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Biotechnology & Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) Food Technology
How is Biotechnology being used in Agriculture? • Provides farmers with tools to make production cheaper and manageable • Crop production options can help countries keep pace with demands for food while reducing cost of production
How is Biotechnology being used in Agriculture? • Other types of crops are in research and development stages • Advances may provide foods with: • Nutritionally-Enriched Foods • Longer Lasting Foods • Contain lower levels of naturally occurring toxicants
What are the benefits of Agricultural Biotechnology? • Has helped make both insect pest control and weed management safer and easier while safeguarding against disease • Herbicide-tolerant crops are compatible with no-till or reduced tillage agriculture systems that help reduce erosion
What are the roles of Government in Agriculture Biotechnology? • Regulatory • Market Facilitation • Research
What are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOS) ? • GMOs are an organism whose genetic material has been altered using techniques in genetics • Term generally does not cover organisms whose genetic makeup has been altered by conventional cross-breeding
GMOs Today • In 2010 about 331 million acres grown world wide • Biotechnology plantings as a percentage of total crop plantings in the United States were about 86 percent for corn, 93 percent for cotton, and 93 percent for soybeans.
GMOs Benefits and Controversies • Benefits • Crops • Enhanced Taste and quality • Reduced maturation time • Increased nutrients, yields, and stress tolerance • Improved resistance to disease, pests and herbicides • New products and growing techniques
GMOs Benefits and Controversies • Benefits • Animals • Increased resistance, productivity, hardiness, and feed efficiency • Better yields of meat, eggs, and milk • Improved animal health and diagnostic methods
GMOs Benefits and Controversies • Benefits • Environment • “Friendly” bioherbicides and bioinsecticides • Conservation of soil, water, and energy • Better natural waste management • More efficient processing
GMOs Benefits and Controversies • Benefits • Society • Increased food security for growing populations
GMOs Benefits and Controversies • Controversies • Safety • Potential human impact • Access and Intellectual Property • Domination of world food production by a few companies • Increasing dependence on Industralized nations by developing countries
GMOs Benefits and Controversies • Controversies • Ethics • Violation of natural organisms’ intrinsic values • Tampering with nature by mixing genes among species • Objections to consuming animal genes in plants and vice versa • Stress for animals
GMOs Benefits and Controversies • Controversies • Labeling • Not mandatory in some countries (e.g. United States) • Mixing GM crops with non-GM confounds labeling attempts • Society • New advances may be skewed to interests of rich countries