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Thread: Gmo

  1. #1 Gmo 
    Forum Sophomore laza's Avatar
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    why is genetically modified food so controversial, isn't all food genetically modified through selective breeding ?


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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Selective breeding means, for example, that we take a selection of sheep genes to yield an improved sheep. GM adds genes from a rat to genes from a cauliflower. Different.


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    Forum Sophomore laza's Avatar
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    so is that necessarily bad, i mean its sounds terrible but is it ?
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Although the advantages of GMOs seem to make the case for their use a “no brainer” at this point, there are several criticisms and concerns. Critics often include environmental activists, religious organizations, public interest groups, professional associations, and other scientists and government officials. Their main concerns are comprised of a belief that private corporations are pursuing profits without concern for potential hazards and a belief that the government is failing to exercise adequate regulatory oversight. Whitman states that GM food concerns generally fall into three categories: 1) environmental hazards, 2) human health risks, and 3) economic concerns.
    1. The environmental hazards consist of unintended harm to other organisms. For example, a study showed that pollen from Bt corn, corn bioengineered to resist the European corn borer, a crop pest which can cause significant damage to crops, caused high mortality rates in monarch butterfly caterpillars. Although the killing of insects may be the goal in pest resistance, it flows into other unintended species. Additionally, some populations of mosquitoes and other insects may become resistant to crops that have been genetically modified.
    2. Human health risks are an enormous concern. The main argument against GMOs is that there are several possible unknown risks. Two main concerns are that introducing foreign genes into food plants COULD have a negative impact on human health by introducing a new allergen or that ingesting these foods could cause problems with consumers’ intestines. However, this is up for debate and critics claim that the concerns are not warranted.
    3. The economic concerns, and probably the most warranted, claim that the process of bringing a GMO to the market is a lengthy and costly process in which companies pursue a profitable return on their investment. The problem occurs when companies patent these new plants and raise the price of seeds.
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    Forum Sophomore laza's Avatar
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    so you think that all those people that are saying that it is bad have no evidence ?
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  7. #6  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    gmo by monsanto is designed to be immune to glyphosate herbicide.
    The claim was that is didn't last in the ecosystem
    but
    in a recent study in germany, glyphosate has been found in the urine of almost all tested(despite claims that glyphosate does not bio accumulate), and the surfactant is deadly to amphibians.

    So, GMO represents the latest assault on the environment by the chemical companies
    and so represents the possibility of massive extinctions.
    studies have found causal relationships between glyphosate and decreased disease resistance

    I avoid them as much as possible
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    I think that it is obvious that genetic manipulation can produce food that will harm the organism. Example: if you took a plasmid, found a smart way to cut it with restriction enzymes and used some way to put genes into the gaps that would code proteins that provide resistance against antibiotics (ampicillin and others), then put that plasmid into some echoli bacterium, and put those ecoli bacteria into some food, the consumer would probably some day face the problem that he's infected by some harmful breed of ecoli that can't be killed with any known antibiotic.
    On first glance, that seems like a dumb example. BUT it is a common practice to use antibiotic resistances included in plasmids to select colonies of bacteries that were successfully equiped with manipulated genetic material. And what if some greedy person with a lack of knowledge, came upon the idea that it would be smart to use bacteries with such resistances to produce artificial tomatoe juice.
    We already use similar techniques to produce insuline. So why not tomatoe juice.
    I think the danger with genetically manipulated food very much depends on the knowledge of the person who produces it.
    Bad knowledge leads to high danger. High knowledge minimizes the risk.
    I think genetically manipulated food can be harmful, even more if the functions of the manipulated genes are not yet well known. As far as I know, many genes are still a mystery to scientists. And nobody would walk into some unknown martian moon base and start hitting the buttons on the control board and tell the other astronouts that it's entirely safe if he was a nice guy. If he was a greedy dwarve and got 10 $ for it, the situation would be entirely different.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laza View Post
    so is that necessarily bad, i mean its sounds terrible but is it ?
    It carries with it the risk that unanticipated properties of the modified organism may have negative effects and an ability to spread. These risks have, in my view, been given insufficient attention to this point.

    As a species we have a mixed record at introducing new concepts. The efficiencies of mono-agriculture were partly responsible for the Irish famine. The invention of fire combined with urban living led to the Great Fire of London. We don't think things through very well.
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  10. #9  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by laza View Post
    so is that necessarily bad, i mean its sounds terrible but is it ?
    It carries with it the risk that unanticipated properties of the modified organism may have negative effects and an ability to spread. These risks have, in my view, been given insufficient attention to this point.

    As a species we have a mixed record at introducing new concepts. The efficiencies of mono-agriculture were partly responsible for the Irish famine. The invention of fire combined with urban living led to the Great Fire of London. We don't think things through very well.
    Not to mention the Dust Bowl here in America was caused by negligent farming. Some things just need to be tested long term before we jump on the bandwagon.

    I remember the first time I heard that the corn I was eating had been genetically modified to immediately kill certain insects which fed on it. I wasn't so much amazed as I was put off corn for a while.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Coming from the land that is a test case for "unintended consequences" of messing about with stuff people don't fully understand - I give you the cane toad and the rabbit as classic cases - I'm extremely leery of the claimed benefits of such things.

    I'm even doubtful about the 'wonder' of vitamin enriched 'golden' rice. For people whose diet is so poor (rice only) that they need such enhancements, the real problem is the combination of poverty - not being able to afford other foods - and agricultural practices - not learning that you could grow additional nutritional items either at the edges of paddy fields or as climbers or other plants, in particular leafy green plants, around, over or inside residences. The additional costs of these modified grains might be better spent on introducing more varied items into the diet.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  12. #11  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    trillions of microbes(bacteria and viruses) live in our bodies
    trillions of microbes can be found in the same volume of soil------------EXCEPT where herbicides and pesticides have been sprayed
    and most GMOs were developed to be immune to these poisons
    so as super weeds develope, the farmers spray more and more and more

    and then
    we have GMOs which produce their own pesticides/herbicides


    eeek
    oh no
    this ain't killing for food, this is killing for convenience

    this is something which(if we're lucky) we may live to regret
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by laza View Post
    so you think that all those people that are saying that it is bad have no evidence ?
    It's to a large degree based on emotion rather than hard science combined with a distrust of companies and government to consider and protect from the potential downsides and well as, for some, a general contempt for man "playing god." I think those concerns are overwrought--nothing would be more devastating to a GMO company than a wide scale disaster. That being said, I recognize much of the GMO testing is probably done in closed manner and doesn't really meet strict scientific standards or scrutiny; nor does it appear governments have developed robust test such as they've done for medicines--that increases its risk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I remember the first time I heard that the corn I was eating had been genetically modified to immediately kill certain insects which fed on it. I wasn't so much amazed as I was put off corn for a while.
    I isn't a insect.
    Pass the cobs; I'll help a boy out.
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    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I remember the first time I heard that the corn I was eating had been genetically modified to immediately kill certain insects which fed on it. I wasn't so much amazed as I was put off corn for a while.
    I isn't a insect.
    Pass the cobs; I'll help a boy out.
    I understand, but some things that kill insects don't pass through humans safely. It's a big leap to ask someone to take.

    I've seen how Monsanto treats the environment and I don't personally think they have the best interests of the crop or wildlife in mind.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by laza View Post
    so you think that all those people that are saying that it is bad have no evidence ?
    It's to a large degree based on emotion rather than hard science combined with a distrust of companies and government to consider and protect from the potential downsides and well as, for some, a general contempt for man "playing god." I think those concerns are overwrought--nothing would be more devastating to a GMO company than a wide scale disaster. That being said, I recognize much of the GMO testing is probably done in closed manner and doesn't really meet strict scientific standards or scrutiny; nor does it appear governments have developed robust test such as they've done for medicines--that increases its risk.
    This is a good post, in my opinion, because it is quite balanced. While some of the concerns may be overstated, I would suggest that there are many concerns that we are only now beginning to identify as previously we had not thought to look for them and in others, insufficient time has passed for them to be evaluated. These would include:

    1) Long term effects on human health.
    2) Long term effects on soil, plants, insects and animals, including loss of diversity. Once released into the wild, there is no way to recapture these changes.
    3) The methodology is too proprietary. 'Ownership' of patents on the world's food supply crops is a frightening prospect which confers too much power to any entity, be it corporate or national.
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