Quick & Healthy Meals

Quick & Healthy Meals

Genetically Engineered Foods: Overview What is genetic engineering (GE) and how does it differ from traditional breeding? How predominant are GE crops & foods? How does the govt. regulate these crops & foods? FDA, USDA & EPA Video: Harvest of Fear

GMO (genetically modified organism) synonymous with GE (genetically engineered) Discussion questions 1 Traditional Breeding vs Genetic Engineering 2

Genetic Engineering A technique in which genes can be moved between different life forms. Genetically Engineered (GE) Food: Gene is taken from one organism (virus, bacteria, animal) and transferred to a plant or animal (that we eat). 3

How Common are GE Foods? 1996, FDA approved genetically engineered crops mixed with nongenetically engineered crops. They became a part of our food supply (soda, cereal, chips, mayo, etc) At least 70% of processed foods contain GE ingredients. 4

Most Common GE Foods: Corn, Soy, Canola Soy, corn and canola have a herbicide tolerant (HT) gene in seed so field can be sprayed with herbicide (Round-Up) and not kill the crop. MonsantoRound-Up Ready seeds Corn has a gene from Bt bacteria incorporated into corn to make the plant resistant to

caterpillars. Bt is a natural bacteria in the soil that is a poison for moth and butterfly larva (caterpillars). Newest GE Approved: Salmon First GE animal in the food supply Growth hormone from a Chinook salmon & gene from an ocean pout (eel like fish) keep the growth gene active all year.

Salmon grows twice as fast Will be available stores in ~3 years. Will not be labeled. 6 Government Regulators Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Monitors GE foods when they are sold as food Makes decisions on food labeling

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): Oversees GE crops when they are in the field Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Determines the environmental aspects of GE crops. Interest is in the effects that the GE crop has on the environment. They monitor Bt corn. 8

Substantial Equivalence Indicates that two foods (example corn & Bt corn) have similar chemical profiles. Substantial Equivalence is the reason the FDA does not label genetically engineered foods. 9 To limit GE foods:

Minimize processed foods Buy organic Look for labels withnot genetically engineered: Products that contain soy, corn, canola oil. Whole Foods Market is requiring all GE foods in store be labeled by 2018. Buy food verified as Non GMO Project Verified: An independent, non-profit, voluntary certification Choose Trader Joes brand products

Shop at farmers markets 10 11

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