Researchers have found that biotech crops reduce the environmental impact of agriculture, and pose low risk to the health of consumers. Brookes and Barfoot (2006) estimated a global reduction in pesticide application of about 224 million kilograms of pesticide active ingredients because of GM crops cultivation from 1996 to 2005. Allergenicity and toxicity of GM crops have been a controversial issue. Fermin et al (2011) found that GM Hawaiian papaya consumption does not pose any health risk because no allergenic or toxic products were found after simulating the human digestion process.
Farmers have traditionally retained the ability to save and replant seeds from their previous harvest. However, biotech companies have secured patents on the genetically modified seeds, enabling them to legally prohibit the traditional and cost saving measure of seed saving. Those farmers who continue to save seeds from GMOs are subject to lawsuits by large biotech firms. The result is that multinational firms now control many of the worldâs seeds, and charge high prices for the ability to use their seeds. There has been a dramatic rise in the average price of seeds since the mid-1990s when the biotech era began. Additionally, since the only advantage of GMOs to farmers is their ability to withstand applications of specific brands of herbicides - those produced by the same companies that produce the genetically modified seeds - farmers are increasingly dependent on a few large biotech firms for major inputs. The entire practice is making farming unaffordable for smaller farmers.
Biotechnology: Regulatory Issues - Reference Module …
Despite a high level of awareness toward biotechnology, support for biotech-derived food products in Japan is also low. A survey conducted in 2000 found that about 97 percent of the respondents knew about crop biotechnology—the highest level reported in the world. The survey found that consumers with a positive view about GM food represented only 31 percent of the respondents; consumer acceptance of GM pest-resistant crops was 33 percent; and 20 percent of the respondents were willing to buy GM fruits with a better taste (Macer and Cheng-Ng 2000).
Restrictions on Genetically Modified Organisms: …
Australia and New Zealand both have mandatory labelling of GMOs in food products. As of 2001, mandatory labelling is regulated under Standard 1.5.2 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. All genetically modified foods (including unpackaged foods, such as loose vegetables) and ingredients must be identified on the label as genetically modified, in a method similar to that used in Hong Kong. Any genetically modified additives and processing aids must also be identified, though only if they are present in the final product. There is an exemption for products that unintentionally have a genetically modified content of no more than 10g/kg or 1% per ingredient. However, the manufacturer must have actively sought to avoid GMOs in their product.
Restrictions on Genetically Modified Organisms: ..
What does the biotech industry fear? Apparently it's the loss of sales if people know . According to a USDA study, "consumers’ willingness to pay for food products decreases when the food label indicates that a food product is produced using biotechnology" . Or, as Norman Braksick, president of Asgrow Seed Co., a subsidiary of Monsanto says, "If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it." - Kansas City Star, March 7, 1994
activists’ threat to pull up the crops as an act of ..
GM soy, corn, canola, cotton (cottonseed oil) and, in 2008, sugar beet have been rapidly incorporated as ingredients in food products in Canada. It is generally estimated that approximately 75% of processed food in Canada could contain genetically modified ingredients. In addition to these major GM crops, biotechnology research is turning its focus to fish and animal products.
Biotechnology: Regulatory Issues
Mandatory labelling of GMOs was introduced in Japan in 2000, and like many other countries, applies to both fresh and processed foods. In Japan, the labelling is broken down into three categories: genetically modified, no segregation practice with GM products, and not containing GM products. While the first two of these labels are mandatory, the third (not containing GM products) is a voluntary label. However, it cannot be used for products for which no GMO is available. These descriptions are to appear in parentheses after the ingredient to which they apply on the food label. If the GMO is used in processing the product, but is no longer present after processing, then no labelling is required.