# The Future of GM Technology...

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by ULTRA, Mar 10, 2011.

1. ### leopoldValued Senior Member

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i've said it once and i'll say it again
you wouldn't have to worry about all this "gene splicing" stuff.
very few tests need to be done.
there would be virtually no difference in human health or enviroment.
in fact my method would ease environmental concerns.
the product would be more acceptable.
need i say more?

3. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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What part of we conclude that gene transfer DID NOT OCCUR during the feeding experiment do you not understand?

What they said was there was low levels of the e coli with the GM markers in these people who had ileostomies but that they DID NOT increase during the trial.

They did NOT say how the LOW LEVELS of e coli that had the GM markers got there but there is NO EVIDENCE it happened in the intestines of the people.

Indeed, all they concluded was that it DID NOT OCCUR during the test.

Arthur

5. ### ULTRARealistically SurrealRegistered Senior Member

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Actually Arthur, It says, and I'll paraphrase because evidently you have difficulty understanding ENGLISH, That GM SOYA had transferred to the GUT MICROFLORA IN 3 of the7 people studied before the test. Sheesh.
Perhaps that is not clear enough for you. Shall I try and break it down into smaller syllables?

7. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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You really like to just grab a sentance out of context if it appears to prove your point.

The fact is they were all ILEOSTOMY patients, so we don't know how these bacteria got there, and the quantities of bacteria with the GM gene fragment found were SO LOW as to be almost non-existent: They found only 1 to 3 copies of a fragment of the Transgene per 10^6 bacteria, so this level clearly does not preclude external contamination consistent with the ileostomy handling.

It's not like e. coli don't exist OUTSIDE the gut you know.

Indeed the reason why they use the qualifier "Some Indication of Low Frequency gene transfer", which implies there may not have been any gene transfer, is because as they point out, even after EXHAUSTIVE ATTEMPTS they were unable to isolate any of these supposedly infected bacteria.

Finally, as they noted, only a FRAGMENT of the epsps Transgene was found in these few bacteria, the FULL LENGTH gene was NOT detected in any of the microflora, and in a separate test they also showed that "No gene transfer from bacteria to mammalian cells had occurred"

So the net is, when they specifically tested these ileostomy patients by feeding them GM foods they concluded that gene transfer DID NOT OCCUR during the feeding experiment and that while there were indications that there were an incredibly small number of microflaura with a fragment of the Transgene in these ileostomy patients prior to the test, they could not prove that via exhaustive attempts to grow and isolate these bacteria, so if the few that were there were actually viable, how they got there was not determined and most importantly, they showed that there was no transfer to mammalian cells.

Arthur

Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
8. ### ULTRARealistically SurrealRegistered Senior Member

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Well Arthur the point was, do GM genes get into microflora? They do. You can rail against microbiologists everywhere, but I can't see the point.

The more important question is whether bits or whole GM segments can be reproduced in an active human cell. After all, this is what is going to cause the damage if any damage is even possible.
For example, I do not know if BT poison will simply kill a cell if produced by it. If this is the case it would be better because, as we have established, such infection would likely be at a very low level to start with.
The dead cell would then not be able to be reproduced obviously, limiting any damage.
What would be worse is if the BT toxin was being reproduced, but not fatal to the cell. If this were the case, it could reproduce and create more BT cells.
This, i think, would be worse for a person, perhaps even making them ill.
BT toxin is just one pathogenic property of one GM strain, I would simply like to see research to evaluate the risk, if any.
If it can be shown there is no risk, then surely it would be in the Pharma companies' interest.

9. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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Because we know that bacteria can pick up Gene fragments.
So that's not new news
But that doesn't mean it happens in the human gut and that's what that study looked into and what it DIDN'T find.

Indeed, what it DID find was actually reassuring, genetic material was not passed into Mammalian cells and that after a decade of GM food in the market place they found just FRAGMENTS of a transgene in 1 or 2 bacteria out of a MILLION (and then only in less than half of the ileostomy patients (which also suggests outside contamination)) and even after exhaustive attempts they could not establish that these bacteria were even viable.

They have to get there as whole genes first and as these tests show, they barely get there as fragments in bacteria.

And that's where this fear of damage falls apart, most cells ONLY reproduce themselves, so it doesn't matter if a cell gets infected, its NOT going to produce millions of other cells. No single cell line in the body produces enough other cells to be a problem. When one cell goes crazy like that we call it a TUMOR and cut the sucker out.

Arthur

10. ### chimpkinC'mon, get happy!Registered Senior Member

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But in this case you don't know that.

11. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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Ah, yeah I do.

Most cells in the body only replace themselves (otherwise you'd not stop growing).

Any single cell which was to create millions of other cells would be considered a tumor.

We have nothing like that kind of cellular reproductive excess in our bodies.
The closest thing we have to this would be our hematopoietic stem cells that create our blood, but considering the 4 month life expectancy of a red blood cell if you live to be 100 you would only have about 300 generations of blood cells.

Arthur

Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
12. ### SkepticalRegistered Senior Member

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1,449
On horizontal gene transfer in eukaryotes.

There is one, and one only mechanism that has been discovered to do this.
That is ; a retrovirus can implant a gene into a eukaryote cell. After billons of years, there are, without doubt, a number of such genes in the human genome.

Prokaryotes undergo horizontal gene transfer far more often. But casual gene transfer, without an infecting retrovirus, cannot happen to a human cell. Full stop!

So any genes in our food, whether GM or 'natural' will not enter any human cell. Any statement to the contrary is paranoid, and reflects total ignorance of the most basic genetics.

To leopold.

On confidentiality agreements.

This is something I know about, in the New Zealand context. However, I would be immensely surprised if it was any different in the USA.

About 25 years ago, when I was working for a large chemical company, I was asked to deliver material to the NZ pesticides Board, in order to get a product legally registered, so we could sell it as a pesticide. This was before email, and I had to deliver all the data, including lots of toxicology tests, as paper. It filled up the entire back of my large station wagon.

I also had to sign the confidentiality agreement on behalf of my employer, and witness the signature of the representative of the Pesticides Board.

Generating all that data will cost, at least millions, and often hundreds of millions of dollars per product. There is no way that a company, having spent all that money, will permit the results in the public arena where it could be used by a competitor. So it must be kept confidential.

Without such data, regulatory authorities will not permit products to be sold. So the companies involved must provide that data to those authorities. Therefore Monsanto has provided vast amounts of safety data on its GM products to the FDA and other bodies.

NZ government regulations require that most of that data must be generated by independent organisations - usually specialised privately owned laboratories - so that the company supplying the data cannot alter results to suit themselves. Again, I would be most surprised in US requirements were any different.

If people complain that the data is 'secret' then it must be simply that unauthorised people are not permitted access, as according to the confidentiality agreements.

13. ### ULTRARealistically SurrealRegistered Senior Member

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As neither Sceptic or Arthur have bothered to supply the citations or sources for their assertations that GE foods are 100% safe and "always will be" (sceptic), that I have asked for, or any scientific papers or evidence concluding such as they have demanded of me, they have the choise of either providing scientific evidence or retracting their comments.
Meanwhile, while they study the many thousands of reported instances of allergies, illnesses, animal deaths, diseases so-on and so-forth in an effort to prove their case, here is a very interesting piece, published by the University of New South Wales, Australia. http://www.iher.org.au/publications.php?pubID=1
It is a position that exactly supports my standpoint, my concerns and recommendations.

14. ### chimpkinC'mon, get happy!Registered Senior Member

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I meant with the gut flora.

If it was your own cells, it would be attacked and destroyed unless your immune system was really awry.

However, I could see that causing problems too-what if the rogue DNA gets into the liver/kidney/pancreas-so your body starts attacking these organs?

Anyway... are you going to sit there and tell me gut flora can't go very, very bad?

Since the docs @ the county did such an abysmal job of treating me, I was about to order an antibiotic called cleocin...until I found the black-box warning on said antibiotic.
It can set your gut flora so incredibly off that you can get a clostridium difficile infection...and worst-case scenario of that?

COLON REMOVAL AND COLOSTOMY.

So, um, yeah, transgenic gut flora.

If the flora suddenly starts producing a novel protein due to transgene infiltration? what I suspect you might see in a population is a dramatic increase in allergies.

Allergies being a reaction to protein.

So...since the US uses more GM foods than anywhere else, has there been a skyrocketing rate of allergies in the US ALONE since this technology came into widespread use? particularly among adults in the US who never had allergies before?

I'm going to go snoop on that...

Edited: not seeing anything so far to indicate significant variance...

Edited some more:
Peanuts.
I'm working to try to find a scholarly article not behind a paywall.

http://www.pccnaturalmarkets.com/issues/gmconcerns/allergies.html

And according to this article in the independent, peanut allergies in the UK are now 3x higher in one decade:
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-s...nd-the-rise-in-allergic-reactions-457624.html

Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
15. ### SkepticalRegistered Senior Member

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1,449
Ultra

My claim is that there never has been a case where a person eating GM food has suffered a health problem, no matter how small, due to the fact that the food was GM. Thus, the record of GM food is 100% safe. I have not said it cannot happen in the future. The future is new ground, and anyone who makes confident predictions may get his a kicked! I have stated this several times, and you misquote me anyway!

As I have also said, you cannot prove a negative. So there are no papers saying that GM food is 100% safe. Naturally. Asking for such references is simply you being irrational.

Your New South Wales document is a political reference, not a scientific document. It reports on no scientific tests, and shows no scientific data. in other words - useless! Also typical for the anti-GM mob. Constantly posting, but never with anything worth while.

To Chimpkin

Re allergies.

There are a lot more food allergies diagnosed these days. There are a lot more of a wide range of illnesses diagnosed these days, which were not diagnosed earlier. The reason is simple. Better diagnosis.

There is no real evidence of an increase in food allergies. Just evidence of more diagnoses.

16. ### leopoldValued Senior Member

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okay. now what?
scientific data and submissions by the royal society is not confidential unless it falls under national security.
makes me wonder what kind of spooky shit they dredged up.

17. ### chimpkinC'mon, get happy!Registered Senior Member

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Found a study...
Title:
"Transformation of an oral bacterium via chromosomal integration of free DNA in the presence of human saliva"

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1574-6968.2001.tb10709.x/full

(Wiley won't usually put articles up with free access-so take advantage.)

Here's an abstract: pigs fed transgenic (round-up ready) corn had a low incidence of intestinal uptake of transgenes. The sheep and lambs in the study did not.
(Please note, we're more like pigs than sheep...)
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf052459o

I found this, and I'm going to go ahead and both quote and link it, as it cites studies I can't seem to get access to directly:

Skeptical...you apparently don't know how dire peanut allergy is.

It causes anaphylactic shock and death if not treated. Worse, it can take VERY little to set those allergic to peanuts off.
I seem to remember reading about one teen girl being put in the hospital because her boyfriend kissed her on the lips...after eating mixed nuts that contained peanuts at the dance.

That fact that it seemed to have doubled in a year in the UK, and (at least according to the Independent) tripled in ten years? That's not good...and if it's not just correlation but actually causation???

Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
18. ### ULTRARealistically SurrealRegistered Senior Member

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Ok Sceptic where's the evidence?

Proof? Scientific papers

Proof? Scientific papers?

Proof, scientific papers?

Proof, Scientific papers?

Exactly.

Scientific proof? Source? Scientific papers?

You said it, well back up your claims then or they will be dismissed as irrational

All you've produced is a lame pharma industry promotion company with no real scientific data in it. YOU get specific

What hazards, you claim they're 100% safe. Citation?

DUH!

What rule, who made it? You?

and this GEM from Arthur, amongst others..

but, what's this?

Well make your bloody mind up! is it 100% or isn't it? you flip-flop more than Obama!

And people want to decide for themselves what risks they take. Since when did you begin speaking for the human race?

You and Arthur insist that everything I say is backed up by scientific evidence, and I have provided it. Your turn. Provide the evidence or recant.

19. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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NOT that any such transfer in fact happened.

Indeed, not only did it not happen but they also concluded:

Yes, but all that says is the fragments make it into the tissue, NOT that they are incorporated into cellular mechanisms and express the coded proteins.

Note, that report is 5 years old.
If it was the smoking gun you think it is, it would get a lot more press.

Well I tracked down the first "dire" reference and all it says is that you can create protiens via GM to which someone might be allergic to.

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf050594v

So?

People are allergic to damn near everything.
If most people are allergic to a GM food, they simply wouldn't be able to sell it. If a few people are allergic they would have to label it.

We sell peanuts even though they can be fatal to susceptible people.

They even started serving them again on airlines after a year or so of sillyness when they quit doing so (ugg to pretzels).

Arthur

20. ### chimpkinC'mon, get happy!Registered Senior Member

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We don't label our GM foods here...So you have a food allergy, you think your bread's safe...and instead get to jab yourself with an epi-pen and go to the ER.

Plus, through pollen the new genes that code for the allergen can get into other crops-crossbreeding between conventional and GM is ubiquitous.

I get stressed out, I get funny little things growing in my mouth that look like staph aureus blisters...so the idea that something could come along and amp that bacteria isn't a happy thought.
Also, I have regular allergies-on top of my asthma this is moderately dangerous.
But anaphylaxis from food allergens is sudden, unpredictable, comes on within a few minutes. For those who have anaphylactic reactions, they can die from shock or their windpipe swells shut, unless they carry an epi-pen, or chug a bottle of benadryl liquid.

Besides, that last link? the scary ones were the animal studies. There aren't any postmortem exams of humans for genetic uptake of transgenes in either homologous tissue or intestinal flora...

Hmm...somebody ought to look into doing that, though, since we've got so many transgenic crops in the US.

Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
21. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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Except this has nothing to do with Transgenic gut flora. It's a basic problem generally associated with HOSPITAL stays, that if you take some of the broad spectrum antibiotics you can kill off enough of the intestinal flora such that one of the nastier versions which in hospital settings are drug restistant then proliferate to the extent that they produce toxins that cause CDAD. But, studies of reasonable quality suggest an association between not only clindamycin but cephalosporins and even penicillins and CDAD.

http://jac.oxfordjournals.org/content/51/6/1339.full.pdf

So what you are really railing against is the growing problem of drug resistant bacteria, not GM issues.

Arthur

22. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

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Hence its current, and temporary, usefulness as an indiscriminately employed broadcast insecticide - a new, cheaper means of broadcasting having been invented.

The destruction of the usefulness of BT in its traditional and much better arranged employments being one of GM's side benefits for industrial agribusiness, at the expense of everyone else.
One more reason to protect the effectiveness of BT, rather than trash it for a few years of corporate profit at everyone's expense.

Those substitutes are of course the future of this kind of agribusiness: after resistance develops, and the other models of agriculture have been bankrupted and deprived of important resources and otherwise forced out of business,

an industrial agriculture model allowed to employ these techniques so irresponsibly will own the economy. So we get hit from both ends: the remnants of more responsible spot use of pesticides seeing its non-poisonous means rendered useless, and the industrial model monopoly ascendent now faced with endosulfan etc in mass quantities or disaster.
We do not have "16 years" of "experience" with GM food, in general. A couple of trial products have been available for that long, and sparse and thin surveys of a couple of their potential short term effects have been done - that's it. Other than that, we're mostly flying blind with brand new stuff.
You have no idea what the risk of some of these GM techniques and modifications is. Not a clue - not within several orders of magnitude could you reliably calculate the odds on some GM product causing a major disaster in the next fifty years or so. You don't have the information. Nobody does.
See Chimpkin's Updike quote above.

Requiring adequate testing and responsible use in all relevant fields would derail a very greasy gravy train. What they are dealing with is so far from being understood in its effects and consequences that they would be spending the next twenty years in lab and field trials.
How about an unexpected result from a combination of medical genetic therapy - which commonly employs retrovirus derivatives, and uses similar insertion mechanisms, etc - and an existing genetic transfer in the gut microflora?

OK, not tjhe sort of epidemic stuff we are forced to sorry about in several other aspects of irresponsible GM employment, but theoretically not ruled out, eh?
They have hardly scratched the surface. Nothing can be concluded negatively from such meager and ill-coordinated efforts, relative to the subject.

If you are confused in this matter, just look at the emergency efforts required to investigate whether GM corn was killing hives of honeybees - clearly they didn't know lots of stuff about GM and bees before the bees started dying, right? They still haven't ruled it out completely, after several years now. And that's just one narrow little issue, and it's one they actually know much more about than most - bees are well studied and known, compared with (say) nematode diseases.

23. ### chimpkinC'mon, get happy!Registered Senior Member

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Yes...corollary, Arthur. I added that as a corollary!

What I was saying is that gut bacteria could be transformed with GMO DNA (that is apparently more amenable to being taken up, due to the needs of the process) and produce something weird.

Your gut bacteria start producing a novel protein which your body can't handle, and you get allergies you never had, or Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome(IBS), or something weird.

Now, since I'm reusing this:

We note the animal studies that the soil association referenced Monsanto's own studies showed immunological problems in rats fed GM corn, smaller kidneys in rats fed a specific GM corn, and fewer immature red blood cells in rats fed that same specific corn.

That corn being MON 863. It's been modified to produce BT toxin.