Genetically engineered salmon: A problem?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Dinosaur, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Gravage: What other conspiracy theories do you believe?
    You can talk about whatever you want but the fact is health and medicine are the prisoners of one god-and that one god is money, it's not in their interest for us to be healthy at all, this is why people today don't believe in science like they used to. Science has become some sort of religion because it's right only what science says, but the fact remains, I and everyone else who eat food today are merely lab rats in a multi-billion dollar industry (and what makes you think they don't pay FDA for test results, but there is more than just gm food, you have artificial chemistry, pollution and etc (now we have nanotechnology to create artificial food...)...

    Bungling with mother nature cannot end good (one way or the other), only bad. Also, people used to eat much healthier food 50-60 years ago.

    Like I said it's my right to reject gm food or anything else that concerns my own personal health.​
    Everyone has a right to act on their opinion, even stupid opinions. I hope your actions do not have adverse effects on others.

    If you have children, I hope you will allow them to form their own opinions relating to science. We have enough anti-science quacks in Tennessee & elsewhere.

    Science & big business has increased our life expectancy, improved our standard of living, & provided us with a myriad of useful items.
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  3. Gravage Registered Senior Member

    I don't believe in any many conspiracy theories at all I simply don't believe in science and business anymore when it comes to health, if I listened everything what my doctor/science said, I'd be dead by now, how do I know this?
    Because of the medicines I used to have, I dropped them regardless what my doctor said, because it had some serious/negative side-effects. There are some other more that I wish not talk about
    So my opinion comes from my experience, not from conspiracy theories. Nome should believe in science 100% just because science says something is good or bad for your health, try it yourself, although you put yourself to risk as well.
    I'm the best doctor of my body, because I'm the one who sees if my body will react to some new medicine or the food.
    Like I aid before science has become religion in some ways.

    There is NOT ONE SINGLE HUMAN TRIAL on humans and so for the past decade or so, humans were/are the laboratory rats.
    You don't need to be an activist or disgruntled farmer to see businesses owning patents on crops leads to monopolies in agriculture when cross pollination is near unstoppable, and GM crop regulation is imperfect at best.
    Everybody needs to do some research and inform themselves as to the possible dangers of this technology being applied to our food. Even if it does prove safe in the long term we'll be dictated to by the company who will, by then, control the world's food supply. For more information you can go to YouTube and find a very informative film called 'The World According To Monsanto'. Everybody needs to see this.

    Africa does not want GMO. Neither does Europe. Survey reveals Americans DO NOT want GMO either.

    Africa and Europe have seen for themselves how devastating GMOs are in India. Why risk it by playing mother nature, especially our own DNAs? Why change whole foods when they are already wholesome and nutritious in its own natural forms? It's totally useless.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
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  5. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    ALL human crops and most of our meat comes from messing with mother nature. Corn, Potatoes, Carrots, Cabbage, Lettuce, Chicken, Cows, Pigs, Turnips, Wheat, Rice...these are not naturally occurring in the form we consume them, they are, literally, genetically modified versions of wild plants. You just prefer certain method of genetic modification over others.

    You certainly do, but when you say things like "GM food should be banned" you are saying that your opinion should govern me, and should govern many other people who are far more likely to starve in the future because you refuse to accept science.

    You don't have to buy or eat GM foods if you don't want to, but don't suggest that foisting your views on others is appropriate then turn around and tell me to respect your choices. And don't kid yourself and think that anything grown on any modern farm anywhere is "natural". It's not.
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  7. Gravage Registered Senior Member

    Yes, I know these arguments they are repeated so many times, but it's not the same as let's say hybridization or selective farming, you put foreign genes into my/your gene-this is not something I can expect to be everything ok.
    Like I said above "there is NOT ONE SINGLE HUMAN TRIAL on humans and so for the past decade or so, humans were/are the laboratory rats-so how can you claim this food it's healthy?
    Science should test it on humans first, before it goes to production.
    You don't need to be an activist or disgruntled farmer to see businesses owning patents on crops leads to monopolies in agriculture when cross pollination is near unstoppable, and GM crop regulation is imperfect at best."
    The fact remains that people used to eat much healthier food and were healthier, more durable, at least when it comes to food, and there was no pollution and chemistry. Today we have science and high-tech and our lives are longer but also we get sick more easily, that's the price we have to pay.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  8. Gravage Registered Senior Member

    Yes, gmo should be banned until tests on humans are made in the first place (and tested , re-tested, -re-re-tested and etc.. as long as this technology is used-that's the point of science) how can you let something that has realistic potential change your/my dna and why change the mother nature if it's already nutritious?
    Unfortunately today every food is polluted (plus every day stress, chemistry, wastes and etc...), so it does not matter what we eat, we make ourselves sick one way or the other.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  9. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    You wouldn't accept evidence that these foods are safe if God Himself came down from on high and presented them to you along with a bag of diamonds.
  10. Gravage Registered Senior Member

    Personally, I truly don't care what this study says, because it's not long term. You cannot know the moment of DNA is damaged by gm food in the first place, since there are no human bodies to research How do they know that allergies or some other more serious, deadlier diseases are not associated with gm food, if there is no study made on human body, only on animal body?
    The same can be said for comparison between the food from supermarkets and from my own garden-it's does not matter what science says about this that they are equally healthy, I don't believe in that, when I use my own food from my own garden, I know it's healthy and not experimented by hyper-ambitious scientists, people are not that stupid anymore. Only people like you who believe in science like some kind of religion (when it comes to health) and follow it blindly, I rather believe my body what it says to me, because I did follow science the same way you did, but ended up in the hospital-I APPRECIATE MY EXPERIENCE with food consumption much more than I appreciate scientific experiments, because I did listen to science, but still ended up in the hospital, I'm talking from my experience, I did not pick up my opinions from some crazy conspiracy theory..

    The other problem is: This is not how the science works: when you have a new medicine on the market you have first experiments on animals which are genetically similar like humans, than you have clinical testing on thousands and thousands of patients and after that, only after that you go into the mass production of the medicine.
    When it comes to gm food, there is no clinical testing on human patients, not once, and this is what should be brought, this is not what I expected from science.
    The other problem is you have to check these human patients every year, because of let's say cancer it takes like 20 years to evolve, and how would you know gm food does not cause it at least indirectly?
    Methods that are put in science when it comes to gm food are simply not enough detailed and not enough regulated and not tested on humans at all (not a single time), and this is what it should be done.
    Here are proofs why gm food is not that healthy:
    One study says it is, the other study says it is not:

    This is why this gm food needs much more testing...
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  11. Gravage Registered Senior Member

    A 2005 animal study conducted at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Irina Ermnkovfl discovered that more than half the offspring (55.6 percent) of rats fed on genetically modified soy died in the first three weeks of life-six to eight times as many as those born to mothers given conventional soy (9 percent) or no soy (6.8 percent). Six times as many rat babies (36 percent) were severely underweight as well compared to
    those in the other groups (6 percent ). Several other European studies suggest the dangers of genetically
    modified soy. Italian research, for example, showed that genetically modified soy affected the liver and pancreas in mice. In Australia, researchers discovered that genetically modified peas caused lung damage.

    For the past fifteen years, much of our nation's milk has come from cows injected with a genetically engineered growth hormone. Indeed. cows hopped-up on rBGH typically lived for only about two
    years after they start receiving the drug. By contrast, cows who were not injected with rBGH live on for four to ten years. Canada isn't the only country to disallow the use of rBGH. The genetically
    altered hormone is not approved for use in the European Union, Japan, Auslralia, and New Zealand, In addition, the U,N. agency that sets food safety standards, Codex Alimentarius, has twice concluded
    there was no consensus on the safety of rBGH.

    1998, an article in The Lancet, reported that women with even relatively small increases of a hormone known a insulin-growth factor IGF-1 were up to seven times more likely to develop PREMENOPAUSAL breast cancer. According to a January 1996 report in the International Journal of Health Services, rBGH milk has up to ten times the IGF-1 levels of natural milk. Most recent studies have put the figure even higher at something like twentyfold. ONE IN EIGHT women now has breast cancer!!! IGF-1 has been implicated in prostate and colon cancer.

    1995 Great Britain. An acclaimed biologist named Arpad Pusztai was awarded a research grant to create a model for testing GM foods. Dr. Pusztai discovered that genetically modified potatoes not only differed in nutritional content but in their effect on the animals. In their study. After only a ten-day feed ng study, animals fed the GM potatoes suffered damage to thcir immune systems, organs, and tissues, as well as other serious health problems." -excerpts from The Unhealthy Truth

    I don't believe you and your claims that GMOs are safe! There is something wrong with our food right now. My sister was diagnosed stage 3 breast cancer last year. She had a mastectomy. If it comes back, it will be stage 4 which is terminal. She was only 38! I met a woman today who was stage 1. She is also in her 30s. My friend's cousin is terminal stage 4. She is also in her 30s. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer! Maybe that will be your mom, daughter or sister. Please by all means keep giving them that rBGH milk and cheese if you believe it is so safe. Wonder if they have IGF-1 floating through their bodies now or maybe it is in your reproductive system affecting your sperm count and later giving you prostate cancer. My 4 yo nephew is allergic has food sensitivities to nearly every food on the food allergy test. I think that is pretty odd. My brother-in-laws father has terminal prostate cancer. My grandma died of colon cancer. Can hear me? Take some ethical responsibility and just do what is right for our nation's health. We have a RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT IS IN OUR FOOD!! IF you have nothing to hide than allow labeling and let consumers make the choice. I don't need a corporation making that choice for me!

    Many countries have banned GMO's all together. The European Union, Russia, and China require GMO disclosure on packaged products. Considering that Russia and China are known for censorship of the media and/or internet, that says a lot if they want their people to know if they're eating GMO derived food or not.
    I pretty much shop at local farmer's markets, changed my diet, and buy foods that have the GMO-Free and hormone free labels. Also as much as I love to buy American, when it comes to food I trust imported food more because of other countries rejection of GMO's and will sometimes pay extra if I have to in order to ensure I'm not eating GMO derived food.

    GMOs are about industry for industry's sake. It's not for us, our health, increased yield, feeding the poor....those are all lies. GMOs exist so chemical companies can sell more chemicals. It’s about crops modified for resistance to chemicals that are made by the same companies that are peddling the GMO seeds.

    It's about big, big money. It's about us being lied to and experimented on. It's about massive corporations in bed with the government, and our government betraying its own people to line various corporate pockets.
  12. Gravage Registered Senior Member


    This is study from 2011 in France...

    These links are the answer to your links:
    So, I challenge anyone out there who thinks they have proof that GMOs are in fact safe, to post a comment below with a link to such a study.
    Back in 2009 the New York Times reported on the agreements biotech firms, such as Monsanto, require seed purchasers to sign. Independent scientists are prohibited from researching patented GMO seeds. The USDA when allowing these seeds doesn't do it's own testing -- they rely on industry and company reports.

    That has never caused a problem, has it? Independent scientists are not allowed to research the seeds and yet we get all this industry-verified science "facts" about how safe GMOs are...meanwhile there are ever increasing ills from GMOs, including a brand-new pathogen.

    Among the documents obtained by Wikileaks include Monsanto asking the US government to maintain its strong pressure on the European Union legislation for the introduction of GMO foods. After moves in France to ban a Monsanto GM corn variety, the US embassy recommended that 'we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU, so much about honesty and fair play.

    Death of the Bees. Genetically Modified Crops and the Decline of Bee Colonies in North America:

    One more link:

    15 years is a very short period of time, in regards to such a cycle. Barely one generation has grown up exposed to GMO foods.. It's not enough time for "substantial proof".
    If people would rather wait for this proof to be available before we take action, it may very well be too late.Me? I'd rather be safe than sorry.
    You will no doubt have noticed that once more people are dying from contaminated organic food, this time in Germany.
    More proof that gm food is toxic:

    The problem with these GM plants is this: Whatever weedkiller, herbicide, whatever that they are "modified" to be able to grown in, builds up in side the plant and into the grain product, in this case corn. When this grain product is then used as food, either directly, or indirectly by feeding it to meat animals, it then collects in the tissues and organs of the animal that has ingested it. Many of these herbicides, Roundup, Atrazine, and others, were supposed to decompose, breakdown with exposure to the environment. They do not!! This can be easily proven by the dead area in the Gulf of Mexico from the thousands of gallons of these products that enter it from the sewers from the Mississippi.

    Biotech companies, including Monsanto, have deliberately used law suits and spurious intellectual property claims to halt and impede research on GM crops. If they can substantiate their claims why don't they produce their data or allow others to test the validity of those claims. That is the opposite of scholarly behavior. Good science is repeatable and good science doesn't hide. It doesn't have to.
    The truth is that Monsanto's practices are highly suspect and often reprehensible. There are reports of Monsanto sending representatives to investigate farms and threatening farmers with lawsuits if they refuse the illegal searches. They have also sued farmers whose crops have by chance been mixed with their genetic strains (usually through the wind carrying them into other fields). Shouldn't Monsanto owe the farmer compensation for "infecting" his/her crop? Is this business or totalitarianism?
    If Monsanto and other biotech companies really do what they say, why won't they bring their "science" out into the open? It's the easiest way for them to silence all their detractors.

    GM foods need to be studied much more in depth. It's alarming when there are studies saying that regions that used to produce food freely no longer can.

    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  13. tantalus Registered Senior Member

    1st let me agree broadly with posts 1 and 2 on the thread. People often take irrational stances on issues, which can undermine significant efforts on other issues which they are also active. Its not important though, its the facts and evidence that counts, not how many people feel strongly about it, when deciding what’s right and wrong. I am not against GM at all, quite the contrary, let that be clear. Huge potential, and little evidence of problems. The reality is also that a problem (in theory) with one GM product isn’t a problem with all of them. People who see this type of unity in the matter simply don’t understand the biological facts. GM animals may present a different case. However there is no need for generalisations, I just want to talk about the specific case, salmon, as raised by the OP.

    GM salmon concern me seriously, not because of any direst evidence or research, because of course GM salmon aren’t out in the wild, not yet anyway, but due to research on farmed salmon. There is evidence building of the threat that farmed salmon pose to the wild population since proof emerged of interbreeding. Specific genetic markers make it possible to identify farmed salmon, and have been detected in first generation hybrids.

    Hybrids have intermediate fitness, there not as well adapted to local conditions as purely wild salmon, but still considerably more than their farmed escapees/parent, not surprising really. Consider below,

    So they compete directly, but also lower the fitness of the wild pop. by breeding with wild salmon.

    You might wonder well farmed salmon come from smolts in the wild, so there really isnt any genetic contamination, but the same small genetic pool is used in farmed salmon from a small number of especially vigorous local populations of wild salmon. Its hardly surprising that there more competitive, we choose the best to farm and when you consdier the large number of escapees annually, along with the fact there are several hundred more times farmed salmon than wild salmon, Its easy to see the potetial for massive contamination, especially when wild popluations are already low and vulnerable.

    Clearly, there is a threat then of a huge decrese in the genetic diversity in the wild population, potentially. I would argue that loss of genetic diversity within a species is almost as serious as loss of the whole species and thats not just because the former furthers the latter. if we put value on preventing a species from extinction, does that also pertain to the genetic pool in it entirety, but thats another matter separate from this thread. In this instance, the threat may very well be at the species level.

    Finally, where do GM salmon come in? We have already selected (the old fashioned way) for more vigorous salmon to farm. If we create even more vigorous salmon, with increased growth rates, the threat is likely only to be greater by the same mechanisms that farmed fish (non gm) are threating the Wild Salmon. Based on the level of escapees at the moment, It is logical they would escape and in great numbers on an annual basis.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  14. tantalus Registered Senior Member

    To further elaborate, this is a piece concerned directly with the risks of transgenic salmon
    That last quote is especially important. Iam skeptical based on the appauling record of the farmed salmon industry, regarding the ability to prevent mass escapes. It would have to be dealt with robustly in my view before we should move on GM salmon. Sterilisation is a another important tool, but its my understanding (no reference though), that it affects the morphology and taste of farmed salmon, with a negative effect on sales. Perhaps that problem can be dealt with with further chemical or genetic changes, and therefore GM may play a role their in solving a problem currently affecting non-gm farmed salmon. Despite that though, sterilisation doesnt solve the direct competition risk, although it helps reduce it by removing the hybrids from the pop.

    all above quotes from page 22/23 of the document
  15. Gravage Registered Senior Member

    Man, you really have nerves with this posting. Than what is your conclusion in the end? My experience is bad, very bad.
  16. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Gravage: The following is from one of your posts.

    A 2005 animal study conducted at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Irina Ermnkovfl discovered that more than half the offspring (55.6 percent) of rats fed on genetically modified soy died in the first three weeks of life-six to eight times as many as those born to mothers given conventional soy (9 percent) or no soy (6.8 percent). Six times as many rat babies (36 percent) were severely underweight as well compared to those in the other groups (6 percent ). Several other European studies suggest the dangers of genetically modified soy. Italian research, for example, showed that genetically modified soy affected the liver and pancreas in mice. In Australia, researchers discovered that genetically modified peas caused lung damage.​

    When I did a search for [Dr. Irina Ermnkovfl, the only results were references to this Thread at Sciforums.

    Can you provide a link to the claimed research? Did you make up the name of this researcher?

    Can you provide links to the Italian & Australian research?
  17. Gravage Registered Senior Member


    I have to admit that recent months I've been trying to find this dr. Irina Ermnkovfl, but I haven't found any. However at the time I was posting there was a link that has shown scientist dr. Irina Ermnkovfl.
    I also tried to find russian scientific websites as well, it's impossible, recent months every time I try to find russian scientists I fail, like there is nothing.
    Regarding that research, I was not talking about Italian and Australian, but mostly Austrian and Hungarian research about mon810 and mon863, despite the results they have concluded they need more scientific research.
    However I did find one research here:

    The next is canadian link regarding exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods:

    Especially this.
    Source new scientist
    But I had to find the rest of the text, so I gave you link above.

    Also there other sources:
    [1] D. Aranda and N. Holland. 2011. 15 years of GM soybeans in Argentina - The true cost of monoculture. MO – Mondiall News, 7 June.
    [2] M. Antoniou, B. P. Carrasco, A., Fagan, J., Habib, M., Kageyama, P., Leifert, C., Nodari, R., Pengue, W. 2010. GM Soy: Sustainable? Responsible? GLS Gemeinschaftsbank and ARGE Gentechnik-frei. p. 32.
    [3] Antoniou i sur. 2011. Roundup and birth defects: Is the public being kept in the dark? Earth Open Source. June.
    [4] Trigo J.E. 2011. 15 Years of genetically modified crops in Argentine agriculture. ArgenBio, Dec. 04.

    Also the following links are from Institute of Science in Society:
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012
  18. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Gravage: After searching for Dr. Irina Ermnkovfl with no success, I read a lot of verbiage from a few of the many links you supplied.

    Some of the articles seem to say maybe there should be further studies of possble adverse environmental impact. There were suggestions of possible adverse intefererence with the gene pool of wild salmon. I could find no positive statments that the genetic tinkering was harmful.

    Could you quote a paragraph or so from 3-4 of the linked to articles indicating that there is good reason to believe that the genetic tinkering is actually detrimental? Please include the links & a clue relating to approximate location of your quoted paragraphs.

    I have yet to see any indication that the genetic tinkering is some how worse than the selective breeding used to produce better race horses, better crops, better food animal food for human consumption.

    I suspect that you do searches & post links without reading the articles, which is a cute ploy implying experiments which back up your notions.
  19. tantalus Registered Senior Member

    What do you mean ?
    Its complicated, but on balance I would be extremely concerned about GM salmon, but not due to the genetic manipulation per se.
    Have you considered my inferences in posts 30 and 31 ?
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Since as you observe, and many examples demonstrate (most actually marketed non-theoretical GM crops, for example), there are dangerous genetic engineering projects in full swing, I find your focus on the irrationality of some of the people who don't trust GM technology or its proponents a bit mysterious, and your lumping of all objections to any feature of industrial agriculture and food manufacturing under the umbrella of irrationality downright strange.

    Your immediate swing to food irradiation, say: It may be amusing to discover that many people think irradiated food is radioactive - perhaps it is less amusing to discover that irradiating food changes the structures of some of its proteins in ways few knowledgeable and disinterested people are willing to certify as safe to eat. So whose irrationality is more worthy of mockery and dismissal, that of the people who want to be able to market filth contaminated food in which the bacteria have been killed so as to save themselves the money and trouble (and the consequences of the impossibility) of cleaning up their industrial farming and slaughterhouse and distribution operations, or the irrationality of people who don't quite know how this whole irradiation business works?

    After all, not knowing how this irradiation business works is a fairly general state of humanity, and in particular is a trait of almost all the people who favor irradiating food based on their trust in the word of people who have a professional interest and multi-billion dollar stake in lying about the stuff. So who are the foolish, here? Who should we, by preference, mock for their ignorance?
  21. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    Fish love too. I see this kind of act as abusive.

    EDIT: So long as its just sex, and then they are set free. You can not keep them out of the wild.
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Several posts above attempt to equate genetic modification with ordinary breeding and selection efforts.

    That attempt is fundamentally in error, and quite dangerous as an intuitive basis for evaluation. Several of the techniques used in genetic modification are quite new, not seen on this planet before, and produce results (kinds of genetic combination) essentially never found in nature, with which we have no experience. These combinations are then reproductive and self-spreading, active in expressing themselves in surprising ways, and in general new and unknown.

    If we note in addition that benefit for people in general - those who eat the food, wear the fiber, etc - is not the primary motive behind the large majority of actually marketed, actually employed genetic modifications, we see that the burden of proof is not on those with suspicions or doubts about its safety. It's nuts - simply and ridiculously crazy - to assume with so little experience that this stuff is generally safe, or that people who can't possibly know what they are doing in this new field can guarantee the benign nature of certain types of their modifications.

    Furthermore, we can see immediately - on ordinary Darwinian considerations - that the people marketing this stuff have imposed known risks or even almost certain harms on the rest of us for their profit. Monsanto is willing to trash the effectiveness of Bt as a pesticide, for example, in a quite predictable and standard Darwinian setup: they have modified crop plants to express the bacterial Bt genetics throughout the plant regardless of pest attack, and have created a standard environment for breeding resistance thereby. The loss will be long term and to those who have found Bt useful in responsible employment, the profit will be short term and accrue to Monsanto.

    Likewise the risks of the genetic modifications for herbicide resistance - the risks of the resultant chemical complexes in people's food, spreading of resistance to other plants, genetic uniformity in the host crop, effects on yield in various weather changes, dependence on the corporation, etc, are all borne by others: the corporation gets the short term profit.

    Suppose one were to modify the genetics of dairy cattle to express a useful antibiotic (same as a pesticide, but evolving on a time scale we can more easily observe) thereby providing greater immunity to diseases in dairy cattle: we all know what would happen, and in no very great length of time. A company that would do something like that, destroy a long term benefit accruing to others for a short term profit accruing to itself, cannot be trusted to regulate itself, study itself, inform on itself. And how many companies would not?

    These kinds of modification of genetic material impose many risks and costs not found in selective breeding operations such as we have experience with. They are often hidden from casual inspection and their extent at present unknown to even sophisticated analysis. When the risks and costs are to others, and the profit to a private corporation, the likelihood of abuse is very great. That is simply ordinary common sense, knowledge of human nature. We are perfectly reasonable in applying our knowledge of human nature here. We should at least make sure we can tell the GM stuff from the regular - we need at least the minimum of accountability: identification. It should be labeled.

    The salmon provide one specific example: if they are harmful to wild stock, as seems likely on Darwinian grounds, the fish farming corporations will not bear the cost (short term). And the kinds of harm they risk - by imposing genetic uniformity, by so easily jumping (inserted genetic material is often set up to be much more easily transferred via viruses etc as well as reproduction, that's how it was inserted in the first place) and spreading, by having unexpected effects (the total range and mode of expression of a given string of new genetic material is not known for any multicellular laboratory organism, let alone predictable in the wild), and so forth.

    And this salmon example is among the safest and least risky of GM approaches - the genetics inserted are from another salmon, the insertion is such that viral or bacterial spread is unlikely and cross taxon jumping is very unlikely, and so forth.
  23. tantalus Registered Senior Member

    I presume “several posts” refers at least in part to a number of mine. Just to be clear I am not looking to equate all matters of GM with conventional breeding. Doing such while acknowledging certain caveats provides some interesting perspectives and is not fundamentally erroneous and certainly not dangerous.

    When 2 individuals of any species breed together, they produce a unique genetic combination never seem before, never found in nature, of which we have no experience. To simply say novel genetic combinations are dangerous based on novelty alone is an extreme stance. Keep in mind that conventional breeding also creates “kinds of new genetic combination”. GM or conventional breeding simply rearrange the order of the DNA bases, adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine. A new gene inserted alters the arrangement of the genome by altering these 4 bases. The only new is the order of these at a molecular level. If you are applying some other kind of “new” outside of this, then I am not clear what you’re getting at. If you are concerned with unforeseen negative effects brought out by the genetic change (in theory they can happen, an arbitrary example. altered expression of certain secondary metabolites that could damage health), then ironically you should be even more concerned with conventional breeding where two entire genomes are “mashed together” resulting in a complete new “unique” genome. Whereas with GM, with one gene altered, the change in the genome (arrangement of the four bases) is clearly known and any affects should be easier to track. We can’t actually predict the outcome of conventional breeding trials as accurately as GM, this is one of the great advantages of GM in the first place.

    No more general and unknown then any new rearrangement of genetic material, as already discussed above. I am not sure what you mean by “reproductive and self spreading” other than the fact that any inserted gene into an actual breeding population has the potential to become part of the genetic pool on a permanent basis. Many agricultural crops don’t breed at all, or have the chance due to harvesting practices. But there are cases to the contrary. There are accounts of crops breeding with close wild relatives. Often with little success as wild relatives proved unsurprisingly (considering the types of selection pressures over the decades via conventional breeding) better adapted to the wild. Perhaps this is beside the point. When there is a risk of such breeding (I am only referring to wild relatives at the moment), you have to give it due consideration. Such breeding will occur in certain instances and genes inserted can enter the wider genetic pool. This is clear because conventional varieties have done so in the past and GM varieties are simply one gene altered and unlikely to affect the ability to breed, one which if present, is already likely to be present before any modification. In certain instances there may be reasons to be concerned. But I haven’t seen any evidence to be overly concerned, or any theoretical explanations that warrant fear of some systematic risk. At least not one not also associated also with conventional.

    Much research has been done. Not all of it is completely adequate. On the other hand, much of it has been more thorough than research done on conventional breeding varities, which in many cases can result in the same theoretical problems. If you want my opinion double standards are occurring here to simply help alleviate worries regarding GM. No doubt some will fine this a controversial statement. I am not sure where you would draw the line of having reached the burden, but it seems to me that you may be drawing a line that in all reality can never be reasonably met. We definitely currently aren’t expecting products derived from conventional breeding to meet those standards.

    Show me evidence of systematic lack of understanding. The experts don’t know everything but there also fairly good at knowing that they don’t know everything. Absolute guarantees are impossible ad unreasonable. Risks and gains are assessed and weighed on reasonable grounds.

    I don’t understand what you mean by “ordinary Darwinian considerations”. What “certain harms” ?

    Again what do you mean by “standard Darwinian setup”? Yes, resistance is a problem. Of course it’s a problem when just using insecticides/herbicides as well. This application of GM isn’t all its cut out to be and know one sensible should simply trust the Monsanto PR machine on this. Integration of herbicide resistant GM crops is likely to be far more effective in certain cases than others. Of particular importance is to consider the whole integrated system. That is case specific so there no point in trying to get into particulars.

    What systematic threat and what “chemical complexes” of GM crops are a risk compared to conventional crops ? Genetic uniformity is a problem if we are stupid enough not to save seeds and conserve genetic diversity. Often we are that stupid. That isn’t an argument against GM. I don’t understand what you mean when you link weather changes to GM. Dependence on corporations and domination of GM, patents by the large multinationals etc is definitely a major concern and I agree with you on that. It doesn’t outweigh all the benefits GM has to offer. Have you considered the benefits against the risks? Also, what benefits the multinational, can also benefit humanity. Case by case, the benefit of GM crops should be considered, I don’t see any broad conclusion against GM that arises from the fact the multinationals are simply interested in profit.

    What are you getting at? There are many educated expert opinions on all matters regarding GM ? and there not all sourced from Monsanto et al. I would be very disappointed if GM as a tool was simply utilised to further the profit margins of the likes of Monsanto. It has massive potential to solve global problems, to help billions of people. We can use it for good.

    I am not sure about this. Obviously this is my view, but I think such labeling only satisfies an irrational belief that GM carries some abnormal danger, when it doesn’t imo and labeling only furthers, for want of a better word, such a myth.

    The risk of genetic uniformity exists but not because of GM. It is already a risk carried by farmed salmon (you could say that is analogous to conventional breeding). I already discussed this in the thread so I won’t discuss again. See my previous posts.

    Exactly, but It’s the same for conventional, in fact as I already said, even greater as we are shuffling hundreds or thousands of poorly characterised genes in conventional breeding as opposed to one for GM.

    No it isn’t and the fact that salmon escape into the wild so easily and the scope for interbreeding is already established I am amazed, even upon your own reasoning, not mine that you would deem it such. I presume your drawing your conclusion from the idea that a gene moved from one species to another carries greater danger, to exchanging genes within the same species. Genes vary in their arrangement of the four bases as I said above. Intuitive reasoning like this is often false, just because it sounds unnatural and alien at first, doesn’t mean it is dangerous. Such alien perceptions couldn’t be more wrong anyway. All DNA (all species) is written in the same genetic language. All species are related and evolved from the same common ancestor, linked by this shared genetic library over the history of life on earth. We even share genes with present day bacteria both “given” from bacterial species billions of years extinct. This doesn’t mean GM is safe, but perhaps it makes people think twice before associating GM and alien or unnatural in the same sentence.

    The real answers rest with the actual effects the inserted gene expresses, to be determined by scientific research and reasonable risk assessment protocol. Any determined risks should then be weighed against the benefits that can be accrued from a particular application of GM. It is my honest opinion that that will favour the development of GM varieties in the vast majority of cases they have something significant to offer. The tool is only good as our intentions and the real benefits may often only be realised in conjunction with other aspects of complex and integrated agricultural systems.

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