First draft... Still have to finish up, add ppt, cites, and references...
Do not respond to this post so I can delete this text draft and replace with final doc file.
The regulations surrounding U.S. and Europe on how to label foods that contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) is requiring proper disclosure of contents. Those that support such labelling have went as far as requesting that trace amounts of GMO be accurately depicted on foods and snacks. The three natural products most often containing GMO are corn, cotton and soybeans (. The cost associated with disclosing GMO contents on labels on the vast majority of candy, manufacturing, and other producers is of major concern. Those not in favor of GMO labelling insists that the measure would only increase the price to consumers and serve to promote confusion as well (. It appears in the U.S. that much of the candy products ingredients come from GMO sources.
The derivation of food is under close scrutiny today for multiple reasons to various parties involved in the supply chain (. The need to understand how food is processed and the ingredients that have been added has never been more important worldwide. In fact an entirely new field of inquiry has come about due to the latest genetically modified food industry that is supplying over 60% of food. The field is food forensics. The need to test and check food to determine whether there are correlations between certain illnesses and food production. There is also a need to test food for poisoning, spoilage and even criminal negligence. Based on the difficulty of tracing food in production or manufacturing, many realize the ability to track our food may never exist. In order to trace coffee beans to where they were originally produced can perhaps find the grower. However, it cannot account for any additives that were genetically engineered and added to the coffee product somewhere in the distribution channel of bringing those beans to your neighborhood Starbucks. Additionally the activities of nearby fields to genetical engineered foods, may allow cross pollination of GE chemicals and substances that cause allergic reactions, and even death. When searching for microbiological conditions, it is next to impossible to trace the different places the coffee beans may have been stored during their journey into our favorite store. Even if a system was devised to track food sources, if certain materials were in the vicinity of the coffee beans, they could still potentially find cross fertilized seed with other grains or proteins such as peanuts. Growers, manufacturers and producers of fruits and vegetables are responsible to invest in some type of traceability process. Peter Harrop is a chairman at a packaging plant a who has studied how the lack of tracing food processing can be quite costly (. In the early 90s a cancer causing agent found its way into bottles of Perrier water, this forced the company Perrier to pull over 70 million bottles from retail shelves. This was the loss in revenue for the United States and Canada. If looking globally Perrier lost $260 million in revenue (. The case of Mad Cow disease resulted in 50 countries deciding to shun beef imports. The loss of beef sales relying on exporting beef loss over $4.5 billion.
Determining the process of how a food was produced and packaged is called Traceability. This process can be internal or external according to (. When checking for internal traceability the process is as simple as reviewing the content before and after reaching a certain checkpoint on the production line. The findings are documented to account for the status of the food at any time along its journey. The FDA and other government agencies often base their studies on internal traceability (.
Requires tracking food as it moves from the country of origin to another . This is a complex endeavor since many foods can be traced to several countries. The local and national goverments within every country have their own level on standards and requirements for producing foods. Because of this external traceability can only be successful when each checkpoint is cooperative. The ability to chain a product or service is quite a daunting task to achieve.
One of the GMO external traceability standards requirements is demonstrated through this shipping example. If sending coconut oil shipped to the U.S. from the Phillipines
in tanker trucks that also ship soybean oil. This is fine in terms of using a supply chain to distribute product efficiently. However the possibility of GMO is quite high. The ships that take over the coconut oil must be cleaned of every bit of soy in order to meet certain GMO standards.
The problem is that remaining GMO free is not an easy task.
"It's a pretty severe issue in the sense that organic regulations specify you cannot use a GMO product," says Joe Whinney. He is the president of Organic Commodity Products, Inc. He says "if you are an organic corn farmer and put a seed in the ground that is not from GMO stock. Then pollen drift can change the genetic makeup of what you harvest." Whinney says there is a growing recognition that some portion of all items, including those with organic certification, will test positive for GMOs.
It is expected that remaining GMO free is not possible however setting certain guidelines and standards in place requiring manufacturers and farmers to be accountable for certification is...