The Instigator
Legitdebater
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
Subutai
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Non-GMO Food is more Beneficial to Society than GMO Food

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Subutai
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/12/2013 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,922 times Debate No: 36622
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (4)

 

Legitdebater

Pro

**Note** This is the same debate that Subutai and I had before, except with some minor modifications. The reason why we're having a new debate is because Subutai inadvertently plagiarized most of his arguments in the orginal debate.

Debate Procedure:

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Introduction and Refutations
Round 3: Refutations
Round 4: Conclusion (no new arguments)

Definitions
GMO:An organism whose genetic characteristics have been altered by the insertion of a modified gene or a gene from another organism using the techniques of genetic engineering.

Beneficial:Favorable or advantageous; resulting in good.

Society: The aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.

Burden of Proof
On me, Pro. I will use evidence and logic to support the claim.

First round is acceptance. As Pro, I will provide evidence on how GMOs are unhealthy and that Non-GMO food is healthier.

Subutai

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Legitdebater

Pro

GMO's are Unhealthy
There have been many studies by individual scientists and organizations that have found negative effects on animals. In an individual experiment conducted on rats in 1999, world renowned scientist Arpad Pusztai from the University of Aberdeen found negative effects on the rat’s stomach tissue when the rats were fed GMO corn.[1] The American Academy of Environmental Medicine found negative effects on animal’s gastrointestinal, immune and reproductive system, through their studies as well.[2]

From this evidence, we can conclude that GMO's aren't proven to be healthier than non-gmo foods and have not had long-term studies. According to FDA's Louis J. Pribyl, Ph.D., a scientist in the FDA’s Microbiology Group, “several aspects of gene insertion may be more hazardous than traditional plant crossbreeding.”[2] E.J. Matthews, Ph.D., of the FDA’s Toxicology group, warned in an October 1991 memo, “genetically modified plants could also contain unexpected high concentrations of plant toxicants.” According to Steven M. Druker, J.D., executive director of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity, “Numerous agency experts protested that drafts of the statement of policy were ignoring the recognized potential for genetic engineering to produce unexpected toxins and allergens. But the policy was put into effect despite their scientific judgment that no GM foods can be presumed safe.”[2]

According to the World Health Organization, "some strains of GMO crops are developed specifically for animal feed and not for human consumption. The WHO confirms that there is a real risk that plants in the wild may cross-breed and the genetic modifications meant for animal feed may get into crops for human food supply."[3]


We can see that the WHO and even the FDA's own scientists have questioned the safety on GMO foods. From the numerous experiments by the AAEM, they concluded that GMO's negatively affected animals as seen in the first paragraph. Crops without GMO's are proven to be safe, since, we've used them for thousands of years. GMO's are highly unstable. We are going against mother nature by needlessly extracting characteristics from an animal and implementing the gene into a plant. Why not stick to natural plants without ruining the integrity of a vegetable or fruit or our society's health. Furthermore, this has resulted in countries establishing gmo restrictions and even banning them.

GMO's Negatively Imapct Farmers

Farmers Commiting Suicide

Bt cotton, a GMO crop was one of the main factors of suicides amongst Indian cotton farmers. The reason why they committed suicide was because of the overwhelming debt. They got into this debt because of BT cotton costing double the amount of a regular cotton crop. Since it's patented, they have to replant it every year which costs even more money. The crops also require a higher amount of water which is hard in places where water is scarce. In some cases, the yield didn't even increase. [4]

We can see that GMO's negatively impact farmers in Indian society, but how to they impact North America. Well, Monsanto actually sues farmers to "protect their patent rights." If a patented Monsanto seed flew into a farmer's field, that wasn't growing GMO's, Monsanto has the right to sue.

In its report, called Seed Giants vs US Farmers, the CFS said it had tracked numerous law suits that Monsanto had brought against farmers and found some 142 patent infringement suits against 410 farmers and 56 small businesses in more than 27 states. In total the firm has won more than $23m from its targets, the report said.[5]

We can see that gmo's are negatively impacting our society, therefore non-GMO's are more beneficial since they are healthier and aid society more than GMO's.

Sources:http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.aaemonline.org...
http://www.ehow.com...;
http://www.chrgj.org...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com...;

Subutai

Con

I would like to thank LegitDebater for presenting his arguments.

I. GMOs Make Better Crops

Thousands of lives and millions of dollars are lost every year to crops lost because of disease and extreme weather (i.e. cold and hot spells, droughts, floods, etc...). GMO crops have been formulated to be more resilient to diseases than traditional crops. Further, tolerant genes can be implanted in plants to make them more resilient to extreme weather. For example, an antifreeze gene has been formulated to make crops more tolerant to cold: "With this antifreeze gene, these plants are able to tolerate cold temperatures that normally would kill unmodified seedlings."[1][2][3]

In addition, because the world population as surpassed seven billion and is projected to continue to skyrocket for at least the next half century, more crops will have to be grown - and that means that crops will need to be grown in more unfavorable locations; locations that would have previously been considered unusable. "Creating plants that can withstand long periods of drought or high salt content in soil and groundwater will help people to grow crops in formerly inhospitable places."[1][4][5]

Third, due to widespread malnutrition and disease, there is a need for crops that provide more nutrients to people. Genetic engineering can help solve this problem. Take, for example, rice: "If rice could be genetically engineered to contain additional vitamins and minerals, nutrient deficiencies could be alleviated. For example, blindness due to vitamin A deficiency is a common problem in third world countries. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Institute for Plant Sciences have created a strain of "golden" rice containing an unusually high content of beta-carotene (vitamin A)." A similar experiment with iron in rice has been discussed. In addition to adding nutrients, GMOs could be used to reduce the amount of dangerous materials in crops, such as arsenic.[1][6][7]

Finally, medicine used for vaccinations could be made edible: "Potatoes have been modified to produce edible vaccines against E. coli bacteria which cause diarrhoea. This would allow cheap and easy distribution of the vaccine.""Researchers are working to develop edible vaccines in tomatoes and potatoes. These vaccines will be much easier to ship, store and administer than traditional injectable vaccines."[1][8][9][10]

Overall, "Genetic engineering has allowed scientists to develop crops that consume less water, grow in harsh environments and produce less carbon dioxide. Put another way, these technological advances have made it possible to produce cheaper food in greater quantities and in a more sustainable fashion."[11]

II. GMOs Help the Environment

Pesticides and herbicides have always been a problem for the danger they pose on the environment around them. Growing GM foods such as B.t. corn can help eliminate the application of chemical pesticides and reduce the cost of bringing a crop to market. For example, "Crop plants genetically-engineered to be resistant to one very powerful herbicide could help prevent environmental damage by reducing the amount of herbicides needed. For example, Monsanto has created a strain of soybeans genetically modified to be not affected by their herbicide product Roundup. A farmer grows these soybeans which then only require one application of weed-killer instead of multiple applications, reducing production cost and limiting the dangers of agricultural waste run-off."[1][12][13]

This is a story showing that these hypothetical benefits have actually been observed in the field: "Half the cotton grown in China in 2002 was genetically modified to produce a substance that is poisonous to the cotton bollworm, a pest that devastates many cotton crops. Farmers had previously applied the toxin directly by spraying the crops. The benefits of the ‘Bt cotton’ are a reduction in pesticide use, an increase in yields and profits, and health benefits for farm workers who often apply pesticides without protective clothing."[10]

Also, GMOs aren't limited to crops. Genetic engineering can also be used to help stop the pollution problem: " Not all GM plants are grown as crops. Soil and groundwater pollution continues to be a problem in all parts of the world. Plants such as poplar trees have been genetically engineered to clean up heavy metal pollution from contaminated soil."[1][14]

Overall, GMOs can help reduce the amount of dangerous materials in the environment, not just by reducing the amount of pesticides and herbicides that need to be sprayed, but they can also be used to clean up a dirty environment. In addition to the environmental benefit, these two things can reduce a farmer's cost and increase the amount of arable land, thereby increasing crop production and farmer profits.

Conclusion

"'The resilience we need for the future will be delivered by smart plant breeding – and that’s all GM is,' Freeman told farmers at a speech in Norfolk. Even Bill Gates has argued that GMOs could help solve world hunger, calling upon other billionaires to invest in biotech companies. 'By spending a relatively little amount of money on proven solutions, we can help poor farmers feed themselves,' Gates stated in his fourth annual letter, released in January 2012."[15]

Sources

[1]: http://www.csa.com...
[2]: Transgenic Approaches to Combat Fusarium Head Blight in Wheat and Barley (Crop Science, Vol 41, No 3, pp 628-627, Jun 2001).
[3]: Type II fish antifreeze protein accumulation in transgenic tobacco does not confer frost resistance (Transgenic Research, Vol 8, No 2, pp 105-117, Apr 1999) .
[4]: Transgenic salt-tolerant tomato plants accumulate salt in foliage but not in fruit (Nature Biotechnology, Vol 19, No 8, pp 765-768, Aug 2001).
[5]: Peroxidase activity of desiccation-tolerant loblolly pine somatic embryos (In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology Plant, Vol 36, No 6, pp. 488-491, Dec 2000)
[6]: Genetic engineering towards carotene biosynthesis in endosperm.
[7]: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com...
[8]: Medical molecular farming: production of antibodies, biopharmaceuticals and edible vaccines in plants (Trends in Plant Science, Vol 6, No 5, pp 219-226, May 2001).
[9]: Oral immunization with hepatitis B surface antigen expressed in transgenic plants (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, Vol 98, No 20, pp. 11539-11544, Sep 2001).
[10]: http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org...
[11]: http://www.policymic.com...
[12]: Insecticidal proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis protect corn from corn rootworms (Nature Biotechnology, Vol 19, No 7, pp 668-672, Jul 2001).
[13]: http://www.guardian.co.uk...
[14]: Phytodetoxification of hazardous organomercurials by genetically engineered plants (Nature Biotechnology, Vol 18, No 2, pp. 213-217, Feb 2000) .
[15]: http://www.forbes.com...;
Debate Round No. 2
Legitdebater

Pro

My Refutations

GMOs Make Better Crops

My opponent states that disease crops could be beneficial. However, disease-resistant crops such as papaya actually dropped down in price in the year 2006, because countries like Japan are uncertain about GMOs affects on human health. These GMO crops are a burden on the U.S.'s economy because of other countries like Japan not wanting to buy them. Virologist Jonatham Latham stated that inserting viral protein in a plant could cause a new evolution of viruses.[1]

Con says that an anti-freeze gene would make crops more resilient to cold weather.The effectiveness of cold-tolerant crops is not yet clear though. Dr. Wang and her colleagues from Iowa State University did not find a correlation between higher sugar levels and a higher resistance to colder temperatures. Dr. Wang stated that the effectiveness of NPK1 (anti-freeze gene) is not yet clear. Hence, GMOs need further testing and haven't been proven to do this.[2] It's like a scientist saying with his newly found medicine, he might cure AIDS. Great, but has it been proven effective enough to do this? Are there any harmful side-effects? This same principle applies to GMOs.

"In addition, because the world population as surpassed seven billion and is projected to continue to skyrocket for at least the next half century, more crops will have to be grown - and that means that crops will need to be grown in more unfavorable locations; locations that would have previously been considered unusable."

India has one of the most formidable growing conditions in Asia. The GMO BT cotton crops were more expensive, required a higher amount of water, and in some cases, the yield didn't even increase. Thus, Indian cotton farmers aquired a large amount debt, which caused some to commit suicide.[3] Also, Indian rice farmers are doing just fine without GMO crops or herbicide. One farmer grew 22.4 tonnes of rice on one hectare, a world record. [4] GMOs certainly wouldn't solve the problem in Africa. In fact, GMO companies make it illegal to save seeds which African farmers usually do. They even have the right to sue of a GMO seed landed in a farmers field since the seed is "patented". Also, drought-tolerant crops are not yet on the market and the only two types of GM that have been sold in the past 15 years in Africa have only been pest and herbicide resistant, which aren't the cause of starvation. There has also been discussion about whether they'll ever be on the market. This certainly wouldn't solve world hunger. [5]

Con asserts that GMO crops would provide more nutrients to people and could be engineered to contain more vitamins and minerals. However, a 2012 Nutritional Analysis report stated that GMO corn was greatly lacking in vitamins and minerals and even contained toxic chemicals such as glysophate. Nutrients such as potassium were up to 13 times higher in non-GMO corn. GMOs don't reduce the amount of dangerous materials as Con states, they actually increase them![6]

GMOs Help the Environment

I strongly disagree with my opponents point. In fact, they destroy the environment. Here are three main environmental risks:
1. There are unintented effects on the biodiversity of organisms by animals consuming the wrong protein. This is caused by impacts on non-target species, which occurs thorugh predation or competition, or by sudden changes in agricultural practices. For instance, the monarch butterfly population could be wiped out if pollen from BT corn is blown onto the milkweed plant which the monarch consumes. The BT toxins are poisonous to the butterfly. GMO crops could also be harmful to non-target species that aren't pests.

2. There are unintented effects on bigeochemistry, through effects microbial populations in the soil that regulate nitorgen and phosphorus etc.

3. There could be gene transfer to non-target species. For example, a herbicide-resistant gene from a crop could transfer to the weed which would cause weeds to be resistant to pesticides themselves. [7][8] [9]

"The benefits of the ‘Bt cotton’ are a reduction in pesticide use, an increase in yields and profits, and health benefits for farm workers who often apply pesticides without protective clothing."


According to Dr. Sudhir Kumar Kaura, sheep died 10 to 15 days after consuming BT cotton leaves. He also stated that buffaloes perished months later after consuming the same BT cotton. He also observed that animals were becoming unproductive and failed to reproduce. Is this helping the environment? Indian farmers didn't see an increase in higher yields or profits. Instead, they committed suicide. [10]

GMOs have also been found to have glyphosate in them which is a huge toxin to the environment going back to my argument about the nutrition of corn. As you can see, GMOs don't benefit the environment.

MY Arguments

GMOs are Unhealthy
World renowned scientists such as Arpad Puztai have pointed out the negative effects of GMOs. He pointed out the effects of GMOs on rats and that it negatively impacted their immune system and gastrointestinal health. The three main concerns for human health is allergenicity, gene transfer, and outcrossing.

Allergenicty: The transfer of genes from commonly allergenic foods poses a health risk.

Gene transfer: Accidental GMO transfer to human body's gastrointestinal tract adversly affects human health

Outcrossing: This is the most significant factor: "The movement of genes from GM plants into conventional crops or related species in the wild (referred to as “outcrossing”), as well as the mixing of crops derived from conventional seeds with those grown using GM crops, may have an indirect effect on food safety and food security. This risk is real, as was shown when traces of a maize type which was only approved for feed use appeared in maize products for human consumption in the United States of America." [9] [11]

GMOs Negatively Impact Farmers

Monsanto has sued many farmers by patented seeds blowing into farmer's fields. Saskatchewan farmer, Percy Schmeiser has tried to argue that it accidently blew into his field but Monsanto sued him. His been fighting Monsanto ever since then.[12]

With farmers being sued over patented seeds, and Indian farmers commiting suicide, it definitely negatively impacts them.

Conclusion
GMOs negatively impact human health, the environment and the economy and have resulted in farmers committing suicide. Obviously, Non-GMO food is more beneficial than horrendous GMO food.




Sources:http://www.responsibletechnology.org...;[1]
http://www.truthabouttrade.org...[2]
http://www.chrgj.org...;[3]
http://www.theguardian.com...;[4]
http://www.theguardian.com...;[5]
http://www.globalresearch.ca...;[6]
http://www.fao.org...;[7]
http://www.csa.com...;[8]
http://www.who.int...;[9]
http://www.indymediascotland.org...;[10]
http://www.wsws.org...;[11]
http://www.cbc.ca...;[12]






Subutai

Con

I would like to thank LegitDebater for presenting his rebuttals.

I. GMOs Are Not Unhealthy

While a few environmental advocacy groups have urged the discontiuation of GMO use, there is a broad concensus within the scientific community and other reliable organizations (such as the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, the Royal Society of Medicine, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and others) who say otherwise. An almost exclusive majority says that GMO foods are no more likely to cause ill effects to humans than non-GMO food, and that GMO fooods pose no greater risk to humans than non-GMO food.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

All GMOs are is a small genetic mutation that makes the plant more hardy, nutritious, and delicious. By this comparison, "All foods contain DNA - about a teaspoon of DNA in a pound of food. Adding one gene adds roughly 1 part in a million or ~0.0001%. DNA is digested starting in your mouth. Tiny fragments get through the digestive process. This is always happening when we eat food. It doesn't change or genes [or cause ill-effects]... GM foods are better analyzed than any in human history."[8] There is no cause for concern over a slight change in the gentic composition in crops.

In fact, "As Pamela Ronald, a UC-Davis plant geneticist, pointed out last year in Scientific American: 'There is broad scientific consensus that genetically engineered crops currently on the market are safe to eat. After 14 years of cultivation and a cumulative total of 2 billion acres planted, no adverse health or environmental effects have resulted from commercialization of genetically engineered crops.'"[9] That is pretty long-term - far greater than some other "long-term" studies that have been published.

Not only that, but "second-generation" GMO crops are being produced that eliminate some of the ill-effects of GMOs. Examples include:

  • Removal or decreased levels of antinutritional factors, toxins, allergens
  • Introduction of or increased levels of health promoting factors (e.g. antioxidants)
  • Modification of the levels of macro or micronutrients (such as fats and vitamins or minerals)
These newly improved GMOs will make an already great product better, as such traits are likely to increase the complexity of the existing safety assessment process.[10]

Finally, most countries have not "banned" GMOs: "Very few countries explicitly 'ban' GMOs. In most cases, governments have simply not yet 'approved' various GMO crops for cultivation, or for import, or for human consumption."[11]

All things considered, the scientific consensus concerned on the safety of GMOs is one of the strongest in science. These foods have been studied more than any other, and everything tells us that they're safe.[12]

II. GMOs Positively Impact Farmers

Actually, my opponent's assertions aren't really grounded in truth. Farmers in developed, semi-developed, and undeveloped countries have benefitted from GMOs - here is a short collection of why farmers around the world believe this:

First, for the economic benefits of GMOs: "According to a just-released economic analysis by U.K.-based PG Economics of the impacts of genetic engineering in agriculture from 1996-2011, the net economic benefit at the farm level in 2011 was $19.8 billion, which translates to an average increase in income of $329 per acre. For the entire 16-year period, the increment in global farm income was $98.2 billion—49% of which resulted from lower pest predation and weed-related losses and improved genetics, while the remainder came from reductions in the costs of production."[13] GMOs give farmers, on average, more money per crop.

Not only do farmers enthusiasticlly support GMOs for their ability to resist long-feared perils such as drought, excessive temperature deviation, lower pest levels, less pesticide use, and other things, today, more than 14 million farmers in 25 countries produce GM crops — an 80-fold increase since 1996, when GM seeds were first commercialized, according to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, a nonprofit that monitors the use of GM crops. In fact, these advantages are reflected by a "repeat index" - the percentage of farmers who choose to plant genetically engineered crops again after trying them once. This index approaches 100%.[13][14]

Here is what some farmers have had to say about GMOs:

"Thirty tons per acre is a good crop for organic corn", he [Justin Tolley] said, "with GMseeds, the output increases to about 35 tons per acre and up to as much as 40 tons."

"We see an increase in production because we limit compaction and don't go over fields so many times with pesticide applications," said Dave Hyde, seed sales and marketing manager for J.R. Simplot. "Nationwide, we’re seeing probably a six bushel increase per acre." "GMOs grow better in our environment," Hyde said., "We still have to spray, but instead of maybe five times a year, we’re doing it once or twice."[14]

As for the poorer countries: "In 2011, just over half of the gains in farm income accrued to farmers in developing countries, 90% of whom are cash poor and small operators."[13]

For example, my opponent mentions India. However, here is the raw data from India: "Farmers in India have benefited from GMOs: German researchers reported that farmers in India growing Bt cotton increased their yield by 24%, their profit by 50% and raised their living standards by 18%."[15]

Overall, farmers all over the world are more satisifed with GMO crops than they ever have been with traditional crops. It has definately had a positive effect on them in more ways than one.
Debate Round No. 3
Legitdebater

Pro

My Final Refutations and Arguments

GMOs are Unhealthy

"Reliable organizations" affliation with Bio-tech companies


Con states that reliable organizations such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Society of Medicine etc. support GMOs. Well, many of those organizations have affliations with Bio-tech companies. In Proposition 37, (law that required GMO labeling) the AAAS announced that "mandating such a label can only serve to mislead and falsely alarm consumers." Interestingly enough, Nina Federoff was the board chair for the AAAS. She also had a board membership with the Sigma-Aldrich Chemical Company. Therefore, many of these science organizations (AAAS) have an affliation with Bio-tech companies aren't actually working for science. [1]

Going back to my opponent's statement: "While a few environmental advocacy groups have urged the discontiuation of GMO use, there is a broad concensus within the scientific community and other reliable organizations...An almost exclusive majority says that GMO foods are no more likely to cause ill effects to humans than non-GMO food, and that GMO fooods pose no greater risk to humans than non-GMO food."

Not just environmental advocacy groups
The WHO (World Health Organization) specifically stated that "GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods." Therefore, we cannot say all GMOs are safe. By the way, it's not a few environmental advocacy groups. World-renowned scientists such as Arpad Puztai have stated the negative effects on GMO potatoes on animals. If you don't know him, he's abiochemist who spent 36 years at the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland. He's also a world expert in plant lectins authoring 270 papers and 3 books on the subject. David Schubert, who heads the cellular neurobiology laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, stated that there's no evidence that any GM plant is safe to eat herbicides used in GM technology are toxic. Only a few environmental advocacy groups, think again. [2][3][4]


"All GMOs are is a small genetic mutation that makes the plant more hardy, nutritious, and delicious."

A small genetic mutation that amplifies the risk of allerginicity, decreases nutrition in crops such as corn, and probably doesn't make it more delicious. My mouth is salivating thinking about all that fish DNA inside my food. [2][5]

"After 14 years of cultivation and a cumulative total of 2 billion acres planted, no adverse health or environmental effects have resulted from commercialization of genetically engineered crops."

There were actually multiple confirmed allergic reactions to soybean when a brazilian nut-gene was inserted into the soybean to try to "improve nutrition". Also, since genetically modified food was introduced in the 1990's, food allergies have become much more common. Since then, there has been a 265% increase in food-allergy related hospitalization. The CDC study from 2007 found food allergies had increased overall by 18% based on a figure of 3 million children, but the study from Pediactrics put that figure at 6 million children. Food allergies have also become much more common amonst westerners i.e. America, Canada. The majority of these countries store products contain at least one GMO ingredient. I say that there's some common correlation. We still don't know the long term effects of GMOs, but certainly 14 years isn't long-term for goodness sake. [5][6][7]

Also Con contradicts himself by saying "no adverse health or environmental effects have resulted from commercialization of genetically engineered crops," and then stating "GMO crops are being produced that eliminate some of the ill-effects of GMOs." Even if we assume this, they'll likely never be on the market just like drought resistant crops.

GMOs Negatively Impact Farmers

"Actually, my opponent's assertions aren't really grounded in truth. Farmers in developed, semi-developed, and undeveloped countries have benefitted from GMOs"

Actually they weren't assertions, they were legitimate facts backed up by sources. GMO seeds are much more expensive and have to be replanted every year. How are farmers in underdeveloped countries benefiting from GMOs if they're committing suicide from the amount of debt?[8]

Con then goes on to state that many farmers are seeing good output. However, farmers aren't necessarily reliable sources. Farmers can easily be bribed by companies to tell them how good their product is. Many farmers actually say the opposite and get sued if a GM seed blows into their crop field.

Con then mentions how well Indian farmers are doing with increased yields and living standards. What my opponent fails to see is the bigger picture: the increased yields in the early 2000's were due to better irragtion and favourable weather. For the past 6 years, the average yields per hectare have barely changed. The head of the Cental Institute for Cotton research stated that productivity in north India is likely to decline because of the declining potential of hybrids; the emerging problem of leaf curl virus on the new susceptible Bt-hybrids; a high level of susceptibility to sucking pests." Philosopher, environmentalist, trained physicist, and author of more tahn 20 books, Verdana Shiva stated this:

"When Monsanto first introduced Bt Cotton in 2002, the farmers lost 1 billion rupees due to crop failure. Instead of 1,500 kilos per acre as promised by the company, the harvest was as low as 200 kilos per acre. Instead of incomes of 10,000 rupees an acre, farmers ran into losses of 6,400 rupees an acre. " In the Bihar state, corn farmers lost 4 billion in profits when they switched to Monsanto hybrid corn. [8][9]

With farmers all across North America being sued for patent rights, and Indian Cotton farmers committing suicide because of their overwheming debt (caused by GMOs), GMOs certainly don't help farmers. Many crops with supposed benefits aren't even on the market yet.[10][11]

Conclusion
For these conclusive reasons, we can certainly see that GMOs negatively impact society. Genetic engineering is highly risky and can have hazardous effects on humans and the environment. Why don't we stick with regular farming that has served us for thousands of years. GM crops don't have the supposed benefits that Bio-tech companies say they do, and instead lead to farmers committing suicide (India) because of debt, or farmers being sued because of patent rights. GM food is unhealthy and is likely the cause of increased allerginicity. They have no improved nutrition and only help Bio-tech corporations like Monsanto. The long-term health effects of GMOs are unknown, thus we should stick to regular farming instead of jeopardizing farmers, human health, and the environment. Furthermore, more than 60 countries around the world which includes Australia, Japan and all the European Union, have decleared significant restrictions and even outright bans on GMOs.[12]





Sources:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com... [1]
http://www.who.int... [2]
http://en.wikipedia.org... [3]
http://www.reuters.com... [4]
http://www.huffingtonpost.com...;[5]
http://www.nejm.org...;[6]
http://en.wikipedia.org...;[7]
http://www.theguardian.com...;[8]
http://www.huffingtonpost.com...;[9]
http://www.huffingtonpost.com...;[10]
http://www.theguardian.com...;[11]
http://www.nongmoproject.org...;[12]


Subutai

Con

I would like to thank LegitDebater for this great debate. Sorry if any of this seems irrelevant to your argument. I am very rushed.

I. GMOs Make Better Crops

I.A. Disease Resistance

While most disease-protected crops do not produce viral proteins, in cases where they do, the safety of the protein has been established. Take, for example, the crop my opponent cites, Hawaiian Papaya: "Reassuringly, we know that exposure of humans to the PRV proteins is safe because the virus is widespread and many people over many decades have eaten papaya containing PRV without ill effect. Mild variants of PRV have even been deliberately used to protect papaya against more damaging viruses, and such virus-infected fruits also have been eaten without ill effect. Similar live virus protection of citrus fruits is used in Brazil without any harm to humans."[1][2]

"Overall, there is simply no scientific reason to believe that disease-protected crops will be harmful. They expose us to fewer viral nucleic acids and proteins than would otherwise have been the case. They are assessed for safety prior to regulatory approval. They have been used in agriculture for decades with no reports of adverse effects."[1][3]

I.B. Cold Tolerance

Just because the supposed link between the use of NPK1 and increased cold toleration is unclear, that is no reason to believe that inserting that gene will not work. My opponent's source even cites that it does: "To investigate the effect of NPK1 on maize plant survival at temperatures ranging from cold to sub-freezing that normally damages the maize plants Wang and her colleagues introduced a fragment of the tobacco derived NPK1 gene into maize. The tests demonstrated that maize plants containing NPK1 survived longer at low temperatures than maize plants lacking NPK1. Furthermore, introducing NPK1 in maize did not affect the growth of maize."[4]

Also, take a test done on atlantic salmon with the modifications GH and AFP. The results were: "Enhanced growth and increased tolerance to cold." Similar tests have repeated the same conclusion.[5]

I.C. Drought Tolerance

Take the extreme drought in the American Midwest last year. GMOs helped increase food production at that trying time: "Last year, yields of AQUAmax corn were observed 8,000 times, with 680 of those considered to be in a stressed environment. AQUAmax yields were 7 percent higher in the stressed environments compared to conventional hybrids."[6]

Numerous other studies have indicated the same thing - that GMO crops increase crop yields in drought times.

I.D. Improved Nutrition

My opponent has, for this entire debate, been treating GMOs as some sort of poison. He forgets that it is just a simple change in DNA:

"So if miRNAs are dangerous " guess what? " you"re already ingesting them every time you eat. And, to get a little gross, let"s be clear: when we eat something, we don"t just ingest the miRNAs from the species we intentionally eat. Did you know, for example, that foods you eat are allowed to contain mold, hair, insect parts, and even rat poop? All of those bits of organisms which we inadvertently eat have DNA, and " you guessed it! " miRNAs, too. If miRNAs are so dangerous, we would never have been able to eat anything previously alive in the first place."[7][8]

"Even though we are eating microbes, their genes, and their gene products on a grand scale, it is almost never a problem. In fact, some of these microbes go on to become part of our own bank of bacteria etc. that live within our digestive system " often to our benefit."[9][10]

In addition to this, GMOs have actually been found to be beneficial to human health. Again, GMO foods just require a simple change in miRNA. There is no major problems with GMO foods, or vitamins and minerals they are lacking. And on the arsenic, by opponent even admits that GMOs reduce arsenic poisoning, but relies on an irrelevant argument to try to refute my point.

I.E. Biopharmacuticals

My opponent does not refute my point here at all, but to simply reaffirm my point, here is a small sample of what biopharmacuticals can do:

"Erythropoietin - Treatment of anaemia
Interferon-^5; - Treatment of leukaemia
Interferon-^6; - Treatment of multiple sclerosis
Monoclonal antibody - Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
Colony stimulating factors - Treatment of neutropenia
Glucocerebrosidase - Treatment of Gaucher's disease"[11]

Overall, GMOs benefit society here because they make the transportation of vaccines and medicine easier through the transport of crops.

II. GMOs Help the Environment

Actually, from that very study: "Last summer a team of scientists reported in the prestigious journal, Nature, that widespread planting of Bt cotton in China drastically reduced the spraying of synthetic chemicals, [and] increased the abundance of beneficial organisms..."[17]

"On the "weed" problem, there are several solutions. Two ways to ensure that non-target species will not receive introduced genes from GM plants are to create GM plants that are male sterile (do not produce pollen) or to modify the GM plant so that the pollen does not contain the introduced gene. Cross-pollination would not occur, and if harmless insects such as monarch caterpillars were to eat pollen from GM plants, the caterpillars would survive. Another involves creating buffer zones around areas of GMO crops."[13][14][15]

Conclusion

"On balance, the positives of GM crops seem to vastly outweigh the negatives. A recent 20-year study published in Nature found that GM crops helped a beneficial insect ecosystem to thrive and migrate into surrounding fields."[16]

"It would be unwise of us not to choose genetic technologies simply because we do not have sufficient information " these technologies have the potential to contribute to meeting the challenges facing us in terms of the climate and the environment as well as in questions of sufficient food supply"."[17]

Sources

[1]: http://academicsreview.org...
[2]: Fuchs M and Gonsalves D (2007). Safety of virus-resistant transgenic plants two decades after their introduction: Lessons from realistic field risk assessment studies. Annu. Rev. Phytopathol. 2007. 45: pp. 173"202.
[3]: Hardwick NV, Davies JML and Wright DM (1994). The incidence of three virus diseases of winter oilseed rape in England and Wales in the 1991/02 and 1992/93 growing season. Plant Pathol. 43: pp. 1045"49. Cauliflower mosaic virus is as common as cabbage.
[4]: http://www.truthabouttrade.org...
[5]: http://www.fao.org...
[6]: http://www.scientificamerican.com...
[7]: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com...
[8]: http://www.science20.com...
[9]: http://www.policymic.com...
[10]: http://www.biofortified.org...
[11]: http://en.wikipedia.org...
[12]: http://www.guardian.co.uk...
[13]: http://www.csa.com...
[14]: New tools for chloroplast genetic engineering (Nature Biotechnology, Vol 17, No 9, pp 855-856, Sep 1999).
[15]: http://www.enn.com...
[16]: http://www.slate.com...
[17]: http://www.isaaa.org...
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by fluffybunnypuff 3 years ago
fluffybunnypuff
eating bugspray, mold and mildew killer, and weed killer is bad for you, any producer of these posions will tell u that. these posions are commonly genetically enginerred into gmo. consumeing small amounts of posion over long period of time will deminish your health, ex: smoke, radiation, du, metalic dust, aspectice, other toxins...any healthcare worker will tell you that. pesticides kill bees, bees are needed for pollenation.
Posted by WilliamofOckham 3 years ago
WilliamofOckham
Also, con had a few more spelling and grammar errors than con did. Pro could have done a little better on the formatting of his arguments, but that's not what this point judges.
Posted by WilliamofOckham 3 years ago
WilliamofOckham
This debate boiled down to three arguments: GMOs' effects on health, its effects on the environment, and its effects on farmers. For the former, con used many peer reviewed scientific studies to prove his point. Con had this one in the bag in the second round, and the fourth round just bolstered his position. On the environment, this was essentially a tie. Con argued for the reduced need of pesticides, while pro argued that they would become more resistant to pesticides. On the farmers argument, pro wins this one. You can't sample two farmers and claim that their word is reliable enough. Con's continuation with improved profits pro accurately prescribed to favorable conditions.

So basically, I left the arguments as a tie because the score was 1-1-1 for each debater. That leaves me with sources. Both sides had biased sources, but pro had more of them (i.e. socialist websites, websites blatantly against GMOs, etc...) while pro had more unbiased sources (his source 1 in round 2 considered both sides of the argument). Further, several of con's links went to a page that did not exist, so therefore I can't count those. Finally, pro used a lot of peer reviewed scientific studies for his arguments, and these, and least of this debate, are probably the most reliable of all. This is what clinched this debate for him.

Overall, reading this a second time puts me in a better position to vote on this debate (I voted on the first one you guys had). This was an even better debate (more organized, no plagiarism) than the first one. Good job to both debaters.
Posted by Legitdebater 3 years ago
Legitdebater
Your vote is greatly appreciated Mikal, part of the reason of why I made this debate was to inform people like you, and I'm glad that you agree with the resolution.
Posted by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
that part of the argument.

That being said I feel pro had more viable sources. Con had sources that were accurate, but I felt as if Pro's went as far to strengthen his actual argument.

I came into this having no knowledge of this subject and leave somewhat educated about it. That being said even though I believe Con won arguments due to that one point that stuck out to me, I in turn do agree with Pros resolution after reading this debate and hearing some of his points. If there where empirical evidence shown by pro, that farmers were induced to lie I believe he would have won this rather than the tie I am sadly bringing this too.

Now that I awarded arguments to Con and sources to pro I feel I must grade this in-depth because of how picky I am being because of how well and thorough this debate was.

S&G is something I normally do not care about, or am not fluent with myself by any means. Reading through this multiple times, I did notice more errors on Cons side. Just literally where he had some unnecessary commas.

Not saying that S&G errors did not happen on both sides, but I am judging on what I noticed when I read this. I could probably pick this debate apart and find errors both ways, but I could do the same thing with the actual debate itself since it was so close. That being said, I am going to judge this off my initial read. I hate even voting on S&G because I suck at it myself, but I feel I have to vote on what I noticed since I have voted so sensitivity so far.

Sadly at the end of this, it ends in a tie from my vote because of how voting works on here. Remember I am judging this off my first initial reading, because if I read this multiple times my opinion could change.
Posted by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
As I stated this was a magnificent debate and probably the hardest debate that I have ever had to vote on. In all honesty I am at a loss as to how to vote on this, because in the end I agree with Pros resolution but going off of the debate itself, I feel it necessary to award arguments to con. Both contestants offered up viable arguments and facts to support their belief on this issue. Anywhere from environmental harm to how it could effect someones health. The main reason I am awarding this to Con was because of one specific rebuttal pro offered to Cons argument, in regards to a point he originally made. I will quote this and put it in short terms.

This was related to the point

"GMO's Negatively Imapct Farmers"

Pro offered up that farmers committed suicide because of increased prices and many other factors. Basically they got in dept and could not handle it.

Now this is where my vote comes in. Because the point was that it negatively impacts farmers. This is a negative effect but to get to the point at hand, the first and major point that pops into my head was how would it effect business.

Con address this in a rebuttal.

"First, for the economic benefits of GMOs: "According to a just-released economic analysis by U.K.-based PG Economics of the impacts of genetic engineering in agriculture from 1996-2011, the net economic benefit at the farm level in 2011 was $19.8 billion, which translates to an average increase in income of $329 per acre. "

It goes on to show a gross profit and provides facts to show that farmers supported this. This was cited and shown with sources.

Pro responds with this

"Con then goes on to state that many farmers are seeing good output. However, farmers aren't necessarily reliable sources. Farmers can easily be bribed by companies to tell them how good their product is."

He then goes on to show how else gmos can harm farmers, and all of his points are accurate and backed with sources, but I feel he droppe
Posted by aimeed4 3 years ago
aimeed4
I believe anything that is modified with food in this case GMO should be out of the question bad for everyone the only good result is for the farmer that sells to the grocery store. This modified foods have proved that it is the cause of many long term diseases that there is no cure for.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by rross 3 years ago
rross
LegitdebaterSubutaiTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con still got his sources wrong despite me giving him several links last time about how to do it. You can't list all those journal articles as references if you're only cutting and pasting from a website that cites them. You need to put "cited by". For example your sources 2-9 in round 2 were unseen by you so you may not reference them without putting "cited by (source 1)"
Vote Placed by WilliamofOckham 3 years ago
WilliamofOckham
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Total points awarded:12 
Reasons for voting decision: Please see the comments for my reason.
Vote Placed by 1Historygenius 3 years ago
1Historygenius
LegitdebaterSubutaiTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate was very good. Allow me to explain my RFD. Con won his argument on the healthy argument by giving specific quotes and making good points on the health. For the environment, I saw more of a tie. No side from what I saw was able to give a persuasive argument that would make me give them the environment argument. Con wins arguments.
Vote Placed by Mikal 3 years ago
Mikal
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments. This is the first time I ever have had to offer an explanation in the comments because of how in-depth this debate went. Both sides did a superb job and educated me on a subject that I was not to familiar with. I leave reading this, having learned something.