GMO foods a good thing or bad?

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

  1. typical animal Registered Member

    They did not, this is all completely incorrect and myths of the modern age. NOBODY claims they lost all their teeth at 18 and they only died due to disease after the start of civilization with many living well over 70.

    I'm pissed off at this because I explained it all before. I don't specifically remember who I explained it to but I'm pretty sure you were there, therefore it's redundant if I'm just saying all the same thing again.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    In the first place, you have picked up on the thread confusion of herbicide tolerance with pesticide expression. Glyphosphate is a herbicide, poisonous to most field crops as well as weeds. The plant does not devote resources to poisoning itself by expressing it but instead devotes resources to storing it and rendering it harmless to the plant. This has little to do with bugs (although bug resistance is compromised a bit, in consequence - no free lunch, remember? The herbicide resistant crops often need a little extra insecticide). And this matters, because the visible habit of the people who are promoting the current promulgations of currently commercial GMOs, of lumping all these radically different types and means and products of genetic engineering into one undifferentiated blob of scientific progress, is proof of profound ignorance. The people promoting this stuff as it is being used today by and large have no idea what it actually is, what they are talking about, what Monsanto et al are in reality doing.

    In the second place, you are still failing to recognize the central pivot of the entire discussion about yields here: Compared with what?

    This is the kind of link you need: But it won't work for you, because all the links like that are going to hand you news like this:
    Or you could try links like this: [/quote] which are quite interesting in several ways, but in this context would involve making an argument from indirect evidence - which you find unpersuasive in other people.
    So when I point out that of the several relevant sources and links posted so far on this thread, by me and billy and typical and so forth, none - not one - support the odd and mysterious notion that a genetically engineered varietal can be expected to have higher yield than a comparable varietal without the jacked in genetics,

    you agree? Good. You no longer fail elementary biology.

    The real world does normally and generally agree with Biology 101, so it's not surprising to find that what Monsanto calls "yield drag" from metabolically expensive genetic inclusions does exist. What is surprising is to see so many people on a science forum demanding a level of proof for that unremarkable assertion far beyond what they feel obligated to provide for their own comparatively dubious and presumptively unlikely claims.

    Instead, we get irrelevant shit like this, four and five and six times repeated:
    This is just weird. What is it about this topic that fries people's ordinary reasoning and perception capabilities to this extent?

    We've been just lucky, dumb lucky, at least twice now that we know of (the nut allergen, the rubber tree escape so far) just in the very early stages of the very first baby steps. Less than ten years, actually, of adequately scaled field experience involving anything like the variety being distributed now. And of course you - like the rest of us - have no idea whether or how close we are approaching serious problems, even disasters: we haven't even begun much of the important research or evaluation. For example, just to pick one: if the continual release of herbicide, antibiotic resistance genetics, and other auxiliary chemicals and genetic code, directly into the bacterial fauna and digestion processes of the human small intestine, has cumulatively significant and unfortunate side effects, we probably won't find out about them for several years. At that time we will have converted 90% of the world's soybean crop, and most of several others, an all of the food produced from them, to that form of herbicide resistance - and will be dealing with resistance, often necessitating heavier applications and a return to more toxic herbicides.

    So cross your fingers.

    Because there is one definite difference between the ugly early stages of past agricultural revolutions (
    which is not true, btw, - wisdom teeth long predate grains, and the miserable life of the early grain farmers doesn't seem to have driven much actual evolution otherwise)

    and this one we are being catapulted into: the benefits accrued to the sufferers. The profits went to the people involved.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Nor did I. Re-read my post and you will realize your error.

    Nope. They died early due to malnutrition and disease. (Malnutrition both due to loss of their teeth and the reduction in resilience to famine as they aged.)

    Life Expectancy in Prehistory
    Archaeology 101

    Our prehistoric ancestors were lucky to live past their twenties and suffered from hard physical work and recurring ailments.

    Ian Arthur Colquhoun
    Oct 24, 2008

    We now take modern medicine and access to hospitals for granted. We have a whole plethora of medicines which make our daily life more comfortable. Imagine, however, that you were born in Britain at the time Stonehenge was in use. What was your life expectancy?

    A number of archaeological excavations have produced human bones which have been studied and give us an idea of the diseases people suffered from. We can also estimate the age at death, which gives us an idea of how long people lived.

    The Archaeological Evidence

    A neolithic tomb at Isbister (The Tomb of the Eagles) on Orkney, off the north coast of Scotland, produced the remains of 342 people. The age profile of the bones showed a population where children outnumbered adults three to one. The most common age of death was early adulthood, between 15 and 30. Only 1.5% of people were over 40, and very few lived to reach the age of 50. Old age, rather than life, began at 40.
    Jefferson Chapman, PhD
    Frank H. McClung Museum
    The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

    Our knowledge of the prehistoric Indians of Tennessee is a result of over 150 years of archaeological investigations. Archaeology is the scientific discipline responsible for the recovery and interpretation of the remains of past cultures. Modern archaeology has three basic objectives: first, employing excavations and analysis based on scientific principles, archaeologists seek to develop temporal sequences of past cultures; second, archaeologists seek to reconstruct the lifeways of past human societies; and third, archaeologists address the evolution and operation of cultural systems – topics such as the origins of agriculture and changes in political organization. Places where cultural remains are found are called sites, and these may be as simple as a location where several arrowheads are found and as complex as a ten acre village and mound complex. . . .

    The material culture of the Archaic people becomes more diverse over time with an array of stone and bone tools for a myriad of tasks. One must realize that for all the culture periods, we are missing a significant portion of the record; except in rare instances, gone are the perishable materials – wood, fiber, feathers, hides, furs, and basketry. Housing evidence is restricted to a few postholes; many hearths and storage pits remain as mute evidence of residential sites. Analysis of human burials from the Middle and Late Archaic periods reveal an average life expectancy of 25 years.
    Ask A Biologist
    Heinrich Mallison

    Much of the discussion depends on what you define as "early man". If you go back not to the earliest radiation of Homo sapiens, but stick to the earliest civilizations (sedentary, agricultural civilizations, to be exact), you get quite a different picture than what Jonathan described.

    The problem early farmers faced was grinding cereal seeds. With stone tools you're quite limited with regards to what material you can shape into a grinder. Sandstones are often the best compromise between tough and shape-able. They are make for rough grinding surfaces, which grind well, and stay rough. This is because they erode during grinding. And this places a lot of tiny quartz balls in your food, and that is a prime way of grinding your teeth down. I have seen quite a few skulls dug up by archaeologists even from medieval times (but also Roman, and pre-Roman, so we are talking bronze and iron age, too!), skulls of poor farmers or low-skill (tiny village) craftsmen with horribly eroded teeth, at young age. Down to the gums, in some cases, before the age of ~20.

    So yes, in earlier times, many humans had serious tooth trouble at relatively young age, which certainly may have contributed to their early deaths.
    Prehistoric medicine
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The life expectancy in prehistoric times was low, 25–40 years, with men living longer than women . . .

    Let me know if you'd like more info.

    Yes, and you were just as wrong then. Prehistoric life was not a Disney movie. Early death was the rule, not the exception.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

    ?? That's what I said. Wisdom teeth have been with us for a long, long time - long before milling. Teeth used to rot out of our heads starting around age 18, and our"backup" teeth allowed us to continue to eat, and thus survive, past that event. Thus the evolutionary drive for such teeth.
  8. typical animal Registered Member

    You're suggesting that wisdom teeth somehow evolved because we lost all our other teeth at 18?

    That is crazy nonsense talk. Whatever you are doing with your life, you need to change it, even an illiterate and uneducated person knows a lot better than you on many important things. Go out in the real world and stop inventing stuff in your head. What you're reading is about AFTER CIVILIZATION STARTED where there are a lot of teeth problems starting up.

    It's just invented or confabulated nonsense, and I'm beginning to suspect that you're in fact trying to draw our outrage and ire at this point. Animals, other than humans, do NOT get horrible tooth aches and have all their teeth fall out just after puberty, or in adult hood, or at any time, the only possibility is *sometimes* they wear down and this starts to cause a problem when they get really old. Maybe a very few limited animals such as elephants, do appear to get bad teeth IN OLD AGE even without human interference into their food, that's it.

    Only in humans do you see the type of teeth deterioration before they're even an adult yet. This was demonstrated decades ago by Weston Price in his famous book Physical and Nutritional Degeneration long ago.

    Take a look at this chimpanzee's teeth:

    View attachment 6145

    They're very much like our own, are they not?

    Wisdom teeth are an unlikely "backup". My dentist said that they're normally the first to go. Full disclosure: I'm removing some critical remarks since I found something on google saying they can be used as a backup. As for the other things you are saying... pathetic.

    Animals do not lose their teeth even in very old age, maybe some of them wear a little but that's it. They do not go around in agony like a 20 year old human would because of their diet. Teeth are an exceptional example of how foolish human beings are, though they have invented toothpaste and brushes to hugely mitigate the problem.

    Animals don't get tooth decay like humans do, and neither would humans if they ate the right foods.
  9. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Thanks for the correction, but my point is still correct. If the GM was designed to cause X which benefits the plant then yields increase also as a side effect.

    X could be tolerated Glyphosphate so the plant, rather than weeds gets most of the soil nutrients and moisture, Or so that bugs die with less damage to the plant, Or use less energy in growing tall stocks ("corn as high as an elephant’s eye" -Oklahoma musical- is not optimum use of the solar energy, etc. for food production) Or making the crop ripen at nearly same time (harvest once with less cost) and not drop off plant over several weeks, as was the case with wheat, Or have longer shelf life in the store so all along the supply chain they are more valuable (farmer gets more dollars per 100 pounds). None of these GM engineered objectives was directly designed for increasing the farmer’s profit - that is just a desirable side effect.

    The most solid evidence that GM foods are yielding more profit to the farmers is that they are rapidly switching to use them, despite a lot of ignorant public resistance to buying them. For several years China would not buy Brazil´s GM soybeans. In one shipload they found a few (some farm had certified it was not using GM seeds but it was to increase yields /profits) so the ship could not unload and either returned to Brazil or the soy was re-sold to some other closer to China buyer (I forget which).

    You so stubbornly stick with your false claim that GM LOWERS YIELDS perhaps a little ridicule will help you understand that it is false.
    So here is the latest ad from Monsanto (based on your "facts"):

    BUY GM SEEDS; true they cost a little more, but you will get:

    AT LEAST 15% LOWER YEILDS. We guarantee it! - Monsanto
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Nope, never said that. You're making things up again.

    Here's some more information for you:
    Rachele Cooper
    February 5, 2007

    . . .

    Anthropologists believe wisdom teeth, or the third set of molars, were the evolutionary answer to our ancestor’s early diet of coarse, rough food – like leaves, roots, nuts and meats – which required more chewing power and resulted in excessive wear of the teeth. The modern diet with its softer foods, along with marvels of modern technologies such as forks, spoons and knives, has made the need for wisdom teeth nonexistent. As a result, evolutionary biologists now classify wisdom teeth as vestigial organs, or body parts that have become functionless due to evolution.

    I'm an engineer and thus must live and work in the real world. I would lose my job if I lived in the sort of Disney-esque world you seem to have constructed for yourself. I realized you have an emotional, almost religious attachment to this world so I will leave you to it.
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    That's ridiculous. Lots of things "benefit a plant" without increasing its yield, lots of things are engineered into plants for the benefit of the farmer, or Monsanto, or some middleman, rather than the plant.
    None of the current commercially distributed engineered plants was designed for anything except somebody's profit - hopefully the farmer's is included, but somebody's is guaranteed. Usually the farmer's is at least promised.
    Now we have another topic, farmer's profit, which you seem to have confused with boosted or depressed yields (long after tjhe initial confusion of improved yield with improved food supply, which begs some real world questions).

    Farmer's profit was one of the reasons I listed, several posts ago, as a motive for switching to GMOs despite somewhat lower yields than would be available from comparable non-engineered seeds. In fact, I listed it as probably the most important reason, certainly in First World countries - American farmers, unlike Third World targets of Monsanto's efforts, do have (or had, up until very recently) access to comparable non-engineered seeds bred for their geography, along with the farming methods and resources necessary to grow them. For such farmers, the balance between the lowered costs of cultivation and the lowered yields of the modified crop is important, and so the marketing efforts address it directly.

    The yield drag for GM herbicide resistant soybeans, documented in the link I posted just above, was 5%. The yield drag for "stacked" modifications (necessary for resistance to multiple insect pests, as Bt is a family of insecticides which are individually highly specific) is rumored to be more than additive (the relevant research is mostly proprietary) but probably not as high as 5% to begin with - so 15% is possible, but unlikely. I'm sorry - were you joking? If you peruse Monsanto's actual ads, the ones directed at First World farmers, you will find frequent mention of improvements in "yield drag", with the latest and greatest featuring less of it - so basically your ad, worded better for sales.

    You can't ridicule from a basis of ignorance, and you are profoundly and significantly ignorant in this matter. And as mentioned before: So are the other gung ho promotors of GM crops here. It's a pattern.
  12. typical animal Registered Member

    Well Rachele Cooper is full of shit. She's just called wisdom teeth "organs". No credible evolutionary biologist would claim wisdom teeth are vestigial since we use them on a daily basis if we stuff our mouths full of food, even if you only use them a tiny bit they aren't vestigial. The appendix is something that's vestigial. Also, no credible evolutionary biologist would say that something is "vestigial" because modern technologies mean they aren't used by all people anymore.

    Scienceline is a student-run online magazine published by the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program (SHERP) in the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. For more information, e-mail us. See below for our corrections and comments policies.

    Scienceline’s writers and editors are unpaid but you can express support for them and their work by making a tax-deductible contribution to a university-administered SHERP scholarship fund, the proceeds of which are used solely to benefit future SHERP students via tuition-remission scholarships.

    Herpy derp.

    I suggest reading The Descent of Man (Penguin edition, it's online also but I recommend a physical copy). It's my evolution "bible", or one of them.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  13. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Congratulations, you found an example of a study showing a yield reduction in one case. No one here suggested you wouldn't. If you look hard enough, you might find one or two or ten or a hundred. But that doesn't prove your claim. Your claim was that GM almost always decreases yields, a claim that can only be proven with a meta-analysis such as the one you posted previously. The problem is, your own source explicitly contradicts you. You ignored it last time, so I'll repost:
    So there it is in black and white: you claimed "almost every" GM crop produces lower yields, whereas your own source says that they almost always increase yields.

    That source goes on to list a couple of dozen different crops with a quantitative accounting of their yield increases.

    In any case, I too would like an explanation of why you think that farmers are buying GM seeds if they produce lower yields.
  14. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    I don't understand/that sounds contradictory. How can it be "too edible" while at the same time its "integrity" is declining? Or are you saying it hasn't happened yet? When will it? How? Will we wake up one day and our soybean crop that last year was just fine is inedible this year?
    Is it still worthwhile if while you are explaining to a person why you won't give them food, they starve to death?

    In any case, I'm not starving to death and I ate a bowl of almost certainly GM soybeans last night that also didn't kill me, so could you please try to explain it to me why it is so bad? All this sounds very vague and hand-wavey to me.
  15. typical animal Registered Member

    Edible means you can eat it. Integrity is the nutritional value including phytonutrients, micronutrients, antioxidants and many other chemicals and structures composing food that are unknown and at the present state of progress unknowable at any time in the foreseeable future.

    Got it? Edible = Can eat. Integrity = Value. No contradiction.
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    No, it doesn't. And no, I didnt'.

    You don't understand the argument, and reposting your lack of comprehension does not help you.

    I directed the post at Billy, because he at least is not stupid, but here's another chance for you to ponder the central issue: increased yields compared with what?. When you have answered that question, you can compare your answer with may assertions and claims and arguments and so forth and begin to participate in a discussion of this matter.
    So go back are reread the several reasons and arguments and explanations and so forth I've posted already, some more than once. You don't read, or what is your problem?
    You don't know that, actually. You ate a bowl of resistance genes for antibiotics and herbicide complex and various auxiliary code that was digested and released into the bacterial flora of your small intestine in uptake ready form, and whether or not you will eventually be killed by the side effects of that is an open question. It's very unlikely, but it's not a matter of secure knowledge - and it's not just you: nobody knows what the eventual effects of that will be.
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

    True. His alternative was to eat a bowl of unnatural, artificially engineered organisms that were designed by randomly adding bits of DNA to the organism until it seemed to taste good and yielded a good yield for the farmer. Whether or not he will be killed by that is also an open question, although it's very unlikely. (Although since these were designed by random hybridizations with other plants, some people will be happier with this risk of death.)
  18. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    Pardon my intervention but this excerpt from a recent article looks like it might have a fit with the discussion currently underway.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
  19. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Ok, then what about the rest? Are you saying the nutritional value is or will be going down? Do you have evidence of that?
  20. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    So you see "increased yields" and you think that means "decreased yields"?
    Increased yields compared with what the farm was producing before.
  21. typical animal Registered Member

    I already answered that multiple times in this thread and/or the other one. If you're too lazy to go through it or not bright enough to understand or saw it already but forgot already then I can't help you. Saying it again would be simply repeating myself.
  22. river Valued Senior Member

    Just a question about you

    You take a strong stance , fine

    But you intimate a knowledge with the subject and with stem cell research

    Now why should I not just think of you as a blowhard ?

    What are your credentials to speak so authoritatively ?
  23. river Valued Senior Member

    Typical wrote

    Disagree completely

    Edible = can eat , is it wise though ? That is the question

    Integrity = value

    Absolutely false

    Actually , Integrity = truth , honesty , and being honourable

Share This Page