By Brad Pringle
GMO’s are organisms that
have had their genetic code
This is done to enhance a
desired trait or remove an
It can be done in most
bacteria, plants, and
The desired gene is isolated and cut with a
If it is an undesirable gene it is removed. If it is
a desirable gene it is replicated through
bacterial plasmids or PCR.
There are 2 ways the gene can be inserted
Inserted into the embryo
Humans have been naturally
genetically modifying plants
and animals since agriculture
began with selective breeding
to produce the best offspring.
First commercially available
GM food was the FLAVR
SAVR tomato in 1994.
In 2006, 252 million acres of
GM food were planted in 22
Virtually everything we eat
now has been genetically
modified or has genetically
modified ingredients in it.
Plants have increased resistance
against herbicide and pesticides.
Increased nutritional content.
Increased amounts of food.
GM foods have the ability to grow
in unfertile areas.
Reduce the area needed to grow
Create new vaccines.
Produce a new type of plastic that
is more environmentally friendly.
Ripen faster and stay ripe longer.
Increased resistance to
disease and better overall
Better feed efficiency.
Used to find treatments for
Modify animals to produce
substances needed for
Fish that mature quicker.
Cows that are immune to
“Mad Cow” disease.
GM foods will cause unknown allergies
and cause antibiotic resistance.
Genes will be transferred from one GM
species to another or to wild species
causing undesired characteristics.
Ethical issues of tampering genes and
determining the course of nature.
Labeling of GM products is not
Advances made with genetic
modification could only be directed
towards developed countries.
Monopoly over the world’s food
production by a few corporations.
Early testing methods included chemical analysis of micro
and macro nutrients.
Evaluation on the FLAVR SAVR tomato concluded that
there was no significant changes to the proteins vitamins or
minerals so it was safe to sell.
Today all GM food products undergo thorough pre-market
safety evaluation before it can be sold in Canada.
Manufacturer must submit a detailed report to Health
Canada on how the food was developed.
Health Canada analyses:
How the food compares to a non-modified counterpart.
The potential for new toxins developing in the food.
The potential for allergic reactions.
The biological and chemical safety of the food.
The popularity of GMOs will continue to rise as
more people accept the technology; however, there
will always be those that oppose the idea.
As safety regulations improve and the technology
advances there will be fewer risks to GM foods.
GMOs could be the answer to the food shortages
throughout the world.
Genetic modification to foods and animals could
translate into further research into the modification
As long as there are no major set backs, GM food is
the food of the future.
Adamchak, R. W., & Pronald, P. C. (2008). Tomorrow's Table. New York:
Oxford University Press.
Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms. (2008, November 5). Retrieved April
14, 2009, from
Pusztai, A. (2001, June). Genetically Modified Foods: Are They a Risk to
Retrieved May 4, 2009, from
The Safety of Genetically Modified Foods. (2009, January 6). Retrieved April 21,
Thomson, J. A. (2006). Seeds For The Future. New York: Cornell University