The Future of GM Technology...

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

  1. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,829
    Oh BS

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/03/business/03health.html?_r=1

    So there is in fact a HUGE incentive to be a whistle blower against someone with deep pockets like Monsanto.

    Arthur
     
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  3. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    1,449
    I have been away from my computer for about 6 hours, and 9 posts on this thread arrived, with what seems to be dozens of questions. If I answer them all, I will end up writing a very long missive which probably no-one will read. So if I miss what you consider important, feel free to ask again.

    First to ultra.

    No. I do not claim that GM is risk free. As I have said repeatedly, though you seem to like to overlook this, everything in this world carries risk. A woman once ended up with a bruised leg from a ricocheting meteorite. The next one could hit me on the head and kill me. Should I go through life wearing a crash helmet? No, of course not. We accept minor risks. GM foods and crops carry minor risks and it would be silly not to accept those minor risks also.

    You ask me to provide proof that GM is safe. As I have pointed out, that is an impossibility. You are asking me to prove a negative. Safe also means 'not harmful', which is a negative.

    However, in spite of numerous claims by the anti-GM movement, no-one has ever demonstrated in a way that stands up to good science, that a GM food has caused harm to a human eater, by virtue of its genetic modification. I know this because I have been following the GM debate for the last 12 years, and no such claim has managed to stand up to scientific enquiry.

    However, even though I cannot prove a negative, it is easy to prove a positive that is correct. That means that you could prove GM is harmful, assuming that it really is. You should have no problem finding scientific studies, that stand up to further scrutiny, showing GM foods causing harm to people who eat them, by virtue of the modification.

    I know you have looked, and failed.

    To chimpkin

    I fully understand about peanut and other food allergies. One person in 100 is allergic to peanuts, and one in 1000 will die if he/she eats a peanut, with no emergency medical care.

    This has nothing to do with GM, except in your imagination.

    I will agree that it is possible, in theory, for a GM product to make a protein that is an allergen. In fact, there was a GM soya bean once made in the laboratory that might carry that risk. The makers (not Monsanto) wanted to make a soya bean that carried a full protein complement, so that it would solve the problems of inadequate protein diets to poor nations.

    They used gene insertion to make a soya bean that made, not only normal soya bean proteins, but also some brazil nut proteins. They discovered, though, that some of the brazil nut proteins were occasionally allergens and the project was stopped. This soya bean never hit agriculture, which I have always thought was a pity. While it may have caused some problems, it would definitely have gone a long way to stopping protein deficiency disease among many millions of poor people. Whatthehell!

    As things stand to this point in time, no GM food has been shown to cause any allergy reaction, apart from that which the parent food crop already causes.
     
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  5. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Well you are just making this shit up you know.
    And that sort of thing, assuming it was harmful, would be found in testing.



    But they DID release their data and there WAS 3rd party testing and that study you referenced WAS looked into.

    And it didn't hold up.

    http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/sci...s/factsheets2009/fsanzresponsetoseral4647.cfm

    Arthur
     
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  7. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    It's not that bad.

    http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/161/1/15#TABLEIRA00008T4

    Indeed, according to the CDC there were an average of 9,537 hospital discharges per year with a diagnosis related to food allergy among children 0 to 17 years.

    Which is rather insignificant in a country of about 80 million people < 17.
     
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    24,291
    Which only matters if anyone was concerned with deliberate evil afoot. But that's your obsession.

    They aren't minor. They're huge. See "Irish Potato Famine".
    No, we can't. There hasn't been enough time, there hasn't been enough money, and GM is a whole bunch of different things with each carrying their own potential disasters into the world.

    What is easy to show, by reason and observation as we have, is that the risk of some of these GM techniques and deployments is monstrous. The level of ignorance coupled with just the potential disasters already known is disturbing in the extreme.

    Couple of details glossed over there: the problem with the allergens from Brazil nuts was not caught by the makers - it was caught by accident, by an outsider, by chance informed.

    And the corrupted soy had already escaped auditing and control - some of it was found where it was not licensed ot legal to be.

    And it was stopped because it alone - just that first batch - might have killed dozens, maybe hundreds of people. Coupled with gene transfer and cross-pollination in other soybeans, widespread use would have meant no one with a peanut allergy would have been able to eat soy products from then on.
     
  9. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    Transformation...I'm wanting to say was discovered in the 20's.

    As far as the rat feeding study goes, it looks like it comes down to what one would view as due to natural variance in the rats.

    Some do, some don't view the organ variance as statistically significant.

    Personally, I would have liked a lifespan study done on rats as a follow-up.

    But that ties into what I've been saying all along: the need for more research and more caution.

    Our differences here can be summed up pretty simply: you view GM as innocent until proven guilty. I view it as guilty until proven innocent.

    @ Skeptical: I decided to look into who funds ISAAA, since you linked to them a while back...and indicated you thought them a credible source.

    They seem to be funded by the same major biotech firms whose products they promote. Monsanto certainly is one.

    As far as I'm concerned, that makes them interested parties-therefore biased.

    Since you feel free to reject anything Greenpeace or anti-GM activist groups say out of hand without looking at their data first, I think I'll take that same liberty with any future ISAAA links you put up...

    Anyway, if you'll follow the link below, there's a video interview with an ex-farmer who grew and fed GM corn to his pigs...and watched a huge number of them get reproductive problems, causing him to lose the farm.
    Apparently five other farmers in his area that were feeding GM also had the same reproductive issues crop up in the pigs, and were feeding GM corn.

    (And I'm sorry about the poor audio quality, but it's worth suffering through at least part of it.)

    http://www.gmwatch.org/gm-videos/22-gm-and-agriculture/12983
     
  10. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,416
    Transformation...I'm wanting to say was discovered in the 20's.

    As far as the rat feeding study goes, it looks like it comes down to what one would view as due to natural variance in the rats.

    Some do, some don't view the organ variance as statistically significant.

    Personally, I would have liked a lifespan study done on rats as a follow-up.

    But that ties into what I've been saying all along: the need for more research and more caution.

    Our differences here can be summed up pretty simply: you view GM as innocent until proven guilty. I view it as guilty until proven innocent.

    @ Skeptical: I decided to look into who funds ISAAA, since you linked to them a while back...and indicated you thought them a credible source.

    They seem to be funded by the same major biotech firms whose products they promote. Monsanto certainly is one.

    As far as I'm concerned, that makes them interested parties-therefore biased.

    Since you feel free to reject anything Greenpeace or anti-GM activist groups say out of hand without looking at their data first, I think I'll take that same liberty with any future ISAAA links you put up...

    Anyway, if you'll follow the link below, there's a video interview with an ex-farmer who grew and fed GM corn to his pigs...and watched a huge number of them get reproductive problems, causing him to lose the farm.
    Apparently five other farmers in his area that were feeding GM also had the same reproductive issues crop up in the pigs, and were feeding GM corn.

    (And I'm sorry about the poor audio quality, but it's worth suffering through at least part of it.)

    http://www.gmwatch.org/gm-videos/22-gm-and-agriculture/12983
     
  11. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,449
    iceaura regurgitated his usual emetic emissions by saying : "They're huge. See "Irish Potato Famine"

    Hey iceaura
    Why not blame the Black Death of the 13th century on GM as well. It is just as relevent. For Finagle's sake, get real! The Irish potato famine has nothing to do with GM. It is another world. If you cannot debate sensibly, then retire.

    To Chimpkin

    Re ISAAA

    I admitted early on their bias. You add nothing to the debate by reinforcing that point. However, the ISAAA, despite their bias, is a bunch of scientists, unlike the bulldust references that iceaura and ultra keep posting. As a result the ISAAA give good data, even though their interpretations are biased. If you feel unable to separate the two, say so. The rest of us are smart enough.
     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    24,291
    The Plague organism is still with us, coming into daily contact with GM organisms, and with a little bad luck the wrong GM technique carelessly employed could very well restore its mass lethality.

    It's a long shot, but how long a shot remains to be seen. The situation requires prudent, careful, detailed, thorough, and diligent regulation.

    Meanwhile, as detailed above, the parallels between the Irish potato famine setup and the current wholesale marketing of proprietary and narrow-range GM crops as basic and staple sources of calories for large regions of the globe are numerous and very close. That may not even be long shot - inevitability, might be better description.

    Take warning, or sail on blindly - your choice.
     
  13. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,829
    Yes, but you have a low threshold for seeing guilt where none seems to exist.

    Except as we have seen GM corn is by far the most cultivated corn in the US and Hogs are fed large quantities of corn.

    If feeding GM corn to your hogs causes infertility how is it that there isn't a HUGE shortage of hogs?

    Arthur
     
  14. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,829
    Hmmmm?
    No source for said claims I see.

    What can we find:

    http://cls.casa.colostate.edu/transgeniccrops/allergy.html

    And then there is the referenced Nordlee Study

    IDENTIFICATION OF A BRAZIL-NUT ALLERGEN IN TRANSGENIC SOYBEANS

    And what do you know in the first page we have the reason for the study:

    And at bottom of page 1:

    Supported by a grant from Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

    http://www.salmone.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/noce-nejm-1996.pdf

    Now the other fact about this is that these Soy Beans were not bred for human consumption, Pioneer Hi-Bred was testing genetic engineering to increase the level of the amino acid methionine in soybean.
    Why?
    Because a high-methionine soybean would aid chicken farmers who now must buy expensive methionine supplements for their birds.

    The reason Pioneer pulled these Soy Beans is because the scientific tests they paid for prior to releasing the new variety showed they caused a potential serious allergic reaction in a few people and because Pioneer could not guarantee that even though the new bean might be sold only for Chicken feed they knew some would find its way into the normal food channels.

    Arthur
     
  15. ULTRA Realistically Surreal Registered Senior Member

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    1,555
    Sceptic, it would be easy to prove that GM was safe, if it was true. There would be an absence of reported side effects, poisionings, allergies and GM genetic transfer. Simple if it was true, which evidently it is not.
    Drug companies have to prove their products are safe all the time in clinical trials, so your claim is false.
    What you will have to do is research every reported ill effect of GMOs and find an alternative hypothesis for them, and prove that. Granted, it will take you some time, but it should have been done prior to release, as drug companies do all the time in clinical trials. Your claim it cannot be done is FALSE. Your claim that this information would somehow infringe on copyright is also false, again, drug companies publish all known side-effects all the time without such detriment.
    GM producers should do exactly the same, but obviously prefer to hide all such information from consumers.

    At least Arthur has taken the time to learn something about the science during the course of this thread. You just keep repeating the same tired old crap. It's safe, because you claim it is. No proof, nothing. Utter rubbish.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
  16. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    7,829
    Well I've yet to see a documented case where someone was harmed by GM foods, or where the "side effects" were different in magnitude than the original food.
    Poisonings? Now that's a new one do you have a source for that?
    So far for GM genetic transfer we've seen no evidence of Genetic transfer to humans.


    Well that's a little backwards.
    Clinical trials are predominately to find out if the drug has the desired effects.
    It doesn't have to be safe if the typical anticipated gain outweighs the typical negative impacts. Indeed Penicillin is NOT safe, if you are allergic to it, and as Chimkin pointed out, one of the possible side effects of a drug he was considering was DEATH.
    Which, if you note, is a possible side effect of many of our drugs.

    So no, a human clinical trial in the typical sense would not work for GM foods as there is nothing you are trying to cure and we simply have no way of making up control groups etc etc.

    Never going to happen.

    No it's not.
    They can do feeding tests on Lab Rats and if they supsect allergic issues they can do those test, but tests on humans would be highly unlikely.

    I don't think there are any GM products with known side effects beyond what the normal food does. If you know of some please post source.

    Finally, in the US MOST of the GM products are in fact consumed in our Feed Lots, and modern Farmers are pretty good at keeping records, you know, amount of food fed, weight gained, livestock losses, breeding rates etc etc.

    So, in the US, 86% of our Corn is GM.
    In 2000, the U.S. produced ~10 billion bushels of the world’s total 23 billion bushel corn crop, so about 8 billion bushels of GM corn are being consumed each year by animals and 1 billion bushels by people. That's a LOT of GM corn being eaten!

    About 80% of all corn grown in the U.S. is consumed by domestic and overseas livestock, poultry, and fish production.

    SO, if GM corn was having these kind of problems you KNOW that this would be seen by these farmers.

    I can find no evidence of that.


    Now for Soy Beans, 93% is GM and 2.8 billion bushels of soybeans were harvested in the U.S. in 2000 accounting for over 50% of the world’s soybean production and produced ~79% of all edible oil consumed in the US as well as over 30 million tons of soybean meal for consumption by livestock.

    SO, if GM Soy Beans were having these kind of problems you KNOW that this would be seen by these farmers as well.

    I can find no evidence of that either.

    So the truth is we are raising our livestock on almost all GM food, and feedlots and animal husbandry are essentially large in vivo tests simply because of how computerized/statistical large scale farming has become and search as I may, I can't find anything to substantiate your claims that this GM food is in someway hurting our country's animals or people.

    Arthur

    http://www.epa.gov/agriculture/ag101/cropmajor.html
     
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    24,291
    And the reason they had done no such testing until after they had invested millions in development, and were at the point of commercial rollout?

    The reason they did not test until 1996 the very expensive modification they had been working on since 1992 or before, and with much effort brought to the point of commercial marketing worldwide?

    Because they didn't see the problem, and weren't forced to investigate it. Until outside whistleblowers, accidentally informed of the provenance of the new wonderful chicken feed, made it clear that there was a potential danger here, Pioneer was perfectly happy to mass market its soybeans, and planned to do so, and had passed all US government and regulatory requirements.
    Nobody knows. Look at how long it took to come to awareness of the trans fat problems - and trans fats can be discontinued. They don't reproduce themselves.
     
  18. ULTRA Realistically Surreal Registered Senior Member

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    "A new paper shows that consuming genetically modified (GM) corn or soybeans leads to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice, particularly in livers and kidneys. By reviewing data from 19 animal studies, Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini and others reveal that 9% of the measured parameters, including blood and urine biochemistry, organ weights, and microscopic analyses (histopathology), were significantly disrupted in the GM-fed animals. The kidneys of males fared the worst, with 43.5% of all the changes. The liver of females followed, with 30.8%"
    http://www.responsibletechnology.org/
     
  19. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Why do you offer no proof of your assertions?

    The FDA did cover this issue in 1992.

    http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceCom...GuidanceDocuments/Biotechnology/ucm096095.htm

    And the little I can find from back then shows some of your data is in error:

    Not 1996.

    And given that since 1992 the FDA has required allergy tests like the ones Taylor did for all new food made with genes taken from milk, eggs, wheat, fish, shellfish, legumes or nuts implies that Pioneer would have done this testing without outside prodding.

    Arthur
     
  20. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    My thanks to Arthur for his good work while I have raising zzz's. (We have a different time zone. I am asleep while you guys are swapping posts.)

    I see that Ultra continues to use non reputable web sites for this references. One glance at the site of the Institute for Responsible Technology shows they are political, not scientific.

    Ultra, you said : "Your claim that this information would somehow infringe on copyright is also false, again, drug companies publish all known side-effects all the time without such detriment".

    In fact, I have never even mentioned copyright, which is not the issue. Copyright is a very separate legal category.

    I have said that companies who present detailed information on safety to regulatory authorities will require those authorities to sign confidentiality agreements, which is quite a different thing. This is done to protect the multi-million dollar investments those companies make in safety and toxicology testing.
     
  21. ULTRA Realistically Surreal Registered Senior Member

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    Sceptic, I don't care what you think, you have provided no scientific evidence to back up your ridiculous minority claim.
     
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The FDA does not require allergy testing of chicken feed, and Pioneer's testing was not a result of FDA pressure.

    And the FDA would not necessarily have required the allergy testing of a single inserted protein - the only declared or "active" insert - anyway.

    The fact that the product was already marketable - about to be mass marketed world wide - is proof that the company did not allergy test as a matter of routine. They allergy tested because they were confronted with questions of risk, by outsiders. None of their people - even their trusted scientific consultants - had rung any alarm bells at any time in the past several years of development. This was their attitude:
     
  23. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Actually it is not any new tests, but a "meta analysis" of old tests, so really no new tests were performed by this group and they didn't say significant organ disruptions.

    In the next sentance they did use the word SIGNIFICANT, but they used it in it's scientific meaning, i.e. More than chance, not in it's other meaning as "of great concern"

    a total of around 9% of parameters were disrupted in a meta-analysis (Table 2).

    They also said that around 5% was normal, so it's just slightly elevated.
    My guess is this is why no one will be worried about this new Meta-Analysis of old studies as this is just another paper by the same French group (Séralini) we have been discussing that FSANZ has already dismisssed.

    http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/sci...s/factsheets2009/fsanzresponsetoseral4647.cfm

    The reason I trust FSANZ is that as far as I can tell are isolated from US corporate interests.

    We might have to wait a while till this gets reviewed by other agencies like FSANZ, but it seems to me that what we have is a .

    Arthur
     

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