Modified Organisms (modified + organism)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Kinds of Modified Organisms

  • genetically modified organism

  • Selected Abstracts

    Testing of Genetically Modified Organisms in Food

    Article first published online: 16 FEB 200
    No abstract is available for this article. [source]

    Toward Safe Genetically Modified Organisms through the Chemical Diversification of Nucleic Acids

    Piet Herdewijn
    Abstract It is argued that genetic proliferation should be rationally extended so as to enable the propagation in vivo of additional types of nucleic acids (XNA for ,xeno-nucleic acids'), whose chemical backbone motifs would differ from deoxyribose and ribose, and whose polymerization would not interfere with DNA and RNA biosynthesis. Because XNA building blocks do not occur in nature, they would have to be synthesized and supplied to cells which would be equipped with an appropriate enzymatic machinery for polymerizing them. The invasion of plants and animals with XNA replicons can be envisioned in the long run, but it is in microorganisms, and more specifically in bacteria, that the feasibility of such chemical systems and the establishment of genetic enclaves separated from DNA and RNA is more likely to take place. The introduction of expanded coding through additional or alternative pairing will be facilitated by the propagation of replicons based on alternative backbone motifs and leaving groups, as enabled by XNA polymerases purposefully evolved to this end. [source]

    US regulatory system for genetically modified [genetically modified organism (GMO), rDNA or transgenic] crop cultivars

    Alan McHughen
    Summary This paper reviews the history of the federal regulatory oversight of plant agricultural biotechnology in the USA, focusing on the scientific and political forces moulding the continually evolving regulatory structure in place today. Unlike most other jurisdictions, the USA decided to adapt pre-existing legislation to encompass products of biotechnology. In so doing, it established an overarching committee (Office of Science and Technology Policy) to study and distribute various regulatory responsibilities amongst relevant agencies: the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and US Department of Agriculture. This paper reviews the history and procedures of each agency in the execution of its regulatory duties and investigates the advantages and disadvantages of the US regulatory strategy. [source]

    Simultaneous detection of genetically modified organisms by multiplex ligation-dependent genome amplification and capillary gel electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence

    ELECTROPHORESIS, Issue 13 2010
    Virginia García-Cañas
    Abstract In this work, an innovative method useful to simultaneously analyze multiple genetically modified organisms is described. The developed method consists in the combination of multiplex ligation-dependent genome dependent amplification (MLGA) with CGE and LIF detection using bare-fused silica capillaries. The MLGA process is based on oligonucleotide constructs, formed by a universal sequence (vector) and long specific oligonucleotides (selectors) that facilitate the circularization of specific DNA target regions. Subsequently, the circularized target sequences are simultaneously amplified with the same couple of primers and analyzed by CGE-LIF using a bare-fused silica capillary and a run electrolyte containing 2-hydroxyethyl cellulose acting as both sieving matrix and dynamic capillary coating. CGE-LIF is shown to be very useful and informative for optimizing MLGA parameters such as annealing temperature, number of ligation cycles, and selector probes concentration. We demonstrate the specificity of the method in detecting the presence of transgenic DNA in certified reference and raw commercial samples. The method developed is sensitive and allows the simultaneous detection in a single run of percentages of transgenic maize as low as 1% of GA21, 1% of MON863, and 1% of MON810 in maize samples with signal-to-noise ratios for the corresponding DNA peaks of 15, 12, and 26, respectively. These results demonstrate, to our knowledge for the first time, the great possibilities of MLGA techniques for genetically modified organisms analysis. [source]

    Sensitive and simultaneous analysis of five transgenic maizes using multiplex polymerase chain reaction, capillary gel electrophoresis, and laser-induced fluorescence

    ELECTROPHORESIS, Issue 14 2004
    Virginia García-Cañas
    Abstract The benefits of using multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by capillary gel electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence (CGE-LIF) for the simultaneous detection of five transgenic maizes (Bt11, T25, MON810, GA21, and Bt176) are demonstrated. The method uses a hexaplex PCR protocol to amplify the five mentioned transgenic amplicons plus the zein gene used as reference, followed by a CGE-LIF method to analyze the six DNA fragments. CGE-LIF was demonstrated very useful and informative for optimizing multiplex PCR parameters such as time extension, PCR buffer concentration and primers concentration. The method developed is highly sensitive and allows the simultaneous detection in a single run of percentages of transgenic maize as low as 0.054% of Bt11, 0.057% of T25, 0.036% of MON810, 0.064% of GA21, and 0.018% of Bt176 in flour obtaining signals still far from the detection limit (namely, the signal/noise ratios for the corresponding DNA peaks were 41, 124, 98, 250, 252, and 473, respectively). These percentages are well below the minimum threshold marked by the European Regulation for transgenic food labeling (i.e., 0.5,0.9%). A study on the reproducibility of the multiplex PCR-CGE-LIF procedure was also performed. Thus, values of RSD lower than 0.67 and 6.80% were obtained for migration times and corrected peak areas, respectively, for the same sample and three different days (n = 12). On the other hand, the reproducibility of the whole procedure, including four different multiplex PCR amplifications, was determined to be better than 0.66 and 23.3% for migration times and corrected peak areas, respectively. Agarose gel electrophoresis (AGE) and CGE-LIF were compared in terms of resolution and sensitivity for detecting PCR products, demonstrating that CGE-LIF can solve false positives induced by artifacts from the multiplex PCR reaction that could not be addressed by AGE. Moreover, CGE-LIF provides better resolution and sensitivity. To our knowledge, these results demonstrate for the first time that multiplex PCR-CGE-LIF is a solid alternative to determine multiple genetically modified organisms in maize flours in a single run. [source]

    GMO Food Labelling in the EU: Tracing ,the Seeds of Dispute'

    EUROCHOICES, Issue 1 2003
    Maria L. Loureiro
    Summary GMO Food Labelling in the EU: Tracinq ,the Seeds of Dispute' Genetically modified (GM) food labelling has become a critical issue in the international trade arena. Policymakers and consumers in the European Union (EU) seem to agree on the need to control the use of biotechnology in the food industry. As a consequence, recently the EU Commission approved a measure that establishes strict rules on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), but which lifts the moratorium on GMO production and marketing. This new Directive deals with mandatory labelling of GM foods and their traceability along the food chain. In spite of the substantial effort made to reconcile the different opinions in the escalating debate about biotechnology, the new GMO regulation seems to be unsatisfactory for too many interest groups. A system of total traceability from ,farm to fork' and mandatory labelling for genetically modified products may be considered too complex and too expensive to implement, particularly by those countries or industries that have produced GMO foods for many years. Yet, giving European consumers the freedom to choose GMOs may be the only option that there is until Europeans restore their confidence in the food system and food regulators. A market or consumer-driven solution may eventually terminate the GMO dispute between the two transatlantic trading blocks. , Assurance , Revenud a ns , Agriculture Européenne ,étiquetage des aliments contenant des organismes génétiquement modifyés (OGM) est devenu une question cruciale sur la scène du commerce international. Tant les décideurs politiques que les citoyens de , Union européenne semblent s'accorder sur la nécessité de soumettre à contrôle , utilisation des biotechnologies dans , industrie alimentaire. En conséquence, la Commission européenne a récemment approuvé une mesure qui établit des règies strictes sur les OGM, mais qui lève le moratoire sur leur production et leur commercialisation. Cette nouvelle directive concerne ,étiquetage obligatoire des aliments contenant des OGM et la façon ? en assurer le suivi dans les filières alimentaires. Ce nouveau règlement OGM, en dépit des efforts réels effectués pour réconcilier les différents points de vue dans la montée du débat sur les biotechnologies, semble inconciliable avec trop de groupes ? intérêts pour être satisfaisant. Un système assurant une traçabilité totale, ,du champ à la fourchette' et un étiquetage obligatoire pour tout produit contenant des OGM, paraît bien trop complexe et coûteux à mettre en ,uvre, en particulier pour les pays ou les industries qui produisent des aliments génétiquement modifyés depuis des années. Et pourtant, il se pourrait bien que la seule façpn de restaurer la confiance perdue des Européens dans le système alimentaire et ses institutions soit justement de leur donner le droit de choisir. La fin de la querelle des OGM entre les blocs commerciaux des deux rives de , Atlantique peut venir de solutions apportées par le marché et issues des consommateurs. Einkommenversicherung in der Europäischen Landwirtschaft Die Kennzeichnung von genetisch veränderten Lebensmitteln ist zu einer der bedeutendsten Streitfragen auf dem Gebiet des internationalen Handels geworden. Politische Entscheidungsträger und Verbraucher in der Europäischen Union scheinen dahingehend überein zu stimmen, dass der Einsatz von Biotechnologie in der Nahrungsmittel-industrie kontrolliert werden sollte. Als Reaktion darauf hat die EU-Kommission kürzlich einer Maßnahme zugestimmt, welche ein strenges Regelwerk für genetisch veränderte Organismen (GVO) festschreibt, mit der aber gleichzeitig das Moratorium für die Produktion und Vermarktung von GVO aufgehoben wird. Die neue Richtlinie beschäftigt sich mit der Pflichtkennzeichnung von genetisch veränderten Nahrungsmitteln und mit ihrer Rückverfolgbarkeit entlang der Nahrungsmittelkette. Trotz der erheblichen Anstrengungen, die verschiedenen Standpunkte in der eskalierenden Debatte um Biotechnologie zu berücksichtigen, scheint die neue GVO Richtlinie in den Augen (zu) vieler Interessengruppen unbefriedigend zu sein. Ein System der vollständigen Rückverfolgbarkeit vom Stall bis zum Teller und die Pflichtkennzeichnung von genetisch veränderten Nahrungsmitteln mag in der Umsetzung als zu komplex und zu teuer betrachtet werden, insbesondere von den Ländern oder Industriezweigen, welche seit vielen Jahren GVO-Nahrungsmittel hergestellt haben. Dennoch könnte der Ansatz, den europäischen Verbrauchern die freie Wahl für oder gegen GVO zu gewähren, der einzig gangbare Weg sein, bis die Europäer ihr Vertrauen in das Produktions- und Kontrollsystem für Nahrungsmittel zurückgewonnen haben. Eine markt- oder verbraucherorientierte Lösung könnte letztlich den Streit um GVO zwischen den beiden transatlantischen Handelsblöcken beenden. [source]

    Technological revolution meets policy and the market: Explaining cross-national differences in agricultural biotechnology regulation

    Thomas Bernauer
    The European Union (EU) has imposed severe restrictions on agricultural biotechnology, particularly in terms of approval and labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food. The United States has adopted a far more permissive approval policy and has not required labeling. This article explains these differences in terms of the collective action capacity of consumer and producer interests, and the institutional environment in which regulation has taken place. We find that the regulatory outcome in the EU can be traced back to nongovernmental organizations' (NGOs) increased collective action capacity due to public outrage, an institutional environment favorable to anti-biotechnology NGO interests (multilevel regulatory policy making) and a disintegration of the producer coalition due to NGO campaigns and differences in industrial structure. Biotechnology politics in the United States has been dominated by a strong and cohesive coalition of pro-biotechnology upstream and downstream producers and farmers. Because of lower public outrage and a less favorable institutional environment (centralized regulatory policy making), anti-biotechnology NGOs in the United States have been largely excluded from agricultural biotechnology policy making. [source]

    How do U.S. and Canadian consumers value credence attributes associated with beef labels after the North American BSE crisis of 2003?

    Bodo E. Steiner
    Abstract A consumer survey conducted in 2006 (n = 419), and therefore after the first confirmed bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) cases in North America in 2003, employs attribute-based choice experiments for a cross-country comparison of consumers' valuation of credence attributes associated with beef steak labels; specifically a guarantee that beef was tested for BSE, a guarantee that the steaks were produced without genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and a guarantee that beef steaks were produced without growth hormones and antibiotics. Considering consumers' socio-economic characteristics, the results suggest that consumers in Montana (U.S.) and Alberta (Canada) are significantly heterogeneous in their valuation of the above attributes, although consumers' relative valuation of these process attributes does not appear to have changed since the 2003 BSE crisis in each region. Alberta consumers place a significant valuation on beef tested for BSE, which is striking because Canada's current legal environment does not permit testing and labelling of such beef by private industry participants. Montana consumers' valuation was found highest for a guarantee that the steaks were produced without GMO. Effective supply-chain responses to consumers' valuation of credence attributes, for example, in the form of labelling, should therefore take consumers' heterogeneity into account. [source]

    Consumer attitudes and acceptance of genetically modified organisms in Korea

    Hyochung Kim
    Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were first used to designate micro organisms that had had genes from other species transferred into their genetic material by the then-new techniques of ,gene-splicing.' Cultivation of GMOs has so far been most widespread in the production of soybeans and maize. The United States holds almost three-fourths of the total crop area devoted to GMOs. Because many crops have been imported from the US, there is a large possibility for consumers to intake the products of GMOs in Korea. The safety of GMOs is not scientifically settled at this time, however. Additionally, the research regarding the GMOs issue of consumers has rarely been conducted in Korea. This study therefore focused on the consumer attitudes about GMOs and willingness to purchase them. The data were collected from 506 adults living in Seoul, Daegu and Busan, Korea, by means of a self-administered questionnaire. Frequencies and chi-square tests were conducted by SPSS. The results of the survey were as follows. First, the consumer concerns about GMOs were high but recognition was low; many respondents answered they did not have exact information about GMOs, although they had heard about them. Second, almost 93% of the respondents desired the labelling of GMOs. Third, the level of acceptance of GMOs was high; two-thirds of the respondents showed that they were willing to buy GMOs. Finally, many respondents worried about the safety of GMOs in that 73% of the respondents primarily wanted to be informed about safety of GMOs. This study suggests that the consumer education about GMOs should be conducted through mass media and consumer protection organisations. [source]

    Application of failure mode and effect analysis and cause and effect analysis and Pareto diagram in conjunction with HACCP to a chocolate-producing industry: a case study of tentative GMO detection at pilot plant scale

    Ioannis S. Arvanitoyannis
    Abstract Although the application of hazard analysis critical control point in the food industry dates back to the 1970s, a more quantitative and reliable approach towards risk assessment became feasible through application of failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) model. A tentative approach of FMEA application to a filled chocolate-producing industry was attempted in an effort to exclude the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the final product. This is of crucial importance both from the moral (ethics) and the legislation (EC 1829/2003; EC 1830/2003; EC 18/2001) point of view. Two structured methods (preliminary hazard analysis and fault tree analysis) were used to analyse and predict the occurring failure modes in food chain system, based on the functions, characteristics and/or interactions of the ingredients or the processes, upon which the system depends. Cause and effect diagram (also known as Ishikawa, tree diagram and fishbone diagram) and Pareto diagram emerged as two very useful and effective tools towards optimising the GMO detection potential of FMEA. [source]

    Presentation and comments on EU legislation related to food industries,environment interactions: sustainable development, and protection of nature and biodiversity , genetically modified organisms

    Ioannis S. Arvanitoyannis
    Summary The European Union (EU) legislation regarding sustainable development moves along two distinct lines: the impact of industries (food industries included) on the environment (release of gases and green house effect and the effect of cultivating genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on the environment. EU voted three communications [COM(2002)524, COM(2003)301, COM(2004)38] in an attempt to set an action plan based on technologies to manage pollution, by promoting less polluting and less resource-intensive products and services and ways to manage resources more efficiently. As such environment-friendly technologies pervade practically all economic activities and sectors it is anticipated that they will reduce effectively energy and resource consumption thereby creating fewer emissions and less waste. As regards the cultivation and/or importing of GMOs, EU legislation was based on two directives (E.U. 90/219/EEC, E.U. 2001/18/EC) and four regulations [Regulation (EC) No. 258/97, Regulation (EC) No. 1830/2003, Regulation (EC) No. 1830/2003 and Regulation (EC) No. 1946/2003]. The directives aimed at adopting measures for limited use of GM micro-organisms, making the procedure for granting consent to the deliberate release and placing on the market of GMOs more efficient and more transparent, making GMO labelling compulsory and thereby enhancing GMOs traceability along the entire food chain. [source]

    An update of EU legislation (Directives and Regulations) on food-related issues (Safety, Hygiene, Packaging, Technology, GMOs, Additives, Radiation, Labelling): presentation and comments

    Ioannis S. Arvanitoyannis
    Summary This review aims at providing an update of the current European Union (EU) Regulations and Directives on food-related issues. Initially, a brief presentation of EU legislation in terms of structure (horizontal, vertical) was attempted. EU Regulations and Directives were classified into the following categories: food safety (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points, pesticides, radioactive, hormones, contaminants, freezing , ionisation, food additives, flavourings, packaging), genetically modified organisms, food quality, labelling, food products of plant or animal origin, imports from third countries. Apart from a synoptical presentation of all laws related to the above-mentioned topics, proper tables were compiled where the main points of each law are cited in conjunction with its effect on previous laws (repeal, modification, amendments, replacement). In such a way the reader can rapidly acquire a first approach to the topic of his interest. [source]

    Releasing genetically modified organisms: will any harm outweigh any advantage?,

    John E. Beringer
    Summary 1. ,The public debate about genetically modified organisms has concentrated largely on concerns about food safety and potential risks to the environment. In both cases there appears to be an assumption that existing crops and animals are safe. I discuss the experience we have to date from traditional methods and conclude that most concerns about environmental harm are more relevant to existing crops. 2. ,The flow of genes among species, and even within different genera, is discussed with due attention being paid to the need for inherited genes to confer a selective advantage on hosts. 3. ,A reason why so many people are critical of intensive agriculture and biotechnology is that virtually all changes in agricultural practice have an adverse impact on wildlife, particularly when such change leads to increased intensification. The problem of deciding how to manage agriculture to ensure that we maintain or enhance species diversity of wild plants and animals is discussed against the background that most of the UK environment is the result of human intervention. 4. ,Nature and dense human populations cannot coexist without the former suffering. Our objective should be to develop and exploit our understanding of ecology to provide the information required to enable us to develop a far more enlightened future for agriculture and wildlife. [source]

    Biodesulfurization of dibenzothiophene using recombinant Pseudomonas strain

    Lavanya Meesala
    Abstract BACKGROUND: The sulfur content in crude oil available from various sources ranges from 0.03 to values as high as 8.0 wt%. These high quantities of sulfur must be removed before the crude oil is processed because combustion of this oil would result in severe environmental pollution, such as acid rain. Due to high utility and operating costs, the conventional hydrodesulfurization process (HDS) is considered to be uneconomic. The biotechnological option, biodesulfurization (BDS) seems an attractive low cost, environmentally benign technology. RESULTS: This paper reports the development of a recombinant strain of bacteria designed by introducing desulfurizing, dsz genes containing plasmid pSAD 225-32, which was isolated from Rhodococcus erythropolis IGTS8 into a gram negative solvent-tolerant bacterium, Pseudomonas putida (MTCC 1194). This recombinant bacterium can desulfurize the dibenzothiophene (DBT) in the sulfur selective 4S-pathway. It has been observed that for the same concentration of DBT, the recombinant strain's growth rate is greater than that of the parent strain. Increasing the concentration of DBT resulted in an increase of lag phase as well as decreased growth rate, which shows that the bacteria is following substrate inhibition type kinetics. This genetically modified bacterium can desulfurize 73.1% of 1.2 mmol L,1 DBT (dissolved in ethanol) in 67 h of cultivation time using growing cells. CONCLUSIONS: It is concluded that further research in this area of biodesulfurization using genetically modified organisms may remove the bottlenecks presently in the way of commercialization of the BDS process. Copyright © 2007 Society of Chemical Industry [source]

    Ethical issues in biotechnologies and international trade

    Joseph H Hulse
    Natural and physical sciences are based on determinable facts. What is ethical, as distinct from illegal, is largely a matter of opinion. Scientific and industrial activities related to ancient and modern biotechnologies are among the most critically scrutinised for ethical probity by social activists and journalists. The practices and products of biotechnologies should be judged both deontologically , by motivation and intention, and teleologically , by determinable consequence. Bioethical criteria have been proposed by governments, medical practitioners and philosophers for many centuries. During the past decade, various scientifically competent organisations, national and international, have formulated comprehensive protocols by which to determine effectiveness and safety of novel foods, pharmaceuticals and other biologicals, including those derived from genetically modified organisms. Means and opportunities by which to satisfy the health and nutritional needs of impoverished nations and communities differ significantly from those who enjoy greater affluence. It is distinctly unethical for Europeans and North Americans, whose food and health securities are not at risk, to impose their ethical predilections on poorer nations. Equally reprehensible are the diverse tariff and non-tariff barriers to equitable international trade, and acts of biopiracy inflicted upon poorer nations. As a wise Asian sage has observed, the planet's resources and scientific ingenuity are sufficient to satisfy everyone's need, but not everyone's greed. Present and predictable world-wide demand for bioscientists and bioengineers exceeds best estimates of supply. Systematically planned, long-term investments by governments and bioindustries to generate adequate qualified men and women are urgently needed. © 2002 Society of Chemical Industry. [source]

    A new holistic exploratory approach to Systems Biology by Near Infrared Spectroscopy evaluated by chemometrics and data inspection

    JOURNAL OF CHEMOMETRICS, Issue 10-11 2007
    Lars Munck
    Abstract There is a need for an improved biological and theoretical interpretation of Near Infra-Red Spectral (NIRS) fingerprints from tissues that could contribute with holistic overview to fine-grained detail modelled in Systems Biology. The concept of gene expression in self-organised networks was experimentally tested in a barley endosperm model with molecularly defined and undefined mutants. Surprisingly reproducible gene-specific NIRS fingerprints were observed directly in log1/R MSC pre-treated spectra that could not be accurately represented by destructive mathematical models. A mutant spectrum in an isogenic background represents the physiochemical expression of the gene in the whole network (tissue). The necessary holistic overview that is needed experimentally to introduce Ilya Prigogine's theory on self-organisation in Systems Biology was supplied by defining the spectral phenome. Interval spectral information on genotypes and environment was classified by interval Extended Canonical Variates Analysis (iECVA). Genetic changes in spectra were interpreted by interval Partial Least Squares Regression (iPLSR) correlations to chemical variables. A new pathway regulation was detected. The finely grained ,bottom up' modelling of molecular and chemical data from pathways requires a coarsely grained exploratory ,top down' overview by NIRS to account for the outcome of self-organisation. The amplification of expression from a gene to the phenome (pleiotropy) can now for the first time be quantified as a whole reproducible phenomenological pattern by NIRS and compared to other gene spectra. It explains published findings that transformed respectively mutated genes in genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and cancer patients can be detected unsupervised from tissues by spectroscopy, chemometrics and data inspection. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Broad Reach or Biased Source?

    Decomposing the Hostile Media Effect
    This experiment examined theoretical questions surrounding the hostile media effect,the tendency of partisans on a controversial issue to see news coverage of that issue as biased in favor of the other side. Using opposing groups of partisans in the debate over genetically modified organisms, we tested the influence of source (journalist vs. college student) and reach (mass media vs. classroom composition) on perceptions of bias. The data revealed effects for both factors. Earlier research supported several processing mechanisms underlying the hostile media effect, but using stringent tests, we found evidence only for a categorization bias. [source]


    JOURNAL OF FOOD SAFETY, Issue 4 2005
    ABSTRACT Food safety experts have a key role in constructing food risk messages and thus their perceptions will influence how food risk issues are communicated to the public. This research examined the perceptions of food safety experts regarding public understanding of food risk issues and food risk messages on the island of Ireland. It also looked into expert views of the barriers to effective food risk communication and how to improve food risk messages. One hundred and forty-three experts, working in areas related to food safety, completed an online questionnaire. Questionnaire and statement design was guided by the results of four in-depth interviews with food safety experts. The findings indicate that most experts surveyed have little confidence in the public's understanding of food risk issues, their assessment of food risks, their ability to deal with scientific information and their food safety practices. Experts are of the view that the public under-assesses the risk associated with some microbiological hazards and over-assesses the risk associated with other hazards such as genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The opinion of experts with regard to GMOs is not supported by previous consumer research. Experts noted that the level of education and age were important determinants for the level of understanding of food risk issues and messages. Experts were of the view that early intervention via school curricula was the best method to improve public understanding of food risk messages in the long term. Furthermore, experts are of the view that the media have the ability to improve awareness and knowledge about food risk issues but believe that the media tend to communicate information that is misleading. The majority of experts also believe that they should communicate uncertainty but are not confident that the public is able to cope with this uncertainty. Many of the experts also indicated a desire for training on how to interact with the media. The results may be used by those experts who are involved in the construction of food risk messages to improve the design and communication of food risk messages. [source]

    The Role of Biotechnology in Modern Food Production

    ABSTRACT: Modern food production technology is given great challenges by the emerging fields of biotechnology and molecular biology. Knowledge of conventional fermentation technology is upgraded by the gene level explanations of enzyme actions and physiological functions of biomaterials derived therefrom. The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their products in food widens the availability of resources while also raising public interest about safety and labeling. As an example of the application of molecular biology in conventional fermentation technology the selection of proteases from a Bacillus species grown in Korean traditional soybean fermentation starter, Meju, and the production of peptides with blood cholesterol lowering effect, obtained from soybean protein hydrolysate, are presented. Recent developments in the Korean bioindustry are reviewed as an example of the role of biotechnology in the food industry. The present status of GMO enzymes in food production is reviewed and safety issues about GMO use in the food system are discussed. [source]

    An econometric analysis of regional adoption patterns of Bt maize in Germany

    Nicola Consmüller
    Bt maize; Genetically modified organisms (GMO); Germany; Panel data analysis Abstract In this study, our goal is to identify and explain the underlying factors that drive regional adoption of Bt maize MON810 in Germany. Since regional differences cannot be explained by the occurrence of the target pest alone, we assume that under the given regulatory framework for genetically modified (GM) crop production in Germany, farm structures as well as the sociopolitical environment have also influenced regional adoption rates during the past years. Following a description of the relevant legal and economic framework in Germany, we develop theoretical hypotheses for regional variation in Bt maize adoption and test them econometrically with unique data at the federal state (Laender) and county (Landkreis) level. According to our analysis at the federal state level, the maize acreage per farm is the main driver of Bt maize adoption. In addition, there are signs that public opposition to GM cultivation as measured by membership in the German Friends of the Earth association significantly dampens GM cultivation. At the level of Brandenburg counties, the regional infestation frequency of the European Corn Borer, the target pest of Bt-Maize, is the major determinant of adoption. Although Bt maize is a scale-neutral technology for controlling damages caused by the Corn Borer, additional fixed costs due to regulation make the technology scale dependent. [source]

    The GMO food arena in the EU (1998,2001)

    Rinus van Schendelen
    Abstract A highly politicised arena in the EU has been caused by the 1998 Commission legislative proposal with regard to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The debate over different interests became more intense. During the EU decision-making process concerning GMOs, two larger coalitions cutting across institutions and countries waged the fight: one was led by industry and was in favour of GMOs and the other was against and mainly rooted in nongovernmental lobby groups. In mid-2001, the ,anti' movement had gained a (temporary) winning position. In an attempt to explain this, it was concluded that the industrial lobby has been nonchalant in its preparatory work for public affairs management, by not carefully studying the various stakeholders, issues, time developments and the boundaries of this arena. With the benefit of hindsight it can be seen that the industrial lobby itself has missed opportunities and made unforced errors. Copyright © 2003 Henry Stewart Publications [source]

    Screening food products for the presence of CaMV 35S promoter and NOS 3, terminator

    Hanaa AS Oraby
    Abstract Biotechnology has enabled the modification of agricultural materials in a very precise way, thereby improving productivity and yields of economically important crops. There are a number of methods available for detecting genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In the present investigation, a qualitative PCR technique has been adopted in order to discriminate between genetically modified and non-modified food products. The qualitative PCR assay employs primers specific for genetic elements that are used to generate genetically engineered agricultural crops. Two of the most common primers used for the detection of GMOs, 35S promoter and NOS 3, terminator, have been tested over a panel of 24 food products purchased from the local market. The results indicated that, out of the 24 food products tested, three products gave positive results with the 35S promoter. The NOS 3, primers gave negative results with all tested samples. Copyright © 2005 Society of Chemical Industry [source]

    Can we stop transgenes from taking a walk on the wild side?

    MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, Issue 5 2008
    Abstract Whether the potential costs associated with broad-scale use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) outweigh possible benefits is highly contentious, including within the scientific community. Even among those generally in favour of commercialization of GM crops, there is nonetheless broad recognition that transgene escape into the wild should be minimized. But is it possible to achieve containment of engineered genetic elements in the context of large scale agricultural production? In a previous study, Warwick et al. (2003) documented transgene escape via gene flow from herbicide resistant (HR) canola (Brassica napus) into neighbouring weedy B. rapa populations (Fig. 1) in two agricultural fields in Quebec, Canada. In a follow-up study in this issue of Molecular Ecology, Warwick et al. (2008) show that the transgene has persisted and spread within the weedy population in the absence of selection for herbicide resistance. Certainly a trait like herbicide resistance is expected to spread when selected through the use of the herbicide, despite potentially negative epistatic effects on fitness. However, Warwick et al.'s findings suggest that direct selection favouring the transgene is not required for its persistence. So is there any hope of preventing transgene escape into the wild? Figure 1. Weedy Brassica rapa (orange flags) growing in a B. napus field. (Photo: MJ Simard) [source]

    Techne versus Technoscience: Divergent (and Ambiguous) Notions of Food "Quality" in the French Debate over GM Crops

    In the French debate over genetically modified organisms (GMOs), actors present divergent definitions of food quality located between poles of technoscience and techne. Although scientists often define food quality in terms of technoscience, assessing food safety, small farmers often appeal to technes of production, positing GMOs as a rupture with artisanal culture. Whereas small farmers (from the union the Confédération Paysanne [CP]) deploy notions of "techne" to promote their anti-GMO campaign, they often define quality in an ambiguous way, vacillating between ideas of agricultural method (technique) or production scale. Despite this ambiguity, the CP successfully designates GMOs as la malbouffe, or "bad" food, establishing themselves as protectors of artisanal technés such as Roquefort. Finally, unlike many cultures that cast GMOs as "unnatural," the CP tends to frame GMOs as "uncultural." In the French debate, the CP posits culture against a "culturelessness" associated with technoscience and industry-driven foods such as GMOs and McDonald's. [source]

    Automation of DNA marker analysis for molecular breeding in crops: practical experience of a plant breeding company

    PLANT BREEDING, Issue 4 2007
    C. Dayteg
    Abstract In modern plant breeding, DNA marker analyses are of increasing importance and, as the methods become more widely adopted, the capacity for high-throughput analyses at low cost is crucial for its practical use. Automation of the analysis processes is a way to meet these requirements. In order to achieve this, while keeping adequate flexibility in the analysis processes, Svalöf Weibull AB (SW) has developed a fully automated polymerase chain reaction system. It has been evaluated on barley and canola lines and is capable of analysing up to 2200 samples per day at a cost of 0,24 , per analysis for marker-assisted selection and quality control of genetically modified organisms. A detailed description of this system is given, and improvements to the throughput and applications are discussed. [source]

    Gene therapy legislation in The Netherlands

    D. A. Bleijs
    Abstract Several regulatory organisations are involved in the assessment of clinical gene therapy trials involving genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in The Netherlands. Medical, ethical and scientific aspects are, for instance, evaluated by the Central Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (CCMO). The Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM) is the competent authority for the environmental risk assessment according to the deliberate release Directive 2001/18/EC. A Gene Therapy Office has been established in order to streamline the different national review processes and to enable the official procedures to be completed as quickly as possible. Although the Gene Therapy Office improved the application process at the national level, there is a difference of opinion between the EU member states with respect to the EU Directive according to which gene therapy trials are assessed, that urges for harmonisation. This review summarises the gene therapy legislation in The Netherlands and in particular The Netherlands rationale to follow Directive 2001/18/EC for the environmental risk assessment. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Co-fermentation with Pichia kluyveri increases varietal thiol concentrations in Sauvignon Blanc

    Abstract Background and Aims:, Volatile varietal thiols are one class of yeast metabolite that add aroma/flavour to Sauvignon Blanc, particularly to the Marlborough style from New Zealand. While various strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae are known to liberate such thiols, there are no data examining whether non- Saccharomyces species effect concentrations of these thiols in wine. Methods and Results:, We screened a variety of New Zealand wine yeast isolates and found some that were able to liberate either 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol (3MH) or 3-mercaptohexyl acetate (3MHA). We show that co-fermentation with specific commercial strains and an isolate of Pichia kluyveri from New Zealand, at a 1:9 starting ratio, significantly enhances the 3MHA concentrations in Sauvignon Blanc compared with single species ferments. Conclusions:, Co-fermentation with this isolate of P. kluyveri may provide a means to elevate 3MHA concentrations in Sauvignon Blanc; the mechanism behind this increase is unknown. Significance of the Study:, Techniques that allow the predictable manipulation of varietal thiols potentially provide tools for winemakers to alter wine style without the use of genetically modified organisms. [source]

    Alberta Consumers' Valuation of Extrinsic and Intrinsic Red Meat Attributes: A Choice Experimental Approach

    Bodo Steiner
    This paper analyzes Alberta consumers' perceptions toward extrinsic and intrinsic attributes of bison and beef steaks. In contrast to published Canadian consumer studies on bison meat that were undertaken prior to May 2003, before the first BSE case of Canadian origin was identified in beef cattle, this study provides a "post-BSE" assessment of consumer perceptions toward selected bison meat attributes. The results from an attribute-based choice experiment provide little support that simple traceability assurance schemes have value to consumers of bison and beef steaks, thus confirming similar findings of earlier beef studies that have employed different methodological approaches. The results also suggest that consumers are willing to pay significant premiums for bison steaks that are certified as being produced without genetically modified organisms, an attribute that has so far been unexplored in previous published bison studies. Le présent article analyse les perceptions des consommateurs de l'Alberta envers des attributs intrinsèques et extrinsèques du bifteck de b,uf et de bison. Contrairement aux études canadiennes sur la consommation de viande de bison publiées avant mai 2003, soit avant l'apparition du premier cas d'ESB dans un troupeau de bovins canadien, la présente étude livre une évaluation « post-ESB » des perceptions des consommateurs envers des attributs sélectionnés de la viande de bison. Les résultats obtenus à partir de la méthode des choix multi-attributs apportent peu d'appui à l'idée voulant que les mécanismes simples d'assurance de la traçabilité aient de la valeur pour les consommateurs de bifteck de bison et de b,uf, ce qui confirme les résultats similaires d'études antérieures sur le b,uf effectuées à l'aide de diverses approches méthodologiques. De plus, les résultats ont montré que les consommateurs sont prêts à payer un supplément appréciable pour du bifteck de bison certifié sans organisme génétiquement modifié (OGM), un attribut qui n'a pas été examiné dans les études sur le bison publiées antérieurement. [source]

    Biotechnology in Aquaculture: Transgenics and Polyploidy

    Rosalee S. Rasmussen
    ABSTRACT:, Although capture fisheries have experienced slow to stagnant growth in recent years, the world population has been increasing, with subsequent rises in demands for marine-based foods. One possibility for alleviating potential food shortages and price increases is through aquaculture, which has experienced rapid worldwide expansion. A major focus of research in the aquaculture industry is on the use of biotechnology to increase food availability and reduce production costs, specifically through the manipulation of the genes and chromosomes of cultivated species. Examples include transgenic fish with properties such as increased growth rates, feed conversion efficiency, disease resistance, cold tolerance, and improved metabolism of land-based plants. However, use of transgenic organisms in aquaculture is a very controversial topic due to a number of environmental and human health concerns such as escapement and introduction of genetically modified organisms into the food chain. In response, some transgenic research has also been focused on inducing sterility to reduce the risk of transgenic organisms breeding with wild species. A method of chromosome manipulation, referred to as polyploidy, provides the option of creating sterile organisms, some of which also exhibit increased growth rates. This review paper will discuss recent advances in biotechnology research, specifically in regards to the manipulation of genes and chromosomes, for enhanced cultivation of fish and invertebrates. Major environmental and human health concerns will also be addressed. [source]