The Instigator
alanalachance
Pro (for)
The Contender
kevster123
Con (against)

GMOs

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/26/2017 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 395 times Debate No: 102228
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alanalachance

Pro

I want voting privileges on this website so somebody please debate me on the topic of GMOs! I would love for a Con to maybe present ideas I hadn't previously thought of or even make me reconsider my point of view.

Here are only 3 arguments (for the sake of brevity), which I believe stem from science, empirical evidence, and logic. I can provide more sources for each point if Con wants.

1. GMOs have been proven by numerous independently-funded, long-running studies to be relatively safe.

2. Human beings would not be able to maintain our current food supplies without the use of GMOs. They are the only way we are able to sustain a population growing at such exponential rates.

3. GMOs have benefited us in various ways. Examples of this include genetically modified yeast that produces omega-3 fatty acid, healthier crops with more vitamins, crops that are more resistant to weeds/diseases/insects, crops that grow faster and produce food that lasts longer, etc.

That's it for now, good luck!

Sources
- https://www.washingtonpost.com...
- https://classes.soe.ucsc.edu...
- https://www.washingtonpost.com...
- https://www.nature.com...
- I can provide more sources if Con wants.
kevster123

Con

I will start backwards from 3-1.

3. I think that GMOs have benefited us in many ways. Both sides of the GMO debate can usually agree to at least some parts of that. The problem with a lot of these benefits is their characteristics of a double edged sword. "Round Up Ready" crops and Bt (insect resistant) plants are widely used. Over 75% of all planted acres of cotton, corn, and soybeans are some form of herbicide-tolerant or insect-resistant strain of crops. But these strains can indirectly and directly cause a multitude of harm. Herbicide-resistant plants are saturated with a metric **** ton of herbicide which artificially selects for weeds that can survive this herbicide, "superweeds" are quite a likely possibility. The current way of combating this is the constant production and research into new forms of herbicides but similar to antibiotics, it is becoming harder and more expensive to find new ones. Herbicide in these large doses also saturate the soil and kill many harmless and beneficial bugs/insects such as earthworms or roly polys. Pesticide producing insect resistant plants are partially attributed to the deaths of many beneficial insects and bugs such as the monarch butterfly, and possibly the honeybee. The pollen spores from the plant sometimes contain the pesticide and kill these bugs. The problem with pesticide producing plants, is that they don't differentiate what is a pest and what is not, it is a plant that bugs like honeybees will still want to pollinate but unknowingly poison themselves. These genes, including being grown faster, stronger, more resistant to heat/arid soil/wind, all have the possibility of being horizontally transferred to other plants in the environment via bacteria/viruses/crossbreeding. These are all a possibility that could be highly detrimental to the environment.

I also do not disagree that the production of nutrients/vitamins in crops is beneficial. I think that this is one of the most beneficial uses of GMOs, some argue that this and other GMOs might cause allergies, but I think that that concern is quite minor and can be attributed to other sources

2. I agree, we would not be able to maintain our current food supplies without using GMOs, more would starve and we would be a lot more vulnerable to droughts/crop failure. With your point here, I completely agree that at this current time and date, GMOs are the only way and that we have long gone past the point of return. The population is growing rapidly and stopping the use of GMOs completely would be detrimental. I will argue that this point looks at GMOs in one point in time. If we looked at GMOs when they were first being conceived into widespread public use two decades ago, not using them would have just made our population grow at a slower rate, I hesitate to say a "normal rate." Besides the retrospective perspective, which I would agree if you said it doesn't really apply now, I agree with your point here.

1. They've also been proven by a lot of independently-funded and long-running studies to be relatively dangerous. I will say that, with this point, I cannot argue for either side. I can merely point that there are benefits of GMOs that can be seen, but that there is still an extremely large possibility of unknowns. I argue that these unknowns are all reasonable concerns. I appeal to a form of the precautionary principle that states something along the lines of - If something is unknown and reasonably perceived to be quite potentially hazardous to a large amount of people, it should be further investigated before being implemented to such a large portion of the public. As you can see, GMOs have already passed this point, yet we still have conflicting and unreliable research.

https://www.ers.usda.gov...
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