The Instigator
ZoeM68
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
cmkiester
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Genetically Modified Organisms

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/6/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 999 times Debate No: 48573
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (0)

 

ZoeM68

Pro

If you could give a child food that would potentially save their lives, would you? According to UNICEF 1.5 million children die every year because of vitamin A deficiency. Geneticists have developed a rice that contains more vitamin A than the average grain. This rice is a genetically modified organism. Genetically modified organisms (or GMOs) are organisms that have had their DNA changed in some way. This is often used for producing new traits in plants-like the ability to grow without much water-and is greatly helpful in our ever changing world.
Many people believe food which has been genetically modified is unsafe to eat. This has been proven wrong by scientific studies. I Therefore strongly believe that we should continue using genetically modified organisms.
cmkiester

Con

How would you feel if one of your loved ones got severely sick because they ate a plant or animal that had been genetically modified? This could happen one day in the future if we keep growing genetically engineered crops. Genetically engineered organisms (GMO) are organisms that have been injected with chemicals. These chemicals change the DNA of the organism. This causes the organisms to do things that nature did not intend for them to do. This issue is very important because according to an article on the issues and controversies website, it is estimated that in the USA 70% of all the processed food in supermarkets contains GMO. In the future GMO could make certain foods better for us but this does not outweigh the risks. I strongly believe that genetically modified organisms should not be allowed.
Debate Round No. 1
ZoeM68

Pro

The latest statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) say that "there are 842 million hungry people in the world and 98 percent of them are in developing countries." There are many reasons that this happens, including war, poverty, and weather. Many people do not have clean water for themselves so it is even harder to grow crops. The FAO suggests that, "Investing in agriculture is one of the most effective strategies for reducing poverty and hunger and promoting sustainability." Many GMOs have the ability to survive in harsh conditions such as this. For example, scientists will be able to modify plants so that they can survive things like the harsh African summer. This could greatly help the fight against world hunger.
Many countries are debating whether or not to allow GMOs. In many developing countries, families rely on their own gardens at least some of the time; this makes it even more important to have a successful harvest. On average, Ugandans eat about a pound of fruit a day. Most people in Uganda actually have a banana tree in their backyard. But recently a bacteria has been effecting those trees. Harvests have gone down by as much as 30 percent. But according to an article on NPR.org, Uganda's National Agricultural Research Organization, has produced a genetically modified banana that can stand up to the bacteria. The Ugandan government has realized how helpful GMOs can be and is in the process of passing a bill allowing genetically modified organisms.
cmkiester

Con

GMO foods could potentially cause health problems. This is not just a guess. In 1999 a study was done in Europe by the biochemist Arpad Pustzai. It showed that rats who were fed GMO potatoes developed a weakened immune system and stomach problems. This is not the only evidence. In 2000 there was a batch of GMO corn from Starlink that had not been approved to be eaten. This corn made its way into taco shells. Some of the people who ate these taco shells had allergic reactions. Some experts said that these reactions were linked to the corn. This is just one example, if it happened once why won't it happen again? Foods that would be destined for gas or some other non edible purpose could end up on someones plate. After these incidents and studies, why should GMO foods be trusted?

Questions:
1) What heppnes to all of those hungry people if the GMO foods start to make them sick?
2) What starving country would have enough money to pay the farmers and scientists for all of those GMO foods?
Debate Round No. 2
ZoeM68

Pro

Answers to questions
I don't believe your first question is relevant based on the evidence from my second question. In answer to your second question, the scientists who developed the GM banana would like to give them out to millions of families for free (and banana trees regrow from clippings).

Questions
(1) According to an article on Academics Review.org, the 1999 study conducted by Arpad Pustzai was faulty. "Experts say no scientific conclusion can be made from the work." Do you think that study should still be used as evidence?

(2) 1783 studies on GMOs were recently reviewed by a team of researchers. Their conclusion was simple "We have reviewed the scientific literature on GE crop
safety for the last 10 years that catches the scientific consensus matured since GE plants became widely cultivated worldwide, and we can conclude that the scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazard directly connected with the use of GM crops." Do you still stand by your argument?

Climate change is one of the big topics right now. Humans are pretty well equipped for warmer or cooler temperatures. But plants cannot put on the AC or bundle up in a scarf. For generations we have been using selective breeding to better equip plants for harsh conditions. Selective breeding is when you breed together plants with specific traits to get desired results. But along with our need for high speed internet, we need high speed adaptation. Genetically modifying organisms lets us get that desired trait quicker. With our growing population, we can't afford to lose crops to droughts or bacteria.
Wheat is one of our three major exports, along with soy and corn. Most of the soy and corn in the US is genetically modified, wheat however is not grown genetically modified anywhere in the world. This has posed a big problem. Since most wheat is grown in the central plains, one of their main sources of water is the Ogallala Aquifer. The Ogallala Aquifer is quickly being drained of its water, some people predict it will be half gone in less than fifty years. With decreased access to water, crops without genetic modifications have great difficulty surviving.
cmkiester

Con

GMO foods could ruin ecosystems. If the pollen from a GMO crop that was bug resistant got onto a natural plant, any bug that ate that plant would die. A decrease in bugs could ruin ecosystems and food chains. The use of GMO on crops could also lead to the creation of "superweeds" .GMO is also being introduced to pets and animals. One example of this is glow in the dark fish. If one of these fish made it out into the ocean or to a river, all aquatic life could end up glowing. This would forever alter the world and could even make it to land one day. What about future generations? They will never get to experience the beautiful wonders of life as we know today.
The public knows this as well. Some experts believe that one of the leading GMO companies, Monsanto spent buckets of money influencing congress and the white house to pass laws in their favor. Apoll done by ABC news stated, that "55% of respondents would be less likely to buy a food if they knew it had been genetically modified."Let the public be heard, why keep GMO?

Answers:
1) I do think that we should count that study as evidence. Even if we can"t make a conclusion it still shows that there is a huge possibility that GMO foods do cause health problems.
2)I do still stand by my argument. The quote did not say how old those studies were. GMO crops could have changed greatly by then and could still change in the future.
Debate Round No. 3
ZoeM68

Pro

All of the examples in your second argument are hypothetical scenarios. None of these things have actually happened. I again want to draw your attention to the collection of studies reviewed by a team of scientists. Out of all 1783 studies about genetically modified organisms, they could not find a single credible example of GMOs causing harm. "Genetically modified foods are among the most extensively studied scientific subjects in history", according to an article on Forbes.com. "There is no credible evidence that GMOs pose any unique threat to the environment or the public"s health. The reason for the public"s distrust of GMOs lies in psychology, politics and false debates."
I stand by my points for keeping GMOs. Developing countries can be greatly helped by GM crops, providing food that can stand up to bacteria and other threats. They can also provide the U.S. with ways to quickly adapt plants to any conditions that threaten our crops. With all of this evidence, I conclude my argument hoping that you can see how much genetically modified organisms can help us. Thank you.
cmkiester

Con

Over the course of this argument we have seen the many cons of GMO organisms. They are bound to and already have caused health problems and threaten the environment. I have also showed that the path to GMO foods being allowed in america is shady. Some experts believe that a GMO company spent lots of money lobbying the government in their favor.
My opponent believes that GMO foods would end world hunger. This is wrong. Most countries that would need these crops are extremely poor. How would they have enough money to pay for the food? This also applies to her thoughts on climate change as well.
Many countries are highly against GMO organisms. Why aren't we? Lobbying and false ideals have shaped this countries opinion on GMO foods. Listen to the facts. GMO foods are highly dangerous.
Debate Round No. 4
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