Are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) an environmental threat?

  • GMOs? More like gmNOS!

    Gmos are harmful to us. It is not natural. It is healthier and better if it is natural. Why do we need GMOs anyway? Help us stay safe and healthy. GMOs hurt us. They also kill bugs that are important. We will be all natural and happy and healthy. :)

  • If I want Amish furniture, I expect it to be Amish made, not factory made.

    We buy fruits , veg, meat and gains under the premise that they are what they are. And what is a potato? A potato is a plant, depending on what you believe, came from another plant, and another plant, and so forth. If I buy potatoes, I expect them to come from nature; if they are not natural, then it would be like eating something that is not a plant.

    Just the other day, I looked up "Monsanto" on google, and I was redirected to a Canadian Monsanto page. I am deeply offended. On our flag, we have a maple leaf, a sign of nature; GMO foods are not natural. Allowing GMO into our country is like allowing the maple leaf to die off of our flag.

  • I believe genetically modified organisms are an environmental threat, simply because we don't know enough about them.

    If there is one thing science has taught us, it's that we don't understand nature very well. Year after year, theories are created, disproved, and discarded, because we continuously find that life is more complicated than we had imagined it to be. Genetically modified organisms are an environmental threat, because we don't fully understand organisms, so we cannot anticipate the impact genetically modifying them may have on the environment.

    Posted by: YummyIke50
  • Yes, GMOs are a threat to our environment because they are natural and can have adverse effects on our health, food, water and safety of even animals.

    I think GMOs are a threat because they are simply not natural. Anything "modified" has to have some danger or risk associated with it, especially something that can be consumed or breathed in by a human or animal. These GMOs can have cancerous or other disease risks and should not be allowed.

    Posted by: I33Iess
  • Modifying one organism might effect the entire food chain.

    Humans have been modifying plant and animals by selective breeding for thousands of years, but genetically modified organisms take it a step further. The complete impact of one organism is not always known, because one organism is just one step in a large food chain. Modifying one organism might negatively effect the entire food chain in ways that are not completely understood, and this might be an environmental threat.

    Posted by: N Schroeder 60
  • Yes, genetically engineered organisms are a threat to humans.

    Mankind has a history of doing things without understanding the ramifications of their actions. Nature lives in a delicate balance and when man plays with such an important part of the very nature of our world they could create impacts that they can't perceive that could in the long run kill off critical parts of our ecosystem. Our world is a delicate place and we should be very careful how we interact with it.

    Posted by: R43Shep
  • Genetically modified organisms pose unknown and unpredictable threat toward our environment.

    There are just not enough studies that show how certain mutation would effect environment, and until comprehensive studies are done humans should not play with the risk of doing more damage to the environment than they have already done. Each genetically modified organism needs its own studies, and permission to use them on a wide scale should only be accepted after all the risks are properly addressed.

    Posted by: BurM4rk
  • I believe GMOs are an environmental threat.

    Much like invasive species, I believe GMOs could be a huge environmental threat if not properly contained. If any of these organisms escaped into the wild, they may not have any natural predators in that environment. In that case, they would proliferate and eventually push out and endanger other native species. This also works for plants, not just animals. A genetically modified strain of plants may be more resistant to a certain environment than the natural species and will eventually outgrow them.

    Posted by: emililuyx2
  • Gmos pose a threat to the environment because

    Sounds great, right? Gm foods can be grown easily, withstanding cold or drought, without spraying for pests or weeds. Not only that, but the food can be made more nutritious. So what's the problem? Why so much controversy? Opponents of genetic modification have many criticisms against this new technology. First of all there are multiple environmental concerns. Gm foods can cause harm to other organisms unintentionally. For example, a study published in nature on bt corn found that the pollen caused high mortality rates in monarch butterfly caterpillars, even though the caterpillars don't eat corn. If the bt corn pollen is blown onto neighboring milkweed plants (the caterpillars food source) the caterpillars could eat the pollen and die. The results of this study are under debate, since the experiments were not done in the field, but in a laboratory, and new studies suggest that the original may be flawed. Researchers at the university of guelph performed a study and found that under natural conditions, bt corn does not pose a risk to the monarch butterfly [2]. If pollen is blown onto neighboring plants, the plants could crossbreed and the introduced gene could be transferred to non-target plants. This is a concern if a herbicide resistant crop were to breed with a weed and transfer the herbicide resistance gene. This would create a weed that is unharmed by the chemicals used to kill it. Monsanto has patented their roundup ready seeds, and farmers wishing to use them must purchase a license from the company. This can lead to trouble for farmers who don't use the Monsanto seeds. Perry schmeiser is a canola farmer in western Canada who has never bought seeds from Monsanto. In 1998 he was sued by Monsanto since they discovered roundup ready canola in his field. Schmeiser claims that the seed was blown in from neighboring fields, but Monsanto believes he obtained it illegally or stole it. Regardless of how it was obtained, Monsanto felt this was patent infringement and took schmeiser to court in June of 2000. This court battle captured the interest of farmers around the world, because even if they did not intend or even want to have patented seeds in their fields, they could be sued. The judge ruled in favor of Monsanto and stated that it didn't matter how the seed got into schmeiser's field. Whether it was blown in, cross-pollinated by birds, bees or animals, fell off farmer's trucks or migrated from a neighbor's field, it is still patent infringement, and the plants were to become the property of Monsanto. All of schmeiser's profits from 1998 were awarded to Monsanto since there was a probability of having the genetically altered seeds throughout his fields. Insect pests may also become resistant to the toxins produced by gm crops like bt corn. It is now known that some bacteria are becoming antibiotic resistant (so-called superbugs') making it difficult to treat diseases such as tuberculosis. Likewise, opponents of gmos believe that insects could become pesticide resistant making them difficult to control in the future. This process is called mutation. Along with environmental concerns, there are also worries about the effects that gm foods can have on humans. There are concerns that introducing a new gene into a food could cause an allergic reaction in some people (for example, if the gene came from a nut). Most scientists believe that other than allergic reactions, gm foods do not pose a threat to human health, however as with all new products, no long-term studies have been performed.

  • Yes, because resistance to a certain weed may cause the production of a "superweed".

    Roundup-resistant soy is producing Roundup-resistant "superweeds". There is anecdotal evidence that when taking a field of Roundup-resistant soy, and then spraying crops with Roundup for a prolonged period of time, you may, in fact, create Roundup-resistant weeds which, for all intents and purposes, diminishes the need for Roundup, or any other weed killer.

    Posted by: TalentedThanh75

    DNA is the molecule of life in all organisms. We are simply moving DNA from one organism to another in turn causing that organism to make a protein that is already naturally made. There is nothing inherently unsafe and unnatural in DNA directing cells to make proteins. We often eat both organisms separately including all their DNA and protein molecules. What makes it different that we simply are merging the molecules into one organism? It is not "new" DNA and "new" protein molecules. The vast majority of arguments against GMO's are based solely in emotion and rhetoric. Show me the evidence.

  • Efficient, Vitamins, and Vaccine Possibilities

    First, genetic modification can help framers skip steps in the process, such as spraying their crops with pesticides, because the food are already resistant to pests. Secondly, there are more benefits in the foods themselves. For example, Golden Rice have been modified to contain additional vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A. Lastly, studies are currently being done with bananas to produce newer and safer vaccines against viruses such as Hepatitis B.

  • GMOs are helpful, not harmful.

    After evaluating many facets of the arguments for and against GM food crops, I have been able to draw my own opinion on the matter. I believe that GM food crops definitely have great potential for solving the problems of world hunger and malnutrition, and that they also have the ability to help preserve our environment by drastically reducing our uses of chemical pesticides and herbicides. I do, however, think that before our society becomes too reliant on GM there is much more research needed in regards to safety, effects on human health, effects on biodiversity, policy, and regulation. It would be truly unfortunate for us to disregard a technology that could so greatly benefit the world. After researching GM and both sides of the argument, it is apparent to me that many people are misinformed about the issue. Many claim that GMOs are “biologically unnatural” and we should not “mess with God’s nature.” From my point of view, people have been employing selective breeding to ensure the presence of desirable traits for many years, there is nothing different about this concept except for the technique by which we accomplish it. From my extensive reading of opinion columns, news articles, and anti-GMO propaganda I have come to the conclusion that there is a great deal of misunderstanding when it comes to genetic engineering. Scientists do no not throw random genetic sequences together, hoping for the best to see if it works. They work very specifically, removing precise genes from organisms to implement in another.

  • Genetically modified organisms have not been tested or researched enough to definitively establish their safety to both the environment and to human health.

    There has not been enough research conducted to definitively establish whether genetically modified organisms will effect the environment around them. The companies creating these products are being tasked with the responsibility of establishing the environmental safety of their products. As a result the tests have been shown to be biased in overwhelming favor of the products safety. Independent research and tests have shown the opposite. The organisms have an effect on the animals that feed on them. Sometimes detrimental effects other times creating more insecticide and pesticide resistance in the target species. With more resistance, the GMO product will no longer be effective against the target species it was designed to be resistant too. This equates to even more insecticide and pesticides being used, hence even more chemicals in the environment. The same is true for herbicide resistance. With repeated exposure to the same herbicide, such as Round Up, the weeds become resistant to it. Then you need more chemicals to achieve the same effect as before. Not only that, but eventually you can't keep dumping more and more of the same chemical on the weeds before moving onto a stronger chemical. There have already been reports of weeds developing this resistance. They are now being called 'superweeds' because the farmers can't get rid of them anymore. Also, the GMO plant has an effect on the quality of the soil. Plants interact with the soil they are rooted in. There is chemical exchanges between soil and plant, so genetically modified organisms actually put the toxins they are producing into the soil as well. Then there are the insects that rely on the crops pollen. If the pollen is altered then it can have detrimental effects on them. There have already been reports of effects to bees in areas where GMO crops are being grown. GMO pollen is also released into the air and can mix with non-GMO crops, thereby contaminating them. To sum it up, we have a responsibility to make sure these crops are not actually causing damage to the environment around them before we spread them around the world. If we find out the detrimental effects years down the road then it may be too late to stop the damage or reverse the damage.

  • GMOs are harmless.

    GMOs are not a threat to biodiversity, but rather provide support to human beings. People depend on GMOs for vitamins and minerals that they cannot receive from non-genetically modified organisms. Global warming has affected the balance between the ecosystems, thus leading to agricultural difficulties and to plants being genetically modified.

  • Most of the opposition to GMO is misguided

    The core of most opposition seems to be "magical thinking" that engineered genetic changes are somehow fundamentally different from natural changes "comic-book thinking" about the dangers of some new unnatural force that could overwhelm nature. Both are false. Finally, some opposition is based on opposition to the agricultural techniques which pose real threats to the environment and sustainability, but these concerns have nothing to do with GMOs, per se. This is like blaming computers for the system of finance that employs them.

  • Don't believe everything you read on the internet!

    It would be difficult to do a science project on whether or not GMOs are harmful. I'd say about 90% of what I found from Google Search are posts on forums and websites from people who've been deeply misinformed.
    There's people who don't even understand GMOs and are convinced that they contain "poison", or that the process hurts the animal. People with claims that their relatives are developing AIDS and cancer by consuming GMOs. Why not take it from a scientist who actually understands it?
    It's very very easy to spread false information on the internet and even to persuade people of high authority of false information. Stop the madness.

  • We have been genetically modifying food and other organisms for centuries. This there is nothing new about this concept except for the technique used to accomplish it.

    Most claims that GMOs are "harmful" are based off of incorrect assumptions. Why is that people naturally believe something is harmful because it is unnatural? We have been genetically modifying organisms for centuries. Selecting the juiciest oranges, or the largest potatoes, or the sweetest apples for breeding is a form of genetic manipulation. Breeding dogs to serve as trackers, or herders, or guard dogs is a form of genetic manipulation. Now that genes can be manipulated directly, people panic because it is unknown. In my honest opinion, GMOs are safe and do not pose any more of a health threat than current "natural" foods.

  • Mutations happen naturally, and I don't see why expertly modified genes would be subject to mutation, any more than natural ones.

    I believe genetically modified organisms are not an environmental threat. A 1999 study supported my belief that expertly designed GMOs are not inherently harmful. The opposing argument tends to lean toward the fact that GMOs are "unnatural", but that seems to me to be more of a metaphysical argument, rather than a scientific one.

    Posted by: SelfishJonas62
  • Too much pseudo-science.

    There is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to Genetic Engineering. Firstly, scientists do not willy-nilly throw some random genetic sequences into an organism and see if it works. They remove specific genes from organisms and implement them into another organism, no gene is created randomly, it is transfered from one species to another. Therefore claims that they will be dangerous is non-sense as they already exist in nature and their biochemical properties are very well understood. Secondly, saying that they aren't natural is void of any logic. What does it mean for something to be natural? And how does something being unnatural make it bad? Cyanide is natural, would you prefer we put those genes in your corn? What humans are doing can be considered improving a species, speeding up evolution. So what if it's better than other organisms? That is natural selection, organisms are in a constant war with each other. If you don't like how one species is better than another then you must truly be confused by the most basic ideas of biology.

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