The Instigator
Tones
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
ciel
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

GMOs Are A Good Thing

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/29/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 620 times Debate No: 69151
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (0)

 

Tones

Pro

Genetically modified foods are healthy, and necessary.
ciel

Con

I believe that GMOs are harmful for a variety of reasons. They harm not only our bodies but the environment and the economy.

First of all, GMOs are not beneficial to our bodies. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has stated multiple times in the past that doctors should not prescribe GMO-inclusive diets to their patients. Studies on animals have proved that GMOs cause a multitude of health issues including but not limited to: immune system disorders, infertility, and even organ damage. Studies on humans have shown that modified food can leave harmful materials lingering in our bodies; this often causes lasting problems -- it has even led to bacteria staying in the blood of pregnant women and their fetuses.

GMOs themselves were introduced in 1996. After their introduction to the world, a variety of health problems, skyrocketed. Food allergies became increasingly more common, and developmental disorders such as autism and reproductive disorders increased. There is not yet enough research to prove that this is all due to GMOs, but the American Academy of Environmental Medicine has stated that genetically modified food could certainly be a contributing factor.

As for environmental issues, GMOs increase the use of harmful herbicides. The majority of modified crops are engineered specifically to be able to tolerate a large amount of herbicides; these herbicides are toxic and even potentially deadly. This is concerning due to the fact that genetically modified foods contain a great deal of residue from these possibly fatal herbicides. Along with this, these herbicides are harmful to the environment -- they tamper with the ecosystem and end the lives of soil organisms, birds, and even marine life. For example, the population of monarch butterflies has gone down fifty percent since GM crops have started eliminating their habitat.
Debate Round No. 1
Tones

Pro

Thank you Ciel for accepting the debate.

GMOs Are A Good Thing.

Since GMOs were originally made in 1996, many advancements have been made, primarily for the efficiency and effectiveness for agricultural purposes. Todays GMOs made by Monsanto, Syngenta, and various other companies create crops that have higher yields, and take up far less space than conventional farming.(1)

Conventional farming is not only bad for North American economies, but European economies as well. Over 16 countries in east Africa cannot afford, and do not have the right conditions to grow corn, rice, or any other crops. East African countries rely on food aid from Europe and North America; the USA alone spending more than 300 million dollars annually (2) By using GMOs, crop growth would not only be possible for dry, arid African land, but their yields could possibly be much larger than our conventional farming on fertile land.

GMOs are completely safe for consumption. Since the late 70's, synthetic sugars and chemical compounds have been much more common in all foods, while Cancer rates steadily increased until recently receding since 2010 (3). since 2004 more than 47 million hectares of US agricultural land has been used for GMOs (4). As of right now, about 88% of food in American supermarkets are genetically modified (5), if the average american eats this much GM food, and the american cancer rates have been on decline, it's highly unlikely that GM foods pose any kind of threat to humans.

Sources:

(1) http://www.monsanto.com...
(2) http://www.gao.gov...
(3) http://www.motherjones.com...
(4) http://www.globalchange.umich.edu...
(5) http://www.ewg.org...
ciel

Con

The environment is harmed by GMO farming, despite changes in farming in recent years. Soil erosion is one of the largest problems; when dust clouds come from uncovered topsoil, chemicals are lifted from the ground and go wherever the wind takes them (be it in nearby farms or even our own drinking water). Additionally, even in the best of conditions, when large GMO businesses like Monsanto leave an area after farming for several years, the damage done to the topsoil can be so bad that it takes over twenty years to regenerate. This also harms the economy -- during those twenty years (or however long it happens to take the land to regenerate) the area is entirely unproductive and does not benefit the economy as it would otherwise.

There is also no proof that GMOs are actually safe for consumption. the only actual safety testing for GMOs are done by the GMO companies themselves. Thus, bias and laziness can come into play -- do we really know what we are eating? Given, the FDA is supposed to oversee these crops, but bias comes into play here, too. A variety of former GMO lobbyists have been appointed to head and work in the FDA and similar government organizations; take Roger Beachy for example. Beachy was formerly the director of the Monsanto-funded Danforth Plant Science Center; he is now the official director of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Sources:
[1] http://redgreenandblue.org...
[2] http://inspiredeconomist.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Tones

Pro

Tones forfeited this round.
ciel

Con

ciel forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Tones

Pro

Tones forfeited this round.
ciel

Con

ciel forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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