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The Contender
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Should production of genetically engineered food be paused until its effects on consumers are found?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/2/2010 Category: Science
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,891 times Debate No: 12679
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




Production should not be stopped because there are people in the world who rely on genetically engineered food for survival. For example, in third-world countries, the people there rely on genetically engineered rice in order to maintain their health. People who are allergic to certain foods such as peanuts must take care to not get allergic reactions, but those are only a few people. With genetically engineered wheat and other plants, the people in the world who really need genetically engineered food will be able to acquire better health.


Thank you for posting this interesting resolution. I look forward to the debate!

For clarity in today's debate I offer the following definitions:

Genetically modified foods: food plants that have been genetically altered by the addition of foreign genes to enhance a desired trait


According to Peter Rosset, director of Institute for Food and Development Policy in California even in countries with excess food production millions are starving. He further notes that the world's food supply is abundant, not scarce. The world production of grain and many other foods is sufficient to provide at least 4.3 pounds of food per person a day and according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 78 percent of all malnourished children aged under five live in countries with food surpluses. People don't starve because there is no food to buy, they starve because they cannot afford to purchase available food. Thus global hunger is not a matter of agricultural shortcomings, but by failed social and economic policy.

Point 2: BIOTECH COMPANIES HAVE AND WILL CONTINUE TO ABUSE GMOs (Genetically modified organisms)

Monsanto is one of the largest producers of genetically modified crop seeds in the world. For years they have been developing technologies known as the terminator gene and zombie gene. These seeds either grow plants with sterile seeds or grown plants with seeds which require special fertilizers. The net result is that poor third world farmers will have to pay a large portion of their income to plant and harvest genetically modified foods. This does nothing to increase their incomes and improve their standards of living (the root cause of global hunger).


The basic concept of GE is to take existing plants and improve them through gene insertion or deletion. Yet one must be prepared for the very scary reality that a mad scientist inserts genes into plants to make them worse. Consider the Madagascar man eating tree. "The people of Madagascar will tell you that switch over has already taken place. Many in the area have claim to have witnessed trees, with long snake-like tendrils that envelop humans, strangle them, and then engulf their bodies inside to draw out the nutrient requirements from their blood." Imagine if these trees were modified so that they could live anywhere in the world. No one would be safe from the appetite of these man-eating genetically modified plants.

Thanks for reading, I look forward to your response.
Debate Round No. 1


If GM foods are cultivated so often that they become as common as regular foods, they will become cheap as well, as with supply and demand. Hence, poor countries, instead of buying normal food, say, rice, will be able to buy GM food to make their country healthier.
As for farmers, they eventually save money on pesticides and water, as well as gain enormous profits from the GM food they cultivate. So, even though they may spend money on "super-seeds," in the long run, they gain large benefits. Their animals will be leaner, grow faster, need less food, and produce more milk (cows).
As for man eating trees, if we do not give GM genes to the trees, they will not grow to an enormous size.

Thank you for your response.


Big biotech firms try to create the impression that modified foods will solve world hunger by growing faster, larger, and providing more nutrition to crops. In reality these ideas are merely public relation campaigns and advertisements. As I have noted before these companies are only interested in their bottom line, not solving world hunger. They will price seeds to high and effectively force the world's poorest populations to spend more to feed their families.

My opponent also brings up the point that they "will become as common regular foods". This idea creates a huge risk to the production of these crops. Biodiversity is key to sustainable agriculture. GM seeds are clones of each other and the result is if one virus or disease can destroy one crop it will be able to destroy every single other GM crop.

Finally I would like to note that the scientific community doesn't fully understand the impacts of GE. Sure you may get larger crops that grow faster, but we don't yet know what other parts of the plans genome will change and how that will harm the crop. It's a very real possibility that in the future scientists may discover that GE crops are health risks to those who have consumed them, much like cigarettes. Until we know more about the implications of GE food, it's an unsafe bet to feed it to large segments of the global population.

Debate Round No. 2


cgdae forfeited this round.


Interesting topic, thanks for the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by cgdae 9 years ago
Please comment on the debate! I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has to say about genetically modified foods!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Officialjake 9 years ago
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