The Instigator
elizabeth9
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
NiqashMotawadi3
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Organic Food over GMO

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
NiqashMotawadi3
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/6/2014 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,912 times Debate No: 43510
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (4)

 

elizabeth9

Pro

I will be arguing why organic food should be subsidized over genetically modified (GM) food, and why GM food should be banned all together. In the next 3 round I will provide hard facts for my stance. The first round will be opening statements and the second round will begin debate.
NiqashMotawadi3

Con

I thank Pro for starting this debate.

I'm guessing the burden of proof is solely on Pro to prove that "organic food should be subsidized over genetically modified (GM) food, and why GM food should be banned all together."

My arguments will consist of the advantages of Genetically-Modified food and the right to bad health. Nevertheless, I'm taking the agnostic position. Pro has to prove that Genetically-Modified food is hazardous and should be banned. I only have to undermine her arguments to win this debate.

I await my opponent's case.
Debate Round No. 1
elizabeth9

Pro

For my first point of view I will show how hazardous GM food can be to the body. Currently 26 developed countries have banned all forms of GM foods p and many others have significant restrictions (you can find the article here: http://www.thenation.com... ). This was due to the fact that each of the countries preformed multiple tests on GM food and found the outcome to be horrifying on the consumer. The first research of GM food in 1999 was by Dr. Pusztai, a highly respected leader in the field with 35 years employment at the Rowett Institute in Scotland He had been given a UK government grant to be part of the European GM food safety assessment process. When Pusztai fed rats GM potatoes genetically engineered to produce a supposedly safe insecticide called the GNA lectin, all the animals showed potentially pre-cancerous cell growths, smaller brains, livers and testicles, partially atrophied livers, and damaged to the immune system, with most changes appearing after just 10 days. Even more daunting was the fact that other rats fed normal potatoes spiked with GNA lectin even 700 times more GNA lectin than was present in the GM potatoes did not develop these problems. Pusztai's results indicated that the problem lay with genetic engineering process itself and that meant that all GM foods created from the same process, including those already on the market, might produce unintended ill effects (you can find the article here: http://naturalrevolution.org... ).

Here are just a few more results of international studies done on GM food:
- A preliminary study from the Russian National Academy of Sciences finding that more than half the offspring of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks (compared to 9% from mothers fed natural soy).
- The estimated 10,000 sheep that died in India within 5-7 days of grazing on GM cotton plants engineered to produce their own Bt-toxin pesticide.
- The only human GM feeding study ever published, which shows that the foreign genes inserted into GM food crops can transfer into the DNA of our gut bacteria. This study gives new meaning to the adage, you are what you eat.
Long after those GM corn chips you munched are history, your intestinal flora may still be churning out the
pesticide GM corn plants have been engineered to produce.

But even though there are many more cases of international studies, let's start to focus on America, because in the U.S., mainly because the Pusztai story got virtually no press, and the U.S. mainstream media has failed to discuss other international data suggesting GM foods may pose enormous health risks.

The problem with Americans is that they believe that unless the FDA had approved each and every GM food through rigorous, well designed, long-term studies, GM food ingredients would not be allowed in our food supply. The truth is that the FDA has absolutely no GMO safety testing requirements, and GM ingredients are ubiquitous in prepared foods. Unless a processed food contains only organic ingredients, it is highly likely to contain GM ingredients. The research that supports GMO safety is voluntarily provided by companies on their own GM crops and has been described by critics as meticulously designed to avoid finding problems
. In fact the FDA has repeatedly warned Congress that GM food can quote "result in unpredictable and hard-to-detect allergens, toxins, new diseases and nutritional problems". Also the American Health Association has preformed their own multiple studies and although the media was VERY hesitant to release any press on them, Americans still find studies done in America more useful over any international study. Some of their animal testing included results such as "infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system." (find this article here: http://www.responsibletechnology.org... ).

Seeing as I've thoroughly gotten my first point across I know hand this debate over to the con side for their first argument. I thank you for your patience in my response.
NiqashMotawadi3

Con

DISCLAIMER

I'm disappointed to report that Pro's first argument is built on multiple falsehoods taken from non-trusted websites such as NaturalRevolution.com, a well-known anti-GMO campaigner that lacks accreditation and does not cite from trusted sources. This forces me to demolish Pro's house of cards in this round to then present my case in other rounds.

Pro's burden of proof consists of proving that all GM food is hazardous and should be banned. To prove that, Pro was expected to offer peer-reviewed researches and experiments.

DEFINITIONS

Genetically Modified: Containing genetic material that has been artificially altered so as to produce a desired characteristic[1].

Food: Any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink or that plants absorb in order to maintain life and growth[2].

REBUTTAL

Pro's argument is unsupported

Pro seems to be starting off with an argument that could be summarized as:

P1- In his study, Dr. Pusztai proved that something about genetic modification causes instant health hazards in GM food. [Pseudoscientific claim that is rejected by academics]

P2- Food that is hazardous to health should be banned.

Conclusion: GM Food should be banned.

In other words, Pro claims that Dr. Pusztai has figured out something rather intrinsic about genetic engineering that causes health hazards. Nevertheless, Pro fails in explaining how Dr. Pusztai reached such a scientific breakthrough, and how Dr. Pusztai's experiment is peer-reviewed and accepted by academics.

The Rat experiment of Dr. Pusztai

1- Dr. Pusztai's work is classified as pseudoscience and rejected by peer-reviewed journals. It was reviewed by two separate academic panels (Royal Society 1999; Fedoroff and Brown 2004) and proven to have a flawed experimental design and a biased conduct of experimentation[3,4].

2- Major flaws reported by the Royal Society, which is a prestigious, academic journal. For one, the same cellular differences could be seen in all groups (GM-fed or not) as opposed to Dr. Pusztai's conclusion, in addition to the fact that the number of experimented rats was very nominal for such an experiment to have any statistical significance[3]. Not to mention that there were no meaningful differences between the experiment and control group and numerous other violations[3].

In summary, Dr. Pusztai's experiment is neither academic nor accepted by academics, but a possible case of fraudulence, especially his claim that artificially modifying even one gene results in health hazards.

The anti-GMO cotton-plant myth

Pro argues, "The estimated 10,000 sheep that died in India within 5-7 days of grazing on GM cotton plants engineered to produce their own Bt-toxin pesticide."

Rebuttal: This is a myth spread around by anti-GMO enthusiasts without any actual evidence. I shall list a few points to clarify all the problems with Pro's claim:

1- Bt cotton is widespread and has not caused such problems. About 50% of the cotton grown in the world is Bt cotton, and no similar reports have come from millions of farmers who plant Bt-cotton[7].

2- As reported by the Indian researchers (Karihaloo and Kumar 2009), the dead sheep were affected by high nitrate levels[8] and not a "Bt-toxin pesticide".

3- Studies such as (Wang and Provenza 1996) have investigated numerous cases of sheep dying from organic plants because of chemicals such as cyanide, oxalate and nitrate[9]. Hence, GM or not, the cotton could have easily poisoned the sheep.

Russian Preliminary Study: Ermakova’s rejected findings

1- The study was neither professional nor based on the scientific method. As reported by (Marshall, 2007), Ermakova did not perform any other animal study of this kind and did not follow the scientific method and standard procedures[5].

2- Repetition of experiment proved it false. Ermakova’s experiment reported a 10% mortality death-rate, while other repetitions of the same experiment by Brake and Evanson in 2004 did not even result in one case of death[6].

The "only" GM Feeding study

Pro states, "The only human GM feeding study ever published, which shows that the foreign genes inserted into GM food crops can transfer into the DNA of our gut bacteria."

Rebuttal: I'm familiar with more than 10 GM feeding studies, so I'm not sure what study Pro is talking about. After further investigating this sentence, it seems to have been copied and pasted from http://blogs.webmd.com... which is a non-trusted source to begin with.

The FDA

Pro claims, "In fact the FDA has repeatedly warned Congress that GM food can quote "result in unpredictable and hard-to-detect allergens, toxins, new diseases and nutritional problems".

Rebuttal: This seems like a fabrication on my opponent's behalf. The website that mentions it finds it unnecessary to give any citation for that spectacular claim. I tried searching for the exact phrase, and I couldn't find one governmental website that has it. It only seems to be in "vegan" blogs and anti-GMO organizations.

Banned in twenty six countries

Pro states, "Currently 26 developed countries have banned all forms of GM foods p[sic] and many others have significant restrictions."

Rebuttal: According to Dr. Claire Marris who has researched the European boycott, the banning policies of Europe were based on false assumptions about Europeans thinking that GMO is bad for them, when such assumptions were made on their behalf because of erroneous statistics[10]. This proves that such boycott in 26 countries was simply political and based on false demographics. In Dr. Marris' words, "Our research suggests that one reason for this situation is not a lack of public understanding of the science but rather policies that continue to be based largely on erroneous beliefs about ‘the public’. Clearly, there is a mismatch between the way in which institutions comprehend public perceptions, and the attitudes expressed by the participants in our focus groups." Unless Pro provides scientific evidence why GMOs were banned in Europe, then her claim that it was banned is not significant as such boycott was based on anti-GMO lobbying and false demographics.

SUMMARY

Pro promised in the first round to provide "facts," but later presented myths and pseudoscience taken from non-trusted and biased sources. I'm out of character-space so I'll try to present my agnostic position in the next rounds.

CITATIONS

[1] Oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/genetically-modified?q=genetically+modified

[2] Oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/food?q=food

[3] Annual Review Plant Biology 59:771–812. Royal Society UK (1999).


[4] Fedoroff NV, and Brown NM (2004). Chapter 9 Poisoned rats or poisoned wells in Mendel in the
Kitchen: A Scientist’s View of Genetically Modified Foods, Joseph Henry Press, Washington, D.C.


[5] Marshall, A. 2007. GM soybeans and health safety—a controversy reexamined Nature Biotech.
25:981-987.


[6] Brake, D. G. & Evenson, D. P. 2004. “A generational study of glyphosate-tolerant soybeans on mouse
fetal, postnatal, pubertal and adult testicular development.” Food Chem. Tox, 42: 29-36.


[7] Brookes, G., Barfoot, P. 2007. Global impact of biotech crops: Socio-economic and environmental
effects, 1996-2006. AgBioForum, 11: 21-38


[8] Karihaloo JL and Kumar PA (2009). Bt cotton in India – A status report (Second Edition). Asia-Pacific
Consortium on Agricultural Biotechnology (APCoAB), New Delhi, India.


[9] Wang J and Provenza FD (1996). Food deprivation affects preference of sheep for foods varying in
nutrients and a toxin. Journal of Chemical Ecology 22(11):2011-2021


[10] Public views on GMOs: deconstructing the myths. Dr. Claire Marris. Online source:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...


Debate Round No. 2
elizabeth9

Pro

elizabeth9 forfeited this round.
NiqashMotawadi3

Con

INTRODUCTION

Pro forfeited so I'm going to briefly represent my case as promised in the previous round. My position is agnosticism on the resolution, as GM food has no harmful effects that are common in all kinds of GM Food.

MY CASE

A- What is GM Food

Genetically-modified food could simply be an organic food with one genetic mutation. The modern-day Banana is an example of GM Food. In the picture below, we can see the difference between a GM and organic Banana:





B- Pharmaceutical benefits of GM Food

It is challenging in third world countries to get everyone vaccinated because of economic difficulties in storing and transporting vaccines, so currently a great method is to embed them genetically in GM food(e.g tomatoes) and spread those in third world countries to save many lives[1,2].

c- Economic benefits of GM Food

Underdeveloped countries that suffer from malnutrition cannot afford most organic food, especially that which is not immune to pests and diseases, and hence does not have a fulfilling production when it comes to crops. Those countries also need food that is rich in vitamins and nutrition. Researches at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Institute for Plant Sciences created a strain of "golden" rice containing a high content of beta-carotene, which acts as a cheap and healthy source of high nutrition for many underdeveloped countries[3].

D- Right to bad health

Finally, Pro seems to argue that we should ban something if it is unhealthy, which I don't quite agree with. I'm with the FDA using rigorous, long-term studies of every kind of food, and speaking of health-hazards and what have you. Nevertheless, I believe in a free market where people are intelligent enough to read the warning signs, and choose if they want unhealthy food or not. In other words, I don't see how or why people should be forced into good health. Nevertheless, Pro doesn't come close to proving that GM food is actually hazardous, but uses propaganda propagated by people already selling organic food and making money of attacking GM food since it is a new technology in the market.

CITATIONS

[1] 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)

[2] 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)

[3] Genetic engineering towards carotene biosynthesis in endosperm (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Institute for Plant Sciences) cited from http://bioserv.fiu.edu....
Debate Round No. 3
elizabeth9

Pro

elizabeth9 forfeited this round.
NiqashMotawadi3

Con

"It is finished."
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by wateva232 3 years ago
wateva232
Another forfeiture. I think DDO has to make rules against forfeiture cause it's getting crazy around here.

We should have a debate Niqashi but on the other side of the spectrum. I will debate in the favor of GMOs and you the opposite. PM me if you are interested.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by theta_pinch 3 years ago
theta_pinch
elizabeth9NiqashMotawadi3Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct goes to con because pro forfeited. Arguments go to con because con showed that pro's arguments were based on faulty research. Sources go to con because pro used untrusted sources.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
elizabeth9NiqashMotawadi3Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
elizabeth9NiqashMotawadi3Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: F.. While I agree with the judgement of the previous vote, I can only warrant conduct as such is clear from a skim, and when people drop out I tend to be less interested in reading the whole thing.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
elizabeth9NiqashMotawadi3Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct points go to Con for not forfeiting the debate. Spelling and grammar go to Con as well, as Pro made grammatical errors. Con made way more convincing arguments and rebuttals, and I was interested to learn more about some of the pseudo science against GMO's. I know a little but learned a lot in this debate. Sources go to Con for citing actual studies.