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GMOs

SNP1
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3/28/2014 2:23:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I am seriously in shock about how many people are still against GMOs. I know that many people that are against it have not even looked into GMOs. I also have seen people that argue against GMOs use the rumors and myths about them. I have never seen someone use a peer reviewed paper for their information.

People assume that it increases the use of chemicals. It turns out that pest-resistant cotton and maize need less insecticide.

People assume that GM benefits only the big companies. It turns out that billions of dollars of benefits are accruing to farmers needing fewer inputs.

People assume that GM is dangerous. It turns out that it is safer and more precise than conventional breeding using mutagenesis.

GMOs are safe, that is where evidence points. People should not be freaking out about it.
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Vis13
Posts: 27
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3/28/2014 6:03:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/28/2014 2:23:20 PM, SNP1 wrote:
I am seriously in shock about how many people are still against GMOs. I know that many people that are against it have not even looked into GMOs. I also have seen people that argue against GMOs use the rumors and myths about them. I have never seen someone use a peer reviewed paper for their information.

People assume that it increases the use of chemicals. It turns out that pest-resistant cotton and maize need less insecticide.

People assume that GM benefits only the big companies. It turns out that billions of dollars of benefits are accruing to farmers needing fewer inputs.

People assume that GM is dangerous. It turns out that it is safer and more precise than conventional breeding using mutagenesis.

GMOs are safe, that is where evidence points. People should not be freaking out about it.

You make the opposite of what you say?

As we say: serious sources otherwise fake, it is valid for both camps.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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3/28/2014 7:43:15 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/28/2014 2:23:20 PM, SNP1 wrote:
I am seriously in shock about how many people are still against GMOs. I know that many people that are against it have not even looked into GMOs. I also have seen people that argue against GMOs use the rumors and myths about them. I have never seen someone use a peer reviewed paper for their information.

People assume that it increases the use of chemicals. It turns out that pest-resistant cotton and maize need less insecticide.

People assume that GM benefits only the big companies. It turns out that billions of dollars of benefits are accruing to farmers needing fewer inputs.

People assume that GM is dangerous. It turns out that it is safer and more precise than conventional breeding using mutagenesis.

GMOs are safe, that is where evidence points. People should not be freaking out about it.

There's certainly no conclusive evidence that GMOs are completely safe, and we still have good reasons to be concerned. Our current level of knowledge is inadequate, and further study to better understand the long term impact on our health is clearly necessary.

What we don't have is anything even resembling an unbiased scientific consensus regarding GMO safety. Until there is one, I think better education of the public is called for, and labeling of foods should be mandated.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Subutai
Posts: 3,235
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3/28/2014 9:26:21 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/28/2014 2:23:20 PM, SNP1 wrote:
I am seriously in shock about how many people are still against GMOs. I know that many people that are against it have not even looked into GMOs. I also have seen people that argue against GMOs use the rumors and myths about them. I have never seen someone use a peer reviewed paper for their information.

People assume that it increases the use of chemicals. It turns out that pest-resistant cotton and maize need less insecticide.

People assume that GM benefits only the big companies. It turns out that billions of dollars of benefits are accruing to farmers needing fewer inputs.

People assume that GM is dangerous. It turns out that it is safer and more precise than conventional breeding using mutagenesis.

GMOs are safe, that is where evidence points. People should not be freaking out about it.

In general, I agree with your analysis. GMOs are definitely overcriticized in the media. However, one important thing that is currently lacking is long-term studies, as GMOs haven't been around long enough for such studies to be conducted. The longest-term studies to show positive signs, but there could be a large, unforeseen problems, say, 50 years later in one's life. However, I still think GMO research should be expanded to help determine such risks.
I'm becoming less defined as days go by, fading away, and well you might say, I'm losing focus, kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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3/28/2014 10:11:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/28/2014 7:43:15 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 3/28/2014 2:23:20 PM, SNP1 wrote:
I am seriously in shock about how many people are still against GMOs. I know that many people that are against it have not even looked into GMOs. I also have seen people that argue against GMOs use the rumors and myths about them. I have never seen someone use a peer reviewed paper for their information.

People assume that it increases the use of chemicals. It turns out that pest-resistant cotton and maize need less insecticide.

People assume that GM benefits only the big companies. It turns out that billions of dollars of benefits are accruing to farmers needing fewer inputs.

People assume that GM is dangerous. It turns out that it is safer and more precise than conventional breeding using mutagenesis.

GMOs are safe, that is where evidence points. People should not be freaking out about it.

There's certainly no conclusive evidence that GMOs are completely safe, and we still have good reasons to be concerned. Our current level of knowledge is inadequate, and further study to better understand the long term impact on our health is clearly necessary.

What we don't have is anything even resembling an unbiased scientific consensus regarding GMO safety. Until there is one, I think better education of the public is called for, and labeling of foods should be mandated.

GMOs, as a group, can be neither safe nor dangerous. They must be judged on a case-by-case basis, as what separates any GMO from its non-modified peers is whatever was changed within its genome, which could be anything. So of course there will never be any consensus that GMOs are safe, as nobody credible within the scientific community treats them as one monolithic group when assessing safety.

I agree that better education of the public is called for, as most of them have no idea how translation works, and so lack the ability to understand even the most basic concepts of genetic modification.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
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3/30/2014 3:19:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
There is new research coming out that suggests even the most leery of us are not leery enough. Effects from the toxins in our foods and our environment sometimes take many years to manifest, and some don't even take effect until our great grandchildren are born (chemicals we consume now affect future generations with no effects on ourselves). You guys are so quick to see a new chemical developed, quickly tested in several years or less, then declare it safe and push it on consumers without them even knowing what is happening. New chemicals like phtalates and endocrine disruptors also behave in exotic ways, being WORSE in smaller doses than they are in higher doses. I learned this in college and had to ask my professor to reiterate it because I was in complete disbelief, and then heard about it again on NPR yesterday.

If we produce our foods naturally, then our bodies are perfectly streamlined to process them. If we introduce artificiality into the process to save a buck, the effects can be beyond our imaginations. The most creatively skeptical minds cannot completely fathom the way these substances are affecting us and our environment. You are letting yourselves be ruled by ambition because it is much more romantic to come up with technical, artificial solutions to our needs instead of taking the natural and safe path. Even the technologically-enhanced medical care we have cannot help us from the new onslaught of diseases that is affecting modern peoples and requiring copious amounts of medication to deal with. In ten to twenty years, special restaurants are going to be necessary to deal with all the people with allergies, celiacs, and obesity that we are seeing in this country. But nobody cares about health, that's for doctors to worry about - let's just find more artificial solutions to problems we don't even have so we can make names for ourselves! Our ambition and greed will be our downfall.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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4/6/2014 9:41:13 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/30/2014 3:19:14 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
There is new research coming out that suggests even the most leery of us are not leery enough. Effects from the toxins in our foods and our environment sometimes take many years to manifest, and some don't even take effect until our great grandchildren are born (chemicals we consume now affect future generations with no effects on ourselves). You guys are so quick to see a new chemical developed, quickly tested in several years or less, then declare it safe and push it on consumers without them even knowing what is happening. New chemicals like phtalates and endocrine disruptors also behave in exotic ways, being WORSE in smaller doses than they are in higher doses. I learned this in college and had to ask my professor to reiterate it because I was in complete disbelief, and then heard about it again on NPR yesterday.

If we produce our foods naturally, then our bodies are perfectly streamlined to process them. If we introduce artificiality into the process to save a buck, the effects can be beyond our imaginations. The most creatively skeptical minds cannot completely fathom the way these substances are affecting us and our environment. You are letting yourselves be ruled by ambition because it is much more romantic to come up with technical, artificial solutions to our needs instead of taking the natural and safe path. Even the technologically-enhanced medical care we have cannot help us from the new onslaught of diseases that is affecting modern peoples and requiring copious amounts of medication to deal with. In ten to twenty years, special restaurants are going to be necessary to deal with all the people with allergies, celiacs, and obesity that we are seeing in this country. But nobody cares about health, that's for doctors to worry about - let's just find more artificial solutions to problems we don't even have so we can make names for ourselves! Our ambition and greed will be our downfall.

What of, for example, genetic engineering which involves removing those genes involved in gluten production? In this case a chemical is simply no longer produced. And then there are those which take a nutrient present in one food and introduce it to another. Why, precisely, is it wrong to ingest a compound in one food, and not another? And while the argument can be made, convincingly, that things like Round-up Ready crops engender a gross overuse of herbicides, the modification itself doesn't add anything to the plant, it simply tweaks its metabolic processes to follow a path not targeted by glysophate. Then there are those traits which have been bred into plants since time immemorial, things like drought and pest resistance. When these genes are isolated, what, precisely, is wrong with splicing them into a new variety in order to save time and labor? It's the same gene we would have breed for anyway.

All in all, I think that genetic engineering stands to contribute a lot to organic food and locavore movements. The biggest one is increased production and reduced prices, which is a huge deal in a movement which, unfortunately, excludes a huge number of people through price barriers alone. I think to oppose it in all cases, including some of those outlined above, with little to no evidence to support the opposition, is an exercise in Luddism.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
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4/6/2014 1:00:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/6/2014 9:41:13 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/30/2014 3:19:14 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
There is new research coming out that suggests even the most leery of us are not leery enough. Effects from the toxins in our foods and our environment sometimes take many years to manifest, and some don't even take effect until our great grandchildren are born (chemicals we consume now affect future generations with no effects on ourselves). You guys are so quick to see a new chemical developed, quickly tested in several years or less, then declare it safe and push it on consumers without them even knowing what is happening. New chemicals like phtalates and endocrine disruptors also behave in exotic ways, being WORSE in smaller doses than they are in higher doses. I learned this in college and had to ask my professor to reiterate it because I was in complete disbelief, and then heard about it again on NPR yesterday.

If we produce our foods naturally, then our bodies are perfectly streamlined to process them. If we introduce artificiality into the process to save a buck, the effects can be beyond our imaginations. The most creatively skeptical minds cannot completely fathom the way these substances are affecting us and our environment. You are letting yourselves be ruled by ambition because it is much more romantic to come up with technical, artificial solutions to our needs instead of taking the natural and safe path. Even the technologically-enhanced medical care we have cannot help us from the new onslaught of diseases that is affecting modern peoples and requiring copious amounts of medication to deal with. In ten to twenty years, special restaurants are going to be necessary to deal with all the people with allergies, celiacs, and obesity that we are seeing in this country. But nobody cares about health, that's for doctors to worry about - let's just find more artificial solutions to problems we don't even have so we can make names for ourselves! Our ambition and greed will be our downfall.

What of, for example, genetic engineering which involves removing those genes involved in gluten production? In this case a chemical is simply no longer produced. And then there are those which take a nutrient present in one food and introduce it to another. Why, precisely, is it wrong to ingest a compound in one food, and not another? And while the argument can be made, convincingly, that things like Round-up Ready crops engender a gross overuse of herbicides, the modification itself doesn't add anything to the plant, it simply tweaks its metabolic processes to follow a path not targeted by glysophate. Then there are those traits which have been bred into plants since time immemorial, things like drought and pest resistance. When these genes are isolated, what, precisely, is wrong with splicing them into a new variety in order to save time and labor? It's the same gene we would have breed for anyway.

You're asking me for "precise" scientific answers which don't exist, and in fact my entire argument is based upon the notion that nobody understands these things completely. Scientists have worked up the knowledge to manipulate genes - that's the easy part. But understanding precisely what each of these changes does is an almost impossible feat (sort of like when we introduce exotic chemicals like pesticides into the food chain - who knows what the full effects could be?).

Genes of every organism have a natural method of remaining in balance with all other organisms out there - we call it natural selection. "Natural" cannot be underscored enough. When we switch over to "artificial" selection, we now introduce human error into the equation. Picking genes based on human nutritional requirements, economic incentives, and other intellectual rationale puts the cart before the horse (so to speak) just like building up the landscape for human activity does - we satisfy only our own needs without thought to what's actually best for the entire ecosystem. As an environmental science major, I have been taught to recognize that you cannot just isolate one species to benefit, you must make sure all species in an ecosystem share in those benefits, otherwise the benefits of one become the detriments of the rest (which, in turn, destroys the original species you were concerned with).

So we have one way - using the systems nature put in place for us, which are perfect in the sense that they work much better than we could ever imagine (learning all of these perfections takes a lifetime and is never complete) or we could use the system man puts into place. We know of these things... using high fructose corn syrup, gasoline, pesticides... These things deserve a lifetime of study to see the harms they cause to us as well as everything. It takes a lifetime of study to learn all these detriments, and that work is never complete.

Now we have not only the power to apply artificiality to our landscape and foods, but also to the genetic structure of the organisms around us. It is the magnificent and perhaps final epic f*ck-up of humankind. We'll have to open a whole new branch of environmental responsibility to deal with it, and of course, just like every one of these branches, they are pathetic and impotent solutions aimed mostly at convincing people we are "trying" to deal with the problem. And all for what? So we can save ten cents at the fast food joint to put towards a new television.

All in all, I think that genetic engineering stands to contribute a lot to organic food and locavore movements. The biggest one is increased production and reduced prices, which is a huge deal in a movement which, unfortunately, excludes a huge number of people through price barriers alone. I think to oppose it in all cases, including some of those outlined above, with little to no evidence to support the opposition, is an exercise in Luddism.

How about instead of "organic food" we have "food?" What you're saying to me in clear terminology is that we have to have a term for natural foods - organic - to be distinct from non-natural, or artificially derived foods. The inputs used to create artificial foods are the main difference between these two. If those inputs are artificial like pesticides, then what you're saying makes no sense - "organic" foods would necessarily, by definition, not be genetically modified.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,286
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4/6/2014 6:17:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/6/2014 1:00:32 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
At 4/6/2014 9:41:13 AM, Skepsikyma wrote:

What of, for example, genetic engineering which involves removing those genes involved in gluten production? In this case a chemical is simply no longer produced. And then there are those which take a nutrient present in one food and introduce it to another. Why, precisely, is it wrong to ingest a compound in one food, and not another? And while the argument can be made, convincingly, that things like Round-up Ready crops engender a gross overuse of herbicides, the modification itself doesn't add anything to the plant, it simply tweaks its metabolic processes to follow a path not targeted by glysophate. Then there are those traits which have been bred into plants since time immemorial, things like drought and pest resistance. When these genes are isolated, what, precisely, is wrong with splicing them into a new variety in order to save time and labor? It's the same gene we would have breed for anyway.

You're asking me for "precise" scientific answers which don't exist, and in fact my entire argument is based upon the notion that nobody understands these things completely. Scientists have worked up the knowledge to manipulate genes - that's the easy part. But understanding precisely what each of these changes does is an almost impossible feat (sort of like when we introduce exotic chemicals like pesticides into the food chain - who knows what the full effects could be?).

But they do exist. We know which amino acid each codon codes for. We can map a gene completely, and from that know exactly which amino acid chain will be formed, as well as which protein it will fold into (if we are modeling it off of a known protein), since primary structure determines secondary and tertiary structure. If we take out the gene which codes for gluten, then no more gluten. If we add a gene for a beneficial protein, then the plant will make that protein. There really is no gray area here.

Genes of every organism have a natural method of remaining in balance with all other organisms out there - we call it natural selection. "Natural" cannot be underscored enough. When we switch over to "artificial" selection, we now introduce human error into the equation. Picking genes based on human nutritional requirements, economic incentives, and other intellectual rationale puts the cart before the horse (so to speak) just like building up the landscape for human activity does - we satisfy only our own needs without thought to what's actually best for the entire ecosystem. As an environmental science major, I have been taught to recognize that you cannot just isolate one species to benefit, you must make sure all species in an ecosystem share in those benefits, otherwise the benefits of one become the detriments of the rest (which, in turn, destroys the original species you were concerned with).

I agree with this to a point; mainly, I think that the big issue is cross-contamination with some of the more controversial genes, like insulin. But, by your argument, isn't the type of plant breeding which humans have been doing for thousands of years detrimental? If not, then what makes it different when we expedite that process with the same results? If it's okay to breed a gene for drought resistance into a plant, then what's wrong with splicing it in?

And the relationships between humans and crop plants is a mutualistic one. The crop plants are protected, their competition eliminated, and their nutritional needs are met. This is a very common motif in nature, not some peculiar abberation. It's textbook mutualistic coevolution, the same force which drives mycorrhizal and myrmecophytic relationships. In those instances, fungi have been modified through evolution to serve as absorption apparati for plants, and ants protect the host plant in the same way that humans protect crop plants, in return for sustenance and shelter. Bacteria have even developed a means of quick genetic modification in the form of plasmids; it's actually this mechanism which we use to modify organisms in the first place.

So we have one way - using the systems nature put in place for us, which are perfect in the sense that they work much better than we could ever imagine (learning all of these perfections takes a lifetime and is never complete) or we could use the system man puts into place. We know of these things... using high fructose corn syrup, gasoline, pesticides... These things deserve a lifetime of study to see the harms they cause to us as well as everything. It takes a lifetime of study to learn all these detriments, and that work is never complete.

Now we have not only the power to apply artificiality to our landscape and foods, but also to the genetic structure of the organisms around us. It is the magnificent and perhaps final epic f*ck-up of humankind. We'll have to open a whole new branch of environmental responsibility to deal with it, and of course, just like every one of these branches, they are pathetic and impotent solutions aimed mostly at convincing people we are "trying" to deal with the problem. And all for what? So we can save ten cents at the fast food joint to put towards a new television.

Or so we can feed people in a more safe way. Responsible genetic engineering has the possibility to make pesticides and herbicides almost obsolete, if given the opportunity.

All in all, I think that genetic engineering stands to contribute a lot to organic food and locavore movements. The biggest one is increased production and reduced prices, which is a huge deal in a movement which, unfortunately, excludes a huge number of people through price barriers alone. I think to oppose it in all cases, including some of those outlined above, with little to no evidence to support the opposition, is an exercise in Luddism.

How about instead of "organic food" we have "food?" What you're saying to me in clear terminology is that we have to have a term for natural foods - organic - to be distinct from non-natural, or artificially derived foods. The inputs used to create artificial foods are the main difference between these two. If those inputs are artificial like pesticides, then what you're saying makes no sense - "organic" foods would necessarily, by definition, not be genetically modified.

All food has been genetically modified, through millennia of selective breeding. Modern techniques can refine and expedite this process. In the process, we can cut down the use of pesticides and herbicides. You've yet to demonstrate a clearly deleterious difference between selective breeding and the more modern techniques of genetic modification. If genetic modification by humans is a qualification for food being unnatural, then all biologically sourced food is unnatural.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Posts: 720
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4/7/2014 7:14:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/28/2014 2:23:20 PM, SNP1 wrote:
I am seriously in shock about how many people are still against GMOs. I know that many people that are against it have not even looked into GMOs. I also have seen people that argue against GMOs use the rumors and myths about them. I have never seen someone use a peer reviewed paper for their information.

People assume that it increases the use of chemicals. It turns out that pest-resistant cotton and maize need less insecticide.

People assume that GM benefits only the big companies. It turns out that billions of dollars of benefits are accruing to farmers needing fewer inputs.

People assume that GM is dangerous. It turns out that it is safer and more precise than conventional breeding using mutagenesis.

GMOs are safe, that is where evidence points. People should not be freaking out about it.

What amuses me about the whole GMO debate is that most plants we eat now days have been genetically modified i.e. bananas. Yet people prefer the Yellow sweet banana to the green bitter seedy wild un-modified type.

GMO is basically accelerated natural selection.

Here is an interesting look at some old data. The hype got lots of attention, the reality did not.
http://www.nature.com...