Genetic foods in Canada
At least a dozen crop species have been introduced in Canada so far, along with several dozen genetically engineered food enzymes, used as aids in food processing. This could be the tip of the iceberg as over 4,000 field projects are in progress worldwide.
Used in canned tomato products including puree, imported ketchup and pizza sauces. These tomatoes can carry anti-ripening genes, antibiotic markers and genes to make the plants resistant to herbicides. Flounder genes have been added to some varieties to make them more resistant to bruising.
The bacterium toxin Basillus thuringiensis (BT) has been added to potato genes to kill insects, as a substitute to spraying with insecticides. Scientists try to confine the toxin to the leaves or roots of the plant, but because current techniques are not that selective, the toxin becomes expressed in varying degrees throughout the plant, including in the parts we eat! These potatoes are marketed in Canada even though scientists claim they could cause allergies in certain people or toxicity in individuals with lower stomach acidity due to ulcer medications or antacids.
BT (see above) has also been added to the genes of corn to kill insects, in spite of concerns that these products may be toxic or allergenic to certain individuals. Herbicide resistant varieties have also been approved.
Soybeans and canola oil
These are among the first of many approved foods genetically engineered to be resistant to herbicides. This means that farmers can spray fields with higher levels of chemicals to kill the weeds without damaging crops. Effects include increased contamination of our food and environment, the unknown effects of gene pollution, and disruption of the environment due to herbicide-resistant super-weeds that may result from cross-pollination.
Genetically engineered varieties are approved and could be used in some beer, bread, spreads, food supplements, pizza crust, and other processed foods.
Manufactured using genetically engineered bacteria used to make cheese; the whey residues are then used in chocolate and margarine production.
Bread, baby foods, sugar, fruit juices, beer, baking powder, etc. often contain genetically engineered enzymes utilized in the manufacturing processes.
Other plants already in field trials in Canada or awaiting approval for marketing include strawberries, mustard, flax, spring wheat and tobacco. Products to come to Canada through imports in the near future include long shelf life pineapples, slow ripening bananas, papaya, sugar beets and low-caffeine, aromatic coffee beans. Nutrasweet, used widely in soft drinks, is also made by genetic biotechnology.