Examples of GM Food. Are these claims supported by evidence ?. Let ’ s take a look into some examples of GM food!. Example 1: GM maize. About 7% of the world ’ s maize (sweet corn) production is lost to a pest called the European corn borer . . The larvae live inside the maize stalk.
About 7% of the world’s maize (sweet corn) production is lost to a pest called theEuropean corn borer.
The larvae live inside the maize stalk.
Pest control is not efficient. Large amounts of pesticides are used.
The cost of growing maize increases.
When the corn borer larvae eat this protein, their intestinal walls are damaged, causing them to die of starvation.
A gene extracted from a soil bacterium is inserted into maize
The cost is lowered, the crop yield increases.
Less pesticide is used.
Less maize is lost.
Consumers get better quality and more maize
Farmers, consumers, economy
People suffering from hunger or in poverty
(rice maybe cheaper)
A protein in a new variety of GM rice (Bt rice) may cause allergy in humans (NB: this is NOT “golden rice”)
Laboratory animals don’t live as long as humans do
Some GM food have antibiotic-resistant marker genes
The desirable gene may be transferred WITH an antibiotic-resistance gene.
By testing the modified organisms with antibiotics, scientists can tell whether the desired gene has been successfully inserted into the “new” organism.
What is the risk?
The marker genes may be transferred to other pathogens which become resistant, antibiotics will no longer be effective in treating diseases.
This may lead to development of “super pests”
GM crops are mainly developed by a few large biotechnology companies
The companies have patents on the GM crops genome
Do the farmers need to pay extra to buy GM seeds?
The cost may be higher because the seeds are more expensive
Genes from GM crops might escape, through pollen, to weeds which are relatives of the crops.
i.e. the genes may escape into the wild.
GM crops may be toxic to some insects that eat them.
Dead or dying insects may be eaten by birds.
The birds may die because of the toxic effect.
This may lead to extinction of some species of insects or birds.