The controversial topic of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is one which has divided the globe. Some argue that GM crops hold the answer to world hunger, while others insist they are an abomination of nature, and a serious threat to public health and the environment. With all of the loud voices shouting for and against GM foods, it can be very challenging for us to even understand exactly what GMOs are, let alone whether they present an emerging threat or a developing opportunity. So, which is it? Does consuming GM foods pose a genuine health risk? Or are there actually potential public health benefits to GMO production? Could it be both? And, can you believe everything you read, either pro or against GMOs?
In this one-of-a-kind expert report, we investigate the latest research to offer you a neutral review of both sides of the GMO argument, so that you can learn the science of genetic engineering, digest the facts behind the fears, and decide for yourself. You will not find anything like our examination freely on the internet. We go to the core of the scientific literature, leaving no stone unturned.
Topics covered in this expert report:
- A controversial environment
- Separating wheat from chaff
- What does GMO mean?
- Genetic engineering methods
- Illustration: DNA transfer techniques
- Preparing genes before insertion
- Building an insertion package
- Keeping the promoter under control
- Figure: Assembling a DNA segment
- Activating inactive genes
- Toxic plants
- Increased risk?
- Unintended consequences
- Table: Comparing manipulation methods
- Gene guns
- Figure: Illustration of a gene gun design
- Horizontal transfer between species
- Agrobacterium tumefaciens
- T-DNA as a natural occurrence
- Why create new traits?
- Bacillus thuringiensis
- Figure: Cotton yields and GMO
- Is there a risk to humans?
- GM transfer into human blood
- GM food production in Europe
- GM food production worldwide
- Table: GM foods on the market (by country)
- What do consumers think?
- Survey: Consumer beliefs about GM foods
- Are you eating GM foods?
- The effect of processing
- Graph: Degradation of GM DNA
- Risks of toxins and allergens
- Health benefits no-one talks about
- Enriched corn kernels
- GMOs to improve nutrition?
- Super bananas
- Can it actually work?
- Purple tomatoes
- Industrial-scale flavonols in 1 tomato
- Table: GM innovations for public health
- Modification, or education?
- The rise of the super-weed
- Environmental balance
- Palmer amaranth
- Spreading resistance
- Evolving weeds
- Figure: Pesticide overuse
- Both sides of the story
- Where does the fear come from?
- GM corn causes tumours
- I smell a rat
- When science is not science
- A tale of two piggies
- Lifting the veil
- Table: Non-GM fed vs GM fed pigs
- An objective look at the raw data
- Random variation is not causation
- We don't have all the answers
- 29 years of data
- The final word?
- Key takeaways
- Learn more
- References and resources
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