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Food Biotechnology Ethics. Clark Ford, Ph.D. Food Science and Human Nutrition Iowa State University. What is Food Biotechnology?. Food technology based on biology Ancient food biotechnology: Fermentation by microbes Cheese Beer Wine Bread Modern food biotechnology Tissue culture

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food biotechnology ethics

Food Biotechnology Ethics

Clark Ford, Ph.D.

Food Science and Human Nutrition

Iowa State University

what is food biotechnology
What is Food Biotechnology?
  • Food technology based on biology
    • Ancient food biotechnology:
      • Fermentation by microbes
        • Cheese
        • Beer
        • Wine
        • Bread
    • Modern food biotechnology
      • Tissue culture
      • Genetic engineering
        • Different from plant and animal breeding

http://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2006/10/061017091752.jpg

genetic engineering
Genetic Engineering
  • Genetic Engineering involves manipulating DNA molecules
  • DNA from one species is spliced into the DNA of another species
    • Called: Recombinant DNA
  • Genetically Engineered organisms are called:
    • Genetically Modified
    • Transgenic
milestones in food biotechnology
Milestones in Food Biotechnology
  • 1953: Structure of DNA discovered
  • 1973: First gene cloned
    • in microbes
  • 1977: Asilomar Conference in USA
    • Recombinant DNA safety
    • Regulation
    • Risk assessment
    • Containment

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v235/milenaid/Blog%20Support/TheDoubleHelix.jpg

who regulates food biotechnology
Who Regulates Food Biotechnology?

FDA

Food and Drug Administration

Determines safety for human consumption

USDA

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Determines safety of GMO agriculture

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency

Determines environmental safety

NIH

National Institutes of Health

Sets guidelines for Recombinant DNA experiments

http://healthcare.zdnet.com/images/fda-logo.jpg

milestones in food biotechnology1
Milestones in Food Biotechnology
  • 1990: Recombinant Chymosin Approved by FDA
    • First biotech product for human consumption
    • Enzyme for cheese making
    • Originally from calf stomach
    • Bovine gene expressed in GRAS microbes
      • Generally Recognized As Safe
    • In 80% of U.S. cheese

http://homepages.ius.edu/SRICKARD/cheese2.jpg

other products from genetically engineered microbes
Other Products from Genetically Engineered Microbes
  • Food enzymes
    • Bread
    • HFCS Sweeteners
  • Amino acids
  • Peptides
    • Nutrasweet
  • Flavors
  • Organic acids
  • Polysaccharides
  • Vitamins
milestones in food biotechnology2
Milestones in Food Biotechnology
  • 1994: FDA approves

“Flavr Savr” Tomato

    • Prolonged shelf life
    • Improved quality
    • Voluntarily labeled

http://www.lhup.edu/smarvel/Seminar/FALL_2003/Malawskey/tomaten.jpg

other genetically engineered plants
Other Genetically Engineered Plants
  • Agronomic traits
    • BT Corn
    • Roundup Ready Soy
    • Disease Resistance
  • Food quality
  • Nutrition
  • Metabolic products
  • Vaccines

http://whyfiles.org/241GM_2/images/soybean_field.jpg

bt corn
Bt Corn
  • Natural insecticide from Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Non-toxic to humans
  • Target insect:
    • Corn borer, root worm
    • Boll worm
  • reduces insecticide use
    • reduces mycotoxins in corn
  • 47% U.S. Corn crop Bt (2007)
  • 59% U.S. Cotton crop (2007)

http://pfisterhybrid.com/images/sections/5.jpg

bt concerns
Bt Concerns
  • Bt pollen harms non-target species?
  • Bt crops select for resistant insects
  • Bt pollen can drift to organic fields
  • Food system failed to keep BT Starlink corn out of human food products

Monarch butterfly: endangered?

http://members.tripod.com/c_rader0/greg040.gif

herbicide resistance
Herbicide Resistance
  • Roundup Ready soy, corn, canola, cotton
  • Allows post-emergence herbicide spraying
  • Increases yield
  • Facilitates no-till farming
  • 91% U.S. Soy (2007)
  • 70% U.S. Cotton (2007)
  • 52% U.S. Corn (2007)

http://cropwatch.unl.edu/photos/cwphoto/soy_harvest2002_2b.jpg

herbicide resistance concerns
Herbicide Resistance Concerns
  • Encourages herbicide use
    • Groundwater contamination
    • Kills beneficial soil microbes
  • Cross-pollinates weeds
  • Fosters dependence on Agrochemcial companies
disease resistance
Disease Resistance
  • Canola
  • Cantaloupes
  • Cucumbers
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Papaya
  • Potatoes
  • Soybeans
  • Squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Wheat

Genetically engineered papaya resistant papaya ringspot virus

http://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2008/04/080423131624.jpg

health and nutrition
Health and Nutrition
  • Golden Rice
    • Vitamin A and Iron enhanced
    • Seeds given to the poor for free
  • Improved Amino Acid Balance
    • Soy (needs Methionine)
    • Maize (needs Lysine)
  • Banana Vaccines

http://wwwdata.forestry.oregonstate.edu/orb/images/Marketing/TIME.jpg

metabolic products
Metabolic Products

Idea: use crops to produce inexpensive

Pharmaceuticals

AIDS vaccine in corn

Metabolic products

Problems:

Containment

Cross pollination

Accidental mixing into food supply

http://foodhazard.com/genetically-modified-foods/

genetically engineered animals not approved for food
Genetically Engineered Animals- not approved for food -

Transgenic Fish

Salmon

Grows 4-6 times faster

Environmental concerns

May escape, outcompete natural species

Transgenic Mammals

Cows, Sheep, Goats

Pharmaceutical production in milk

http://www.gatewayva.com/biz/virginiabusiness/magazine/yr1997/aug97/cover.html

milestones in food biotechnology3
Milestones in Food Biotechnology
  • 1999: GM corn and soybean products are present in 80% of processed foods in USA
    • Corn:
      • starch, high fructose corn syrup, oil
    • Soy:
      • oil, Lecithin, protein

http://nadav.harel.org.il/cola/image/CokeClassic.jpg

milestones in food biotechnology4
Milestones in Food Biotechnology
  • 1999: European Union requires GM labels
    • blocks import of GMcorn, beans
      • Ban lifted 2004
        • but no change in anti-GM sentiment in Europe
    • Affects African export crops
      • Paternalism
milestones in food biotechnology5
Milestones in Food Biotechnology
  • 1999: Gerber and Heinz baby foods GM-free
  • 2000: Mc Donalds and Frito-Lay products GM-free

http://www.corrupt.org/articles/big_mac/bigmac.jpg

milestones in food biotechnology6
Milestones in Food Biotechnology
  • 2000: USDA Organic Foods Standards
    • Must be GM-free

http://www.taquitos.net/im/sn/NaturalPlanet-YellowCorn.jpg

milestones in food biotechnology7
Milestones in Food Biotechnology
  • 2002 Zambia refuses GM maize as food aid
    • To help 2.5 million in food shortage
    • Calls GM food “poison”
    • Heavily influenced by European attitudes about GM

Zambian President Mwanawasa

http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/38232000/jpg/_38232577_levy150.jpg

global gm crops 2004
Global GM crops (2004)

http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/file.php/2808/S250_1_001i.jpg

gm crops in africa 2004
GM crops in Africa (2004)

http://www.eoearth.org/upload/thumb/5/5e/Fig_4_GM_status_in_Africa.JPG/350px-Fig_4_GM_status_in_Africa.JPG

milestones in food biotechnology8
Milestones in Food Biotechnology

2007: 300 million acres worldwide

Planted in Genetically Modified crops

55% in USA

Soy

Corn

Cotton

India, China

Canola

12 million farmers

90% are small farmers in developing countries

Growing cotton in India, China

Adoption of GMOs Worldwide

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTWDR2008/Images/2795086-1190749255849/4218354-1191601573880/GMOs-E1.gif

milestones in food biotechnology9
Milestones in Food Biotechnology

2008: Cloned Animals approved by FDA

For human consumption

Goal: quality meat, milk

Best animals cloned

Not transgenic

Is that next?

Label not required

Considered same as normal meat, milk

Not in stores yet

Not certified organic (USDA)

http://www.scq.ubc.ca/the-new-macdonald-pharm/

controversy over biotech foods
Controversy over Biotech Foods
  • Debate pits consumer and ecology groups
    • against Multinational Corporations
  • Many farmers, scientists, government agencies
    • caught in the middle
arguments for genetically engineered food
Potential to:

Increase productivity

Increase purity

Increase safety

Improve nutrition

Improve food quality

Improve sustainability

Benefit ecosystem

Process not inherently harmful

Similar to traditional Plant and Animal breeding

Unless misused, outcome expected to be beneficial

Is a powerful technology that could help humanity

Bad ideas weeded out by the market, regulation, lawsuit

Arguments for Genetically Engineered Food

--Paul Thompson

http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/images/thompson_paul.jpg

arguments against genetically engineered foods
Arguments against Genetically Engineered Foods

Food safety risk?

unintended consequences

Safety risk for environment

could spread

Genetically Engineered label

not required in U.S.A.

Playing God

not natural

Benefits multinational corporations

not consumers

not developing nations

GMO vs normal Salmon of same age

http://www.primidi.com/images/aquabounty_salmon.jpg

frankenstein foods unintended consequences
Frankenstein Foods: Unintended Consequences?

Potential GMO food safety problems:

Random gene insertion

Unknown toxins?

New gene products?

Unknown allergies?

No evidence of GMO food safety problems

http://www.gasdetection.com/news2/bioengineered_food.jpg

food allergies
Food Allergies

90% of Food allergies:

Eggs

Fish

Shellfish

Milk

Peanuts

Soybeans

tree nuts

wheat

GM foods avoid genes from these sources

Peanut proteins can cause severe food allergies!

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/articleimages/332/home.jpg

arguments for labeling
Arguments for Labeling
  • Not equivalent to non-GM
  • Must use Precautionary principle
    • Is uncertainty in risk assessment
  • Labeling indicates process used
  • Consumer right to know and choose
    • Country’s right to know and choose
arguments against labeling
Arguments against labeling
  • Suggests non-existent hazard
  • Expensive to segregate crops and change labels
  • FDA labels required if change in:
    • Allergenicity
    • Nutrition
    • Food Quality
will gm crops feed the world
Will GM crops feed the world?
  • Yes:
    • GM crops are size neutral
      • Small growers can benefit
        • Don’t need large combine
    • Reduced inputs
      • Herbicides, pesticides
        • Lower costs
    • Increased yields
      • Disease resistance
      • Reduced weeds
    • Increased profits

Insect resistant maize, Kenya

http://img.radio.cz/pictures/networkeurope/080215-bt-corn-africa.jpg

will gm crops feed the world1
Will GM crops feed the world?
  • No:
    • Biotech from companies targets the wealthy
      • Intellectual property expensive
      • Public research in developing countries
        • must develop GMOs for the poor
      • Poor that cannot compete driven from land
        • undernutrtion
    • Poor really need
      • Land
      • Water
      • Roads
      • Education
      • Credit
    • Green revolution agriculture unsustainable
      • Monoculture
      • Erosion
      • Fertilizer and pesticide runoff pollution
      • Neocaloric (requires fossile fuels)

GMOs for developing countries

International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, India

http://www.parasitologyindia.org/images/icgeb.jpg

will gm crops feed the world2
Will GM crops feed the world?
  • "While feeding the hungry is a laudable goal, current record feed stocks in the U.S. is still not finding its way to those who need it the most.
  • Therefore, the real reasons for hunger is not necessarily the lack of food but the lack of income to purchase and the absence of an infrastructure to get the food to those who need it the most.
  • If the hungry cannot be fed with current worldwide overproduction, what guarantee is there that additional productivity will solve the problem?"

-- American Corn Growers Association

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