GMO foods a good thing or bad?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by river, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. river

    True , but the ban , for the time being , give it 50yrs , is a good one

    Sometimes the investment in the short term is a bust , it happens all over the investment world , you always roll the dice with investments

    The only close to 100% investment is treasury note
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  3. river

    You know what would be an interesting business , perhaps

    Is a genetic company that takes Out , the genetic modification of our food and replaces it with the natural genes

    Since there is very little of our food that aren't GMO

    Just putting it out there
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Posts 159 and 187, plus four or five others, contain quite a bit of supporting evidence for my claims. You have yet to acknowledge that fact, for some reason.

    I think the problem is with the argument and the claim - you won't recognize supporting evidence if you haven't followed the argument and don't know what the claim is.

    No, I said nothing about "allowing mass marketing". And of course my observation that ten years of experience (not testing, which is in most respects not being done) is grossly inadequate in this matter - note: that would be ten years for each different genetic engineering feat and different employment separately, not some kind of lumping of all these radically different manipulations into one event as common language seems to suggest - is completely accurate. Your jumping to the conclusion that we should not market or employ what we have not thoroughly tested in all respects is interesting, and of course it's obviously (to you and anyone else facing the plain facts) something to consider, but more radical than anything I have proposed - it would prevent any employment of GM techniques in a marketed organism for generations. Not all GM manipulations are that risky.

    A ban that is only a ban for commercial firms like Monsanto is not a ban at all. Monsanto's welfare and interests are not relevant to sound consideration of this matter. We certainly should not be taking risks and incurring costs in the interest of Monsanto's bottom line - if what's best for us bankrupts Monsanto, that's just too bad.
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  7. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    No they do not.

    You make some superficially plausible arguments in post 187 like:
    “If you engineer it to be transferred by a virus in the first place, you're an idiot if you don't carefully and thoroughly handle the possibility that it will lend itself to transfer by a virus in the future.”
    But don´t given a single link to even a TV program you many have seen and certainly not to any peer-reviewed journal articles.

    I said “superficially plausible” because the virus was only used in the production of the GM food, and never left the factory. What is sold is the plant or animal with a different sequence of DNA than the non-GM version of the same organism. Furthermore, if some virus exists in the wild that can extract this new section of code from the GM organism, it would be doing so already as that sequence of DNA code does already exist in the environment. It was transfer from the source organism because the source was known to have some property that the target organism lacked.

    Post 159 is one I made, with many peer-reviewed Journal article reference from much respected sources (Nature, Nat. Academy of Sciences etc.) Many quotes from these sources do appear in post 159, ALL OF WHICH REFUTE, your claims. You have stated that you did not need to supply reference as you used mine in post 159 with more “careful reading.” I said in reply that you must mean “more creative reading” and again asked you to quote anything in post 159, or from its references that supported you claim that GM crops have lower yields – You of course could not, but argued, without any support, that the greater yields might be do to better farming practices adopted when the GM seeds were planted. That certainly is a valid SPECULATION, but still without any support from the literature AND does not support your claim that GM seeds LOWER yields.

    SUMMARY: AFAIK, you have not once given any link to support your FALSE claim that GM seeds have LOWER yields.
  8. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    So what? A yield gain is a yield gain. You can weasel a reduction in the gain, but no amount of weaseling can turn a proven gain into a proven loss.

    I did notice that that's the only part of my post you responded to. Which leaves:

    1. You didn't respond to any of the multitude of other clear-cut statements of yield gains in your own sources.
    2. You still have not provided any source showing yield losses.
    No, you didn't. Your response to the simple question was a hedge:
    ...followed by a bunch of quotes that supported my position, not yours, but with the claim that you have to read between the lines of them because it isn't a simple question.

    Again, yields either go up or they go down. It is a simple question and the answer is simply stated in your own sources.

    This issue is crystal clear: Either yields went up or they went down. There is no need for interpretation/reading between lines. The question is answered unequivocally in your links and if the answer were what you were claiming, that would be unequivocal too. At this point the only real explanations here are willful ignorance/trolling and self-delusion.
    Why bother with doubletalk? Be proud of your position. Don't say that "a not a ban" A ban is a ban. You want to legislate Monsanto out of existing by banning their products from being sold. Embrace your own opinions, don't run from them!
  9. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    deleted - consolidating
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Yes, they do. You don't recognize it, because you have not researched this subject and don't understand the issues. Look at your repeated posting of undifferentiated and unexamined yield gains from planting GM crops as evidence that GM crops had higher yields than ->comparable<- nonGM varieties. You simply aren't paying attention.

    They refute nothing I've posted. In context with their sources they support my claims, to the extent they are at all relevant. No joke, they do. Read them.

    You have consistently failed to follow the argument, is the consequence - that series of invented claims you put up, that I am supposed to have posted, is not a trivial matter, as it turns out, but an indication that what I have posted you have not considered or followed.

    Like this:
    Nobody here, least of all me, has ever argued that the problems you refer to came from the release of a virus somehow ensconced in the GMO. The problems with the code promulgation, partly described above, have nothing to do with whether the code is found "in the environment" somehow, either. (It isn't, btw, but that's not the point). What are you talking about? Why are you posting like this? You are arguing against irrelevancies of your own imagination, and failing to even recognize the serious and well supported claims actually being made, the many and dangerous problems of all kinds being created and risked by the actual, real life promulgation of the GMOs actually in current, real life distribution.

    Look, this kind of creationist level incomprehension is beneath you. Admit that you don't know what's going on, read up, and get back to the discussion in a couple of weeks or so, how about. Here's a Wiki start: example:

    This, folks, is the level at which the proponents of GM crops and foods and so forth are living and perceiving the world. Entrusting the matter to Monsanto's oversight and the engineers whose livelihoods ride on the profits, leaving the promulgation of these modifications to the industry "experts" and the corporate proprietary research, means the safety and usage and consequences of this stuff is in the hands of people who talk like that.

    Or worse:
    Now you goad with lies to get a reaction - and editing the quote like that is contemptible, I am justified in reacting. So: You don't belong on a forum with honest people discussing actual issues. How's that? What you wanted?
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  11. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Hey, you are the one who claimed to have evidence of reduced yields, then posted evidence of increased yields!
    I did not change the meaning with the edit, I just consolidated. And no, I don't really want name-calling, what I want is an acknowledgement that you understand you are wrong. I don't actually ever expect it though, so I'll settle for knowing other people see and understand what you are doing - with my help.
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Anyone want to count back and find the post where this guy's complaint was that I had refused to post evidence?

    I'm the guy who posted 187, among several others. It's not that subtle an argument, it's not that arcane, there's links and quotes and evidence - what is the problem with these people?
    You completely changed it, in a manner central to its original use in the post you took it from, and in a manner calculated to make it look nonsensical. That is excused only by your apparent inability to comprehend either the original post or what you've done to it, and that's not much of an excuse.
  13. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Yes, the posts in question are 187 and 188. Your post #187 does not support your claims, as I explained in 188, which you declined to respond to and instead have resorted to hurling insults. That's what happens when crackpots realize they have been exposed and feel backed-in to a corner.
    Dunno - I can't fathom why you would be contradicting yourself now except for that you know you are wrong and want to try to deflect by a combination of insults and ignoring the direct evidence posted.

    Once again, in post 187 you said: "It's remarkably difficult to find informative studies on that simple question...."

    Oy. Now I'm not even sure if you understand grammar or are just trolling here. The original quote is this:
    You're saying that it is a "ban" for Monsanto but that that doesn't count as a "ban". That's doubletalk.
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Which you have not found, I notice. But then you wouldn't be able to recognize them anyway, if you think the several sources and arguments in 187 do not support my assertion.

    Neither has anyone else. I actually recall seeing one a few years ago, but I can't find it - a direct comparison of glyphosphate resistant soybeans over a couple of years, in the US with reasonable controls, that showed IIRC a 2-5% yield drop from the inserted genetics - not bad, actually, and less than one would fear from such potentially expensive code. But nothing since, at least not easily run across. And we are reminded of the consequences of having allowed this research to be coopted and controlled by proprietary interests: The science is corrupted as well as the politics and economics.

    The thing is, as noted in various places over several posts now, the engineering in real life commercial distribution is not designed to boost yield "per se". There is no free lunch, is the principle - pretty simple, one would think.

    The fact that none of this realized engineering (again, the high salt and low water stuff is still in development) is for boosting yield brings up a question - why not? It is possible, after all, to do that - one would think there were modifications that would boost yield over comparable varietals. But on second thought, the obvious factor comes to mind: profit. The return on the acreage might go up, but the return on the dollar to Monsanto would not. So one can see a reason for making that a low priority.

    Give up. This is over your head.
  15. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    True, in general, but if the bugs don´t eat the crop because it tolerates glyphosphate and they are all dead, that tends to have an indirect result of boosting yields.

    In fact you have yet to give one shred of evidence supporting your claim that GM seed use LOWERS yields to counter many dozen of well controlled scientific studies that on average all show double digit yield increases. A few mainly in the developed world where non-GM improvements made by traditional cross breeding etc. made very good seeds (compared to what their grandfathers used) showed non significant yield gains to only 7% gains, on average, but none showed the losses you claim result from GM seed use.

    In the third world where traditional scientific seed improvement lag decades behind the GM yield increases on (cotton? - too lazy to go back and see which crop had the LEAST average increase) - was an increase that AVERAGED 30%. On some other grains (as I recall) crops the yield INCREASES averaged 50% with peak gain found in one study of 85%.

    Give it up! - You are simply wrong in your totally unsupported claim that GM crops decrease yields.
  16. typical animal Registered Member

    I couldn't care less if they decrease yields or not. In the future I think it could very well be that they could increase yields hugely with GM, and where would that leave us?

    The only thing I care about is them not crosspollinating with wild types rendering them extinct forever, nothing else matters.
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

    With more food, and a lower impact in terms of habitat destruction.

    There are no "wild types" of corn any more (to use one example.) We have rendered them extinct through centuries of cross-pollination and hybridization.

    Origin, History, and Uses of Corn (Zea mays)

    Lance Gibson and Garren Benson, Iowa State University, Department of Agronomy
    13 January 2002.
    History and Origin

    For western civilization, the story of corn began in 1492 when Columbus's men discovered this new grain in Cuba. An American native, it was exported to Europe rather than being imported, as were other major grains.

    Like most early history, there is some uncertainty as to when corn first went to Europe. Some say it went back with Columbus to Spain, while others report that it was not returned to Spain until the second visit of Columbus.

    The word "corn" has many different meanings depending on what country you are in. Corn in the United States is also called maize or Indian corn. In some countries, corn means the leading crop grown in a certain district. Corn in England means wheat; in Scotland and Ireland, it refers to oats. Corn mentioned in the Bible probably refers to wheat or barley.

    At first, corn was only a garden curiosity in Europe, but it soon began to be recognized as a valuable food crop. Within a few years, it spread throughout France, Italy, and all of southeastern Europe and northern Africa. By 1575, it was making its way into western China, and had become important in the Philippines and the East Indies.

    Although corn is indigenous to the western hemisphere, its exact birthplace is far less certain. Archeological evidence of corn's early presence in the western hemisphere was identified from corn pollen grain considered to be 80,000 years old obtained from drill cores 200 feet below Mexico City. Another archeological study of the bat caves in New Mexico revealed corncobs that were 5,600 years old by radiocarbon determination. Most historians believe corn was domesticated in the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico. The original wild form has long been extinct.

    Evidence suggests that cultivated corn arose through natural crossings, perhaps first with gamagrass to yield teosinte and then possibly with back*crossing of teosinte to primitive maize to produce modern races. There are numerous theories as to the ancestors of modern corn and many scientific articles and books have been written on the subject. Corn is perhaps the most completely domesticated of all field crops. Its perpetuation for centuries has depended wholly on the care of man. It could not have existed as a wild plant in its present form.
  18. typical animal Registered Member

    Well, sure, and this is a terrible terrible thing. Are you actually trying to justify doing it even moreso with mistakes of the past?

    Do you think there's going to be somehow an "end" to this? Where suddenly we have "all GM" and then it'll be finished? You could have some GM that is pretty much identical to natural types (NOT talking about the hopeless "substantial equivalence" model, I mean hypothetically in theory).... and then you can have GM that is totally different in every way. There are no defining features of GM because GM could be any arrangement of DNA at all. You can have stuff from different taxonimical kingdoms shotgunned together in a GM food. There are no properties you can ascribe to GM foods "in general".

    Once we lose the natural types forever - or the closest things there are to the natural types - we'll have to be relying on the NEXT closest things to the natural types even if they turned out to be GM. But we'll have lost the original prototype and also the next closest prototype and we will be less and less evolved to deal with the food... and so will ever other animal relying on these plants. Ever hear of the Butterfly Effect? Now imagine if this effected is multiplied by all of the other interactions that are going amiss also, that don't quite fit right and billions of them per day. Chaos would be an understatement.

    There is no dichotomy between GM and non-GM, because GM could be ANYTHING. Once you go down the GM route at all there will be complete chaos. As impossible as it is would be to find and "recall" GM foods from replicating in the ecological system itself... at least there are often tell-tale signs that they ARE GM right now. Can you imagine what it would be like if we didn't even have a clue whether they were GM or not or what kind of GM they were?

    What about labs in places like Singapore releasing GM, do you think they're going to have any restrictions at all on what happens? I think it's safe to say that we're all doomed unless something catastrophic happens the entire human race to stop them from doing this.

    Personally, I don't eat corn or wheat or refined sugar or any of that nonsense and haven't for years. I eat as much as I can afford of fresh fruit, because it is the food of choice for nearly all primates and by far the healthiest thing you can eat. It's what we're evolved for.
  19. billvon Valued Senior Member

    How so? I agree it's something to be avoided if we can help it, but what was the terrible terrible thing that happened as a result of original maize going extinct millennia ago?


    Definitely not! Nor should there be. We will continue to advance our understanding of the sciences.

    No. What would "all GM" mean? A completely synthetic organism?

    Let's say we can somehow recover the original genome of the maize plant. And let's say that we get advanced enough where we can use GMO techniques to resequence that genome completely, insert it in a cell and reproduce the original maize plant (albeit with an entirely synthetic genome.) Would you oppose that?

    Well, the intersection of the sets of DNA that are useful and viable is far smaller than the set of "any arrangement of DNA at all." But yes, we will eventually be able to create GMO's with "any arrangement of DNA at all" although 99.999999999% of those will not be viable.

    We've been going down it for almost 40 years now, and I don't think we are at "complete chaos." So we're doing something right. Doesn't mean it's perfect, of course, and we have to be very careful with what we create so as not to do more harm than good. So far, though, we've done a lot of good.

    That's great! You should eat whatever you want. I'd add a little meat or dairy, though, since we're not herbivores and can't synthesize some of the vitamins we need from an all-plant diet. (Or you can take supplements.)
  20. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Why would I? You're the one looking for sources supporting your position, not me!
    I responded in detail to your post. You ignored it. Clearly, you don't want to face the facts that your own sources contradict your assertions. But hey, if I'm really an idiot, it shouldn't be too hard for you to respond to post 188 in detail, showing how/why I'm wrong.
    Clearly, you have given up, as you are resorting to name-calling rather than addressing the arguments. Your statement was clearly self-contradictory.
  21. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Understood - your position is different than iceaura's.

    Me personally, I think food exists to be eaten and if we end up replacing a wild type of food with a better engineered one, I'm perfectly fine with that. I see arguments for keeping it natural to be result of the naturalistic fallacy (the assumption that natural = better). I'm not really sure though, but I'd like to understand this better:
    Are you saying that as we change our food, it will somehow become less able to feed us? Doesn't that contradict the very purpose of GM? Doesn't it contradict the fact of what happened to corn? Why with no previous historical basis would you believe that at some point our food will suddenly become inedible? Makes no sense to me.
  22. typical animal Registered Member

    How about the very fact that it made corn more edible and fed millions of more people on it? Allow me to explain...

    Grains are not the natural food of humans, and they do poorly on them, their health suffers and they are at risk of getting fat (especially after cooking). They have not co-evolved with it in their environment. Only in times of great food shortages (especially of fruit) did humans resort to eating grains. They survived "ok" on the primordial grains, eating them raw obviously. But humans changed grains dramatically by cooking them, making them a lot more edible and making them able to eat large quantaties of grains together, almost surviving on grains alone... a terrible, terrible mistake.

    The natural ecological system of humans went completely out of balance, you might say berserk. Large families no longer went hungry... this is NOT a good thing. In nature if a family went hungry they would typically split up, and not have children themselves until they were sure they could feed them properly. The idea of "monoculture" started, with huge corn fields popping up everything. And no this is not all "okay"... you cannot disturb a natural ecological system like this and expect it will all work the same. Certain people can ignorantly use the words "natural fallacy" until they're blue in the face, all people of any sense at all know that the natural environment is better suited to an organism than a totally novel environment, because they are co-evolved with it. If someone doesn't believe that then IMO they either don't understand or don't believe in evolution... and it's just a truism that putting an organism in a totally novel environment and they are astronomically unlikely to do exactly as well.

    The proliferation of grains forms a big part of overpopulation and the reason we're in this terrible mess today. If it weren't for grains, our lives would far more closely be pulled towards our natural environment, out of necessity and out of instinct.

    In theory it would be wonderful. In practice, humans make mistakes, there are corporate/financial factors involved and conspiracies. We also don't know that there aren't sub-atomic particles smaller than DNA that make a difference. Anything is possible. If it were to bring back a wild fruit after it had been extinct forever... well, I would prefer to rely on seed banks but as a last resort yes it could be the one thing that would save the wild type.

    It will be far too late by the time we got anywhere near being able to do this or being able to exactly recreate an original wild type.

    We went through decades of atomic bomb research also and aren't all blown to pieces. That's hardly a ringing endorsement of a technology... that it hasn't killed/ruined us all yet. But they stopped atomic bombs because at some point somewhere, some intelligence and survival instinct started to creep in and they realized that this stuff was pretty dangerous.

    I do add a little meat and fish, I'm not some fanatic whose going to eat an unnatural diet because of some dubious and unnatural values.

    "Food exists to be eat"...... that's a primitive and instinctive reflex. "Hey it looks okay and tastes okay, why not be brave and eat it?" If you imagine food that looks good, primitively there is no possibility really of you pushing it from you.

    That was fine in primitive times, but once you go messing with food GMing it or anything else, you can no longer trust your primordial instincts any longer to tell you what is "good" or "bad" to eat. You'll be depending on others to tell you. And do you really trust the FDA and all these people in government?

    The very fact that we have to suddenly remember things, to be careful, to never make mistakes with contamination even though we know humans are PRONE to making mistakes (and it may be theoretical mistakes, practical mistakes, any kind of mistakes). The very fact that you have to trust all of these people and not your own gut, your own tastebuds, etc.

    I saw Bob Geldof making a similar statement to you: "if we can make this gm food and give it to poor people, then why not do it?"..... and it all sounds so simple and easy. Usually when a person talks in a simple and easy way like that, they can either be rebuked in a simple and easy way or else they're right. However with GM it takes a huge amount of explaining and understanding as to why this would actually be a terrible, terrible thing.... and how as even GM-proponents accept there will always have to be major testing and overseeing of any GM project..... and dammit, it's so hard to explain and to remember it, it's all complicated and NON-INTUITIVE. That's the worst part... if it looks good people tend to assume it's okay. Just like how our bodies are not adapted for the purpose of consuming this GM food, our brains are not adapted to fully assess whether we should eat it or not, and without years of education and understanding and TRUST, people won't have a clue.

    I know people who've eaten meat after it being recalled because they wanted to be brave and they were going by their own "assessment". I'm sorry to say but this internal instinct or "feeling" you have about "let's eat the food, it looks, smells and tastes good" is useless in many of these situations and becoming more obsolete by the day.

    This is the problem with processed foods as well: we can't trust our instincts because the food has been modified in such an unnatural way. It's ****ed up.

    Oh it'll be "edible" alright, it'll be TOO edible, like bread. Over time its integrity and how well it fits our human biology though is going to dramatically decline as it departs from the food we are co-evolved to eat.
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Yep. They also started to lose their teeth by age 18 (which is why we still usually get wisdom teeth even though, nowadays, we don't need them) and died around age 35, due to lack of medical care and malnutrition.

    From the perspective of overpopulation - agreed. From the perspective of the person starving - this was a very good thing.

    Again, from the perspective of overpopulation, agreed. The natural environment was excellent at killing off excess people. People, understandably, objected to this.

    However, you make the mistake that many people do in thinking that evolution stopped around 10,000 years ago. We have adapted to all sorts of food that did not exist back then - cow's milk, alcohol, grains, cooked foods etc. The ones who haven't been able to adapt - died. Thus we are the evolutionary products of those early food decisions, and carry the evolved traits that allow us to digest them.

    Cool, so we agree that some GMO's are good things.

    Uh, no, we still have atomic bombs. (Thermonuclear bombs, too, which are even bigger and more destructive.) And now we have nuclear power plants, nuclear medicine that both diagnoses your broken arm and zaps your prostate cancer, radiotelescopes that can see to the far ends of the universe, nuclear powered robots crawling around Mars, particle accelerators that are unraveling the mysteries of physics . . . hardly a rejection of failed technology.

    Sounds like a good plan, even if that makes you "an ignorant fool who doesn't believe in evolution."

    For the most part, yes, I do. They are better than nothing - but are definitely not perfect.

    We are re-co-evolving all the time. This time it is just happening a lot faster than it does in nature.

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