The Instigator
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Con (against)
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On Balance, GM Foods are Beneficial for Humans to Use.

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/28/2015 Category: Health
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,555 times Debate No: 72350
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (42)
Votes (0)




It's about time that I tried a serious debate (without forfeiting), so might as well.

I will use the same rules as Bsh1's debates, albeit slightly altered to my tastes:

1. No forfeits
2. Any citations or foot/endnotes must be individually provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling or semantics
6. No K's of the topic
7. My opponent accepts all of the following definitions and waives his/her right to challenge these definitions
8. The BOP is on Pro
9. First round is acceptance only. This debate has been set to be impossible to accept, so if you wish to do so, say so in the comments.
10. Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss of a conduct point

Full Topic:
On balance, GM foods are more beneficial than malicious for humans to use.

Genetic Modification - The direct manipulation of an organism's genetic material using biotechnology
Food - Any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth, etc.
Beneficial - Favorable or advantageous; resulting in good
Malicious - Intending or intended to do harm

NOTE: I request that my opponent will not accept this before the month of April.

Good luck, Arcanas.


I accept. Thank you for allowing me to debate you on this subject Pro.

Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1


RevNge forfeited this round.


My opponent violated the rules set in the first round by forfeiting. Voters should remember to give conduct points to me due to Pro breaking the rules. Pro later posted his arguments in the comments section, which I'll just post right here in order to ensure that we're all on the same page:


Thank you, Arcanas. I wish you luck as well.

I also apologize to my opponent for having put this debate off until the very last minute. I will make certain that I post a much longer argument in the next round.

C1: Higher Rate of Food Production

In the current world, population increase is a problem in that it grows at an *exponential* rate, while food production can only grow at a *linear* rate. While today, the food production rate is higher than the global population increase rate, the removal of GMO foods can be devastating to the former"s growth. Therefore, to prevent and reduce global malnutrition, and to maintain and continually increase food production, a means of obtaining a higher rate of food production than basic commercial and subsistence agriculture.

PG Economics Ltd Directors Peter Barfoot and Graham Brookes have observed that in the years 1996-2007, an additional 67.8 million tons of soybeans, 62.42 million tons of corn, 6.85 million tons of cotton, and 4.44 million tons of canola were produced with the help of biotech crops. [1]

Again, I apologize to my opponent for the severe lack of content. I now turn to his arguments.


I'll go into my arguments first then rebut the ones made by my opponent.


Health Risks

GMO's and Autism:

Studies have been conducted that draw direct links to autism and glyphosate, a chemical used on plants. This study notes that:
"Our examination of the evidence leads us to the conclusion that the current approval of glyphosate and Roundup is deeply flawed and unreliable. In this report, we examine the industry studies and regulatory documents that led to the approval of glyphosate. We show that industry and regulators knew as long ago as the 1980s and 1990s that glyphosate causes malformation " but that this information was not made public. We demonstrate how EU regulators reasoned their way from clear evidence of glyphosate"s teratogenicity in industry"s own studies to a conclusion that minimized these findings in the EU" [1]

This study essentially proves that autism is sometimes caused by chemicals interfering with the child's development as a fetus, causing them to experience malformations. Again, this is caused by GMO's. In order to fortify this argument, I'd like to add that a separate study found that:

"Essentially what happens is during pregnancy" there are certain sensitive periods where the fetus is very vulnerable to a range of small molecules " from things like plasticisers, prescription drugs, environmental pesticides and other things. Some of these small molecules essentially alter normal development. Autism appears to be strongly correlated with rate of congenital malformations of the genitals in males across the country, this gives an indicator of environmental load and the effect is surprisingly strong. The strongest predictors for autism were associated with the environment; congenital malformations on the reproductive system in males." " Andrey Rzhetsky, professor of genetic medicine and human genetics at the University of Chicago [2]

Again, these are two viable sources of information that essentially prove the link autism and GMO's have. By using GMO's, we run the risk of giving future generations this disadvantage.

In addition to the harm to our children, GMO's can also lead to many harmful effects to people who currently consume them, such as breast cancer, gluten disorders, and the countless downsides to consuming the toxins used in GMO's. [4]

Harm to The Environment:

GMO's harm our environment in a terrible way. notes that:
"[GM crops] and their associated herbicides can harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems, and soil organisms. They reduce bio-diversity, pollute water resources, and are unsustainable. For example, GM crops are eliminating habitat for monarch butterflies, whose populations are down 50% in the US. Roundup herbicide has been shown to cause birth defects in amphibians, embryonic deaths and endocrine disruptions, and organ damage in animals even at very low doses. GM canola has been found growing wild in North Dakota and California, threatening to pass on its herbicide tolerant genes on to weeds" [3]

The use of genetically modified foods destroys the environment and hurts animals. If we keep this up, the earth and it's inhabitants will suffer greatly from it. I urge readers to notice the incredibly harmful effects GMO's cause to our environment, our bodies, and our children.


Higher Rate of Food Production

Pro argues that genetically modified foods provide a higher food production rate which our world requires in order to function. However, upon observing the evidence the opposite seems to be true, in that GMO's tend to harm food production rather than help it. In an article arguing against GMO's, notes that:

"The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report, authored by more than 400 scientists and backed by 58 governments, stated that GM crop yields were "highly variable" and in some cases, "yields declined." The report noted, "Assessment of the technology lags behind its development, information is anecdotal and contradictory, and uncertainty about possible benefits and damage is unavoidable." They determined that the current GMOs have nothing to offer the goals of reducing hunger and poverty, improving nutrition, health and rural livelihoods, and facilitating social and environmental sustainability.
On the contrary, GMOs divert money and resources that would otherwise be spent on more safe, reliable, and appropriate technologies" [3]

This is essentially more proof that GMO's harm our health, but it also shows how they heavily decrease the food production rate. My opponent's claim is simply false. Even if my opponent's claims were true, would it be enough to justify the huge health risks we take? What about interruption of children's development? Clearly, there is not enough evidence to support GMO's, while I have provided a plethora of quality sources against it.

Readers, thank you for reading and considering my arguments. Pro, I'd like to thank you for your arguments and I wish you good luck. Have a nice day everyone!




Debate Round No. 2


Thanks, Arcanas. Unfortunately, I am not able to submit all of my arguments once again due to having to practice for my piano competition tomorrow IRL (I have a first place title to defend along with the moola :3). Therefore, I will only submit a clarification and a basis for my arguments and rebuttals in the next round (I promise that will have much more content, lol).

History of Genetic Modification

Before I delve into this topic further, I would like to clarify the meaning of genetic modification. GM is not a modern form of biotechnology--on the contrary, it has been used for centuries. Farmers have attempted to crossbreed plants, use selective breeding to concentrate desirable genetic traits in their crops, and use hybridization to combine traits of different organisms into one.[1] The US Food and Drug Administration even officially states that "many of the foods that are already common in our diet are obtained from plant varieties that were developed using conventional genetic techniques of breeding and selection."[2] Take the nectarine, for an example. While it is the same species as the peach and its hairless skin is due to a recessive allele, this could easily be a result of GM in that peaches with this allele can be selectively breeded to consistently produce peaches with this trait, hence the nectarine. Other organisms bred with conventional genetic modification methods have shown to have no negative impact on the environment solely based on their unique genetic traits as of yet. Therefore, it can be concluded that organisms that have not been subject to modern genetic modification and manipulative methods are safe to use and have no significant net detriment.

Of course, the primary rebuttal to this analysis is that even these GM methods reduce biodiversity (this is also a part of my opponent's argument in GM negatively affecting the environment, which I will rebut later). Another clarification must be made, however: Genetic modification is hardly one of the main threats to the biodiversity in ecosystems. A study conducted by Luc Hens and Emmanuel K. Boon from the Health Department of the University of Brussels states that the causes of biodiversity loss from agriculture is not due to excessive genetic modification; rather, it is because of overharvesting and homogenisation in agriculture.[3] Thus, instead of GM, these two causes are primarily to blame for the negative effects of agriculture on biodiversity.

Therefore, it can be concluded that conventional GM methods are relatively safe to be used.

On to you, Arcanas, and apologies once more.

Note: I am on my phone right now, so I will post my sources in the comments and the next round when I get home.


Thank you Pro. I'll jump right into rebuttals:

"GM is not a modern form of biotechnology"
The definition we agreed upon includes the modern form of biotechnology: "The direct manipulation of an organism's genetic material ***using biotechnology***"

This is a copy/paste of the definition we agreed to use in the first round. Why would "modern biotechnology" not be considered "biotechnology"?

History of GMO's

I'm not sure how this is actually relevant to the debate. As shown earlier, our definition includes the modern form of bio technology. My opponent's argument really only shows that some genetic modification (That does not include modern biotechnology) is good, but it still leaves my main arguments un-refuted. I can agree with my opponent that some forms of GMO's (Again, not including biotechnology ) are good without conceding or contradicting my argument that they are, *on balance*, not beneficial for humans to use.


GM foods are still terrible for the environment. My opponent notes that there are other methods of farming that are harmful, but this is irrelevant as we can easily avoid using those and it still does not change the fact that GMO's are harmful. With all things considered, his only response is that it is not the worst thing for the environment. Again, just because it is not the absolute worst thing does not mean it is still not bad/harmful and my argument is essentially uncontested.

"Note: I am on my phone right now, so I will post my sources in the comments and the next round when I get home"

That would be breaking rule 2.

If my opponent intends to break not only rule 1 but also rule 2 voters should consider taking away more than just a conduct point as it would seem to be a huge violation on of our rules.


Most of my arguments are completely uncontested due to my opponent's waiting until the second to last round to write full rebuttals and arguments. For this reason, I sadly have little to post in this round. I hope that my opponent will begin rebutting my arguments and perhaps developing his own in the next round.

Audience, thank you for reading this debate, and good luck to you Pro.
Debate Round No. 3


RevNge forfeited this round.


This is 2nd time my opponent forfeited. I extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 4


I apologize to my opponent for forfeiting continuously in this debate--unfortunately, April was quite a busy month for me, with me having to prepare for five competitions that took place in this month along with exam preparations. If he's interested, we can re-do this debate in the summer where I will have much more time to spend on debating (if he's not, I can't blame him LOL). Vote Con.

(I got rekt)


I was taking Devils advocate for this debate, but if you'd like to re-do it then I'd be happy to.

Debate Round No. 5
42 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RevNge 1 year ago
y u hate meh
Posted by Arcanas 1 year ago
Posted by Arcanas 1 year ago

Lol jk
Posted by RevNge 1 year ago
Posted by Arcanas 1 year ago
lol I already have one on the front page. If we get more comments I could get two...
Posted by RevNge 1 year ago
inb4 this gets on the front page .-.
Posted by BLAHthedebator 1 year ago

come on...
Posted by RevNge 1 year ago
Sorry for forfeiting...again. Something really bad happened IRL over the last couple of hours.
Posted by RevNge 1 year ago
Touche, lol. My bad.
Posted by Arcanas 1 year ago
Go for it.
No votes have been placed for this debate.