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Resolved: On balance, the benefits of genetically modified foods outweigh the harms

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 2/25/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 877 times Debate No: 70695
Debate Rounds (5)
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I look forward to an interesting debate!

1: Round 1 is for acceptance only. No definitions or arguments.
2: Round 2 is for opening statements only, no refutations.
3: Rounds 3-4 are for whatever you want.
4: Round 5 is for closing arguments only, nothing that hasn't gotten talked about and no new evidence.
5: In the case of contradicting definitions, the judges should use the definition based on whichever side was best able to defend theirs with either logic or sources.
6: Unless it is a morality argument, all arguments must be sourced.

Good luck.


Here's the way I see it. There are giant spiders in Mexico (1). Obviously the world is ending and GMOs will only fuel the spider attack. Mike you are obviously a nazi trying to take over the world. Please pull your head out of the sand, devote yourself to Jesus, and stop being a nazi.
Debate Round No. 1


I'd first like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate.
Unfortunately, I had specified round 1 for acceptance only, and I'd appreciate it if the judges would take that into consideration, though I by no means demand an automatic forfeit.

Opening case:

I affirm the resolution, resolved: On balance, the benefits of genetically modified foods outweigh the harms. Before I begin, I observe that realistic impacts that are set for implementation should be equally weighed in today"s debate.

In this round, I will show the great benefits of genetically modified foods that outweigh any potential harms.

Contention 1: Environmental Benefits
Janet Carpenter of Landes Bioscience reports in March of 2011,
"Knowledge gained over the past 15 years that GM crops have been grown commercially indicates that the impacts on biodiversity are positive on balance. By increasing yields, decreasing insecticide use, increasing the use of more environmentally friendly herbicides and facilitating the adoption of conservation tillage, GM crops have already contributed to increasing agricultural sustainability. Overall, the review finds that currently commercialized GM crops have reduced the impacts of agriculture on biodiversity."

From this we derive two impacts; First, that on balance, biodiversity is benefited, and Secondly, that agricultural sustainability is increased.

Contention 2: Genetically Modifying Food Leads to Better Yields
Subpoint A: GMFs are More Nutritious
Graham Brooks of Forbes reports in 2013, that
"To date, commercial GM crops have delivered benefits in crop production". He explains, "Examples of these products include: rice with higher levels of iron and beta-carotene; long life banana that ripens faster on the tree and can therefore be harvested earlier; maize with improved feed value; tomatoes with high levels of flavonols, which are powerful antioxidants; drought tolerant maize; [and] edible vaccines from fruit and vegetables."

Subpoint B: GMFs Increase Yields
A meta-analysis from Wilhelm Klumper of Georg-August-University in November of 2014 (in Germany) found that:
"On average, GM technology adoption has reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, increased crop yields by 22%, and increased farmer profits by 68%. Yield gains and pesticide reductions are larger for insect-resistant crops than for herbicide-tolerant crops. Yield and profit gains are higher in developing countries than in developed countries."(time was from 1995-2014)

Contention 3: Economic Benefits

Subpoint A: GMFs Increase Profits for Farmers
Henry Miller and Graham Brooks of Forbes report in May of 2013, explaining the economic gains from GMFs, "The net economic benefit at the farm level in 2011 was $19.8 billion, equal to an average increase in income of $133/hectare. For the 16 year period (1996-2011), the global farm income gain has been $98.2 billion" This shows us that genetically modified foods can provide a large economic benefit.

Subpoint B: Increased Profits benefit those who need it.
Brooks and Miller, previously cited, explain that profits from GM foods benefit people in developing countries, "A majority (51%) of the 2011 farm income gains went to farmers in developing countries"

Calestous Juma, director at the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs continues "In 2010, there were 15.4 million farmers growing GM crops in 29 countries around the world, of whom over 90% were small and resource-poor farmers from developing countries" He continued, explaining the benefits to farmers in India in one year alone "[they] added $7 billion dollars worth of value to Indian farmers, cut insecticide use by half, [and] helped to double yields" Not only do GMFs provide economic benefits, these benefits also go to the places in which they are needed most.

Contention 4: Vitamin A
GMFs can provide a solution to the global vitamin A deficiency.
The Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia reports in June of 2014 that, "The GMO banana, which was developed by Australian scientists and backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is a vitamin A-enriched version of a common East African cooking banana. Vitamin A deficiency is estimated to kill up to 700,000 children annually and causes about 300,000 cases of blindness globally each year, so the enriched banana has the potential to significantly impact public health for the better."

Bryan Nelson, researcher from the University of Houston, reports in June of 2014, explaining that this vitamin - A enriched banana will be implemented,
"Their genetically enhanced banana will go into commercial production in Uganda by 2020" He continued, "the new crop should find its way into agricultural circulation in Uganda in six years. Other African countries, such as Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo, could follow suit shortly thereafter."

Contention 5: G-d"s words.
G-d had made it so that genetically modifying is not only acceptable, but also our duty as the species with the most developed frontal cortex on Earth.
It is written in Genesis:
""Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."/God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."
What is important here is that G-d made humans rulers over all the earth. provides the definition of ruling as to govern. It defines governing as: "to exercise a directing or restraining influence over". It is thus humanity"s duty to directly influence the world around us. This leads to the conclusion that it is G-d"s will that we genetically modify foods.

As said in the rules, I wont be refuting arguments until next round. I hope my opponent does the same.


Debate Round No. 2


1: Extend all arguments as they have gone unrefuted.
2: rebuttal:
Op argument 1: spider attack
Response 1: my opponent doesn't have any sources for any of his claims.
Response 2: if the world is already ending, the GMOs would thus prevent more deaths

Op argument 2: Nazis
Response 1: sourceless claim
Response 2: If by "devote myself to Jesus" my opponent means read the bible, I have already quoted Genesis in this debate.


The giant spiders

Also Nazis.

The picture is in color, so the Nazis are making a comeback.

Don't care if you quoted Genesis, everyone knows the Old Testament is trash.
My opponent did not rebut anything I said, which is clearly against the rules of the debate since round 3 is a rebuttal round, therefore he should lose conduct.
Debate Round No. 3


Extend all arguments as they have gone unrefuted.
My opponent's sources in fact proved nothing about his points. Therefore, my responses can also be extended through the round.
My opponent also claims that I didn't refute his arguments in round 3. I have two responses. One, I did refute his arguments. Two, my rules clearly showed that rounds 3 and 4 were open, no requirements on the arguments.


JimmyBoJangles forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


Extend all arguments.


JimmyBoJangles forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
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