The Instigator
M.nieves
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
jsisn
Pro (for)
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0 Points

Genetically modified foods

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/14/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,628 times Debate No: 52433
Debate Rounds (5)
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M.nieves

Con

Genetically modified foods have proved useful in a number of ways but the truth is that they do more harm than good. Genetically modified foods are the alterations of a food type or plants genes in order to give it a certain trait such as making it larger or grow faster. But the modifications of these foods have a lot of down sides to it, one such being the amount of harm it does to the environment. A laboratory has study shown that due to a crop of genetically modified corn there was a large fatality rate of monarch butterflies and caterpillars. This was due to the pollen from the corn being blown into milkweed plants in the surrounding area. The butterflies and caterpillars would eat the pollen causing them to die. Other non-government research groups including the USDF and EPA showed the same results.
jsisn

Pro

Not all genetically modified foods are bad for the environment. In the article, "Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?" Deborah Whitman brings up how genetically modified foods lead to other genetically modified plants. Not all of these plants are grown as crops, and some of them even help pollution and thus the environment. A certain type of tree has been genetically modified to absorb pollution from bodies of water. Chemical spills and pollution by individuals and companies are not unknown and these trees can absorb these damages and improve water reserves. This benefits the environment and people. You cannot generalize and say that genetically modified foods lead to environmental damages when they also lead to environmental benefits.
Debate Round No. 1
M.nieves

Con

A majority of genetically modified foods don't help the environment either because a majority of the foods modified are not modified for the purpose of helping the environment at all. If every genetically modified food or crops did help the environment such as the tree then there would be a majority of benefits but since these GMO foods are not made to serve the environment they can have any number of negative affects on it due to introducing new or enhanced genes to the DNA pool and delicate mechanics of the ecosystem. But while it is in someway harmful to the environment it is also harmful to people. The EEH (exposure to environmental hazards) organization has shown that while almost all plants do produce substances that are toxic to humans, most of the plants that humans consume produce toxins at levels low enough that they do not produce any adverse health effects. But there is concern that inserting an exotic gene into a plant could cause it to produce toxins levels that are more dangerous to humans. Even a plant were damaged in its modification process it could cause the plants toxins levels to be altered making it more dangerous.
jsisn

Pro

This may be true but there are not only benefits to the environment but also humans. For humans the possibility of edible vaccines is a major benefit. According to wisegeek.com in the article, "What Are the Pros and Cons of Genetically Engineered Food?" genetically modifying food to create vaccines and medicines is possible and will make them cheaper and easier to obtain. Another human benefit is the genetically modified plants assist farmers. Dr. Keith Kantor, in the article, "GMO"s " Pros and Cons," writes that genetic engineering of crops allow farmers to skip using pesticides and herbicides, since the plants are already resistant. He also writes that it will cause more efficient production.
Debate Round No. 2
M.nieves

Con

Vaccines are enough of issue as it is with people not trusting them so imagine how many people will actually be pro for them if the now come from genetically modified foods. While the GMO foods no longer require pesticides they still can do a lot of harm to animals and insects. In the article "Damning New Study Demonstrates Harm to Animals Raised on GMO Feed" by Leslie Hatfield, it states that pigs raised on a mixed diet of GM corn and GM soy had higher rates of intestinal problems, "including inflammation of the stomach and small intestine, stomach ulcers, a thinning of intestinal walls and an increase in haemorrhagic bowel disease, where a pig can rapidly "bleed-out" from their bowel and die." There were also reproductive effects such as the uteri of female pigs raised on GM feed being 25 percent larger (in proportion to body size) than those of control sows.
jsisn

Pro

Despite the harm some genetically modified foods may cause, these foods can also benefit countries all over the world. Deborah Whitman writes about an example of how genetic modification can improve nutrition in developing countries in the overview of the article, "Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?" She writes that genetically modifying rice crops could prevent malnutrition in countries who depend on the rice, because rice does not contain many needed vitamins and minerals. These benefits of genetically modifying food will make food taste better and provide better nutrition all over the world.
Debate Round No. 3
M.nieves

Con

Making GMO foods tastier is still one of the biggest problems though because of the fact that GMO foods can produce any number of negative effects such as food allergy symptom increases, bodily toxins.
jsisn

Pro

While that ay be true, there are many benefits to better-tasting and healthier foods being produced from genetic modification. According to healthandresearchfunding.org in the article, "Pros and Cons of Genetically Modified Foods," a food"s quality and taste can be improved with genetic modification. Flavors can be enhanced, difficult flavors can become more pleasant, and foods can be changed to become sweeter or spicier with genetic modification. The article also mentions the nutrition benefits that come from genetically modifying food. Vitamins and minerals can be added through genetic engineering. This can be very helpful in developing countries that do not have the resources to obtain much-needed vitamins and minerals.
Debate Round No. 4
M.nieves

Con

M.nieves forfeited this round.
jsisn

Pro

jsisn forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
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