The Instigator
Lauren_k
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
wmpeebles
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Genetically Modified Organisms are unsafe for people and the environment.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
wmpeebles
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/2/2012 Category: Health
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,577 times Debate No: 20849
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

Lauren_k

Pro

I am for the banning of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's), as they are unsafe for human consumption and the threaten our environment.

1st round: Acceptance.

2nd, and 3rd round 4th round: Arguments and rebuttal.

5th round: Conclusion and summary
wmpeebles

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for proposing this debate to me. I have read a lot on the subject of GMOs and plan to make a very challenging case for myself and I hope my opponent does the same for herself as well.

I accept this debate and I will be arguing against the banning of GMOs.
Debate Round No. 1
Lauren_k

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for taking me up on this debate.

One thing we can all agree on is that no one is eager to buy gene-altered food. Genetically modified foods do nothing for the public. They provide no extra nutrition, flavor, or safety. [7] Instead, these food products only offer risks, which include potential toxicity, allergy reactions, and lower nutritional value. [7] GMO's do more harm than good for humans and our environment. On top of that they are not required to be labeled, so many are eating GM food unknowingly. This is carefully calculated, because polls show that 87% of people would be leery of them. [8] I will outline major reasons why this practice is a huge threat to our health and the world.

1. UNTESTED : Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are one of�the most dangerous and radical changes�to our food supply. [1] These largely unregulated ingredients are found in 60-70% of the foods in the US.
Many consumers believe that the FDA approves GM foods through rigorous, in-depth, long-term studies. [1] The scary fact is that there are no safety testing requirements. Instead the agency relies on research from companies like Monsanto.

2. CORRUPTION : So why do we have all these farms, and why is our food made with GMO's if it is so bad? That can't happen, right? Wrong. Monsanto has made us the unknowing guinea pigs for foods that make them a lot of money and offer us nothing but risk. [7] This company has a history of toxic contamination, deceiving the public, and putting harmless small farmers in this country out of business. Monsanto's research is meticulously designed to avoid finding problems, helping their company, but threatening the public. [1] Monsanto was declared the worst company of 2011 by Natural Society for threatening both human health and the environment. [2] Monsanto is currently responsible for 90% of the genetically engineered seed on the United States market. [2] Before the FDA decided to allow GMO's into food without labeling, FDA scientists had repeatedly warned that GM foods can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems. [3] They urged long-term safety studies, but were ignored. This is concerning news for the people who most likely unknowingly eating this food on a daily basis.

3. RESEARCH/HIDDEN DANGERS : Unlike safety evaluations for drugs, there are no human clinical trials of GM foods. [3] There was one Human Feeding Experiment, which revealed that the genetic material inserted into GM soy transfers into bacteria living inside our intestines continues to function well after the fact. [3] This means that long after we stop eating GM foods, we may still have their proteins inside us. This could mean:
*If the antibiotic gene stays in our bodies, it can create super diseases, resistant to antibiotics. [3]
*If the gene that creates Bt-toxin in GM corn were to transfer, it might turn our intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factories. [3]
What's even sadder is that humans are the guinea pigs of what will come out of eating GM foods for decades. Many of our upcoming generations are eating it from birth. It has been proven that GMO foods pose a higher risk for children, as their little bodies are more susceptible to these harmful effects. [6]

There are countless documented research showing dangerous affects on the human body.
Genetically Modified Soy Linked to Sterility, Infant Mortality [4] The study showed that after feeding hamsters for two years over three generations, those on the GM diet, showed devastating results. By the third generation, GM fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies. They suffered slower growth, and a high mortality rate among the pups.

4. MASSIVE PESTICIDE POLLUTION : GM crops are a major reason for the expansion of pesticide use in recent years. [7] They require massive amounts of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides which are poisonous to our world, and our health.The most famous and dangerous one is called Roundup which dramatically increased in use, and is causing a growing epidemic of resistant weeds, which now infest millions of acres of America's cropland. [7] Pesticides cause a variety of health problems, pollute our waters, food, air, and threaten natural wildlife.

5. CROSS-BREEDING : Once the mutant genes are out of the bag, there is no going back. Cross-breeding is guaranteed with GM alfalfa and corn. [1] (The U.S.D.A. claims to be figuring out ways to avoid this happening, but by then the damage may already be done.) [1] This is threatening food that is meant to be organic. When G.E. alfalfa is widely grown, since many dairy cows eat dried alfalfa (hay), and the contamination of organic alfalfa means the milk of animals fed with that hay can no longer be called organic. [1] These GMO seeds will end up contaminating the food supply, and if years down the road there is severe epidemic problems, it will be too late to reverse. Are we ready to take that chance? I'm here to state that no, we aren't, and should not support GMO foods.

The only way to stop GMO contamination is to stop growing GMO's.

Resources
http://www.seedsofdeception.com......[1]
http://naturalsociety.com...... [2]
http://www.responsibletechnology.org......[3]
http://www.responsibletechnology.org...... [4]
http://www.huffingtonpost.com...... [5]
http://www.seedsofdeception.com...... [6]
http://www.huffingtonpost.com...... [7]
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com...... [8]
wmpeebles

Con

Pro has claimed genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are unsafe for people and the environment, but sets up his entire argument against genetically modified food. I will show that genetic modification is a necessary tool in order to improve agriculture, cure diseases, and to prevent deaths of millions of people throughout the world and that current GMOs nor development of GMO technology should be banned. But in this first round, I will only be providing rebuttals.

1. UNTESTED: In order to prove that GMOs are unsafe, my opponent must show that a lack of testing has allowed unsafe food products to hit store shelves. But this is not the case. My opponent cites 60% - 70% of food products in the United States contain GMOs, but my opponent doesn't even show any research that says GMOs have caused more deaths or cancer as a result of more and more GMO food products being introduced into the food supply. My opponent's claims that GMOs are untested and that the gov't. relies on research from Monsanto is outlandish. GMOs undergo the same kinds of testing as other products under the same category are tested for, including toxicology testing for any poisonous chemicals that may end up in the food supply.[1. http://www.pewtrusts.org...]

2. CORRUPTION: I think we can all agree that Monsanto is an evil company. If you want to read up on all the nasty things Monsanto has done, I would recommend The World According to Monsanto by Marie-Monique Robin. But using the irresponsibility and corruption of one company to justify banning GMOs is illogical and wrong. Several good things have come out of genetically modified organisms. Until recently, millions of diabetics have had to rely on insulin from cows and pigs, but through genetic engineering processes, human insulin protein is being created and produced more effectively, providing a necessary nutrient to over 25.8 million people in the United States more efficiently than before. Other drugs made available by genetic engineering include "human growth hormones, follistim (for treating infertility), human albumin, monoclonal antibodies, antihemophilic factors, vaccines and many other drugs" [2. http://en.wikipedia.org...\][3. http://books.google.com...].

3. RESEARCH/HIDDEN DANGERS
What my opponent is referring to is the possibility of horizontal gene transfer from a GMO plant into the human body. However, the possibility is very low. In an independent study conducted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Not by Monsanto like my opponent insists), 56 piglets consumed genetically modified corn. The study found that none of the genes from the corn wound up in the flesh or the blood of the piglets [4. http://news.siu.edu...]. There is also other compelling evidence various sources that suggest that gene transfer from GMOs is extremely low. This is the reason why:

The transfer of plant DNA into microbial or mammalian cells under normal circumstances of dietary exposure would require all of the following events to occur:
- the relevant gene(s) in the plant DNA would have to be released, probably as linear fragments;
- the gene(s) would have to survive nucleases in the plant and in the gastrointestinal tract;
- the gene(s) would have to compete for uptake with dietary DNA;
- the recipient bacteria or mammalian cells would have to be competent for transformation and the gene(s) would have to survive their restriction enzymes; and
- the gene(s) would have to be inserted into the host DNA by rare repair or recombination events. [5. http://www.fao.org...]

This evidence is also supported by many other sources. [5. http://www.who.int...][6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...][7. http://www.nature.com...][8. http://www2.ups.edu...]

My opponent claims that mice fed a diet of GM soy" lost the ability to have babies. They suffered slower growth, and a high mortality rate among the pups." But my opponent only cites one poor little source that does not discuss the actual testing procedures used to come up to that conclusion. So the fact that GMOs caused the deaths of these mice is probably false. Since Monsanto produces GM-soy that is resistant to roundup, farmers have a tendency to increase the use of herbicides on their fields to kill off weeds since they know the soy won't die. But the herbicide has been found to remain on crops such as "Roundup Ready" corn and soy when they are sold to consumers in a variety of products [9. http://www.livestrong.com...][10. (Cited below)]. It is most likely that the GMO crop did not have anything to do with the killing of the mice, but it was the herbicides and pesticides remaining on the crop that caused the disabilities of the mice conducted in the study.

4. MASSIVE PESTICIDE POLLUTION
My opponent claims that GMOs require the use of pesticide, herbicides, and fungicides. This is completely false. GMOs can produce a successful crop the same as regular crops without the assistance of these chemicals. It's just that some GM crops are used irresponsibly and harmful chemicals are used more widely. But the notion that eliminating GM crops would eliminate fungicide, pesticide, and herbicide use is completely false. The best way to sharply reduce harmful chemical usage is to implement crop rotation techniques so that pests and diseases will be able to die out due to lack of a host to live off of. Even GM crops such as GM banana varieties have reduced fungicide usage in other countries because they have been engineered to be resistant to diseases such as Panama disease, which has caused the near extinction of the Gros Michel banana nearly 50 years ago and is causing the downfall of the Cavendish banana today [11 (Cited below)]. Gros Michel was the kind of banana sold in grocery stores in the early 90's until plantations began dying off after diseases like Mosaic virus and Panama disease killed banana plants. The Cavendish banana replaced the Gros Michel as the grocery store banana, but today plantations growing this banana across the world are negatively affected by several kinds of banana diseases that are being fought with large amounts of fungicide use. With the invention of GM bananas, over 500 million people are able to benefit from bananas that are not only resistant to diseases, but are fungicide-free [11].

5. CROSS-BREEDING
GMO contamination happens and is unlikely to be stopped. But even so, the risks for being harmed by GM crops directly is small, and that other health concerns over GM crops can be mitigated by reducing chemical usage on food crops. Organic food can always exist in home gardens and for people who want organic food, but it will be harder to grow truly organic food because of field contamination. However, organic farming practices can still be implemented with GM food crops by using compost instead of artificial fertilizers and by using nature-friendly pesticides such as ladybugs.

Sources:
10. Robin, Marie-Monique. The World According to Monsanto: Pollution, Corruption, and the Control of the World's Food Supply. New York: New, 2010. Print.
11. Koeppel, Dan. Banana; The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World. New York: Penguin Group, 2009. Print.
Debate Round No. 2
Lauren_k

Pro

One of the most convincing reasons why GMO's are unsafe for people and the environment stems from the use of it in our food supply which is why my argument highlights that. Health is your wealth, and when GMO's threaten the one thing people need to survive (food) it becomes of great concern. Agriculture has back tracked, altering genetic codes of plants and animals, with devastating effects, some that have been found, and some that have yet to be discovered. What is most concerning is that we cannot even comprehend the effects that may come out of screwing around with nature. I will show you that manipulating nature in this way is not an advancement in science, but a deviation that will end up threatening our world.

UNTESTED: The US government conducts no independent testing of these crops, because patents prevent outsiders from testing the biotech seeds without company approval. [5] I think this is proof enough. Due to the mistrust and evil practices of Monsanto, wouldn't it make sense only to allow testing to insiders with similar interests, or scientists with a big pay day? Due to the lack of testing on GM foods, safety is a huge concern.[1]

Concerns encompass human and animal health, to the spread of herbicide-resistant weeds. [2] Critics argue that after only 14 years of using GMOs, it is still unclear whether or not the technology has long-term adverse effects. [2] It is irresponsible to make GMO so widespread, before we know the repercussions. To trust the government to make these decisions may not be wise. Especially, when scientists themselves are arguing the negative effects.

Scientist, Doug Gurian-Sherman, who served on an FDA biotech advisory subcommittee from 2002-05 stated, "We simply aren't doing the kinds of tests we need to do to have confidence in the safety of these crops."

His studies on minute doses of Roundup (a natural herbicide) disrupt sex hormones like androgen and estrogen. [3] The inert ingredients in Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans kill human cells and disrupt the synthesis and action of human sex hormones. [3] Animals studies conclude that Roundup is an endocrine disruptor. [3]

We must remember humans aren't the only ones to worry about here. All organisms, down to insects are at risk. Take the bee for example. Without bees crops would be at risk, and humans would be affected. US bees are dying from antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, likely to be the result of widespread (GM) crops.[4] This is just one small example of how one thing going wrong can snowball into an out of control disaster down the road.

CORRUPTION: CON and I both agree on Monsanto's corruption. You state that the evil of one company shouldn't affect the rest of them, but that is assuming the rest are more trustworthy. Monsanto, DuPont, and Syngenta combined own 47% of the global seed market which robs consumers and farmers of the most basic right to choose what they will eat and grow. The entire GM seed business is based on corporate control: The seeds are non-replenishing and must be purchased anew each season, eliminating the farmer tradition of saving and re-using seeds. [6]

The World's Top 10 Seed Companies

1.Monsanto (US) - $4,964m - 23%
2.DuPont (US) - $3,300m - 15%
3.Syngenta (Switzerland) - $2,018m - 9%
4.Groupe Limagrain (France) - $1,226m - 6%
5.Land O' Lakes (US) - $917m - 4%
6.KWS AG (Germany) - $702m - 3%
7.Bayer Crop Science (Germany) - $524m - 2%
8.Sakata (Japan) - $396m - <2%
9.DLF-Trifolium (Denmark) - $391m - <2%
10.Takii (Japan) - $347m - <2% [7]

I thank the CON for pointing out some of the good things that have come out of GMO such for illnesses and such, and I think�the core issue behind the genetic engineering is ethics. I am here to say that it is morally wrong to change nature to suit man's desires. Take salmon for instance. If you took a GM salmon, and for some reason it got loose, and mated with regular salmon in the wild, it runs the risk of contaminating wild salmon with altered genes. "Recent scientific evidence shows that if GM salmon escape, they could successfully breed with wild stocks, potentially destroying the genetic adaptations that have allowed fish to thrive for millennia." [8]

RESEARCH/HIDDEN DANGERS: This is probably the most confirming evidence I found in this whole debate. Monsanto has ties in everything. Your research that came from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (that you claimed not to be from Monsanto... which is true) is actually indirectly influenced by Monsanto.

Monsanto donated $104,000 to be used for research under the direction of Jason Bond and Ahmad Fakhoury, professors of plant pathology in the College of Agricultural Sciences. [9] The donation stems from an ongoing research agreement between Monsanto and the university. [9]

"Monsanto saw an opportunity to assist the college in a way that would also help them achieve their goals," Bond adds. [9]

I think we can all read between the lines.

MASSIVE PESTICIDE POLLUTION: A lot of GM crops do require more pesticides than their counterparts, but even if some do not it's not at no cost. Some GE crops are actually classified as pesticides. [10]The GE New Leaf potato, produced the Bt toxin to kill pests that ate it. EPA regulations had never anticipated that people consume pesticides as food. Creating foods that are poisonous to pests, are also poison to us.

CROSS BREEDING: The CON and I both agree that preventing cross breeding is near impossible. I don't know about all people, but most do not have the means to grow a myriad of vegetables in their own organic garden. To constitute food as organic is a lengthy, expensive, and controlled process. I want the right as a consumer to go to the store and buy my organic vegetables like anyone, and I'd like to be assured that they are not tainted by these dirty GM practices.

Resources
http://www.naturalnews.com... [1]
http://laudyms.wordpress.com... [2]
http://pameladrew.newsvine.com... [3]
http://santostrading.com.au... [4]
http://laudyms.wordpress.com... [5]
http://www.csmonitor.com...... [6]
http://www.gmwatch.org...... [7]
http://www.treehugger.com... [8]
http://thesouthern.com...;[9]
http://www.sustainabletable.org... [10]
wmpeebles

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent so far for the debate. In the previous round I mentioned I would only be providing rebuttals in that round since the character limit prevented me from making any additional arguments. This round I will heavily state my case and the positives of genetic engineering and I will explain how genetic modification is a necessary tool in order to improve agriculture, cure diseases, and to prevent deaths of millions of people throughout the world. I will also be explaining why genetically modified organisms could be considered safer than organisms cultivated and produced under traditional breeding techniques.

Contention 1: Genetic engineering is more precise and produces desirable results faster than conventional breeding.
Let's consider what genetic engineering actually does verses conventional breeding. In a tomato plant with 10,000 genes coding for different characteristics of the tomato, genetic engineering would allow for the precise insertion of 1 gene from another organism into the DNA of the tomato plant [12. http://bit.ly...;]. Wheras with conventional breeding techniques, half of the genes from one plant and half of the genes from another plant of the same species are combined together and a desirable product is much harder to produce. For example, it took 6000 years for the puny teosinte grain to be conventionally bred into modern grain that Americans call corn [13. http://accessscience.com...]. Genetic engineering could have made this process much faster because corn is only different from teosinte by 3 genes [14. http://www.koshland-science-museum.org...]. Modification of only 3 genes out of 32,000 genes is what made corn a much more desirable grain than the worthless teosinte [15. http://www.sciencedaily.com...].

This is what makes genetic engineering all the more preferable than conventional breeding. All types of plants could be modified to produce desirable traits much faster than traditional breeding methods and it would also become possible to induce new traits in plants that wouldn't have been possible with conventional breeding methods. These would include increased drought tolerance, increased frost tolerance, disease resistance, bigger yields, sweeter fruit, more nutrition and basically any other quality that would provide some kind of benefit. The possibilities are virtually endless with genetic engineering, while they are severely limitated by conventional breeding.

Contention 2: All forms of crop breeding can produce unsafe crops.
Ever since genetic engineering became possible in the early '70s, GM crops have been much more scrutinized and tested than their conventionally bred counterparts because of the unknown effects these new plants would have on the environment and in people. But traditionally bred crops are often tested less often than GM bred crops because the traditionally bred crops don't provoke any reason for testing because they are considered as safe. But some traditionally bred crops such as potato and celery produce their own toxins naturally. Traditional breeding has and could produce just the right combination of genes from two relatively non-poisonous plants to produce a plant that produces highly toxic potatoes and cause a very severe case of human poisoning. There was a case in California where a new variety of celery was bred from conventional techniques, grown in fields, and harvested. It was only until it was harvested that it was found to contain very high levels of toxin. This was evident when the celery harvesters developed very bad skin rashes [16. http://bit.ly...].

What this illustrates is that no matter how plants are bred, conventionally or genetically engineered, there exists risk of producing something that is harmful. All of these risks though could be mitigated through adequate testing for both traditional breeding and genetic engineering.

Contention 3: Genetically modified crops save lives.
Earlier in the debate I mentioned that genetic engineering was able to produce human insulin much more efficiently than before. My opponent agreed that it did. I also mentioned the case of spreading banana diseases in South America and Asia and that genetically modified bananas have saved the lives of millions of people because no longer were their plantations being wiped out due to these cruel diseases. They now have food to feed their children who were dying. This is one of the greatest advantages of GMO technology.

Contention 4: Organic crops are not necessarily natural nor safe.
Organic food is a food that "is produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives" [17. http://en.wikipedia.org...]. But when you look at the word natural, many of our food crops sold in stores are not natural because they have been grown and altered by humans [16. (Above)]. Tomatoes, Corn, Grapes, and Apples have all been transformed from their natural states in nature to produce something that is desirable for humans to eat. My opponent wishes to eat something that is organic, and not genetically modified, but in reality these food items I have listed above are technically genetically modified through conventional breeding techniques. Is it still safe to assume that anything organic is safe? An organic potato could have high levels of toxins harmful to humans. It's organic, but it's not really safe. All food is potentially harmful, not just GMOs.

Rebuttals:

Untested: My opponent has claimed that round-up ready soybeans have inert ingredients that kill human cells and disrupt the synthesis and action of human sex hormones. But this is also true of regular soybeans and organic soybeans. "Raw soybeans, including the immature green form, are toxic to humans, swine, chickens, and in fact, all monogastric animals." [18. http://en.wikipedia.org...]. So I really don't see the argument here.

Corruption: My opponent keeps using the Corruption of Monsanto and other biochemical companies to try to say that GMOs are unsafe. But that's a logical fallacy, an ad hominem. Just because a company is corrupt doesn't mean what they produce is unsafe for human consumption. In fact, I'm still here, alive, and I have eaten GMO products. My opponent's arguments here have no backing for the banning of GMOs.

Research/Hidden Dangers: As I have pointed out above, all crops have hidden dangers, even the ones not genetically engineered. My opponent keeps using the corruption of Monsanto to say that GMOs are unsafe, but has yet to provide any convincing truth to that argument.

Massive Pesticide Pollution: Several natural plants are toxic, such as arsenic. The fact that plants now contain their own pesticide doesn't mean pesticide pollution will go up. If crops are engineered with their own pesticide, it will eliminate the harmful pesticide spraying that occurs over agricultural fields. This will eliminate the pesticides that could be inhaled by animals such as humans, providing a much safer alternative than spraying.
Debate Round No. 3
Lauren_k

Pro

I thank my opponent for taking me up on this debate. Con stated that GMO's are necessary to cure disease. He has not provided any support for this claim. The hope is that they can cure diseases, but as of now there is no such proof. What has transpired is devastating effects on humans and their health. I will lay out this paradox. You are talking about how GMO's can crack the code to many diseases, when in fact many diseases stem from these altered foods, and pollution in the world that comes along with these uneconomical practices.

1: Con has compared genetic engineering to conventional breeding. This is like comparing an apple to a banana. There are huge differences between the two that I will discuss, which make them virtually incomparable. Put it this way: The most critical difference between natural and GM breeding is that natural breeding crosses organisms that are already closely related—whereas, GM breeding slaps together genes from up to 15 wildly different sources. [1] The mixing of genetic material across species is a dangerous and unnatural. [2] New amino acids and proteins are created that are not recognized by our bodies when ingested. [2] This means even if it looks like food, in reality the DNA is not and does not benefit our bodies in the same ways. Precise techniques do not equate success. It is possible to make an endless supply of Frankenfood that endangers our health, animals health, and contaminates our world.

2: What dangers does an organic strawberry, or lettuce head have? It is a fallacy in itself to say that I haven't provided any convincing argument that GMO's are unsafe. The corruption of Monsanto is not what makes GMO's unsafe. GMO's in their own right are dangerous. A powerful corrupt corporation spreading GMOs at an alarming rate and driving good small farms out of business makes it even worse. I laid out several arguments, such as the salmon, and the bees that show just two ramifications of GMOs. I have stated in many sources how it affects human health. Monsanto is not the reason to stop GMOs, it just justifies why it all the more important.

3. GMO foods have not done anything for world hunger, nor have the improve agriculture. Earlier this year, the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a detailed report entitled "Failure to Yield". [4] The report's findings were straightforward and indisputable. [4] After 21 years of research, billions of dollars, GM crops have done nothing to significantly increase yield: so much for the "feeding the world's hungry" spin. [4]

4. Just because a potato may be toxic doesn't mean you can discount all the other healthful organic foods that are good for the body before their genes are modified. Your using the potato as a fallacy, "poisoning the well", when GMOs are the real culprits poisoning our bodies.

Untested: When I cited my example, it was not meant to isolate the dangers of soybeans. Roundup on its own is an endocrine disruptor, and can cause cancers, and a myriad of health problems.http://www.biosafety-info.net... My argument has been oversimplified by the CON. This is not only affecting humans. A lot of other organisms are feeling the affects, and even the bee population is suffering.

Corruption/dangers: Many concerned doctors hypothesize that the disease-causing symptoms of GMOs being consumed today will take years to show up. [3] GMO's aren't going to make you drop dead. That is not the argument. The damage can take years, decades, generations. Each generation is weaker than the previous due to the damage. I recommend the book Pottenger' s Cats. It's great research that proves how successive generations fare far worse than the previous due to poor eating. You state that I am attacking Monsanto, GMO's. But I am not attacking Monsanto to make my case. I am simply stating the facts of Monsanto to support the reasons why GMOs need to be banned. Take for example, nuclear weapons. They are well known dangerous. On top of that fact, you put them in the wrong hands and they can threaten the world. This is my case for GMOs. On their on right, GMO's are proven to be harmful. Concurrently, they are in the wrong hands (Monsanto), which endangers people, our children, our children's children, and mother nature. Is it fair to say that just because I am okay that I will threaten my kids, or their kids? Is it fair to say that just because I can eat them for 5 years I will be fine, but how about 20, 40 years down the road. We need to think long term as a whole, not individual and selfishly.

Massive Pesticide Pollution: Several natural plants are not themselves toxic, they are grown in soil that is contaminated, therefore some plants such as the coffee bean plant for example, soaks up the contamination more readily. GM plants only contain this pesticide, because GMO's have altered and inserted it. It is a siction that GMO plants don't require pesticides. As I have proven,many times they require more. Animals are not just inhaling these chemicals. We are having them for dinner. The whole case for GMO's was to improve agriculture, and provide benefits for humans. It has done no such thing, and caused bigger problems.

I hope people don't walk away from this thinking that GMO food can prevent world hunger. The exact opposite is occurring. The same poor nations are where thousands of farmers routinely commit suicide after being completely bankrupt by Monsanto's overpriced and ineffective GM seeds. [5] This is well known as the GM genocide. Traditional seeds turned out providing much better. This may be the case because GMO plants require much more water than conventional, and many of these areas are prone to very dry and hot weather.

All the more reasons to support the banning!

Resources
http://www.mnn.com... [1]
http://conspiracyfactory.blogspot.com... [2]
http://www.naturalnews.com... [3]
http://www.huffingtonpost.com... [4]
http://www.activistpost.com... [5]
wmpeebles

Con

Who are the people opposing genetic modification? Americans, Europeans and rich people are. The United States alone has so much food that 1/3 of Americans are obese [19. http://www.cdc.gov...]. People are asking what the point is in GMO's. "They're unsafe", "I'm going to get cancer", "We don't need them, we already have enough food". Of course Americans want to make GMOs illegal because they're afraid of the potential side effects. But many of these claims are not based on hard cold research and statistics. It's also possible to make safe GM crops and it's also possible to ban the crops that are harmful.

My opponent says GMOs can't cure diseases. But they already have, and they still have the potential to do so. Has it ever come across your mind that malnutrition is a disease? The GM banana has saved lives of millions of people in Asian and African countries. It is in fact curing the malnutrition disease because these people are now able to eat something and not die as a result. My opponent says that GMOs caused diseases. How is this true?

My opponent keeps saying they're unsafe to eat. And yet I said that gene-transfer is a very low possibility. The cancer that might result from eating GMOs is not from the GMO itself, but is from the chemicals sprayed on the plants themselves. GMOs are safe to eat. This is not a debate about pesticides, this is a debate solely on GMOs. My opponent keeps bringing up pesticide and herbicide usage time and time and again. GM crops can be engineered to produce their own pesticide. My opponent even says that Round-up is "a natural herbicide" in round 3. And then she says roundup is dangerous. Well what about natural plants? They aren't necessarily safe either. I've highlighted the dangers of natural plants in the previous round. These GM plants don't need those chemical sprayings in order to survive, therefore the argument is irrelevant.

My opponent also says GMOs haven't done anything for world hunger. But she did not attack my argument in the other round that the GM banana has saved the lives of many people in Africa. Therefore the argument is sustained. She cannot bring up a new argument saying that GMOs haven't done anything for world hunger, because I have already shown that several times it has and my arguments went uncontested.

Many of the other arguments my opponent brings up like the creation of new proteins are all possible to an extent. But when only a few genes are modified out of several thousand, only a few proteins need to be tested, therefore the process for testing them is quite easy and straighforward [20. http://www.gmo-compass.org...]. Testing of these GMOs would mitigate this issue because the effects of these proteins could be examined. And not all GM modification results in a new protein being formed [20]. My opponent says that the process of GM modification from different sources is unnatural. But just because something is unnatural doesn't mean it's safe or unsafe. The modern corn, tomato, grapes can be organic, but they are not natural because humans modified them by conventional breeding.

And at the last of my opponent's debate round, she has this to say:
"All the more reasons to support the banning!"

I dare you to tell that to a sick, malnurished, and dying African child. GMOs have put smiles back on the faces of these families in Africa because it gives them hope, and it gives them their pride back that they can grow what they need to grow.
Debate Round No. 4
Lauren_k

Pro

I thank my opponent for a good debate and sticking it out to the end. And I thank in advance anyone who takes the time to read it.

The CON makes his case that I am attacking Monsanto, not GMOs, or that I am attacking the pesticides, and not the GMOs. As I have stated in previous arguments "the corruption of Monsanto is not what makes GMO's unsafe. GMO's in their own right are dangerous."In reality, FDA scientists had repeatedly warned that GM foods can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including: allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems. [1] I also proved that the research that claims GMOs to be safe is tainted, as it is endorsed by the Biotech companies themselves. The CON found scientists from Southern Illinois University Carbondale stating GMO safety, which I uncovered to be biased. Monsanto donated a large sum of money for that very research and said "Monsanto saw an opportunity to assist the college in a way that would also help them achieve their goals,"

CONs argument is that GMOs have cured disease because he defines malnutrition as a disease. That is a bold claim to make, and only supported by one instance of a GM banana. GM bananas did not save the world from malnutrition. If all you ate were GM bananas, you would still suffer from malnutrition. The world has a surplus of food, but still people go hungry. [2] They go hungry because they cannot afford to buy it. They cannot afford to buy it because the sources of wealth and the means of production have been monopolized by corporations. [2]

We are told that ... by refusing to eat GM products, we are threatening the developing world with starvation, an argument that is imaginative ... The only reasons GM crops are being used is because they are patentable and are potentially an enormous profit, while gaining control over the world's food supply. [2]

GMOs fail allergy tests
GMOs may make you allergic to non-GM foods
GMOs and liver problems
GMOs, reproductive problems, and infant mortality
GMOs inked to sterility, disease, and death
http://www.seedsofdeception.com...

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" - Hippocrates

Resources
http://www.seedsofdeception.com... 1
http://www.huffingtonpost.com... 2
wmpeebles

Con

I'd also like to thank my opponent for a challenging debate and for requiring me to do a lot of research on this subject. I'd like to say thanks to anyone who is reading this because it means you are taking a lot of time out of your day to come and read all of this. If anything, I'd say reading the conclusion of this debate is most important, so please do not vote until you have read the debate entirely.

This whole debate boils down to two things: It comes down to whether or not GMOs are really necessary. It also comes down to whether or not GMOs are more beneficial than harmful.

Below is a map of the world showing the percentages of populations that are undernourished. Parts of South America, Asia and largely Africa are the most undernourished places in the world.

From <a href=http://www.restlessbeings.org...; />
Image from: http://www.restlessbeings.org...

Let's take a look at Africa for example. Africa's population has more than tripled since 1960, yet the amount of food production in Africa has gone down 10% [21.http://www.guardian.co.uk...]. As a result, many people are not getting the food they need and many of them aren't getting enough nutrients. One solution is to let nature take over and to let people starve and die. But is that really the best solution we have to offer? In my opponent's closing arguments, she says that people go hungry because they cannot afford the food even though the world has enough food to support every single person on Earth. But there are no supermarkets in Africa. Even if we could ship food to Africa, transportation costs would be tremendous because there's no road system to distribute the food to everybody [22. http://bit.ly...]. And even if we could give them food, who's going to pay for the costs of transporting the food to everyone in the continent almost every week inside a country that is insanely massive? The best thing we can do is to let Africa become sustainable by letting them use new technology that would allow them to be able to do so.

From <a href=http://strangemaps.files.wordpress.com...; />
From: http://bigthink.com...

But here's an interesting tidbit. Almost all of the farming in Africa is practically organic [23. http://www.nytimes.com...]. It's because these people can't afford commercial chemicals to spray on their farms. But organic farming hasn't been able to support the people of Africa. What's the solution to world hunger? My opponent hasn't provided anything as an alternative solution to GMOs. Drought is a major problem in Africa. Organic food is not resistant to drought, neither is food produced with commercial farming methods. But a GM corn that is resistant to drought can fix the problem [23]. Disease is also a major problem and GM bananas are already showing that they are a viable technology to going around that problem.

Issue of safety. My opponent keeps saying that GM technology hasn't done anything (present tense), but uses the issue of safety as it could create massive problems in the future (future tense). But my opponent is ignoring what GM technology can do in the future, and is ignoring that GM technology, while in use for more than 40 years, hasn't created massive safety problems in the past. I want you voters to realize this that my opponent has been weaving in and out of the facts to appease her case to the voters. But what she ignored is crucial.
- My opponent keeps stating that GM technology could create safety problems in the future. But in the past 40 years when GM technology has been prevalent and 90% of all corn we eat is genetically modified, nothing of a widespread epidemic of disease has occurred from the GM technology. I have also shown that GM testing is a precise science that can stop plants containing any toxins harmful to humans from entering the food supply. I'd also like to say that allergens only effect a small portion, 1% - 2% of the population [24. http://www.fao.org...]. And while allergens effect a small portion of the population, new research is showing that they can be cured permanently [25. http://www.fmshk.org...]. So the notion that my opponent would like you to believe that genetic engineering produces something that enters the food supply, causing widespread disease and death is completely unfounded. It hasn't happened in the past or currently even with my opponent showing that Monsanto has an influence on test results. Testing procedures can always be more heavily regulated and supervised, ensuring that GM crops are considered much more safe in the future.
- My opponent also keeps using 1 same source over and over again that says GMOs are unsafe (seedsofdeception.com), while I have shown plenty of sources that say say the opposite.

The bottom line is that GM technology can do things non GM technology can't do.
GMOs can solve world hunger while non GMOs can't.
GMOs can allow Africa to become sustainable so that countries don't have to keep providing expensive foreign aid.
GMOs can be created to include vitamins and nutrients like iodine that can solve iodine deficiency problems.
GMOs can fix diseases like malnutrition.
GMO testing is very precise and has not, nor will not, produce anything that could cause widespread disease in the future.

GMOs are safe and they are beneficial. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Lauren_k 4 years ago
Lauren_k
ok thank you so much!
Posted by wmpeebles 4 years ago
wmpeebles
Ha ha yeah, I don't plan on forfeiting any rounds in this debate. I just had to get all my arguments in and was able to do so with one minute to spare. :p
Posted by Lauren_k 4 years ago
Lauren_k
hurry time is running out
Posted by Lauren_k 4 years ago
Lauren_k
I hope your doing ok on time. i have to finish this debate for a class, so i hope we can finish it through to the end :)
Posted by Lauren_k 4 years ago
Lauren_k
I agree :)
Posted by wmpeebles 4 years ago
wmpeebles
This is a great topic to be debating. I am sure both of us will have learned a lot by the end of this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 4 years ago
RoyLatham
Lauren_kwmpeeblesTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Good debate. To win, Pro wold have to show that there is something characteristic of GMOs that makes them all inherently unsafe. Pro did not provide that, nor even any convincing examples of bad consequences having actually occurred. Pro provided convincing counterexamples of beneficial products. Pro granted the benefits of medical products, while denouncing them as unethical for having fooled with mother nature. Safety was granted, however. Con did a very good job of researching the topic.
Vote Placed by THEBOMB 4 years ago
THEBOMB
Lauren_kwmpeeblesTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro gets conduct simply because Cons biggest and best thought out argument was in the last round. Con get arguments because the last round was conclusive, GMOsn have the potential to save lives.