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Annotated Bibliography: Risk Assessments in GMO Foods

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Nutrition
Wordcount: 2286 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Topic: Gene modification as a biotech

Question: how does the unintended effects influence the risk assessment in genetically modified food?

 Biotechnology is the technology applied principle of biology, chemistry, and engineering in manufacturing, pharmacy and biomaterial. This technology can use biological features in the chemical production, to get the new product that cannot be produced with traditional method.

 Biotechnology first applied in agriculture. Farmers selectively breed the crops with some of the desired trait and use of biotechnology to increase the crop yield and provide pest resistance. In the early twentieth century, biotechnology was more using in medicine. Microbiology has been introduced by this time, in 1971, Paul Berg’s discovery of gene splicing inaugurated the field of modern biotechnology.

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Genetically modification was one of great applications from modern biotechnology. It is the technique using to change the organism’s DNA by isolating and copying the genetic material of recombinant DNA or using artificially synthesizing the DNA. In 1972 Paul Berg firstly recombinant and DNA molecule. After Paul’s experiment, scientist started the study of genetically modification animals in 1974, first genetically modified human insulin produced in 1978 and genetically modified food are introduced to the market in 1994. In United State, there is more than 60% of manufacturing food has the genetically modified ingredient, more than 90% beans and more than 50% crops are genetically modified. However, there is always a question around genetically modified food. Is genetically modified food increase a potential health risk in human body?

Prakash, D., Verma, S., Bhatia, R., & Tiwary, B. N. (2011). Risks and Precautions of Genetically Modified Organisms. ISRN Ecology, 1–13. https://doi-org.login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.ca/10.5402/2011/369573

Prakash et. al indicate the health risk, environmental risk of the GMO and the risk management as well. There will be different outcomes if insert the same gene into different type of cells and alternation of overall pattern of gene expression will happen. For example, faster growth GMO may have a competitive advantage over the natural species and this will allow them to be invasive which can result in ecological and economic damage. There is also a risk of horizontal gene transfer, which can transfer the recombinant genes to other microorganism where the trigger events happened. Then the risk assessment is introduced, it is to qualify risks by evaluating probabilities of possible outcomes bases on scientific data. The environmental risk assessment considers the impact that GM plants bring to the natural environment, especially the potential harm towards ecosystem. However, large scale trials are limited and the range of fields are not curtained as well. Then the risk management part indicates three components within it and how does each of it works

This journal is published the Hindawi, which is one of the world’s largest publisher of peer-review journals. The authors provide detailed case-to-case base examples which framed the journal in an organized form. It gives many examples to supports how intended effects being defined and how to manage the risk that the GMO products brought to current society.

Rischer, H., & Oksman-Caldentey, K.-M. (2006). Unintended effects in genetically modified crops: revealed by metabolomics? Trends In Biotechnology24(3), 102–104. Retrieved from http://login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.ca/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cmedm&AN=16460820&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Rischer et. al compare the similarities and differences of natural genetic variation and production of GM food. The conventional breeding has the ability to make new traits and improved the yields and quality, but the plants have the same metabolic process over decades. Genetic engineering nowadays is still making the erratic effects rather than predictable effects. And these unpredictable unintended effects can be caused by the random integration of DNA. They monitor the changes at the gene, transcript, protein and metabolite level in GM crops and found out that many molecules that are closely related are obtaining from the same substrate and similar chemical compounds have the ability to process different activities. As a result of presents of the unintended unpredictable effect, potentially harmful metabolites may accumulate in GM plants and needs to be careful evaluated

This peer-reviewed journal is published by Elsevier Science Publishers from England, it is funded by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, which is a state owned and controlled non-profit limited liability company.

This journal gives a clear outline of how does intended and unintended effects happened in GM food. However, as the author mentioned in the journal, it is hard to analyse the overall metabolite composition of GM plants because of the quantities of small molecule within the plant. Instrumental analyse provide the data that used to compare the relative level of compounds in samples even if the identity is unknown they can only compare the peaks in different samples within a spectrum to get a relatively accurate data.

Myhr examined several key issues that will affect precaution as a legal standard for GM products and its relationship towards the use of science during decision-making process. She recalled the definition of unintended effect of GMO and the interpretation of the precaution principle that must include two elements which is the uncertainties of the harmful component that the GMO might have, and the scientific data needed to support it. Since the genetic technology started being used in general and in commercial, it has always been claims about the existence of unproven negative effects to harm health or the environment, and precautionary comes out to reduce the skepticism among in current society. Precautionary measure varies from the use of release of GMO, it also depends on the desired level of protection based on different area chosen. The level of precaution to be achieved depends on the validity of harm, the level of uncertainty, the seriousness of the harm, and the availability of alternatives. The uncertainties may due to the incomplete description of the mechanism and it can result in several issues. For example, the incompletion DNA structure that is being modified within in the organism may have unintended effects as for instance allergy caused the changes in GMO or its product. It may also cause the secondary effects of the introduction of the transgene due to the inadequacy knowledge of the specific function of genomes and it is even hard to predict the effect of the genome functioning in the new host organism and how much modification can it address to it. Moreover, the author introduced an impact assessment pursuant to the Gene Technology Act to compare the information can be found relevant to the applications include Global impact etc. and the lack of information about it.  In conclusion, the author claims that scientific research is an essential component to increase the understanding of both risks and benefits that GMOs bring up but can not make decisions about what is acceptable just based on scientific data analysis. The main purpose of this paper is to address the arguments between the relationship of scientific research and its necessaries for the precautionary approach to the use and development of GMOs

This is credible source form Journal of Agricultural and Environmental ethics and the author is PHD works in GenØk, an non-commercial foundation to conducts research on environmental, health and social sequences of genetic engineering. The author still in the field of genetic engineering and published another journal about the assessment of sustainability of gene-edited organism in June 2018


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