Global Perceptions of Genetically Modified Foods

by Morgan Beltz

Public perceptions of genetically modified foods are not generally the same in different regions of the globe and can help dictate the availability of GM products. Frewer et al. (2013) conduct a systematic meta-analysis of 70 journal articles published all over the world, between the years of 1994 and 2010, to compare risk and benefit perceptions of different global regions. The authors focused on papers including agriculture genetic modification. The papers then went through a coding process to detect the levels of risks and benefits presented. The continent results were compared to the mean values of European participants in 2008. The authors found that North America and Asia have a lower risk perception of GM foods than Europe. North America also has a higher benefit perception of GM foods than Europe, but Asia has a lower benefit perception. Continue reading

Transgenic Hybridization of Atlantic Salmon and Brown Trout

by Morgan Beltz

With the possibility of genetically modified salmon being approved for the food industry, there is a growing concern of what would happen if a transgenic salmon breeds with a wild salmon. Oke et al. (2013) studied what the effects of breeding transgenic salmon and of cross breeding transgenic salmon with a brown trout would be in the wild. The authors created control and cross breeding scenarios which consisted of six brown trout families, two Atlantic salmon hybrid families (the mother was a transgenic salmon), four brown trout families (the mother was a brown trout), and seven salmon families (five families had transgenic mothers and two had transgenic fathers). The authors conducted this study in two different environments; one to mimic hatchery conditions, and the other, in stream mesocosms, to resemble natural conditions. The results show that the hybrids grew more rapidly than either transgenic salmon or non-transgenic fish in hatchery conditions. In the stream mesocosm the transgenic hybrid salmon and brown trout grew 86% and 87% faster than transgenic salmon. However, wild-type salmon grew at similar rates to wild-type hybrid brown trout and salmon. These results show the importance of not allowing… Continue reading