Truth about GMO

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Locust, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. Locust Registered Member

    1. There is a big difference between genetic engineering and traditional breeding techniques.
    2. GMO doesnt increase yields.
    3. GMO doesnt reduce use of pesticides.
    4. Money-farmers needs to invest more money and depends on Corporations.
    5. GMO reduce fertility, birth defects, it effects immune system and cause cancer. Also GMO corn was found to be toxic
    6. There is no reason why shouldnt we label GMO food.
    7. There is huge conflict of interests in agriculture industry.
    8. GMO contaminate environment
    9. There is no scientific consensus on GMO safety.

    I can elaborate each point and provide aditional informations.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
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  3. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Locust: From your Opening Post
    Gee: Do farmers plant GMO crops because they are stupid? Do they have some reasons which over ride the above?
    The FDA allows crops with such adverse effects to be sold? Nobody sues due to these adverse health effects? Maybe somebody should get in touch with tort Attorneys. It looks like a situation for some lucrative class action law suits.
    Agreed: There is conflict of interest in many commercial activities. Which (if any) relate to GMO crops?

    I seem to remember a SciAm article which was no worse than neutral on GMO crops & might have indicated that they were either not a problem or were a good idea. I do not remember the details of the article & could be wrong about the opinion expressed.
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  5. Locust Registered Member

    I never said that farmers were stupid but decived perhaps. Do they need too buy seeds each year? Were your ancestors buy seeds each year? No.
    2009 report demonstrated that GMO soy and corn not increase yields over traditional farming.
    Even more stuning is that study from 2008 which conclude that organic farming with little or no pesticide can increase yields by 116%.
    In 2012 research found that that the rise of glyphosate-resistant “superweeds” in the wake of the GMO revolution has actually increased pesticide use in the last 15 years by 183 million kilograms, or 7%. The study estimated that if new strains of GM corn and soybeans are approved for commercial use, herbicide use could increase by a whopping 50%
    FDA doesnt test GMO.Even worse. Scientists must ask corporations for permission before publishing independent research on genetically modified crops.
    There are material for attorneys. Talking about FDA and conflict of interests.

    From wiki:

    "Michael R. Taylor is the Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)....
    ...Taylor became a staff attorney for the FDA, where he was executive assistant to the Commissioner.[1][2]
    In 1981 he went into private practice at King & Spalding, a law firm, one client of which was the biotechnology company Monsanto,[3] where he established and led the firm's food and drug law practice.
    Advocates in favor of organic food have criticized Taylor for taking this stance and have attributed the stance not to a good faith effort to reasonably regulate, but to an alleged desire to benefit Monsanto financially.[6]
    On July 17, 1991, Michael Taylor left King & Spalding, returning to the FDA to fill the newly created post of Deputy Commissioner for Policy."
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  7. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Locust, those are basically all pseudo a environmentalist lies and misrepresentations. Sorry, but you drank the wrong Kool-aid.
  8. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Surely you meant Jello shots, Russ, how else could we have made it through the finals?

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    GMO is not / cannot be inherently evil. We would have to break down each of the complaints and treat them individually. I'll pick two:

    (1) GMO is harmful to consumers because is passes artificial DNA into the human gut

    DNA of a food does not affect the consumer. Evidence: the human gut dissolves the DNA into amino acids before digestion is complete. It matters not what order those amino acids appear in the polymer.

    (2) GMO is harmful to farmers / fields because it is invasive.

    This is no different than planting oriental bamboo in the Mississippi delta, or growing peanuts. The invasive species is the one selected by the farmer which was not there before she planted it.
  9. Locust Registered Member


    I agree. I just used different term for GMO. Lysenkosim.

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  10. Locust Registered Member

    Yes it does. We found round up in human organism. Also as I stated before GMO cause cancer, effects immune system et cetera.
    I would post links of studies but I cant since I dont have 15 posts.
  11. zgmc Registered Senior Member

    Get your post count up. I would like to see the studies that link GMOs to cancer. I wouldn't doubt that there are some chemicals in round-up that you can find in just about every person on the planet. There are lots of chemicals floating around out there that probably aren't so good for us. I am doubtful of the link between GMOs and cancer.
  12. Locust Registered Member

    Toxic food and food that effects immune system are also things that makes you go hm.
  13. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Roundup is not a GMO.
  14. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    You are referring to a herbicide which has nothing to do with what I said!

    DNA is a digestible natural component of the food we eat, even if it has been engineered. It dissolves into amino acids, which are nutritious. If the DNA was genetically engineered, then the amino acids are in some new order not found in nature. But that doesn't matter since your stomach acids will take them all apart anyway.

    Other chemicals like herbicides are obviously going to accumulate because they are not digestible. Toxins are trapped in various organs (esp the liver) and hence the danger of exposure to carcinogens. But GMOs don't produce the chemical used in Roundup !!!

    While we are on the topic of Truth About GMOs let's also speak about the Truth of Industrial Chemistry. First and foremost, let's make sure everyone understand that this is a regulated industry. The first requirement before release of any such material into the open market is that the manufacturer has to release a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Here is the MSDS for Roundup:

    But, to the main point I was discussing before you went off into the weeds

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    p): DNA is not a carcinogen. Otherwise our own tissues would be toxic to us.

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    I can tell you haven't taken chemistry, biology, botany or zoology. Otherwise you would understand why that statement is absurd.

    My intent was to break this down into specifics since you're generalizing. Obviously GMO hemlock is probably toxic. But theoretically a nontoxic variety could be engineered. You seem to claiming that corn is engineered to produce the toxins in hemlock, or the herbicide Roundup, or else it escapes scrutiny, or else the labs are lying. All of that is nuts.

    You also seem to be convinced that there are no quality control measures in place to analyze the chemical content of the food plant tissues which is really nuts. You have to assume that all of the botanists and chemists in the world are either lazy or stupid, which is nuts. You don't think a single GMO activist has since gotten a degree in chemistry?

    And my guess is that you've never worked with a government scientist, or you would realize that many activists end up employed there, expending all of that angst for justice by enforcing the laws that protect consumers from greedy corporations who are often known to lie, cheat and steal wherever they can get away with it.

    As for your concern about Roundup, that was one of the principal motivations for developing GMO technology in the first place. Now it's possible to give certain plants a natural immunity to certain competing species that Roundup would be targeting. By the same token, it's possible to make plants immune to certain harmful insects, thereby eliminating the need to dump tons of insecticides on farmers' fields. So GMO can reduce the exposure to carcinogens!
    I'll be very surprised if you have any credible studies that speak to the harm of GMOs. But post the text of the links and I will repost them as links.


    Virtually every agricultural product in existence, before modern genetic engineering methods were available, is a GMO! The food you call "corn" -- is a GMO developed by thousands of years of selective breeding by primitive Americans, derived from the "Natural" plant, maize (teosinte)!

    (Let me add the study of evolution to the list of subject matter needed to understand whether GMOs are inherently harmful.)
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Of the nine points you made, a couple are simple truths, a couple are false, and the rest are far more complicated than you present.

    The basic error is to lump all GMOs. They are no more alike than, say, all insects. Very few assertions are going to be true of all of them.

    This is just as important a recognition, and just as rarely met, in the defenders of "GMOs". For example, the use of benefits from one GMO to justify or defend or promote damaging deployment of another is deeply irresponsible, to the point of criminal deception.

    The FDA does no general research capable of discovering or detecting most harms - it requires the marketing corporation to run brief tests for known possibilities of direct short term toxicity and a couple of known allergic reactions, and takes their word for their results. The kinds of problems caused by trans fats, say, would not be detectable in this manner. As no long term consumption studies in a mammal have ever been done for any GMO, and epidemiological studies are made difficult by the lack of labeling, ubiquity of exposure, and the existence of a black market in GMOs (control groups and exposure regimes are difficult to establish), any harms will be a long time in revealing themselves.
    There are some issues with the DNA used in some GMOs, when incorporated into foodstuffs. The antibiotic generating markers used in the engineering process, for example, do sometimes make their way into the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and small intestine, where they are made available to the bacteria living there - a very complex flora we are just beginning to investigate, and one in which DNA exchange and abduction from the medium is very common. Holding this in mind, consider that most Western diets include at least occasional low doses of antibiotics from industrial meat and dairy husbandry, as well as bacteria that have colonized plants and so forth. Add to that the common oral abuse of antibiotics in many countries, including some now converting much of the agriculture to GMOs of various kinds, and what does your good common sense tell you should be investigated before giving a particular foodstuff GMO the Good Housekeeping seal of approval?

    Well, it's not.

    So would I. Studies capable of detecting the kinds of harm obviously possible - just the stuff we know about, not even counting the new hazards inevitable in such a new and poorly understood field of engineering - are not being done, in general. This is visible: Look at the emergency research into potential GMO effects launched in the wake of the mass bee deaths of recent years, for example: that was pretty basic stuff, most of it - but it wasn't just sitting there in the literature for reference, as a sane person would expect. The US soybean crop was 80% GMO before anyone had checked out that particular GMO for its effects on bees, the US landscape was almost completely exposed to Bt engineered corn with only very short term and limited investigation into direct bee toxicity performed - the word you're looking for is "imbecile". So maybe - jury is still out, but the focus is narrowing to neonicotinoids - those two particular GMOs don't harm bees directly (the indirect harms, via landscape modification, are another story), but if so we were just lucky, not competent.

    There is no safety in ignorance, dumb luck, and the conscientious safeguarding of the public welfare by enormously profiting business interests with hundreds of millions in investment at stake.

    Which brings us to this, which is flagrant
    Organic chemistry is not the same as cooking food over a campfire. Nuclear power is not just another way of boiling water like all the other ways of boiling water. The bypassing of all the built in safeguards of mutation, hybridization, and reproduction that have protected us all this time - including those of sheer incapability - makes a fundamental difference. That's why the stuff was invented - it can do stuff that's completely impossible otherwise, and like nothing ever seen before, This is brand new, and extraordinarily powerful, and just beginning to be barely understood. The researchers are in a position comparable to that of the first nuke engineers - the ones that used chunks of plutonium as doorstops, and tried to get permission to blow an oil harbor into the Alaskan coastline using hydrogen bombs. Except what they are making can reproduce itself, and live without them, in a system of reactions and influences that makes nuclear engineering look like playing tic tac toe.

    side comments:

    Viral DNA/RNA, inserted into host genomes, often causes cancer. Some types of cancer - cervical cancer, say - have no other major cause. This hints, btw, at the range of side effects that inserting DNA like that can trigger. Prediction is in practical fact impossible - only careful research into each and every different GMO over long stretches of time and in a wide variety of circumstances can begin to get a handle on this stuff.

    The way they have, in reality, made plants "immune to certain harmful insects" was by having each and every plant in a field manufacture insecticide within its tissues. This is not a replacement for "dumping tons of insecticide", but a means for doing that cheaply. It is a particularly bad means, in that it sets up nearly ideal circumstances for the evolution of resistance in the target pests - the bane of insecticides generally, and something that is prevented in responsible agricultural practice by limiting and timing application. Also, in practice, as the comparatively benign insecticide that is the common GMO is rendered increasingly useless (for everyone) by such ill conceived overuse, much more toxic insecticides must be employed in fields starved of natural predators and infrastructurally dependent on this mode of pest management.

    Partly because of the large increase in application rate, and that directly on the plants, and partly because of the mechanism of resistance engineered into them, Roundup Ready crops do tend to harbor the chemical - including in the seeds and leaves and flowers that people or their animals eat.
  16. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    Excellent informative post, iceaura.

    I work in retail grocery and it is astounding how hard the manufacturers of processed food are fighting the issue of food labeling.

    If they have so much confidence in their product and the testing, the actual cost of labeling should be a non-starter. All they have to do is share the study information, make them publicly available, do a few more if needed and educate the public.

    The other alternative is the one being taken by the organic growers and non-GMO producers to voluntarily label their products and I can tell you that they are doing so increasingly and we cannot keep them on the shelves because the public is clearly selecting them over others. The latest irony was Cheerios marketing a 'non-GMO' product after backing the anti-labeling legislation in California. Only one of their products is guaranteed to be GMO free while the others contain minimal amounts of crops known to be widely GMO.

    Talk about playing both sides of the fence...:bugeye:

    Nine years in retail grocery has been a fascinating introduction to the politics of food. I also will not eat about 95% of the offerings in our own store.
  17. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Their reluctance could be predicated on the public's perception of GMO and "chemicals".
    I.e. due to various factors people generally (as you yourself have said later in your post) avoid wherever possible.
    The current (general) attitude tends to be "GMO = automatically and indisputably bad".
    Clear labelling, therefore, will only reduce sales.
  18. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Which is, of course, why the envrionuts want it!
  19. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    The argument that sharing knowledge will hurt sales is astounding to me, given the fact that if these products are safe and a proper education component is utilized, it could lay the argument to rest.

    The politics are that the corporations have been running around buying out (or squeezing out) many of the smaller companies and embarking along BOTH paths of profit. I have only recently learned that Monsanto has been purchasing a number of the small independent seed supply companies that many home gardeners such as myself rely upon. That is a concern because of their stranglehold on the majority of registered seed patents, patents which preclude the saving of seed for next year use. I now understand why many of the gardeners have stayed with heirloom seeds and have continued with natural hybrid methods so that no one else controls their rights to retain and use these seeds. That, and many of these plants are far tastier but are not rigorous enough for corporate profitability.

    Not all of the rumors are entirely founded, though, and one of the seed suppliers that I use has even rebutted some of them.

    There are several very troubling aspects to this matter that go far beyond labeling, from my perspective.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  20. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

    That IMO is the biggest problem with GMO crops. If you save seeds from your crop and plant them next year monsanto will sue for patent infringement.
  21. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    On a strictly personal note, I want my purchased foodstuffs clearly labeled.
    If it contains:
    Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
    Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
    Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,--
    I just want to know!

    also, I like frogs, and the surfactant commonly used in combination with Glyphosate is deadly to developing tadpoles and certain fish and salamanders, etc.
    Clear labeling of ingredients and pesticides used allow us to make informed decisions!
    If the chemical companies have nothing to hide:
    Then why put so much effort into secrecy?
  22. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    No, it isnt astounding to you: you are saying that to sound purposely obtuse. I'll say it again: environuts want labeling because they know - they intend - the label to be a stigma. It's a propaganda technique.
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

    They are neither. They purchase GMO seed because they make more money by using it.
    Agreed. Nor did our ancestors use fertilizer, irrigation or aerial spraying. If we went back to such methods most of the world would starve, so they're no longer an option (although you can do a better job avoiding monocrops, not overspraying etc.)
    Right; genetic modification is not used to increase yield. It is used to decrease losses due to disease and insects, and to allow herbicides to be used.
    Yes; you can increase yields via many methods. Most of them are extremely expensive. Thus food gets more expensive and less people can afford it. Is that a good idea to do? If you're rich it probably sounds like a great idea; but for people in countries where they can barely feed their kids, it might not be considered such a wise thing to do.
    Do you mean herbicide use? Glyphosate is a herbicide.

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