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Biotechnology and the Food Supply Proceedings of a S. ymposlum Food and Nutrition Board Commission on Life Sciences National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1988
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Counci], whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientif ic and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their , - _ ~ use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of _ . . Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative. to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Institute of Medicine. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is president of the The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. The work on which this publication is based was supported by the National Research Council Fund--a pool of private, discretionary, nonfederal funds that is used to support a program of Academy-initiated studies of national issues in which science and technology figure significantly. The Fund consists of contributions from a consortium of private foundations including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Charles E. Culpeper Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; the Academy Industry Program, which seeks annual contributions from companies that are concerned with the health of U.S. science and technology and with public policy issues with technological content; and the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering endowments. The views expressed in this book are solely those of the individual authors and are not necessarily the views of the Food and Nutrition Board. Copies available from: Food and Nutrition Board National Research Council 2101 Constitution Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20418
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FOOD AND NUTRITION BOARD KURT J. ISSELBACHER (Chairman), Harvard Medical School and Department of Gastroenterology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts RICHARD J. HAVEL (Vice Chairman), Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, California HAMISH N. MUNRO (Vice Chairman), Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts WILLIAM E. CONNOR, Department of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon PETER GREENWALD, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland M. R. C. GREENWOOD, Department of Biology, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York JOAN D. GUSSOW, Department of Nutrition Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York JAMES R. KIRK, Research and Development, Campbell Soup Company, Camden, New Jersey BERNARD J. LISKA, Department of Food Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana REYNALDO MARTORELL, Food Research Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, California WALTER MERTZ, Human Nutrition Research Center, Agricu tural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland . . . il
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MALDEN C. NESHEIM, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York RONALD C. SHANK, Department of Community and Environmental Medicine and Department of Pharmacology, University of California, Irvine, California ROBERT H. WASSERMAN, Department/Section of Physiology, New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York MYRON WINICK, Institute of Human Nutrition, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York J. MICHAEL McGINNIS (Ex Officio), Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. ARNO G. MOTULSKY (Ex Officio), Center for Inherited Diseases, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington Staff SUSHMA PALMER, Director, Food and Nutrition Board FRANCES.PETER, Editor, Commission on Life Sciences 1V
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PREFACE Biotechnology and the food supply was the subject of the Food and Nutrition Board's annual symposium held on December I, 1986, at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. The papers presented at the symposium, and contained in this volume, address various aspects of this topic, including food production, food safety, and food quality. Eleven years ago at the Asilomar conference on recom- binant DNA, biotechnology and genetic engineering were in their infancy, and very few people really predicted or appreciated the overall impact that this new technology would have. For example, through biotechnology it has been possible to make plants resistant to drought, to develop vaccines against disabling viral diseases of animals, and as these proceedings indicate, to modify foods and the food supply both before and after harvest. When we speak about biotechnology, we must include not only recombinant DNA techniques but also the techniques of producing monoclonal antibodies and the ability to grow cells in culture. When we refer to monoclonal antibodies, we are talking about very specific and selective proteins with great potential. They are so specific that they can be viewed as specific keys to a lock. Imagine all the doors with their locks and keys in the White House and in v
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the Capitol. If the monoclonal antibodies were keys, they could be coded so specifically that one could have one antibody to fit only a single one of the many locks. Hence, they are very powerful tools that can be used to purify medically important materials such as hormones or vaccines. At the same time, they can be used to remove chemical or bacterial toxins to improve the quality of the food supply. Tissue culture is also an important tool. For example, we can select individual cells such as plant cells, grow them into plants, or combine them with other types of plant cells to form hybrid or better quality plants or vegetables. In essence, recombinant DNA techniques make possible the isolation of a specific gene of interest. For example, consider the gene for the production of growth hormone. After it is isolated, the gene can be attached to a transporter or a vehicle to permit that gene to enter a recipient cell such as a bacterium, plant cell, or animal cell. After its incorporation into the cell, the DNA is then able to make a cell with new properties. Thus, one can regard the recipient cell as source material, since, as it continues to function or multiply, it generates the production of pure growth hormone. When we considered the tools of biotechnology at this symposium, we took into account not only the ways these tools are used today but also the ways they should be used in the future and the possible caveats in their use and application. In considering uses and misuses of recom- binant DNA technology, some scientists have focused more on the negative rather than on the positive aspects; some I think have even reached the conclusion that recombinant DNA technology is really bad for society. This symposium was intended to present a balanced perspective on this overall important issue. Kurt J. Isselbacher, M.D., Food and Nutrition Board V1 rman
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CONTENTS I BIOTECHNOLOGY: FOOD PRODUCTION AND NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT The Gene Revolution Albert Gore. Jr ~ . ~ The Impact of Biotechnology on Food Production Ernest G. Jaworski · e · · · · · · · · e New Applications of Biotechnology in the Food Industry Robert H Lawrence Jr. · ~ II BIOTECHNOLOGY: FOOD SAFETY AND NEW ROLES FOR TRADITIONAL INSTITUTIONS Potential Food Safety Problems Related to New Uses of Biotechnology Jack Doyle . . . e ~ e ~ ~ e e ~ ~ e e · ~ - Biotechnology: Its Potential Impact on Inter- relationships Among Agriculture, Industry, and Society Lawrence Busch and William B. LacY AUTHORS AND COAUTHORS vii 9 9 49 75 .107
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