The Future of GM Technology...

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

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    So how did the trans fat debacle happen?

    It's completely normal and routine, now and throughout human history, for the long view to be excluded from high pressure short term decision making.

    It takes special procedures, usually deliberate effort and designed interference from an outside agency with sufficient power, to prevent that.

    One central problem is that genetics reproduce themselves, spread themselves, escape and expand and invade on their own. The analogy with economic innovation informs, but underestimates the potential. The analogy of using fission bombs to blow subway tunnels downplays and underplays the kind of trouble possible, in at least two ways:

    tunnels so blown will come to an end and stop, they cannot recreate the bomb at the far end and blow themselves extensions.

    such tunnel blowing is publicly controlled, large scale and simple and overt, requires local political permission and the knowledge or input of many scattered, unrelated people. No self replicating tunnel-blowing agency can get started from somebody's back forty without even the neighbors knowing about it.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
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  3. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    I'm not aware of a Trans Fat Debacle.

    As for the long view to be excluded, again you are claiming that ALL the people in the lab would risk their jobs, carreers and freedom, so their company could release a product that they knew was seriously harmful to the environment.

    Again, not likely.
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  5. BigFairy Hi Im Big Fairy! Registered Senior Member

    I was hoping GM was going to make a larger V8.. not a thread about crap food..

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  7. leopold Valued Senior Member

    it is NOT "you guys".
    NCBI is a valid science source.
    THEY are saying it.
    monsanto itself has said it buddy.
    so stop frikken stalling already.
  8. leopold Valued Senior Member

    and what happens when they do?
    tell you what, find some negative results and present them in this thread like i have done and watch this guy tap dance.

    it doesn't bother you one bit independent testing in the GM industry isn't required?
    it doesn't bother you one bit human trial testing isn't required?
    i have presented evidence from a valid science source saying the GM industry does not release test results.
    how on earth can you ever condone something like that?
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  9. leopold Valued Senior Member


    Former Monsanto employees currently hold positions in US government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United States Environmental Protection Agency‎ (EPA) and the Supreme Court. These include Clarence Thomas, Michael R. Taylor, Ann Veneman, Linda Fisher, Michael Friedman, William D. Ruckelshaus, and Mickey Kantor.[24] Linda Fisher has been back and forth between positions at Monsanto and the EPA
    you people do not see a conflict of interest here?
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  10. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member


    It was done ON PURPOSE.

    All those references in your link are to lab experiments, not to treatment of anyone accidentally infected.


    No suggestion that the GM insect version accidently infected anybody.

  11. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    I just read this thread, I can't find any negative results.

    You posted one valid reference which I found reasonable:

    They argue for longer testing which isn't unreasonable but they also say:
    So the article is calling for expansion of tests (mostly in protocol and duration), which I'm ok with, but does not say that there is a known existing issue.

    Yet there is nothing to prevent independent testing of GM foods is there?.
    Indeed the tests are relatively easy to do, you feed a bunch of rats the food and a control set the other food and count the dead afterwards.

    And, again from your link, there are multiple references to Government tests, which of course means that independent tests are being done, and considering the reasonably well funded opposition to GM I suspect that there are plenty of independent tests being done.

    Not at all, humans make terrible lab rats as it is nearly impossible to have a control group where the only difference between them is the one thing you are looking for.


    Statistically we do have an ongoing human trial and that's life expectancy charts which the good news is they keep going up and as far as I'm aware there isn't one that shows a negative correlation with prevalence of GM foods.

    Actually your link says:


    So far I've condoned nothing, but what you've presented has more holes than GM created Swiss Cheese.

    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  12. leopold Valued Senior Member

    there has been plenty posted about the ills of GMO's.
    what would prevent someone from performing these tests?
    oh i don't know, maybe someone like you waving away world renown scientists with the wave of the hand saying their method was shoddy, reckon that would work?
    one of the grossest misrepresentations in this thread.
    yes indeed mix chemical A with chemical B and you have a ready made test.
    we aren't talking about assaying here.
    the dead? as in not breathing?
    i suppose it doesn't matter if they can hang onto the ground or not or they develop serious illness or pass anything to their offspring.
    these are legitimate concerns
    suspects they are being done?
    i'm still rolling on the floor.
    you can't be serious. a chart? that's it?
    i imagine it would be easy to just keep drawing that line up and up.
    it seems you are supporting GM foods in general and monsanto in particular.
    that is by definition "condoning".

    a search of the legalities of monsanto reveals a lot
    it proves monsanto will indeed stoop to low levels for a dollar.
    shall i present some?
  13. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Nope, there's been some innuendo, but I don't recall any specifics (feel free to correct me with a link), but when I did follow your scientific link I found this:

    We wish to reassert that our work does not claim to demonstrate the chronic toxicity of the GMOs in question

    Me? Why would world renowned scientists care what I think or post on this thread? You're just being silly.

    Indeed you haven't shown that there is anything to prevent these tests from being performed and your own link clearly states that independent tests ARE being performed.

    Bull, these are relatively routine tests and with a relatively small number of nearly genetically identical lab rats you can create fairly rigourous tests that show the impact of eating large amounts of the GM food over various periods of time and have that be the only variable between a control group of rats. Any change will be seen fairly quickly.
    You could also, within less than a year, do multigenerational studies if you wanted to.

    That was a mild attempt at humor, but clearly in animal tests they also observe the behavior of the rats, not just mortality. If the test rats gained or lost weight that would be noted, if the rats couldn't walk, or didn't reproduce that would be noted, etc etc

    Yeah, We KNOW the government is running independent tests and I said "suspect" only because I wasn't specifically aware of other tests, but it's not an unlikely suspicion because the anti GM group surely wants to find some proof of their claims and the tests aren't that expensive, so yeah, it seems quite likely they are being done.

    Laugh all you want, but that Chart is a damn good barometer of how healthy we are and it exists for years by country, so anything in our diet which started to negatively impact our health would be fairly quickly realized. Consider that Insurance companies the world over make their money by knowing at any given age statistically how much longer you are supposed to live, and the odds of you dying each year until then. If ANYTHING was to make those odds decrease the Insurance companies would be SQUAWKING.

    Listen closely.
    Hear anything?

    Haven't mentioned Monsanto once.
    Not sure why I would.
    I thought this thread was about GMs not a specific company.

    What I find is your arguments are not at all pursuasive.
    Post anything you want, but posting specific evidence showing that a specific GM is harmful in a specific way would be something that would be the first thing I think you would want to post.

  14. ULTRA Realistically Surreal Registered Senior Member

    I think Monsanto is fair game, as one of the largest GMO producers, and probably the best known.
    Rats are notoriously hard to poison as they're naturally suspicious of new foods - It's just darn good sense and it helps keep them alive. Why people would be expected to behave dumber than a rat is beyond me. I dont intend to eat anything from Monsanto, who have a particularly poor record of inflicting unsafe products on the world such as the aforementioned DDT and Agent orange. There have been concerns over GM viruses turning up intact in people and more recently over roundup ready crops. South Africa recently dumped tens of thousands of tons of unwanted GM maize on the African market. As African markets are largely unregulated, it was found that it had entered the Kenyan market despite Kenya having a moratorium on it. If a country's laws can be so easily circumvented, what chance do individuals have?
    In Britain we have no problem growing natural products, so I can see no reason to introduce GM ones. I certainly will not eat cloned meat either. Fortunately I have access to free-range meat which is superb. I can see no reason to change it for something untrustworthy, contraversial and unwanted. I don't intent to be any less smart than a common rat!
  15. Skeptical Registered Senior Member


    Thank you for your posts. It is nice to see someone rational on the thread.

    I have not said anything bad about NCBI. In fact I wrote that they were a reputable source. However, they have not said anything to support your case.


    Dsincentives to be a whistleblower.
    it does not work. The general principle that 'more than 7 who share a secret = secret blown' still applies.

    The classic example of this is the Mafia. Those guys have the ultimate disincentive. "Tell our secret and we kill you!" Doesn't get any more powerful than that. Yet the history of the Mafia families over the past 50 years is a history of repeated betrayals. The police depend on them. Members of the Mafia come forward and reveal all, and even testify in court. This is the main reason the Mafia is collapsing.

    The general rule applies. More than 7 and the secret is betrayed.

    My challenge to the anti-GM debaters is still unmet. Show me a reference from a reputable source, such as a good scientific journal, that shows GM food causing harm to a person because the food is GM, or harm to the natural environment because the crops grown are GM.

    Please do not come back with a statement that Monsanto cannot be trusted. I already agreed with that, and it is irrelevent to the issue above.
  16. tantalus Registered Senior Member

    I am not sure what this would eventually prove. What would it mean for your opinion on GM ?One finding isnt enough to condemn GM and infact its irrational. Each GM species is unique on its own and so would be any detrimental impact. I dont think its the best approach tie the faith of GM with the implications of an individual GM gene-plant-varitiety.

    Do you think there is theoretical grounds that a specific GM species could result in a detrimental effect on a human or the environment (because of the inserted gene) - that could potentially be missed/unidentified before it entered the food production industry?

    What is your opinion based on just pure theory here, not empirical?
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  17. Skeptical Registered Senior Member


    You are, of course, correct.
    It would not prove anything overall. The point is that Ultra and iceaura and leopold have been spouting lots of generalities, and casting vague suspicions on GM. I am challenging them to get off their wishy washy arguments and get specific.
  18. tantalus Registered Senior Member


    and on the second part of my post?
    on the potential, purely on theoretical grounds, of such negative effects 1- existing and/or additionally 2 - entering the food market
  19. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Sure, if you can show that Monsanto's GM food products have harmed someone do so.

    Except we are talking about GM foods for our own (or our animals) consumption and so there is not a rat on the planet who won't eat the same corn or rice of wheat that we will.
    For this to mean anything you need to show a GM test that was called off because the test rats just wouldn't eat the food. Bet you can't.

    That's nuts.
    DDT has probably saved more people than almost any chemical we have ever made and is still doing so today.

    The WHO's recent reversal on the use of DDTs will again condem millions to death from Malaria.

    Note, not saying we used DDT responsibly when it first came out, but that doesn't mean it can't be used responsibly.

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    Sorta shows how little fear we had of it.....

    The herbicides that made up Agent Orange had legitimate and valuable commercial uses, the fact that the Army used them in a war by broadcast sparying without concern for the people living there is NOT Monsanto's fault.
    Indeed, Monsanto (not the only suppier by the way) informed the Military as far back as 1952 of the toxic nature of the Herbicide.

    Source, because your previous assertion of that in this thread was shown to be FALSE.

    Seems like a legal issue. Are you claiming anyone was actually harmed by this GM maize?

    But you import them.

    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    We won't know for many years, probably.

    How long before trans fats started ringing alarm bells outside the hippie left community - a generation? By amazing coincidence, not until suitably cost effective substitutes had been developed, so industrial food production could proceed as before, without interruption.
    The only reason DDT still works for malaria is that its use in other arenas was restricted - it's always been available for anti-malaria efforts. You can thank the environmentalists for that - not that gratitude is part of the corporate rightwing psychological makeup.
    I am claiming the opposite - that in the normal state of uncertainty, lack of information, and decision pressure, most people embedded in large organizations will not risk their jobs, careers, and freedom, to make a big noise about something they themselves are not sure about.

    And the few people who are that ornery and contrary, never get to insider status and upper level corporate decision making. The rest are marginal.

    Corporations will not self-regulate. They will destroy their countries, their communities, their landscapes, and the lives of their employees right up to top management. They will mine the last of the Oglalla Aquifer water to make plastic bath toys, and paint them with lead, and market them for Christmas.

    Case studies in such matters include the engineers on the Challenger, the designers of the atom bomb, the Pinto, and the Corvair, the thousands of researchers on trans fats and polychlorinated hydrocarbons and tetraethyl lead fuel additives and Freon knockoffs and whatever that stuff was in Scotchguard, and so forth and so on ad nauseum.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  21. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    Noticeably, my debate opponents still refuse to get specific, and continue to argue with "what if" statements.

    The Monsanto argument is a red herring. You could equally argue that, because Smith, Klein and French have shown corruption in business, that all pharmaceuticals will kill you. In fact, we know damn well that drug products save millions of lives each year. Sure Monsanto cannot be trusted. So what? That does not mean their products are bad. Monsanto are out to make money and they know that the best way to do that, and continue doing that for the next 100 years, is to make good products.

    We have tantalus aksing if, in theory, GM products might be harmful. Tantalus, in theory, everything can be harmful. You might be killed by a rock falling from outer space. That does not mean you should wear a crash helmet 24/7.

    iceaura said :
    "The only reason DDT still works for malaria is that its use in other arenas was restricted - it's always been available for anti-malaria efforts. You can thank the environmentalists for that - not that gratitude is part of the corporate rightwing psychological makeup."

    Please post a reference from a reputable body to show that we can thank environmentalists for that. Because, frankly, if you do not, I will not believe it.

    Re trans fats.
    Another red herring. Trans fats have nothing to do GM.
    If you want to argue that GM crops and foods are hazardous, you have to talk about GM crops and foods, and not irrelevent other things. And use reputable references. Something you have failed to do.
  22. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Guess he's never read "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson.
    And not being from the US, I guess you wouldn't have heard that our national symbolic bird, the bald eagle, was nearly extincted by made their eggshells get too thin, and they weren't able to reproduce. The bald eagle is just now recovering...I've actually been seeing them for the past couple of years-for the first time in my life.

    DDT nearly did for the brown pelican too.

    I'll be lazy again and go for the Wikipedia reference:

    Note the part that I've bolded.

    That's my concern with GM foods in a nutshell. We're releasing them into the environment without quite knowing what they are capable of.

    The thing is, is that unlike even the Persistent Organic Pesticides (POP's) GM products self-replicate and mutate.

    Meaning once released, they are forever.
  23. leopold Valued Senior Member

    my entire argument was based on the premise that no independent analysis was being conducted.
    my opponents pointed out the US gov. does testing but i have been unable to find any such tests conducted by the research arm of USDA

    the real problem for me is independent testing.
    i consider WHO an independent entity:

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