Tuesday, September 29

Genetically Modified Foods

GMOs: What they are, are they safe and which foods have them
Genetically Modified Foods

GMOs: What they are, are they safe and which foods have them

Glow-in-the-dark mice, silk-producing goats, venomous cabbage -- these are all wacky and downright unsettling examples of what can happen when scientists tinker with DNA. They're also part of the reason that the public and scientific debates about genetically modified organisms -- known as GMOs -- persist. Luckily, "Frankenfoods" like the venomous cabbage, aren't something you'll likely ever come into contact with. The GMOs that might be on your plate or in your snacks have been evaluated and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and they're perfectly safe, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). What are GMOs? GMO foods have been genetically engineered to alter the DNA of the food source for some specific purpose -- a good example is the famed Flavr Savr t...
Why we need mandatory labeling of GMO products
Genetically Modified Foods

Why we need mandatory labeling of GMO products

The conversation around genetic engineering and food is undermined by a lack of information that breeds confusion and distrust. Consumers feel misled. Scientists feel misunderstood. Public officials make flailing attempts to navigate the interests of both. Meanwhile, the companies that choose to play both sides take advantage of everyone — quietly adding genetically modified organisms (GMO) or ingredients made from them to some products and non-GMO labels to others. Afraid of GMOs? Blame non-labeling Genetically modified organisms are commonplace and are already present in many of the foods we eat — often, though not exclusively, in the form of genetically modified corn, soy, sugar beet, and canola oil. But as ubiquitous as they are, they’re shrouded in mystery. Across most of the Un...
Tips to be fit: Genetically modified foods: Are they safe?
Genetically Modified Foods

Tips to be fit: Genetically modified foods: Are they safe?

When is corn not corn? When is a chicken not a chicken? What is a better egg? The answer is when it’s been genetically modified. We have been trying to produce better food forever. Farms modified food when they saved seeds of cream-of-the-crop plants to grow the next season. That's when we turned small bunches of tiny kernels on tall grass years ago into the big ears of corn on the cob we have today. We picked the best animals of the litter to breed "new-and-improved" animals. We grafted the branch of one orange tree to another orange tree to get a different tasting orange. What we do now is we alter the genetic code of the plant or animal. This alteration can be genetic coding is taken out or added to produce a product that is more desirable. For a few decades, food manufacturers began...
Fruits and Vegetable Seeds Market Growing
Genetically Modified Foods

Fruits and Vegetable Seeds Market Growing

• Growing health consciousness among consumers also generates massive demand for nutritious food items. • Other factors supporting market growth include an increase in seed replacement rate and surging adoption of genetically modified (GM) crops. • The market growth might be hindered by fluctuating climatic conditions and regulations governing the cultivation of GM crops. Surging demand for healthy food items along with the adoption of modern agricultural practices are key factors driving the growth of the fruits and vegetables seeds market. Other factors supporting the growth of the market include an increase in seed replacement rate and surging adoption of genetically modified crops. Surging demand for healthy food items along with the adoption of modern agricultural practices a...
What are GMOs in Australia?
Genetically Modified Foods

What are GMOs in Australia?

What is GMO food? ‘GMO food’ is food that’s been unnaturally genetically modified to express certain traits that make them more beneficial to us as a species. You might think this sounds scary, but GMO foods are much more common and much safer than you might think. GMO meaning: What is genetically modified food? Genetically modified organisms⁠—known largely as GMOs—are simply living things that undergo the process of genetic engineering. Oftentimes, when people think about GMOs, they think about plants and crops, but that’s not all it’s limited to. GMOs can extend to small organisms such as bacteria or fungi, or even animals such as goats and pigs. Most GMOs these days are indeed food, and a lot of them have been appearing on your supermarket shelves for decades. The first genetic...
Could GMO Crops Help Solve The Climate Crisis?
Genetically Modified Foods

Could GMO Crops Help Solve The Climate Crisis?

Genetically engineered cereals may hold the key to sustainable agriculture Genetic engineering may be anathema to many card-carrying environmentalists, who typically favor organic farming over other forms of agriculture. But to overcome the threat posed by climate change -- while continuing to feed 7.7 billion mouths (and counting) -- many scientists say it’s time to fully embrace the three most controversial letters in the food industry: GMO. Their goal is to radically shrink the carbon footprint of global crop cultivation by doing away with the need for synthetic fertilizers, which account for about 5% of humanity’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Through extensive DNA manipulations, scientists are optimistic they can engineer a self-fertilizing relationship between crop species ...
Island Voices: Non-GMO Project Has A Dark Side
Genetically Modified Foods

Island Voices: Non-GMO Project Has A Dark Side

Most consumers have seen the Non-GMO logos on bread and many other food products while shopping at the grocery store. Today in North America, the Non-GMO Project Verified logo is on more than 50,000 food products. The first product to hit the market with the logo was in 2010, barely nine years ago. GMOs, known as genetically modified organisms, have attracted fierce criticism since they entered the food chain in 1994. Genetically engineered crops such as canola, corn, and soy are grown by farmers and enter the food chain. Since both the United States and Canada have a voluntary labeling regime for genetically modified food ingredients, it was almost impossible for anyone to avoid them. The only option was to go organic, which is quite often 20 percent to 30 percent more expensi...
Are You Scared of GMO Foods?
Genetically Modified Foods

Are You Scared of GMO Foods?

Scientists can do some amazing things with genes, from saving papayas from extinction to making apples last longer before turning brown, to creating variants of crops that reduce pesticide use. Some of these things may sound too good to be true and I understand if you're skeptical. How does this work? Is it safe? How do we know it's safe? What are the side effects? If you're asking these questions, you're like many Americans who question the idea of genetically modified organisms. Genetic modification has come a long way since ancient farmers first tinkered with the genes of the teosinte plant to develop the corn we have today. Yes, you read that correctly: genetic modification has been around since many centuries before we even knew genes existed. Although there are many techniques, th...
EU Authorizes 10 Genetically Modified Products
Genetically Modified Foods

EU Authorizes 10 Genetically Modified Products

BRUSSELS, July 26 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission on Friday authorized nine genetically modified (GM) products for food and feed uses and one as an ornamental cut flower. Among the authorized are cotton, maize, soybean, oilseed rape and carnation, which the European Union's executive arm said: "have gone through a comprehensive authorization procedure, including a favorable scientific assessment by the European Food Safety Authority." Genetic modification means that organisms such as plants, animals or microorganisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. Different GM organisms include different genes inserted in different ways. This means that individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis ...
Church in Ghana Debates Genetically Modified Food
Genetically Modified Foods

Church in Ghana Debates Genetically Modified Food

YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon - Although genetically modified food is commonplace in the United States, it is still controversial in places such as the European Union, which possibly has the most stringent regulations on the products in the world. This debate over GM food is now taking place in Africa, and the Catholic Church is taking part - although Church leaders are disagreeing on which path to take. In Ghana, the issue is at the forefront, since field trials on its first GM crop - the Bt cowpea, which is resistant to the pod-borer pest - have recently been completed. “GMOs can help us deal with agricultural challenges, including the problems with food insufficiency,” said Gaston Kofi Hunkpe, a catechist with the Catholic Church who holds a degree in clinical biochemistry. “So it’s a g...