The Instigator
yuannie1
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
rorynata1ie
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Does genetically modified foods help or hurt humans?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/10/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,027 times Debate No: 14293
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

yuannie1

Pro

1.Economical
a.GM supporters tell farmers that they stand to reap enormous profits from growing GM crops. Initially, the cost is expensive but money is saved on pesticides. To produce the GM crops, modern biotechnology is used which requires highly skilled people and sophisticated and expensive equipment.7 Large companies need considerable investments in laboratories, equipment and human resources, hence the reason why GM crops are more expensive for farmers than traditional crops. GM crops, farmers are told, are a far better option. It takes a shorter time to produce the desired product, it is precise and there are no unwanted genes.
2.Herbicide Resistant Crops
a.So what other advantages do GM crops hold for farmers? GM crops can be produced to be herbicide resistant. This means that farmers could spray these crops with herbicide and kill the weeds, without affecting the crop. In effect, the amount of herbicide used in one season would be reduced, with a subsequent reduction in costs for farmers and consumers.
b.EX: For Ingard cotton, pest resistance was built into the cotton, hence reducing and even removing the use of pesticides, which are not only expensive but, more importantly, harmful to the environment.
3.Biosecurity
a.Better Quality Foods
b.Even animals can be genetically modified to be leaner, grow faster, and need less food. They could be modified to have special characteristics, such as greater milk production in cows. These modifications again lead to improved productivity for farmers and ultimately lower costs for the consumer. Modified crops could perhaps prevent outbreaks such as foot and mouth disease, which has devastated many farmers and local economies.
c.Modified foods possess increased nutrients, yields and stress tolerance. The maturation time is reduced and resistance to disease, pests and herbicides is increased. Genetic modification has also opened up many new growing techniques.
d.Not allowing disease organisms into the organism's environment
e.Can help prevent "emergency disease outbreak situations"
f.Keeps animals safe from toxins and pollutants
4.Help the environment
a.They have resulted in the production of "friendly" bioherbicides and bioinsecticides. They assist in conservation of soil, water and energy.
b.The bioprocessing of forestry products is a possibility
c.This technology also enables better natural waste management and improved processing
i.Ex: Enviropig
rorynata1ie

Con


1. Not enough tests have been made to determine safety of GM foods
Research limited by GM seed producing companies = suspicion
DuPont, Monsanto, Syngenta
Food analyzed with macro-micro nutrients & known toxins, could be dangerous & inaccurate
Rats died within weeks of consuming GM tomatoes
Stomach sections showed legions, not harmful in rats but deadly to humans (7/20 female rats)
Studies poorly designed
7/40 rats died of “unstated reasons”
First & only safety test of genome crop
Rats ability to digest decreased after eating GM corn
Toxins in mice after eating GM potatoes
2. Harmful to natural wildlife & environment
GM foods could cause bacteria resistant antibiotics
Adding genes to genome have unintended effects
Action unpredictable & carry unknown toxins
Unknown if pesticides built into plants are safe for humans
Can’t wash them off; little knowledge of long-term health impacts
Could reduce biodiversity
Create super weeds without natural “predators”
Could transfer to soil which would then affect the non-GMO plants
Monsanto “Roundup Ready” seeds
Soil can become sterile (Oregon)
GM animals = abuse (remember those chicken in the video?)
“superpig” = arthritis, cross-eyed, couldn’t stand
3. Harmful to humans
Allergies increased with GM foods
Soybeans, potatoes, rice
Debate Round No. 1
yuannie1

Pro

1.Economical a.GM supporters tell farmers that they stand to reap enormous profits from growing GM crops. Initially, the cost is expensive but money is saved on pesticides. To produce the GM crops, modern biotechnology is used which requires highly skilled people and sophisticated and expensive equipment.7 Large companies need considerable investments in laboratories, equipment and human resources, hence the reason why GM crops are more expensive for farmers than traditional crops. GM crops, farmers are told, are a far better option. It takes a shorter time to produce the desired product, it is precise and there are no unwanted genes. 2.Herbicide Resistant Crops a.So what other advantages do GM crops hold for farmers? GM crops can be produced to be herbicide resistant. This means that farmers could spray these crops with herbicide and kill the weeds, without affecting the crop. In effect, the amount of herbicide used in one season would be reduced, with a subsequent reduction in costs for farmers and consumers. b.EX: For Ingard cotton, pest resistance was built into the cotton, hence reducing and even removing the use of pesticides, which are not only expensive but, more importantly, harmful to the environment. 3.Biosecurity a.Better Quality Foods b.Even animals can be genetically modified to be leaner, grow faster, and need less food. They could be modified to have special characteristics, such as greater milk production in cows. These modifications again lead to improved productivity for farmers and ultimately lower costs for the consumer. Modified crops could perhaps prevent outbreaks such as foot and mouth disease, which has devastated many farmers and local economies. c.Modified foods possess increased nutrients, yields and stress tolerance. The maturation time is reduced and resistance to disease, pests and herbicides is increased. Genetic modification has also opened up many new growing techniques. d.Not allowing disease organisms into the organism's environment e.Can help prevent "emergency disease outbreak situations" f.Keeps animals safe from toxins and pollutants 4.Help the environment a.They have resulted in the production of "friendly" bioherbicides and bioinsecticides. They assist in conservation of soil, water and energy. b.The bioprocessing of forestry products is a possibility c.This technology also enables better natural waste management and improved processing i.Ex: Enviropig



1. Not enough tests have been made to determine safety of GM foods

· With most new technologies there are problems and we can’t be afraid of potentially helping many people because there have been some tests that went poorly.

· If every test went the way scientists expected it then we wouldn’t need testing.

· There have been many GM that have had a good effect on the earth and didn’t fail tests

o Such as rice that has been modified to contain more vitamin A to prevent malnutrition.

· The reason there is not a lot research that is being done because the government and many other groups are unwilling to fund GM foods.

2. Harmful to natural wildlife & environment

· Report this Argument

rorynata1ie

Con

1.a. response
Because the companies control every aspect of food production, the farmers will become totally dependent on them. This leads to the control of a large population of workers with no safety precautions or regulations. The companies themselves would also become monopolies very quickly, exerting control over the economy of several countries, should they choose to accept the technology. The stock market crash and bailing out of banks and the car industry is a perfect example of this. The long term consequences could be disastrous and would counteract the short term positives.
2.a. response
The herbicide, while not effecting the crop itself, would harm several factors surrounding it. First the soil could become contaminated, then the rain water would wash the chemicals into local estuaries contaminating our drinking water
& natural habitats. The toxins from pesticides could easily cause the soil to become sterile (occurred in Oregon), and although it is true companies could probably produce something to make the soil fertile again, it would save a lot of effort and money to avoid that situation entirely.

Introducing new genes to “protect” crops is highly dangerous; not enough testing has been done to prove its complete safety. Unlike the pesticides we use right now, these cannot be “washed off”, so they enter our system instead carrying unknown toxins and unpredictable reactions to the human body.
3.a. response
The foods would not be any different quality wise, it is better to use the naturally made foods than ones which have been tampered with. You really don’t know what you’re eating or their processes.
There have been, as yet, no tests on humans to prove this, other than releasing GM products freely into the marketplace and using the everyday consumer as a lab rat. Research has been limited by GM producing companies which has caused great suspicion in the science community; the techniques of testing this food could be extremely dangerous and highly inaccurate (analysis done with macro-micro nutrients and toxins).
When a series of tests was done on rats eating GM tomatoes, the results were less than optimistic. 7 out of the 40 rats died of “unstated reasons” within a few weeks of the test, those who lived acquired lesions in the stomach, which while safe for rats is deadly for humans. This was the first safety test of a GM crop. Studies of GM corn followed with rats lacking the ability to digest properly; GM potato tests created deadly toxins in mice.
3. b. response
Animals were designed and have adapted to their environment; changing that could really hurt them and mess up the delicate
balance of the animals’ systems. We don’t know the impact this new productivity could have on the animal. Disease and other problems are a part of nature, to try to immunize an animal would make it more open to other sicknesses.

In some cases of GM animals we have gone overboard and really need to question our greed. Remember the Perdu chickens from the documentary “Food”? We had modified them so they would have more breast meat, but the added weight caused the chicken’s systems to fail and more or less suffocate it. There is also the case of the “superpig,” created to produce more meat. In the end, the pig has severe arthritis, was cross-eyed, and couldn’t stand on its deformed limbs. This qualifies as animal abuse.
As mentioned in response to #1, only a few companies control the price of GM foods. This could cause the price to sky-rocket is they are hurt financially or if they just want to make more money. This applies directly to the patenting of seeds (Monsanto).
3. c. response
We can use the nutrients that are already found in the food. Added nutrients are often hard for the body to process and keep in the body, as they are not “made” for the human system.
An example of such “increased nutrients” backfiring occurred in 1989. The Japanese company Showa Denko created the food supplement L-tryptophan and released it without any safety tests. 37 people died and approximately 1500 more were disabled, many with Eosinophelia Myalgia Syndrome (EMS). The company paid a settlement of $2 billion and destroyed evidence, preventing further investigation.
This situation could happen here in the US just as easily, as there is very little to no regulation of GM products right now. There is a long line of checks but in the end no balance: the EPA evaluates the GM plants for environmental safety, then the USDA evaluates whether the plant is safe to grow, and finally the FDA evaluates whether the plant is safe for human consumption, but it does not regulate this. There are also no laws that mandate the labeling of GM foods.
3. d. response
No matter how much bacteria you treat, it will mutate into something new, causing more money to be spent when you know it won’t work. That is the way bacteria works, always changing and adapting to its new environment. If this is introduced into the non-GM plants, “superweeds” would easily over take an ecosystem. We already have enough troubles from invader species (as we learned in class).
The removal of allergens from food is very tricky. Tests have shown that GM foods that are “allergy resistant” or “disease resistant” cause humans to have more humans to have more reactions. Since this technique was introduced to the soybean, allergies to the soybean have doubled. Other products in which this has occurred are potatoes, rice, and cotton. If so much of the world depends on these simple starches for survival, why are we risking their lives?
Debate Round No. 2
yuannie1

Pro

yuannie1 forfeited this round.
rorynata1ie

Con

rorynata1ie forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
yuannie1

Pro

yuannie1 forfeited this round.
rorynata1ie

Con

rorynata1ie forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
yuannie1

Pro

yuannie1 forfeited this round.
rorynata1ie

Con

rorynata1ie forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by rorynata1ie 6 years ago
rorynata1ie
hey guys, for some reason when natalie & i "review" the document not everything goes over. it stops half way through 3d, even though we have about 2,000 characters remaining. so we'll let that slide for now & address those points in round 3. & half of your responses aren't showing either. so we can't really post a rebuttal for your round 2 till you post the rest for round 3, & yeah. this might be explained better in person.
Posted by christy94 6 years ago
christy94
I believe that it hurts more than helps, since GM products have been sold in stores there has been a higher percentage of people having problems digesting food and having allergies.
My family owns an organic food store and there have been several instances where people complain about having problems digesting food or sudden allergies that they never had before. Our bodies are so used to eating the regular non modified foods that once we eat GM foods it doesnt know how to properly digest everything which can lead to excessive weight gain, discomfort and allergies.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
yuannie1rorynata1ieTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: FAIL DEBATE, as both sides dropped out... (checking the voting period debates, from Least To Most votes. By giving this one, it won't be prioritized in the system anymore.)