Use of Genetically Modified Organic Material in Production of Natural and Herbal Dietary Supplements in Virginia and Maryland

Natural and Herbal Dietary Supplements

The use of genetic engineering, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is prohibited in organic products. GMOs, or Genetically Modified Organisms, are organisms that have had their genetic material altered by means of genetic engineering. Genetic engineering can be done on plants, animals, or bacteria, as well as other organisms that are very small. Genetic engineering allows scientists to transfer desired genes from one plant or animal to another.

Genetic engineering also helps to accelerate the process of creating new foods that have desired traits. This is a lengthy process, taking as long as 15 years for new varieties to emerge. Genetic engineering not only allows for this process to be greatly accelerated by injecting small numbers of genes in a highly targeted way, but it also overcomes barriers of sex incompatibility among plant species, and greatly increases the size of the gene pool available. Genetically modified (GM) plants are those that have been genetically modified using recombinant DNA techniques. The genetic material from transgenes that are present in GM crops is transferred to the human body by using changes to the expression of genes.

Agrobacterium also has the ability to pass DNA between itself and plants, and is thus often used in genetic engineering. Resistance to insects is achieved by inserting the toxin-producing genes of Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) bacteria into the food plants.

Nutraceuticals are applied to isolated nutrients, food additives, and botanical products, to special diets, to processed foods, and to genetically engineered crops. L-tryptophan is used in crop proteins, such as in genetically modified corn, and in food supplements. Tramiprosate Tramiprosate clinically tested as Alzhemed, sold as a health food called ViviMind is a modified form of taurine, an amino acid found naturally in algae.

Tramiprosate does not have any proven benefits at this time, and medical foods are not subject to the same level of regulation by the FDA as prescription drugs. Experts agree more studies are needed, and do not recommend the use of phosphatidylserine at this time.

The FDA allows supplements and foods to bear labels that include qualified health claims about two types of omega-3s, called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). The rigorous scientific studies required by the FDA to approve prescription drugs are not required under law to market food additives. Nearly two centuries old, the agency sets official standards for prescription and over-the-counter medicines, dietary supplements, and a host of other health products manufactured and sold in the U.S.

National distributor of natural, ethnic, specialty foods as well as health and beauty products. National distributor of natural, ethnic and specialty food, as well as health and beauty care products. Midwestern regional distributors of natural, organic, and specialty foods.

Trade association and lobbying group for suppliers, farmers, and retailers of organic products. Market research and advisory group focused on the health and wellness industries, including natural and organic products. A department within the United States Department of Agriculture that markets American farm products, including produce, dairy, meat, and organic foods under the National Organic Program. Third-party certification agencies of environmental, organic, and food safety achievements.

Grants for research into the production and marketing of alcohol and industrial hydrocarbons from farm commodities and wood products. Grants for upgrading of agriculture and food sciences facilities at 1890s land-grant colleges, including Tuskegee University. Reauthorization of the food stamp program and the Indian Reservation Food Distribution Program.

Certification and labeling program that bans growth hormones and antibiotics in the raising of eggs, milk, meat, and poultry products, among other standards. This written program describes substances and practices that will be used, including physical barriers that will prevent organic crops from coming into contact with banned substances or products from methods excluded, such as GMOs. To comply with the USDA Organic regulations, farmers and processors must demonstrate they are not using GMOs and are protecting their products from contact with banned substances, such as GMOs, from farm to fork. Prohibited means that an organic farmer cannot plant GMO seeds, an organic cow cannot consume GMO alfalfa or corn, and an organic soup maker cannot use any GMO ingredients.

Proponents of GMO crops claim that GMO crops are cheaper to produce, which allows for higher production in food. Initially, the developers of GM seeds wanted to ensure their products were accepted by producers, and focused innovation that provided a direct benefit to farmers (and to the food industry as a whole).

As seen later in this module, there are different risks and benefits of using genetically modified crops at large scale, and so there are valid points for those on either end of the GM spectrum. This article from Forbes addresses an effort by the anti-GMO crowd to label GM foods as GMOs, and contrasts the supposed risks of using GMO foods with antibiotic resistance. The Alzheimers Societys medical and scientific advisory panel expressed concerns about insufficient evidence evaluating potential benefits of dietary interventions to treat Alzheimers. While viable, there are substantial advantages of using food crops to produce recombinant medicines, such as attaining GRAS status and using established farming techniques to produce.

Exposure to the production or consumption of GMO crops may reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics. Existing systems for restricting the sterility and incompatibility of the transfer of pollen may be used, as may genetic use restriction technologies (GURTS), which hinder the production or formation of seeds. Transferring a foreign gene to the chloroplast genome is another strategy, since many plant species have maternally inherited chloroplasts and are not contained within the pollen. The co-existence of crops destined for human consumption with associated varieties grown for industrial products, that would be harmful when consumed by humans, is neither a novel nor limited to GM plants. With golden rice, scientists have for the first time genetically modified foods in order to enhance their nutritional content. The same rat strain, corn varieties, and herbicides were used as Hammond et al. Environmental advocacy groups lobbying for, and suing, anti-agricultural practices including GE crops, cows growth hormone, and food irradiation.