Gm arguments


GM Arguments

Most British adults are not eating enough omega 3 fatty acids, which are found chiefly in oily fish. Scientists claim that genetically modified crops will be the only sustainable way of solving this dietary shortcoming if fish stocks are not to be run down (The Times Online -16 November 2007). Genetically modified (GM) crops containing genes from marine organisms are able to produce omega 3 fatty acids normally found in oily fish and could be added to animal feeds (BBC Online- 16th November 2007). However, the Soil Association has expressed concerns about farmers and supermarkets relying on genetically-modified animal feed.

Although food from GM-fed animals does not have to be labelled, animal feed does state if it contains GM ingredients. Most feed (75%) is now labelled as 'GM', but a survey found that 59% of farmers did not know if their feed was GM or not (The Soil Association Press Release – 16 November 2007). For consumers, understanding the source of their food can be more difficult. Apart from organic food, which is guaranteed to be GM-free, it is difficult for consumers to choose products that are not genetically modified. The basic food industry mark, the 'Little Red Tractor', allows the use of GM feed (BBC Online – 16 November 2007).

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The Times 'GM crops are the only way to solve Britons' diet failings, say scientists' 16 November 2007

Soil Association 'Public unaware that most milk, dairy products and pork from GM' 16 November 2007

Food Standards Agency 'GM material in animal feed' 30 October 2007

Food Standards Agency 'Research on the fate of GM animal feed' 12 December 2003

Potential Study Questions:

The article states that 'genetically modified crops will be the only sustainable way of solving this dietary shortcoming'. What is meant by the term 'sustainable'?

If the Government introduced a new regulation that food from GM-fed animals must be labelled accordingly, what would be the impact of this external influence on:
o farmers
o retailers
o consumers?