arm yourself against attacks by anti-gmo activists

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Arm yourself against attacks by anti-GMO activists. Alan McHughen Botany and Plant Sciences University of California, Riverside, Ca. Most people have romantic notions of farming and food production. Modern agriculture is actually…. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Plant Tissue Culture, Biotechnology and Food Production

Arm yourself against attacks by anti-GMO activistsAlan McHughenBotany and Plant SciencesUniversity of California,Riverside, Ca. alanmc@ucr.eduMost people have romantic notions of farming and food production

Modern agriculture is actuallyIntense but Sustainable Production OrientedUS AgricultureProductivity increase since 1948 = 170% 1900 US agriculture workforce = 41%2000 US agriculture workforce = 90%Cotton > 90%Soybean> 90%Argentina: Soybean > 90%Canada: Canola > 90%India: Cotton> 90%Farmers worldwide support GM technology!Assurance of SafetyThere are no scientific studies on GMO safety!Over 600 technical, peer reviewed studies in the literature, covering every aspect of GMO safety is no consensus in the scientific and medical communities on the safety of GMOs!Greg Jaffe, CSPI: There is no reliable evidence that ingredients made from current GE crops pose any health risk whatsoever

Scientific Consensus?Generally positive* US National Academies* US Institute of Medicine* American Medical Association* British Royal Society* Royal Society of Medicine* EFSA* EU Economic Commission* World Health Organization* AAAS* American Dietetic Association* International Seed FoundationEtc, etc

Generally negative

Benefits of GM crops(somewhat) Higher yieldsCleaner crops; fewer weeds and other contaminantsReduced mycotoxins in Bt maizeOnly feasible answer to Huanlongbing in CitrusOnly feasible answer to Pierces disease in GrapeOnly feasible means to increase world food production by 2050.


9NAS/IOM findingsGenetic engineering is NOT inherently hazardousThe risks of rDNA are similar to the risks posed by traditional forms of plant breedingThere are NO documented adverse health effects from eating foods derived from Biotech crops.Allegations of harm are unfoundedUpdate: Still true as of May, 2013.

10GE crops are released with no regulatory oversightUSDA (APHIS) - environmental issues

HHS (FDA)- food and feed safety; focus on toxicants, allergens and other antinutrients

EPA- pesticide usage issues11

GE Crops are unnatural and unsustainableUS: NAS, 2010. Impact of GE crops on farm sustainability in the US

Also see:

Brookes and Barfoot, 2012Qaim, 2009

13Sustainability Impacts in the USAConclusions: Planting GE crops generally :Is better for the environment than conventional cropsUses less pesticideUses safer pesticides than those used in conventional cropping systemsReduces tillage, leading to improvements in SoilWaterBUT: may lead to reliance on a single pesticide.Yet, you still hear about Pseudo-Science:Superweeds; Carcinogens; Rat and pig studies; Terminator seeds; Unpleasant long term effects; Biodiversity destruction; Unnatural gene combinations; etc. Non-Science:Monsanto world domination plans; Corrupt and desperate scientists; Impact on poor/small/organic farmers, Nobody wants GMOs! They refuse to even label them so consumers can decide .

Biotech beef tomatoes?from Holland?

Sodium free?

Diet Water?

Truthful and not misleading?

Conclusion: We DO need more foodStick with ScienceScience supports GM food and farmingEducate the CuriousMost people are open minded, but dont know much about either science or where food actually comes fromChallenge the Liars!Especially in public. Farmers are people, too, and are 90% in favor of GM agriculture. But the activists are eating our lunch, stealing our credibility, when their lies go unchallenged.

Crossing of existing approved plant varieties*
*includes all methods of breeding
Conventional pollen based crossing of closely related species
Selection from a heterogenous population
rDNA via Agrobacterium, transfer of genes from closely related species
Mutation breeding, chemical mutagenesis, ionizing radiation
Somatic hybridization
Somaclonal variation (SCV)
rDNA biolistic, transfer of genes from closely related species
rDNA biolistic, transfer of genes from distantly related species
Conventional pollen based crossing of distantly related species or embryo rescue
Selection from a homogenous population
rDNA via Agrobacterium, transfer of genes from distantly related species
Likelihood of unintended effects (arbitrary scale)
Less likely
More likely