Expression of an active tobacco mitogen activated protein kinase kinase kinase enhances freezing tolerance in GM maize.Guidance document of the genetically modified organisms for the risk assessment of genetically modified plants and derived food and feed.Genetically modified crops for industrial products and processes and their effects on human health.Effects of diets containing genetically modified potatoes expressing Galanthus Nivalis lectin on rat small intestine.GM Food and Crops: what went wrong in the UK? EMBO Reports.Evaluation of Allergenicity of Genetically Modified Foods, Report of a joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Allergenicity of Foods derived from Biotechnology.Doerfler W, Schubbert R, Fremde DNA im Sciugersystem.Strategies for assessing the safety of foods produced by biotechnology.Report of the Joint WHO/FAO Consultation.
FDA Statement of policy, foods derived from new plant varieties.Prescott VE, Campbell PM, Moore A, et al.
Transgenic expression of bean -amylase inhibitor in peas results in altered structure and immunogenicity.Nordlee JA, Taylor SL, Townsend JA, Thomas LA, Bush RK.
Identification of a brazil-nut allergen in GM soybeans.Soybean allergenicity and suppression of the immunodominant allergen.Sijmons PC, Dekker BM, Schranmeijer B, Verwoerd TC, van den Elzen PJ, Hoekema A.
Production of correctly processed human serum albumin in GM plants.Transgenic plants in the biopharmaceutical market.Kapusta J, Modelska A, Figlerowicz M, et al.
A plant-derived edible vaccine against hepatitis B virus.Tacket CO, Mason HS, Losonsky G, Clements JD, Levine MM, Arntzen CJ.
Immunogenicity in humans of a recombinant bacterial antigen delivered in GM potato.Tacket CO, Mason HS, Losonsky G, Estes MK, Levine MM, Arntzen CJ.
Human responses to a novel Norwalk virus vaccine delivered in GM potatoes.During K, Hippe S, Kreuzaler F, Schell J.
Synthesis and self assembly of a functional monoclonal antibody in GM Nicotiana tabacum.Generation and assembly of secretory antibodies in plants.Francisco JA, Gawlak SL, Miller M, et al.
Expression and characterisation of bryodin 1 and a bryodin-based single-chain immunotoxin from tobacco cell culture.Expression and assembly of a fully active antibody in algae.Molecular farming for new drugs and vaccines.Puzzling industry response to Prodigene fiasco.Transgenic DNA introgressed into traditional maize landraces in Oaxaca, Mexico.Kaplinsky N, Braun D, Lisch D, Hay A, Hake S, Freeling M.
Biodiversity (communications arising): maize transgene results in Mexico are artefacts.Biodiversity (communications arising): suspect evidence of GM contamination.Ortiz-Garcia S, Ezcurra E, Schoel B, Acevedo F, Soberon J, Snow AA.Absence of detectable transgenes in local landacres of maize in Oaxaca, Mexico (2003–2004) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA.Establishment of GM herbicide-resistance creeping bentgrass ( Agrostis Stolonifera L.Sears MK, Hellmich RL, Stanley-Horn DE, et al.Impact of Bt corn pollen on monarch butterfly populations: a risk assessment.Pleasants JM, Hellmich RL, Dively GP, et al.Corn pollen deposition on milkweeds in and near cornfields.Assessing the impact of Cry1Ab expressing corn pollen on monarch larvae in field studies.Sasaki Y, Hayakawa T, Inoue C, Miyazaki A, Silver S, Kusano T.Generation of mercury hyper-accumulating plants through GM expression of the bacterial mercury membrane transport protein MerC.Banuelos G, Leduc DL, Pilon-Smits EAH, Terry N.Transgenic Indian mustard overexpressing selenocysteine lyase or seloncystiene methyltransferase exhibit enhanced potential for selenium phytoremediation under field conditions.Safe and acceptable strategies for producing foreign materials in plants.GM Crops: public perception and scientific solutions.Transgenic salt-tolerant tomato plants accumulate salt in foliage but not in fruit.
Wellsbourne, UK: Association of Applied Biologists; 78.Bradford KJ, Deynze AV, Gutterson N, Parrott W, Strauss SH.Regulating GM crops sensibly: lessons from plant breeding biotechnology and genomics.Accumulation of type 1 fish antifreeze protein in GM tobacco is cold specific.GM Food and Farming: What are Consumer's latest views? Watford, UK: IGD; 2003.Public perceptions of Genetically Modified Food and Crops, and the GM nation? Norfolk, UK: Centre for Environmental Risk, Norwich; 2004.(Understanding risk, working paper 04–01.GM Crops opposition may have been ‘over-estimated’ Scotsman.
2002 Mar 13;31 Articles from Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press Nutritionally Improved Agricultural Crops Copyright © 2008, American Society of Plant Biologists This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.Agricultural innovation has always involved new, science-based products and processes that have contributed reliable methods for increasing productivity and sustainability.Biotechnology has introduced a new dimension to such innovation, offering efficient and cost-effective means to produce a diverse array of novel, value-added products and tools.
The first generation of biotechnology products commercialized were crops focusing largely on input agronomic traits whose value was largely opaque to consumers.The coming generations of crop plants can be grouped into four broad areas, each presenting what, on the surface, may appear as unique challenges to regulatory oversight.The present and future focus is on continuing improvement of agronomic traits such as yield and abiotic stress resistance in addition to the biotic stress tolerance of the present generation; crop plants as biomass feedstocks for biofuels and “biosynthetics”; value-added output traits such as improved nutrition and food functionality; and plants as production factories for therapeutics and industrial products.From a consumer perspective, the focus on value-added traits, especially improved nutrition, is of greatest interest.Developing plants with these improved traits involves overcoming a variety of technical, regulatory, and indeed perception challenges inherent in the perceived and real challenges of complex modifications.
Both traditional plant breeding and biotechnology-based techniques are needed to produce plants with the desired quality traits.Continuing improvements in molecular and genomic technologies are contributing to the acceleration of product development.Table I presents examples of crops that have already been genetically modified with macronutrient and micronutrient traits that may provide benefits to consumers and domestic animals.NUTRITION VERSUS FUNCTIONALITY At a fundamental level, food is viewed as a source of nutrition to meet daily requirements at a minimum in order to survive but with an ever greater focus on the desire to thrive.In the latter instance, there is an ever-growing interest in the functionality of food.
Functional foods have been defined as any modified food or food ingredient that may provide a health benefit beyond the traditional nutrients it contains.The term nutraceutical is defined as “any substance that may be considered a food or part of a food and provides health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease” (Goldberg, 1994).From the basic nutrition perspective, there is a clear dichotomy in demonstrated need between different regions and socioeconomic groups, the starkest being overconsumption in the developed world and undernourishment in less developed countries.Dramatic increases in the occurrence of obesity and related ailments in developed countries are in sharp contrast to the chronic malnutrition in many less developed countries.Both problems require a modified food supply, and the tools of biotechnology have a part to play.
Worldwide, plant-based products comprise the vast majority of human food intake, irrespective of location or financial status (Mathers, 2006).
10 problems genetically modified foods are already causing nbsp
In some cultures, either by design or default, plant-based nutrition actually comprises 100% of the diet.Therefore, it is to be expected that nutritional improvement can be achieved via modifications of staple crops.While the correlative link between food and health is still open to debate, a growing body of evidence indicates that food components can influence physiological processes at all stages of life From the first generation of GM crops, two main areas of concern have emerged, namely risk to the environment and risk to human health. As GM plants are In the developing world, however, this is often not the case, with people often relying on a single staple food crop for their energy intake. GM technology offers a way .While the correlative link between food and health is still open to debate, a growing body of evidence indicates that food components can influence physiological processes at all stages of life.
Functional food components are of increasing interest in the prevention and/or treatment of at least four of the leading causes of death in the United States: cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension.
National Cancer Institute estimates that one in three cancer deaths are diet related and that eight of 10 cancers have a nutrition/diet component (Block et al .National Cancer Institute estimates that one in three cancer deaths are diet related and that eight of 10 cancers have a nutrition/diet component (Block et al.Inverse relationships have been observed between carotenoid-rich foods and certain cancers (Botella-Pav a and Rodriguez-Concept on, 2006) .
Inverse relationships have been observed between carotenoid-rich foods and certain cancers (Botella-Pav a and Rodriguez-Concept on, 2006).
Other nutrient-related correlations link dietary fat and fiber to the prevention of colon cancer, folate to the prevention of neural tube defects, calcium to the prevention of osteoporosis, psyllium to the lowering of blood lipid levels, and antioxidant nutrients to the scavenging of reactive oxidant species and protection against oxidative damage of cells that may lead to chronic disease, to list just a few (Mutch et al myerscleaning.com/wp-admin/edit-tags.php.Other nutrient-related correlations link dietary fat and fiber to the prevention of colon cancer, folate to the prevention of neural tube defects, calcium to the prevention of osteoporosis, psyllium to the lowering of blood lipid levels, and antioxidant nutrients to the scavenging of reactive oxidant species and protection against oxidative damage of cells that may lead to chronic disease, to list just a few (Mutch et al.Many food components are known to influence the expression of both structural genes and transcription factors (Tfs) in humans (Go et al.Examples of these phytochemicals are listed in Table II.The large diversity of phytochemicals suggests that the potential impact of phytochemicals and functional foods on human and animal health is worth examining as targets of biotechnology efforts.Examples of plant components with suggested functionality On the functionality side, there is a mirror component from the perspective of the genetic makeup of the individual doing the consuming.This field of personal response to nutrients is further divided into two thematic subsets with subtle differences.
Nutrigenomics is the prospective analysis of differences among nutrients in the regulation of gene expression, while nutrigenetics is the analysis of genetic variations among individuals with respect to the interaction between diet and disease.
These spheres of enquiry are designed to provide nutritional recommendations for personalized or individualized nutrition (Brigelius-Flohe and Joost, 2006).Haplotyping studies are beginning to indicate gender- and ethnicity-specific polymorphisms that are implicated in susceptibilities to polygenic disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers (Corth sy-Theulaz et al., 2005; Brigelius-Flohe and Joost, 2006).For example, several studies have reported some evidence to suggest that the risks from high intake of well-done meat are higher in fast or presumed fast acetylator haplotypes (NAT1 and/or NAT2) or in rapid NAT2 (haplotypes) and CYP1A2 phenotypes.
During cooking of muscle meat at high temperature, some amino acids may react with creatine to give heterocyclic aromatic amines.Heterocyclic aromatic amines can be activated through acetylation to reactive metabolites, which bind DNA and cause cancers.Only NAT2 fast acetylators can perform this acetylation.Studies have shown that the NAT2 fast acetylator genotype had a higher risk of developing colon cancer in people who consumed relatively large quantities of red meat.Understanding individual response is at least as complex a challenge as the task of increasing or decreasing the amount of a specific protein, fatty acid, or other component of the plant itself (Brigelius-Flohe and Joost, 2006).
It is of little use producing a plant with a supposed nutritional benefit unless that benefit actually improves the health of humans or animals.From a health perspective, plant components of dietary interest can be broadly divided into four main categories, the first two to be enhanced and the latter two to be limited or removed: macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids oils , fiber); micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, functional metabolites); antinutrients (substances such as phytate that limit the bioavailability of nutrients); and allergens (intolerances and toxins).THE TECHNOLOGY As noted, plants are a treasure trove of interesting and valuable compounds, since they must glean everything from the spot on earth where they are rooted and they cannot escape when threatened; therefore, they have evolved a most impressive panoply of products to thrive in ever-changing environments despite these limitations.It is estimated that plants produce up to 200,000 phytochemicals across their many and diverse members (Oksman-Caldenty and Inz , 2004); obviously, a more truncated subset of this number is available on our food palate, with approximately 25,000 different metabolites in general plant foods (Go et al.This brings metabolomic approaches front and center both in better understanding what has occurred during crop domestication (lost and silenced traits) and in designing new paradigms for more targeted crop improvement that are better tailored to current needs (Hall et al.In addition, of course, with modern techniques we have the potential to trawl the rest of that biochemical treasure trove to find and introgress traits of value that were outside the scope of previous breeding strategies.Research to improve the nutritional quality of plants has historically been limited by a lack of basic knowledge of plant metabolism and the compounding challenge of resolving the complex interactions of thousands of metabolic pathways.
Both traditional plant breeding and biotechnology techniques are needed to metabolically engineer plants with desired quality traits.Metabolic engineering is generally defined as the redirection of one or more enzymatic reactions to improve the production of existing compounds, produce new compounds, or mediate the degradation of undesirable compounds.It involves the redirection of cellular activities by the modification of the enzymatic, transport, and regulatory functions of the cell.Significant progress has been made in recent years in the molecular dissection of many plant pathways and in the use of cloned genes to engineer plant metabolism.With the tools now being harnessed through the many “omics” and “informatics” fields, there is the potential to identify genes of value across species, phyla, and kingdoms.
Through advances in proteomics and glycomics, we are beginning to quantify simultaneously the levels of many individual proteins and to follow posttranslational alterations that occur in pathways.Ever more sophisticated metabolomic tools and analysis systems allow the study of both primary and secondary metabolic pathways in an integrated fashion (Hall et al.However, the increasing sophistication of this tool also demonstrates some anomalies in relying on this approach.For example, in potato ( Solanum tuberosum), flow injection mass spectrometry analysis of a range of genotypes revealed genotypic correlations with quality traits such as free amino acid content (Beckman et al.
Yet, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization chemotyping and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry profiling of tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum) cultivars have revealed extensive differences in metabolic composition (sugars, amino acids, organic acids) despite close specific/genotypic similarities (Carrari et al.Likewise, with regard to metabolomic analysis on the consumer side, little is known of the extent to which changes in the nutrient content of the human diet elicit changes in metabolic profiles.
Moreover, the metabolomic signal from nutrients absorbed from the diet must compete with myriad nonnutrient signals that are absorbed, metabolized, and secreted.Although progress in dissecting metabolic pathways and our ability to manipulate gene expression in genetically modified (GM) plants has progressed apace, attempts to use these tools to engineer plant metabolism have not quite kept pace.Since the success of this approach hinges on the ability to change host metabolism, its continued development will depend critically on a far more sophisticated knowledge of plant metabolism, especially the nuances of interconnected cellular networks, than currently exists.This complex interconnectivity is regularly demonstrated.Relatively minor genomic changes (point mutations, single gene insertions) are regularly observed following metabolomic analysis, leading to significant changes in biochemical composition (Bino et al.
(2005) used a genetic modification approach to study the mechanism of light influence on antioxidant content (anthocyanin, lycopene) in the tomato cv Moneymaker.
However, other, what on the surface would appear to be more significant, genetic changes unexpectedly yield little phenotypic effect (Schauer and Fernie, 2006).Likewise, there are unexpected outcomes, such as the fact that significant modifications made to primary Calvin cycle enzymes (Fru-1,6-bisphosphatase and phosphoribulokinase) have little effect while modifications to minor enzymes (e.aldase, which catalyzes a reversible reaction) seemingly irrelevant to pathway flux have major effects (Hajirezaei et al.
These observations drive home the point that a thorough understanding of the individual kinetic properties of enzymes may not be informative as to their role (Haake et al.They also make clear that caution must be exercised when extrapolating individual enzyme kinetics to the control of flux in complex metabolic pathways.With these evolving tools, a better understanding of the global effects of metabolic engineering on metabolites, enzyme activities, and fluxes is beginning to be developed.
Attempts to modify storage proteins or secondary metabolic pathways have also been more successful than have alterations of primary and intermediary metabolism (DellaPenna and Pogson, 2006).While offering great opportunities, this plasticity in metabolism complicates potential routes to the design of new, improved crop varieties.Regulatory oversight of engineered products has been designed to detect such unexpected outcomes in biotech crops, and as demonstrated by Chassy et al.(International Life Sciences Institute, 2004a, 2004b, 2008), existing analytical and regulatory systems are adequate to address novel metabolic modifications in nutritionally improved crops.One potential approach to counter some of the complex problems in the metabolic engineering of pathways involves the manipulation of Tfs that control networks of metabolism (Kinney and Knowlton, 1998; Bruce et al.
For example, expression of the maize ( Zea mays) Tfs C1 and R, which regulate the production of flavonoids in maize aleurone layers under the control of a strong promoter, resulted in a high accumulation rate of anthocyanins in Arabidopsis ( Arabidopsis thaliana), presumably by activating the entire pathway (Bruce et al.2 and its interacting partner SINAT2 increased carotenogenesis in Arabidopsis leaves.Expressing the Tf Dof1 induced the up-regulation of genes encoding enzymes for carbon skeleton production, a marked increase of amino acid content, and a reduction of the Glc level in transgenic Arabidopsis (Yanagisawa, 2004), and the DOF Tf AtDof1.1 (OBP2) up-regulated all steps in the glucosinolate biosynthetic pathway in Arabidopsis (Skirycz et al.Such expression experiments hold promise as an effective tool for the determination of transcriptional regulatory networks for important biochemical pathways.
In summary, metabolic engineers must not only understand the fundamental physiology of the process to be affected but also the level, timing, subcellular location, and tissue or organ specificity that will be required to ensure successful trait modification.Gene expression can be modulated by numerous transcriptional and posttranscriptional processes.Correctly choreographing these many variables is the factor that makes metabolic engineering in plants so challenging.As a corollary to these techniques, there are several new technologies that can overcome the limitation of single gene transfers and facilitate the concomitant transfer of multiple components of metabolic pathways.One example is multiple transgene direct DNA transfer, which simultaneously introduces all of the components required for the expression of complex recombinant macromolecules into the plant genome, as demonstrated by Nicholson et al.
(2005), who successfully delivered into rice ( Oryza sativa) plants four transgenes that represent the components of a secretory antibody.(2007) constructed a minichromosome vector that remains autonomous from the plant's chromosomes and stably replicates when introduced into maize cells.This work makes it possible to design minichromosomes that carry cassettes of genes, enhancing the ability to engineer plant processes such as the production of complex biochemicals.Christou and Kohli (2005) demonstrated that gene transfer using minimal cassettes is an efficient and rapid method for the production of transgenic plants containing and stably expressing several different transgenes.
Since no vector backbones are required, thus preventing the integration of potentially recombinogenic sequences, they remain stable across generations.These groups' constructions facilitate the effective manipulation of multigene pathways in plants in a single transformation step, effectively recapitulating the bacterial operon model in plants.More recently, Christou and colleagues (Agrawal et al., 2005; Christou and Kohli, 2005) demonstrated this principle by engineering the entire carotenoid pathway in white maize, visually creating a latter day rainbow equivalent of Indian maize depending on the integrated transgene complement.This system has an added advantage from a commercial perspective in that these methods circumvent problems with traditional approaches that not only limit the amount of sequences transferred but may disrupt native genes or lead to poor expression of the transgene, thus reducing both the numbers of transgenic plants that must be screened and the subsequent breeding and introgression steps required to select a suitable commercial candidate.
The agronomically improved GM crops now being grown on more than 114 million ha around the world are products of the application of these technologies to crop plants (James, 2008).They generally involve the relatively simple task of adding a single gene or a small number of genes to plants.In addition to numerous success stories, some studies, as noted, even with these simpler modifications, have yielded unanticipated results.For example, the concept of gene silencing emerged from the unexpected observation that adding a chalcone synthase gene to increase color in Petunia spp.
resulted instead in the switching off of color, producing white and variegated flowers (Napoli et al.This initially unexpected observation, now termed RNA interference, is one of the principal tools applied in everything from the analysis of molecular evolution to designing targeted therapeutics.In plants, it has now been turned to advantage in the first generation, developing robust virus resistance through coat protein posttranscriptional gene silencing, and in nutritional improvement, such as switching off of expression of an allergen in soybean ( Glycine max).To summarize, omics-based strategies for gene and metabolite discovery, coupled with high-throughput transformation processes and automated analytical and functionality assays, have accelerated the identification of product candidates.
Identifying rate-limiting steps in synthesis could provide targets for genetically engineering biochemical pathways to produce augmented amounts of compounds and new compounds.Targeted expression will be used to channel metabolic flow into new pathways, while gene-silencing tools can reduce or eliminate undesirable compounds or traits or switch off genes to increase desirable products (Liu et al.In addition, molecular marker-based breeding strategies have already been used to accelerate the process of introgressing trait genes into high-yielding germplasm for commercialization.
In the interest of space, Table I summarizes the work done to date on specific applications in the categories listed above.The following sections provide brief examples of some specific applications under those categories.MACRONUTRIENTS Protein Protein energy malnutrition is the most lethal form (Food and Agriculture Organization, 2006) of malnutrition and affects every fourth child worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (2006).The Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 850 million people worldwide suffer from undernutrition, to which insufficient protein in the diet is a significant contributing factor.Most plants have a poor balance of essential amino acids relative to the needs of animals and humans.
The cereals (maize, wheat Triticum aestivum , rice, etc.) tend to be low in Lys, whereas legumes (soybean, pea Pisum sativum ) are often low in the sulfur-rich amino acids Met and Cys.Poultry, swine, and other nonruminant animals have specific requirements for each of the essential amino acids.The primary requirements for maize and soybean meal-based diets are Lys in mammals and Met in avian species.High-Lys and high-Met maize and soybeans could allow diet formulations that reduce animal nitrogen excretion by providing an improved balance of essential amino acids.
When they are out of balance, the amino acid in excess results in increased nitrogen excretion.That balance can be accomplished now, but only by adding costly synthetic Lys and Met to the diet.Successful examples of improving amino acid balance to date include high-Lys maize (Eggeling et al., 2000) canola ( Brassica napus), and soybean (Falco et al.
Free Lys is significantly increased in high-Lys maize by the introduction of the dapA gene from Corynebacterium glutamicum, which encodes a form of dihydrodipicolinate synthase that is insensitive to Lys feedback inhibition.As a cautionary tale in this successful system, substantial increases in Lys only occurred in plants in which flux increased to such a level that the first enzyme of the catabolic pathway became saturated (Brinch-Pedersen et al., 2000), again illustrating the potential complexities of metabolic regulation.Consumption of foods made from these crops potentially can help to prevent malnutrition in developing countries, especially among children.
Another method of modifying storage protein composition is to introduce heterologous or homologous genes that code for proteins containing elevated levels of the desired amino acid, such as sulfur-containing Met and Cys or Lys.An interesting solution to this is to create a completely artificial protein containing the maximum number of the essential amino acids Met, Thr, Lys, and Leu in a stable, helical conformation designed to resist proteases to prevent degradation.(1995), who created an 11-kD synthetic protein, MBI, with 16% Met and 12% Lys, which they introduced into soybean using vectors targeted to seed protein storage bodies using appropriate leader sequences and seed-specific promoters (Simmonds and Donaldson, 2000).This was also achieved in a nonseed food crop, sweet potato ( Ipomoea batatas), modified with an artificial storage protein gene (Egnin and Prakash, 1997).
These transgenic plants exhibited 2- and 5-fold increases in the total protein content in leaves and roots, respectively, over that of control plants.A significant increase in the level of essential amino acids, such as Met, Thr, Trp, Ile, and Lys, was also observed (Egnin and Prakash, 1997; International Life Sciences Institute, 2008).A key issue is to ensure that the total amount and composition of storage proteins is not altered to the detriment of the development of the crop plant when attempting to improve amino acid ratios (Rapp, 2002).Since this is a completely novel protein to the human diet, it will be subjected to extensive review; yet, as demonstrated by the International Life Sciences Institute (2008), the existing regulatory and analytic methods are appropriate and sufficient to achieve this aim.(2004) used a novel approach to indirectly increase protein and oil content.They used a bacterial cytokinin-synthesizing isopentenyl transferase enzyme, under the control of a self-limiting senescence-inducible promoter, to block the loss of the lower floret, resulting in the production of just one kernel composed of a fused endosperm with two viable embryos.
Help me do a custom essay gm food original american 33 pages / 9075 words 48 hours us letter size
The presence of two embryos in a normal-sized kernel leads to the displacement of endosperm growth, resulting in kernels with an increased ratio of embryo to endosperm content.The end result is maize with more protein and oil and less carbohydrate (Young et al., 2004; International Life Sciences Institute, 2008) 11 Jan 2016 - A genetically modified organism, or GMO, is an organism that has had its DNA altered or modified in some way through genetic engineering. In most cases, GMOs have been altered with DNA from another organism, be it a bacterium, plant, virus or animal; these organisms are sometimes referred to as .
, 2004; International Life Sciences Institute, 2008).
Carbohydrates As the somewhat disputed notion of a glycemic index has supplanted Atkins as the indicator of choice when addressing carbohydrates in the diet, it has become clear to the public that not all carbohydrates are created equal.While it is still something of a value judgment to describe “good” versus “bad” carbohydrates, there are clear clinical indications of the value of polymeric versus simple sugars.Plants are effective at making both polymeric carbohydrates (e.starches and fructans) and individual sugars (e.
The biosynthesis of these compounds is sufficiently understood to allow the bioengineering of their properties or to engineer crops to produce polysaccharides not normally present.Fructans are an important ingredient in functional foods because evidence suggests that they promote a healthy colon (as a prebiotic agent) and help reduce the incidence of colon cancer.(1998) reported high-level fructan accumulation in a transgenic sugar beet ( Beta vulgaris) without adverse effects on growth or phenotype.This work has implications both for the commercial manufacture of fructans and also for the use of genetic engineering to obtain new products from existing crops.Fructans consisting of linear -(1→2)-linked Fru polymers are called inulins.(2000) produced a transgenic potato synthesizing the full spectrum of inulin molecules naturally occurring in globe artichoke ( Cynara scolymus) roots.
A similar approach is being used to derive soybean varieties that contain some oligofructan components that selectively increase the population of beneficial species of bacteria (e.bifidobacteria) in the intestines of humans and certain animals and inhibit the growth of harmful species of bacteria (e.Escherichia coli 0157:H7, Salmonella spp.
, 1999) When colonic bacteria ferment dietary fiber or other unabsorbed carbohydrates, the products are short-chain saturated fatty acids.These short-chain fatty acids may enhance the absorption of minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc; induce apoptosis, preventing colon cancer; and inhibit 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase, thus lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) production (Watkins et al.The amylose-amylopectin ratio has the greatest influence on the physicochemical properties of the starch, and for many applications it is desirable to have a pure or enriched fraction of either amylopectin or amylose.(2000) created a potato producing very high-amylose (slowly digested) starch by inhibiting two enzymes that would normally make the amylopectin type of starch that is rapidly digested.This “resistant starch” is not digested in the small intestine but is fermented in the large intestine by microflora.
Clinical studies have demonstrated that resistant starch has similar properties to fiber and has potential physiological benefits in humans (Yue and Waring, 1998; Richardson et al.Fiber Fiber is a group of substances chemically similar to carbohydrates, but nonruminant animals including humans poorly metabolize fiber for energy or other nutritional uses.Fiber is only found in foods derived from plants and never occurs in animal products.Fiber provides bulk in the diet, such that foods rich in fiber offer satiety without contributing significant calories.
Current controversies aside, there is ample scientific evidence to show that prolonged intake of dietary fiber has various positive health benefits, especially the potential for reduced risk of colon and other types of cancer.Fiber type and quantity are undoubtedly under genetic control, although this topic has been little studied.The technology to manipulate fiber content and type by genetic engineering would be a great benefit to the health status of many individuals who refuse, for taste or other reasons, to include adequate amounts of fiber in their daily diet.For example, fiber content could be added to more preferred foods or the more common sources of dietary fiber could be altered for greater health benefits.Nonruminant animals do not produce enzymes necessary to digest cellulose-based plant fiber.
Plants low in fiber should yield more digestible and metabolizable energy and protein and less manure and methane when fed to monogastric species (North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, 2000).Vermerris and Bout (2003) cloned a Brown midrib gene that encodes caffeic acid O-methyltransferase, a lignin-producing enzyme.They generated mutants that give rise to plants that contain significantly lower lignin in their leaves and stems, leading to softer cell walls compared with the wild type.The plant-softening mutations improve the digestibility of the food, and livestock also seem to prefer the taste.Such improved fiber digestibility in ruminants should have significant beneficial effects, because the efficiency of digestion of most high-fiber diets for ruminants is far from optimized.
Novel Lipids Gene technology and plant breeding are combining to provide powerful means for modifying the composition of oilseeds to improve their nutritional value and provide the functional properties required for various food oil applications.Genetic modification of oilseed crops can provide an abundant, relatively inexpensive source of dietary fatty acids with wide-ranging health benefits.Production of such lipids in vegetable oil provides a convenient mechanism to deliver healthier products to consumers without the requirement for significant dietary changes.Major alterations in the proportions of individual fatty acids have been achieved in a range of oilseeds using conventional selection, induced mutation, and, more recently, posttranscriptional gene silencing.Examples of such modified oils include low- and zero-saturated fat soybean and canola oils, canola oil containing medium-chain fatty acids, high-stearic acid canola oil (for trans-fatty acid-free products), high-oleic acid (monounsaturated) soybean oil, and canola oil containing the polyunsaturated fatty acids -linolenic acid (GLA; 18:3 n-6) and stearidonic acid (SDA; C18:4 n-3), very-long-chain fatty acids (Zou et al.
, 1997), and -3 fatty acids (Yuan and Knauf, 1997).Many of these modified oils are being marketed, and a number of countries have a regulatory system in place for the premarket safety review of novel foods produced through conventional technology.Medium chain fatty acids range from 6 to 10 carbons long and are only minor components of natural foods, with the exception of coconut and palm kernel oils.When medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are substituted for long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) in the diet, animals gain less weight, store less adipose tissue, and experience an increase in metabolic rate (Baba et al.Mice fed diets with MCTs have also been shown to possess increased endurance in swimming tests over that of mice fed diets with LCTs (Fushiki et al.Expression of an acyl-ACP thioesterase cDNA from Cuphea hookeriana in seeds of transgenic canola, an oilseed crop that normally does not accumulate any capric and caprylic acids, resulted in a dramatic increase in the levels of these two MCTs (Dehesh et al.Edible oils rich in monounsaturated fatty acids provide improved oil stability, flavor, and nutrition for human and animal consumption.Oleic acid (18:1), a monounsaturate, can provide more stability than the polyunsaturates linoleic acid (18:2) and linolenic acid (18:3).From a health aspect, the monounsaturates are also preferred.Antisense inhibition of oleate desaturase expression in soybean resulted in oil that contained more than 80% oleic acid (23% is normal) and had a significant decrease in polyunsaturated fatty acids (Kinney and Knowlton, 1998).
High-oleic-acid soybean oil is naturally more resistant to degradation by heat and oxidation and so requires little or no postrefining processing (hydrogenation), depending on the intended vegetable oil application.
In 2009, DuPont hopes to introduce soybean oil composed of at least 80% oleic acid, linolenic acid of about 3%, and over 20% less saturated fatty acids than commodity soybean oil.Monsanto's Vistive contains less than 3% linolenic acid, compared with 8% for traditional soybeans.These result in more stable soybean oil and less need for hydrogenation and concomitant reduction in trans-fatty acids.For lower trans-fats in livestock products, Nicholas Roberts and Richard Scott at AgResearch (New Zealand) are researching an ingenious method to prevent plant-derived cis-polyunsaturated fatty acids from being transformed into saturated trans-fats in the rumen by borrowing an adaptation from plants themselves.They are engineering forage crops, such as grasses and legumes, with polyoleosin genes from sesame ( Sesamum indicum), which should result in triglycerides being encapsulated within self-assembling polyoleosin micelles, thus sealing them off from bacterial activity during transit though the rumen (O'Neill, 2007).
SDA (C18:4n-3), EPA, and DHA also possess anticancer properties (Christensen et al.Research indicates that the ratio of n-3 to n-6 fatty acids may be as important to health and nutrition as the absolute amounts present in the diet or in body tissues.
Current western diets tend to be relatively high in n-6 fatty acids and relatively low in n-3 fatty acids.Production of a readily available source of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, specifically -3 fatty acids, delivered in widely consumed prepared foods could deliver much needed -3 fatty acids to large sectors of the population with skewed n-6:n-3 ratios.In plants, the microsomal -6 desaturase-catalyzed pathway is the primary route of production of polyunsaturated lipids.Ursin (2003) has introduced the -6 desaturase gene from a fungus ( Mortierella), succeeding in producing -3 in canola.(2003) observed that SDA was superior to -linolenic acid as a precursor by a factor of 3.6 in producing EPA, DHA, and docosapentaenoic acid (C22:5n-3).Transgenic canola oil was obtained that contains more than 23% SDA, with an overall n-6:n-3 ratio of 0.However, not all -6 fatty acids are created equal.
GLA (C18:3n-6) is an -6 fatty acid with health benefits that are similar and complementary to the benefits of -3 fatty acids, including anti-inflammatory effects, improved skin health, and weight loss maintenance (Schirmer and Phinney, 2007).Arcadia Biosciences (2008) has engineered GLA safflower oil, with up to 40% GLA, essentially quadrupling the levels obtained in source plants such as evening primrose ( Oenothera biennis) and borage ( Borago officinalis).Structural lipids also have positive health benefits; for example, in addition to their effect in lowering cholesterol, membrane lipid phytosterols have been found to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells by inducing apoptosis and G1/S cell cycle arrest through the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase target mentioned previously (Awad and Fink, 2000).In addition to this and the above, specialty oils may also be developed with further pharmaceutical and chemical feedstock applications in mind.Vitamins and Minerals Micronutrient malnutrition, the so-called hidden hunger, affects more than half of the world's population, especially women and preschool children in developing countries (United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition, 2004).
Even mild levels of micronutrient malnutrition may damage cognitive development, lower disease resistance in children, and increase the incidence of childbirth mortality.The costs of these deficiencies, in terms of diminished quality of life and lives lost, are enormous (Pfeiffer and McClafferty, 2007).The clinical and epidemiological evidence is clear that select minerals (iron, calcium, selenium, and iodine) and a limited number of vitamins (folate, vitamins E, B6, and A) play a significant role in the maintenance of optimal health and are limiting in diets.Using various approaches, vitamin E levels are being increased in several crops, including soybean, maize, and canola, while rice varieties are being developed with the enhanced vitamin A precursor, -carotene, to address vitamin A deficiency that leads to macular degeneration and affects development.Ameliorating another major deficiency in less developed countries, minerals such as iron and zinc have also been addressed.
Other targets include improved iron content, ferritin-rich lettuce ( Lactuca sativa), bioavailable phosphorus, and divalent ions released from phytate, folate-enriched tomatoes, and isoflavonoids (DellaPenna, 2007; Yonekura-Sakakibara et al.As with macronutrients, one way to ensure an adequate dietary intake of nutritionally beneficial phytochemicals is to adjust their levels in plant foods.Until recently, such work had been hindered by the difficulty of isolating the relevant genes (e.However, the advent of genomics during the past few years has provided new routes for such work.Using nutritional genomics, DellaPenna (Shintani and DellaPenna, 1998; DellaPenna, 2007) isolated a gene, -tocopherol methyltransferase, that converts the lower activity precursors to the highest activity vitamin E compound, -tocopherol.With this technology, the vitamin E content of Arabidopsis seed oil has been increased nearly 10-fold and progress has been made to move the technology to agricultural crops such as soybean, maize, and canola (DellaPenna, 2007).Rice is a staple that feeds nearly half the world's population, but milled rice does not contain any -carotene or its carotenoid precursors.
Integrating observations from prokaryotic systems into their work enabled researchers to clone the majority of carotenoid biosynthetic enzymes from plants during the 1990s.Taking advantage of this, Golden rice, with -carotene expression in the endosperm, was created (Ye et al.The health benefits of the original Golden rice and, especially, Golden rice II are well reviewed (International Life Sciences Institute, 2008).A similar method was used by Monsanto to produce -carotene in canola.
Iron is the most commonly deficient micronutrient in the human diet, and iron deficiency affects an estimated 1 to 2 billion people.Anemia, characterized by low hemoglobin, is the most widely recognized symptom of iron deficiency, but there are other serious problems, such as impaired learning ability in children, increased susceptibility to infection, and reduced work capacity.(2002) employed the gene for ferritin, an iron-rich soybean storage protein, under the control of an endosperm-specific promoter.
Grain from transgenic rice plants contained three times more iron than normal rice.To increase the iron content in the grain further, the researchers focused on iron transport within the plant (Lucca et al.(2005) demonstrated endosperm-specific coexpression of recombinant soybean ferritin and Aspergillus phytase in maize, which resulted in significant increases in the levels of bioavailable iron.
A similar result was achieved with lettuce (Goto et al.Functional Metabolites Unlike for vitamins and minerals, the primary evidence for the health-promoting roles of phytochemicals comes from epidemiological studies, and the exact chemical identities of many active compounds have yet to be determined.However, for select groups of phytochemicals, such as nonprovitamin A, carotenoids, glucosinolates, and phytoestrogens, the active compound or compounds have been identified and rigorously studied.A great irony of nature is that the body's natural metabolism involving oxygen also produces a host of toxic compounds called “free radicals.
” These compounds can harm body cells by altering molecules of protein and fat and by damaging DNA.Antioxidants counteract, or neutralize, the harmful effects of free radicals.Epidemiologic studies have suggested a potential benefit of the carotenoid lycopene in reducing the risk of prostate cancer, particularly the more lethal forms of this cancer.Five studies support a 30% to 40% reduction in risk associated with high tomato or lycopene consumption in the processed form in conjunction with lipid consumption, although other studies with raw tomatoes were not conclusive (Giovinazzo et al.As a nonpolar carotenoid, lycopene is more soluble in a lipid base; in addition, carotenoid-binding proteins are broken down during processing, leading to greater bioavailability.While modifying polyamines to retard tomato ripening, Mehta et al.(2002) discovered an unanticipated enrichment in lycopene, with levels up by 2- to 3.5-fold compared with the conventional tomatoes.This is a substantial enrichment, exceeding that so far achieved by conventional means.
This novel approach may work in other fruits and vegetables.Stilbenes, including resveratrol (3,5,4′-trihydroxystilbene), are phenolic natural products that accumulate in a wide range of plant species, including pine ( Pinus spp.), and grape ( Vitis vinifera; Tropf et al.It was shown to have “chemopreventive” activity, preventing the formation of tumors in mouse skin bioassays, and, therefore, may help reduce cancer rates in humans (Jang et al.
More recent studies appear to demonstrate that it mimics the life-extending effect on rodents of severe caloric restriction.This diet extends the life span of rodents by 30% to 50%, and even if it is started later it has a benefit proportionate to the remaining life span.The method of action is believed to be in protecting the sirtuins, genes implicated in DNA modification and life extension (Baur, 2006).The April 2008 purchase of Sirtris by Glaxo Smith Kline (Pollack, 2008) demonstrates that big pharma is now showing an interest in the arena of food functionality.
Resveratrol glucoside production has been achieved in alfalfa ( Medicago sativa), wheat, kiwi ( Other phytochemicals of interest include the flavonoids, such as tomatoes expressing chalcone isomerase, which show increased contents of the flavanols rutin and kaempferol glycoside; glucosinolates and their related products, such as indole-3 carbinol; catechin and catechol; isoflavones, such as genistein and daidzein; anthocyanins; and some phytoalexins (Table I).
Environmental policy and public health second edition
A comprehensive list of phytochemicals is outlined in Table II.Although there is a growing knowledge base indicating that elevated intakes of specific phytochemicals may reduce the risk of disease, such as certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and chronic degenerative diseases associated with aging, further research and epidemiological studies are still required to prove definitive relationships.ANTINUTRIENTS, ALLERGENS, AND TOXINS Plants produce many defense strategies to protect themselves from predators, and many of these, such as resveratrol and glucosinate, which are primarily pathogen-protective chemicals, also have demonstrated beneficial effects for human and animal health Best websites to order custom gm food essay Standard 6 pages / 1650 words British Oxford.ANTINUTRIENTS, ALLERGENS, AND TOXINS Plants produce many defense strategies to protect themselves from predators, and many of these, such as resveratrol and glucosinate, which are primarily pathogen-protective chemicals, also have demonstrated beneficial effects for human and animal health.
Many, however, have the opposite effect.
For example, phytate, a plant phosphate storage compound, is an antinutrient, as it strongly chelates iron, calcium, zinc, and other divalent mineral ions, making them unavailable for uptake 24 Jan 2011 - The company produces the herbicide Roundup, and also seeds whose genes have been engineered to survive Roundup's active plant-killing ingredient. Now the vast majority of this country's soybeans, corn, sugar beets and canola possess those engineered genes. To produce a genetically .For example, phytate, a plant phosphate storage compound, is an antinutrient, as it strongly chelates iron, calcium, zinc, and other divalent mineral ions, making them unavailable for uptake.Nonruminant animals generally lack the phytase enzyme needed for digestion of phytate 24 Jan 2011 - The company produces the herbicide Roundup, and also seeds whose genes have been engineered to survive Roundup's active plant-killing ingredient. Now the vast majority of this country's soybeans, corn, sugar beets and canola possess those engineered genes. To produce a genetically .Nonruminant animals generally lack the phytase enzyme needed for digestion of phytate.Poultry and swine producers add processed phosphate to their feed rations to counter this.Excess phosphate is excreted into the environment, resulting in water pollution.When low-phytate soybean meal is utilized along with low-phytate maize for animal feeds, the phosphate excretion in swine and poultry manure is halved.
A number of groups have added heat- and acid-stable phytase from Aspergillus fumigatus to make the phosphate and liberated ions bioavailable in several crops (Lucca et al.To promote the reabsorption of iron, a gene for a metallothionein-like protein has also been engineered.Low-phytate maize was commercialized in the United States in 1999 (Wehrspann, 1998).
Research indicates that the protein in low-phytate soybeans is also slightly more digestible than the protein in traditional soybeans.
In a poultry feeding trial, better results were obtained using transgenic plant material than with the commercially produced phytase supplement (Keshavarz, 2003).Poultry grew well on the engineered alfalfa diet without any inorganic phosphorus supplement, which shows that plants can be tailored to increase the bioavailability of this essential mineral.Other antinutrients that are being examined as possible targets for reduction are trypsin inhibitors, lectins, and several other heat-stable components found in soybeans and other crops.Likewise, strategies are being applied to reduce or limit food allergens (albumins, globulins, etc.), malabsorption and food intolerances (gluten), and toxins (glycoalkaloids, cyanogenic glucosides, phytohemagglutinins) in crop plants and undesirable aesthetics such as caffeine (Ogita et al.
Examples include changing the levels of expression of the thioredoxin gene to reduce the intolerance effects of wheat and other cereals (Buchanan et al.Using RNA interference to silence the major allergen in soybean (p34, a member of the papain superfamily of Cys proteases) and rice (14- to 16-kD allergenic proteins by antisense; Tada et al., 1996), blood serum tests indicate that p34-specific IgE antibodies could not be detected after consumption of gene-silenced beans (Herman et al.
Biotechnology approaches can be employed to down-regulate or even eliminate the genes involved in the metabolic pathways for the production, accumulation, and/or activation of these toxins in plants.For example, the solanine content of potato has already been reduced substantially using an antisense approach, and efforts are under way to reduce the level of the other major potato glycoalkaloid, chaconine (McCue et al.Work has also been done to reduce cyanogenic glycosides in cassava through expression of the cassava enzyme hydroxynitrile lyase in roots (Siritunga and Sayre, 2003).
When “disarming” plant natural defenses in this way, we need to be cognizant of potentially increased susceptibility to pests and diseases, so the base germplasm should have input traits to counter this.IMPLICATIONS FOR SAFETY ASSESSMENT On the surface, it may appear that the greater complexity involved in modifying the nutritional content of crop plants would necessitate more rigorous oversight than the simpler modifications.However, extensive research reported previously (International Life Sciences Institute, 2004a, 2004b) and updated in a more recent case study analysis (International Life Sciences Institute, 2008) indicates that existing oversight systems are more than adequate.Trait modifications with the addition of one or two genes that do not act on central or intermediary metabolism produce targeted, predictable outcomes, whereas major modifications of metabolic pathways can produce unanticipated effects.Therefore, it is very encouraging that the ever-evolving and increasingly sensitive and discriminating analytical technologies have been able to detect and assess the safety of these unanticipated effects.
In addition, regulatory oversight of GM products has been designed to detect such unexpected outcomes.At a very fundamental level, a recent report (Baack and Rieseberg, 2007) on genome-wide analyses of introgression from oak ( Quercus spp.) to fruit flies indicates that a substantial fraction of genomes are malleable.Hybridization gives rapid genomic changes, chromosomal rearrangements, genome expansion, differential expression, and gene silencing (transposable elements).In the context of this sea of malleability, reports have demonstrated that GM crops have a composition more similar to the isogenic parental strain used in their development than to other breeding cultivars of the same genus and species and in some instances even the location in which they are grown, and on occasion the latter “terroir” effect demonstrated greater variation than breeding strategy.
This effect has been observed at the proteome level for potato (Lehesranta et al.Parallel results have been observed at the metabolomic level for wheat (Baker et al.As more metabolic modifications are introduced, we must continue to study plant metabolism and the interconnected cellular networks of plant metabolic pathways to increase the likelihood of predicting pleiotropic effects that may occur as a result of the introduced genetic modification.THE FUTURE OF CROP BIOTECHNOLOGY Research to improve the nutritional quality of plants has historically been limited by a lack of basic knowledge of plant metabolism and the almost insurmountable challenge of resolving complex branches of thousands of metabolic pathways.With the tools now available to us through the fields of genomics and bioinformatics, we have the potential to fish in silico for genes of value across species, phyla, and kingdoms and subsequently to study the expression and interaction of transgenes on tens of thousands of endogenous genes simultaneously.With advances in proteomics, we should also be able to simultaneously quantify the levels and interactions of many proteins or follow posttranslational alterations that occur.
With these newly evolving tools, we are beginning to get a handle on the global effects of metabolic engineering on metabolites, enzyme activities, and fluxes.Right now, for essential macronutrients and micronutrients that are limiting in various regional diets, the strategies for improvement are clear and the concerns, such as pleiotropic effects and safe upper limits, are easily addressed.However, for many other health-promoting phytochemicals, clear links with health benefits remain to be demonstrated.Such links, if established, will make it possible to identify the precise compound or compounds to target and which crops to modify to achieve the greatest nutritional impact and health benefits.The achievement of this aim will be a truly interdisciplinary effort, requiring expertise and input from many disparate fields, ranging from the obvious human physiology and plant research to the less obvious “omics” and analytic fields.
With these emerging capabilities, the increase in our basic understanding of plant secondary metabolism during the coming decades will be unparalleled and will place plant researchers in the position of being able to modify the nutritional content of major and minor crops to improve many aspects of human and animal health and well-being.Acknowledgments We thank Cathy Miller (University of California, Systemwide Biotechnology Research and Education Program) for extensive proofreading and invaluable suggestions on improving the manuscript.Notes The author responsible for distribution of materials integral to the findings presented in this article in accordance with the policy described in the Instructions for Authors ( ) is: Martina Newell-McGloughlin ( [email protected]).References Abbadi A, Domergue F, Bauer J, Napier JA, Welti R, Zahringer U, Cirpus P, Heinz E (2004) Biosynthesis of very-long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in transgenic oilseeds: constraints on their accumulation.Plant Cell 16 2734–2748 PMC free article PubMed Agius F, Gonzalez-Lamothe R, Caballero JL, Munoz-Blanco J, Botella MA, Valpuesta V (2003) Engineering increased vitamin C levels in plants by overexpression of a D-galacturonic acid reductase.
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