Genetically modified foods came to the forefront were when a single U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in 1980 allowed for the first time the patenting of life forms for commercialization. Since then thousands of genetically modified organisms have been created and patented in the U.S. (The Pew Institute on Food and Biotechnology, 2005).
Genetically modified foods are foods derived from animals and plants in which genes for a particular desired characteristic(s) are added to an organism’s DNA. As the animal or plant grows and develops, it begins to express the proteins of the inserted genes, this leads to changes in the organism’s molecular structure, biochemistry, physiology, anatomy and morphology thus resulting in the creation of a new living entity not found in nature. These changes are unprogrammed, multidirectional and difficult to control leading to the creation of highly unpredictable organisms (Oxfam, 1999).
In just three years it is estimated that 70-80 million acres of agricultural lands in U.S. were converted to raise genetically modified crops. According to statistics on the prevalence of genetically modified organisms in 2000,there were at least 25 % of corn produced by U.S., 54 % of soybean produced by U.S., 61 % of cotton produced by U.S., 70 % of canola produced by Canada, 90 % of soybean produced by Argentina and 10-30 % of soybean produced by Brazil. Genetically engineered fish was first developed in 1990’s that would grow faster and needed less feed. Human or animal growth genes were introduced into several fish species such as salmon, carp, trout, and tilapia (The Pew Institute on Food and Biotechnology, 2005).
--Drpattron 14:12, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
(: Hi Deryk, I would move this to the first page. Warm wishes,--Patricia Schlicht 21:42, 24 January 2010 (UTC))