The Instigator
AblueImp
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
AnotherHuman
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Genetic Engineering

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/7/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 650 times Debate No: 48601
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

AblueImp

Pro

I have written this speech to inform the public about the many beneficial uses of genetic engineering. Some of the many beneficial uses are creating bacteria that make insulin to help those with diabetes or grow new organs or body parts for those whose have been damaged or removed, and i know that there are disadvantages but i believe that the good things significantly outweigh the bad.

Biotechnology and Genetic engineering are very closely related because biotechnology is implementing technology into organisms or genetically engineering them. There are many reasons why genetic engineering is good although Stem cells are very controversial with them you can grow bones or tissues for a patient in need this would save a great deal of lives and with more testing amputees could be helped by growing new body parts.

Even though some genetically modified foods have proven unsafe with more understanding that problem could be solved and genetically modified crops could be mass produced to help feed the starving masses in other countries.
AnotherHuman

Con

Genetically modified foods and crops sound very appealing, and with our advanced technology, we can alter the genetic material of various foods to become safer, healthier, and even heal ailments. As seductive as that sounds, it is not one hundred percent safe. You should know, that no peer-reviewed publications of clinical studies on the human health effects exist on genetically modified foods. This does not mean they"re safe. It does not directly show that they are unsafe, but it"s a dangerous risk. If untested genetically modified foods were distributed on a large scale, and it was discovered that they were harmful to the human body, the results could be catastrophic.

On top of that, we don"t know of the effects it could have on the environment, in, say, 20 years time. We have no idea what it could do to the environment to have crops genetically altered. Genetic modification could cause animals to react differently, and possibly negatively, to the plant, since it would be foreign to them. If an animal were to eat the genetically altered plant, without knowing the effects, it could kill the animal.
Debate Round No. 1
AblueImp

Pro

Although i admit some genetically modified foods are harmful but that is true with most other things like surgical procedures or scientific expirements. I believe that even though some genetically modified foods are bad what is worse is when crops are modified to withstand pesticides and herbicides an then the people growing them start to use exessive amounts of either and that would more negatively impact the environment than if the genetically modidfied crops or foods were bad for animals. for example some corn plants have been genetically modified to not be killed by Roundup" a very powerful herbicide so because of this farmers put roundup directly on the corn crops which absorb it and you can never get it off of the plant so when people eat these contaminated crops it can cause many illnesses and is all around very harmful to the human body.
AnotherHuman

Con

Genetically modified foods aren"t just a danger to nature, they also pose a threat to farmers, who make their living off crops they grow in their own fields. Pesticides are a big part of what being a self-employed farmer is all about. Pesticides are used to keep living organisms from devouring their crops. Without them, it would be nearly impossible to get a good yield from their fields. Many people aren"t a big fan of these pesticides, since they aren"t exactly healthy, but if a big company where to modify the genes of a crop so that it would no longer need pesticides, it would be much more popular than those grown by farmers forced to use pesticides. This could cause many farmers to go out of business. Now, I said in Round 1 how there are no tests on humans, but there are tests on animals, and not all of them are positive. Feeding mice potatoes transformed with a Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki Cry1 toxin gene was shown to have caused villus epithelial cell hypertrophy and multinucleation, disrupted microvilli, mitochondrial degeneration, increased numbers of lysosomes and autophagic vacuoles and activation of crypt Paneth cells. The results show that despite claims to the contrary, Cry1 toxin gene is very dangerous when used incorrectly, and requires much more extensive testing before it could be ready to be available to humans.

Now, you talked about how plants have been genetically modified to be more resistant to herbicides like Roundup, and how if people were to get their hands on these crops that they might apply to much, expecting better results, and end up causing their crops to become unhealthy. Now, we can"t exactly rely on people to become more responsible with these new genetically modified crops. People will be who they want to be, and there"s not much we can do to change that. If we are to release these genetically modified crops into the public, there"s no telling what people might do. We can"t trust people to be responsible with genetically modified crops.

Also, comparing genetically modified foods to surgical procedures is inaccurate, since genetically modified foods, if they were to be released into the public, would be everywhere. Not everyone gets surgery in their life, whereas if genetically modified foods were to be released, it is very likely that almost everyone would come into contact with them.
Debate Round No. 2
AblueImp

Pro

Even if a big company made it so that pesticide were obsolete what would they do with them there isn't enough money to be made by starting a farm so, they would sell their product to farmers instead of them growing them and helping the environment.

If you don't mind could you explain so everybody knows what the part about potatoes means just to clarify what it means.

As you might not be aware because of the fda genetically modified foods are already out and in supermarkets it is just that the fda as I was saying does not require the manufacturer to put a label on the item unless it has different significantly different nutritional property, an allergen that consumers would not expect to be present such as a peanut protein in a soybean product, or if a food contains toxicants beyond acceptable limits. so this is probably why most people might not know that they are already in circulation.

With regards to being responsible with genetically engineered foods wouldn't it make more sense to be more responsible with the pesticide or herbicides that they are using rather than being more responsible with the plant because the pesticides and herbicides are the true problem not the plant.
AnotherHuman

Con

If you don"t understand the part about the effects of genetically modified potatoes on mice, that is your problem, not mine.

The only companies that would use GM crops would be large companies that are already big competition for small farmers, therefore they would already have the money necessary to start a farm devoted to genetically modified crops.

I am aware that the FDA has put genetically modified foods on the market already, but these are minor modifications. The kind that we"re talking about pose an allergenic risk since they are untested on humans.

Regarding your response to the responsibility of those who use genetically modified crops, you"re nitpicking there. Yes, I said that "we can"t exactly rely on people to become more responsible with these new genetically modified crops", but that implies both.

Genetically modified organisms can cross-pollinate, and their seeds can travel. It is impossible to fully clean up our contaminated gene pool. Self-propagating GMO pollution will outlast the effects of global warming and nuclear waste. The potential impact is huge, threatening the health of future generations. GMO contamination has also caused economic losses for organic and non-GMO farmers who often struggle to keep their crops pure.
Debate Round No. 3
AblueImp

Pro

My opponent seems to think that the gene pool is in an perfect unchanging state which is wrong. Genes have been jumping from species to species for ages without human help. Nobody has found a way of creating completely synthetic genes. All work with GMOs involves reactivating or modifying pre-existing genes so I don't see why we shouldn't modify them to suit us or protect against diseases.

I believe that even if you do test on lab animals it still isn't the same as a human using it. I am not suggesting that we test these things on humans but that lab results have often been proven wrong. Fear of the unknown is no reason to reject advances in science and technology. If we choose to suppress research we might as well be back in the middle ages.
AnotherHuman

Con

I never said that the gene pool was fixed. I said it would be impossible to fully clean up our contaminated gene pool.

I agree that if we always gave in to the fear of the unknown then we wouldn"t be nearly as technologically advanced, but this is quite a risk, and has evidence towards it being dangerous.

Most of the health and environmental risks of GMOs are ignored by governments' superficial regulations and safety assessments. The reason for this tragedy is largely political. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for example, doesn't require a single safety study, does not mandate labeling of GMOs, and allows companies to put their GM foods onto the market without even notifying the agency. Their justification was the claim that they had no information showing that GM foods were substantially different. But this was a lie. Secret agency memos made public by a lawsuit show that the overwhelming consensus even among the FDA's own scientists was that GMOs can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects. They urged long-term safety studies. But the White House had instructed the FDA to promote biotechnology, and the agency official in charge of policy was Michael Taylor, Monsanto's former attorney, later their vice president.
Debate Round No. 4
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