Roundup Ready soybean
Glyphosate kills plants by interfering with the synthesis of the essential amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan. These amino acids are called "essential" because animals cannot make them; only plants and micro-organisms can make them and animals obtain them by eating plants.
Plants and microorganisms make these amino acids with an enzyme that only plants and lower organisms have, called 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS). EPSPS is not present in animals, which instead obtain aromatic amino acids from their diet.
Roundup Ready Soybeans express a version of EPSPS from the CP4 strain of the bacteria, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, expression of which is regulated by an enhanced 35S promoter (E35S) from cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV), a chloroplast transit peptide (CTP4) coding sequence from Petunia hybrida, and a nopaline synthase (nos 3') transcriptional termination element from Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The plasmid with EPSPS and the other genetic elements mentioned above was inserted into soybean germplasm with a gene gun by scientists at Monsanto and Asgrow.
First approved commercially in the United States during 1994, GTS 40-3-2 was subsequently introduced to Canada in 1995, Japan and Argentina in 1996, Uruguay in 1997, Mexico and Brazil in 1998, and South Africa in 2001.
The regulation of genetic engineering concerns the approaches taken by governments to assess and manage the risks associated with the development and release of genetically modified crops. There are differences in the regulation of GM crops between countries, with some of the most marked differences occurring between the USA and Europe. Regulation varies in a given country depending on the intended use of the products of the genetic engineering. For example, a crop not intended for food use is generally not reviewed by authorities responsible for food safety.
The genetically modified foods controversy is a dispute over the use of food and other goods derived from genetically modified crops instead of from conventional crops, and other uses of genetic engineering in food production. The dispute involves consumers, biotechnology companies, governmental regulators, non-governmental organizations, and scientists. The key areas of controversy related to genetically modified food are: whether GM food should be labeled, the role of government regulators, the effect of GM crops on health and the environment, the effect on pesticide resistance, the impact of GM crops for farmers, and the role of GM crops in feeding the world population.
There is broad scientific consensus that food on the market derived from GM crops poses no greater risk than conventional food. No reports of ill effects have been documented in the human population from GM food. Although labeling of genetically modified organism (GMO) products in the marketplace is required in many countries, in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration does not require labeling of GMO products in the marketplace, nor does it recognize a distinction between GMO and non-GMO foods.
Some advocacy groups such as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund have concerns that risks of GM food have not been adequately identified and managed, and have questioned the objectivity of regulatory authorities. Other environmental groups, including The Nature Conservancy and former anti-GMO campaigner Mark Lynas support the use of GMOs as beneficial for the environment.
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- Andrew Pollack for the New York Times. "An Entrepreneur Bankrolls a Genetically Engineered Salmon" Published: May 21, 2012. Accessed September 3, 2012
- Could Conservation-Friendly Farming Include GMOs?, by Peter Kareiva, Conservancy Talk, August 11, 2012.
- Biotechnology: Answers to Common Questions, by Kevin Keener, North Carolina State University, June 16, 2013.
- GTS 40-3-2 at the Center for Environmental Risk Assessment
- GTS 40-3-2 at Shanghai Jiao Tong University's GMO Detection Laboratory