Genetically Modified Food


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The Implications of Genetic Engineering on Human Health and the Environment


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Implications Of Global Experimentation:

Implications Of Global Experimentation By: Jamie Ann Montiel , RN, BSN & Health Consultant Genetically Engineered Food:

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Genetically engineered or genetically modified foods

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Technology of genetic engineering H ealth effects on animals and humans Environmental effects Implications of widespread use GMOs in our food supply Genetic Engineering

Genetic Engineering:

Genetic Engineering

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What is genetic engineering or modification? Altering the DNA of living organisms by inserting foreign genes into the host

Splicing of the genome:

Splicing of the genome A new DNA sequence is created

Methods of inserting genes:

Methods of inserting genes Using viruses or bacteria as vehicles to infect cells with foreign DNA Shooting DNA into cells with specialized guns Injecting DNA into fertilized eggs Using electric shock to create holes in cell membranes to force in the new DNA

What can happen in the process?:

What can happen in the process? Inserted genes can be damaged and natural genes can be deleted or turned on or off Many possible results can arise from the new gene combinations in the altered cells


Biotechnology Creating never-before-seen combinations of traits that are impossible to create through natural breeding processes

Biotechnology – Impossible to predict or control:

Biotechnology – Impossible to predict or control May lead to cell instability or disturbed cell function

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“ In traditional breeding it is possible to mate a pig with another pig to get a new variety, but is not possible to mate a pig with a potato or a mouse. Even when species that may seem to be closely related do succeed in breeding, the offspring are usually infertile - a horse, for example, can mate with a donkey, but the offspring (a mule) is sterile. ” - Institute For Responsible Technology Crossing species barriers…

Only in sci-fi movies?:

Only in sci-fi movies? DNA from species that would never come together in nature will now be sharing DNA

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Effects on livestock and lab animals: Reproductive damage Animals fed GM food were prone to infertility, had an increase in infant mortality and offspring were smaller. After a few generations, some lost ability to reproduce.

Other Health Effects On Animals:

Other Health Effects On Animals Multiple organ damage Impaired immune system Increased mortality DNA damage Endocrine disruption Numerous cancers

Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin):

Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin )

rBGH (or rBST):

rBGH (or rBST ) Increases milk production by 10% to 20% Used in approximately 20% of all dairy cows in US All other industrialized countries ban use of rBGH in cows

Toxins In, Toxins Out:

Toxins In, Toxins Out Cows injected with rBGH have higher levels of IGF-1 in their milk which has been implicated in hormone sensitive cancers such as breast, prostate, and colon cancers These cows have higher rates of infection (mastitis) and require more antibiotics, their milk contains higher levels of pus and bacteria than other milk

What do you think is the REAL reason why milk is pasteurized?:

What do you think is the REAL reason why milk is pasteurized?

Health Effects On Humans:

Health Effects On Humans Antibiotic resistance? Marker genes that code for antibiotic resistance (and herbicide resistance) which are commonly used in the genetic engineering process may cause the transfer of these bacteria into animals and humans, which may compromise the use of certain antibiotics.

Anything that affects our bacterial population will compromise our immune system:

Anything that affects our bacterial population will compromise our immune system Bacteria living in our bodies outnumber our human cells by 10 to 1. We are mostly bacteria.

Health Effects On Humans:

Health Effects On Humans Unpredictable, often hard to detect symptoms in humans, may manifest as a variety of unrelated symptoms or are misdiagnosed, may take years to manifest subclinical symptoms or full-blown disease

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GMOs have been implicated or linked to: food allergies or sensitivities reproductive and fertility problems digestive disorders developmental delays or disorders endocrine disruption cancer Health Effects On Humans

Environmental Impact:

Environmental Impact Affects biodiversity, harming the entire ecosystem Introducing genetically engineered organisms into the environment is the bio-invasion of the ecosystem, having the potential to threaten wild species

It’s impossible to clean up the gene pool:

It’s impossible to clean up the gene pool Genetic engineering is essentially irreversible

GE Species Already In The Wild:

GE Species Already In The Wild

Environmental Impact:

Environmental Impact

How are GMOs spread in the environment?:

How are GMOs spread in the environment? wind and air rain and water soil run-off and soil erosion insects and other wildlife

Environmental Impact :

Environmental Impact GMOs can cross-pollinate and their seeds have been known to spread and contaminate areas beyond where they were originally planted Damages beneficial bacteria in soil and other useful insects such as bees, many bees have been disappearing, pesticides implicated as one of the many causes of colony collapse disorder Has caused the proliferation of “ superweeds ” and “ superpests ” that are harder to control and require stronger chemical concoctions to suppress

Environmental Impact:

Environmental Impact GM crops are specifically designed to withstand herbicides and other pesticides, unlike other crops, meaning they will be sprayed, so more toxic compounds are being added to these crops, worsening the effects of the many problems already associated with GMOs

Why do biotech companies say GMOs will reduce pesticide use when GMOs are the most heavily sprayed crops?:

Why do biotech companies say GMOs will reduce pesticide use when GMOs are the most heavily sprayed crops?


Implications Creates unimaginable life forms that can reproduce, migrate and mutate, affecting all life on earth Introduces new viruses and pathogens and toxins, some of which are more virulent and will be harder to eradicate Plants contain naturally occurring toxins, mutagens and carcinogens and these have been minimized through a millennia of selective breeding, genetic engineering could activate dormant toxic pathways


Implications Will cause an increase use in and will create the need for the development of harsher broad spectrum pesticides, which will create even more resistance, as all species try to survive at all costs Threatens livelihood of farmers, eliminating traditional farming practices, GE seeds that have “terminator technology” are designed to render the seeds of the first generation infertile, biotech companies that own these patents and sell them to farmers will have monopolies in agriculture May cause widespread nutritional deficiencies because GMOs contain significantly fewer nutrients than conventional and organic foods

Our Contaminated Food Supply:

Our Contaminated Food Supply GMOs are ubiquitous in the food supply Found in almost all processed supermarket foods and fast foods unless specified as containing non-GMO or organic ingredients

Because GMOs are in so many foods…:

Because GMOs are in so many foods… It will be difficult (or impossible) for the consumer to relate adverse effects to the specific ingredient or GMO component of an ingredient

Who wants GM foods to be labeled?:

Who wants GM foods to be labeled? 95% of all Americans want GM foods labeled Biotech companies fear no one will buy GMOs if labeled

The US has more biotech crops on the market than any other nation:

The US has more biotech crops on the market than any other nation Over 48 different types of GE crops grown or sold in the US

Common GM Crops In US:

Common GM Crops In US 91% of soy 90% of sugar beets 88% of canola 85% of corn 71% of cotton

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If only it were this easy to tell the difference… Genetically engineered foods are not labeled as GM or GE

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Which one is genetically modified?

Other Sources of GMOs:

Other Sources of GMOs dairy products from cows injected with rBGH animal products from factory farms (animals are given GMO feed) lab created food additives, flavorings, enzymes (such as rennet and aspartame)

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GMOs Are Everywhere

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90% of money Americans spend on food is on processed food Products with “natural” on their labels can still contain GMOs , pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, artificial preservatives and other chemicals

Hidden Sources:

Hidden Sources The following may be made or derived from GMOs unless specified that is is from an organic or non-GMO source: aspartame (Equal or Nutrasweet ) baking powder canola oil caramel color cellulose citric acid cobalamin colorose condensed milk confectioner’s sugar corn flour corn masa corn meal corn oil corn sugar corn syrup cornstarch cottonseed oil cyclodextrin cystein dextrin dextrose diacetyl diglyceride erythritol food starch fructose glucose

More Hidden Sources:

More Hidden Sources glutamate glutamic acid glycerides glycerin glycerol glycerol monooleate glycine hemicellulose high fructose corn syrup hydrogenated starch hydrolyzed vegetable protein inositol inverse syrup inversol invert sugar isoflavones lactic acid lecithin leucine lysine malitol malt malt syrup malt extract maltodextrin maltose mannitol methylcellulose milk powder milo starch modified food starch modified starch mono- and diglycerides monosodium glutamate

Even More Hidden Sources:

Even More Hidden Sources oleic acid phenylalanine phytic acid protein isolate shoyu sorbitol soy flour soy isolates soy lecithin soy milk soy oil soy protein soy protein isolate soy sauce starch stearic acid sugar tamari tempeh teriyaki marinades textured vegetable protein threonine tocopherols tofu trehalose triglyceride vegetable fat vegetable oil vitamin B12 vitamin E whey whey powder xanthan gum

GM foods lack vitamins and minerals:

GM foods lack vitamins and minerals Micronutrient levels in GMOs can be reduced by as much as 90%

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What are the cumulative effects of a lifetime of consuming processed foods?

The Precautionary Principle:

The Precautionary Principle Guilty until proven innocent or innocent until proven guilty?

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The European Union employs the precautionary principle and will not introduce GE foods until the long-term health consequences are known. They are willing to keep the public informed and require stringent labeling of GE products and the ability to trace GE products to its origin.

Who’s protecting us?:

Who’s protecting us? The USDA has NO authority to evaluate the potential health impacts of a crop so GE crops can theoretically enter the market with no review of the potential health impacts. The FDA does NOT require any testing of any GM crop. A blanket GRAS exemption is given due to the a priori presumption that GE crops are the same as conventional crops. Biotech companies determine GRAS status, NOT the FDA

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The FDA has NEVER approved any GE crop safe for human consumption The truth is… Submission of data from studies made by biotech companies to the FDA are voluntary

GMOs have entered the diets of billions of people without informed consent:

GMOs have entered the diets of billions of people without informed consent

What can we do?:

What can we do? Support sustainable farming methods such as buying organic produce and obtaining naturally raised, free-range or wild meats, poultry and seafood from farms and farmers’ markets

What can we do?:

What can we do? Tell public officials and regulatory agencies like the FDA and USDA that GMOs have to undergo rigorous testing for safety before they are allowed in the food supply

It’s up to you!:

It’s up to you! What kind of world do you want to create for future generations?



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