Genetically Modified Food Yes No?

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Would you eat GM Foods ?

Yes
18
69%
No
2
8%
Need more info
6
23%
 
Total votes: 26
aZerogodist
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Genetically Modified Food Yes No?

Post by aZerogodist » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:47 am

Never took any interest in this, and missed the Cork Skeptics Talk
Http://corkskeptics.org/2011/02/22/gm-c ... he-castle/
I saw a doc on RT 'Russia Today', (I know RT can be biased), the doc was about GM-foods, they interviewed a French researcher testing the effects on rats of eating GM-foods, which where not positive, as in any scientific evaluation, he wanted to rerun the tests, he was left go and the results blocked from being published.

Basically one scientist? said that the body ie stomach/intestine sees the food as a foreign body and treats it as an infection/non-food.

not knowing much on this, but knowing that evolution of new plants takes some time and the introduction of a new plant into an ego system can have damaging effects, I have to find out more, I can't see the proposed benefits, cows producing breast milk ??

I would have concerns with companies playing with the food chain.
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Yes No?

Post by Dr Raskolnikov » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:02 am

GM foods are one of the tools we're going to have to use if we want to continue to feed the expanding global population while reducing the use of chemical pesticides in the environment.

There is no evidence to demonstrate that the gut can identify genes in food - it's still ATGC, just in a different order.
Science is like a blabbermouth who ruins the movie by telling you how it ends. Well, I say there are some things we don't want to know. Important things. - Ned Flanders
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Yes No?

Post by Ygern » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:36 am

The consensus at the Cork Skeptics talk was that GM is not evil Frankenstein's Monster, but it isn't perfect yet either.
It's complex, but the truth about the anti-GM lobby is that by & large they don't have a clue what they are talking about - obvious from comments like "I don't want genes in my food".

But there are problems with it too: For example they deliberately have to grow crops sterile so that they don't cross-pollinate neighbouring crops, and that means that people using these seeds are dependant on the companies producing the seed for each year's sowing seed.

Eoin Lettice has a great blog here if you want to find out more: http://www.communicatescience.eu/
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
Cork Skeptics
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Yes No?

Post by Dr Raskolnikov » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:40 am

Ygern wrote:The consensus at the Cork Skeptics talk was that GM is not evil Frankenstein's Monster, but it isn't perfect yet either.
It's complex, but the truth about the anti-GM lobby is that by & large they don't have a clue what they are talking about - obvious from comments like "I don't want genes in my food".

But there are problems with it too: For example they deliberately have to grow crops sterile so that they don't cross-pollinate neighbouring crops, and that means that people using these seeds are dependant on the companies producing the seed for each year's sowing seed.

Eoin Lettice has a great blog here if you want to find out more: http://www.communicatescience.eu/
My bold.

I wouldn't consider this a problem with the technology - this is a policy issue.
Science is like a blabbermouth who ruins the movie by telling you how it ends. Well, I say there are some things we don't want to know. Important things. - Ned Flanders
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Yes No?

Post by Ygern » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:37 pm

Dr Raskolnikov wrote:
I wouldn't consider this a problem with the technology - this is a policy issue.
Yes, but you could be wrong all the same.

Of course, this decision is 100% to the GM company's commercial advantage. Nobody misses that point.
This does not however nullify the fact that there is a real science reason too.

The crops don't get grown in a lab, they get grown in fields, same as any other crop. Therefore there is a real chance that there will be cross-pollination of crops in neighbouring areas. This is the exact reason why so-called "organic" crops cannot be sure that they aren't contaminated by herbicides, fertiliser and spores from "non-organic" crops. In short, organic crops have no way of guaranteeing that they are really organic. The fact that many organic growers feign genuine or real ignorance of that point is immaterial. For the most part nobody cares much - it makes little to no difference anyway to the quality of the crop. If anything, contamination improves the crop quality.

In the case of GM foods however, any contamination would lead to law suits, especially as GM foods are restricted if not outright banned in many countries - Ireland included.

Yes, it is also very convenient that this policy also eliminates the chance of any self-sustaining crop-growing that cuts them out of the loop.
It additionally makes for extremely bad PR for them, and increases public distrust & misconceptions. It also means that many commercial crop producers avoid their product.
The reasons for producing sterile crops are not just about maximising profit. Right now GM food is between a rock & a hard place, it would probably not be advisable for them to produce non-sterile crops even if they wanted to.
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Yes No?

Post by Mirthomaniac » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:00 pm

There are numerous arguments against the GM movement/green revolution. Basing this off rudimentary Biology and Geography knowledge, I have some things to say.

Firstly, the people pointing out the potential harm of the GM foods themselves seem to be operating on the premise that unaltered food is all well and good, until we start messing around with genetic engineering techniques. Obviously this isn't true.

Arguments also spring up about the dangers of monoculture, the potential for corporate control (As Ygern pointed out above) and a general loss of biodiversity. However, as Norman Borlaug pointed out, the alternative is the starvation of possibly billions of people. It needs refinement, sure, but unless the world population stabilises, there aren't really any alternatives AFAIK.
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Yes No?

Post by aZerogodist » Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:10 pm

We are suppose to be rational thinkers, just because the green-left movement would oppose GMO, doesn't give an argument to vote the other way. If anything I've heard what GM crops are suppose to do/be (Superfood) but as God I want proof.

Just from Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food
-Crop Yields have not increased
-Intellectual property and cross-pollination can result in farmers being sued for piracy
-Health issues
A 2008 review published by the Royal Society of Medicine noted that GM foods have been eaten by millions of people worldwide for over 15 years, with no reports of ill effects
That's not scientific research, I was sick for eight years with my stomach, no one collected data to see if GM-foods could of been the cause, I did get "I don't know" from my doctor after two years.

The scientific method is you test something a hypothesis and analyse the result, not fitting or ignoring some of the data which can happen especially if those doing the testing has a vested interest, as many Universities are semi-commercial.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%81rp%C3%A1d_Pusztai
In 1998 Pusztai publicly announced that the results of his research showed feeding genetically modified potatoes to rats had negative effects on their stomach lining and immune system. This led to Puztai being suspended and his annual contract was not renewed.
Rather that the premise that GM foods are bad, how about showing they are good.
Is there any data that proves crop yields increase,
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Yes No?

Post by Ygern » Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:43 pm

aZerogodist wrote:We are suppose to be rational thinkers, just because the green-left movement would oppose GMO, doesn't give an argument to vote the other way.
Who said it did? :D
If anything I've heard what GM crops are suppose to do/be (Superfood) but as God I want proof.
Well yes, but the main thrust of the talk (as I said before) was that GM crops are neither the answer to all problems nor the demon that some paint it to be. It provides a possible solution, but not the only one. There are problems, and no-one denies that.
There isn't an easy answer on this one. "It's complicated" is probably the closest you can get to a short answer.

On the other hand while GM crops were banned from being sold for consumption in Ireland, and eco-warriors destroyed every GM crop they discover, evidence was going to be slow to accumulate. Nevertheless, research is being carried out right here: http://www.ucc.ie/en/bees/research/
Rather that the premise that GM foods are bad, how about showing they are good.
Is there any data that proves crop yields increase,
It rather depends on what the crops are engineered to do. "Increase yield" is a bit vague.
Crops are engineered to do other things: increase shelf-life, become distasteful to natural pests, be resistant to fungal infections. There is loads of evidence that these crops succeed in what they were engineered to do. Obviously a potato that does no get blight easily will probably yield a bigger crop than one that is susceptible to it.

In the countries where GM is relatively uncontroversial crops are grown successfully all the time. Please notice, this does not mean that it is trouble-free or regarded as a 100% solution to "all" food problems. It just means that there are successes that ought to be looked at without emotional propaganda attached.

http://www.geneticallymodifiedfoods.co. ... erica.html
http://www.communicatescience.eu/search?q=GM
http://www.icac.org/meetings/plenary/67 ... porkar.pdf
http://www.afaa.com.au/news/news_pdf_04 ... eb2009.pdf
http://www.development.asia/issue01/feature-03.asp
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Yes No?

Post by JamesBurkill » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:01 pm

I find it difficult to stomach arguments for a blanket ban on GM food coming from people who have food in their bellies.

Sorry starving people of the world, no new improved food technology that could result in you being able to feed yourselves and your families, because I, as a middle class no nothing, personally have an ethical problem with scientists "playing god".

It's even worse than the married hetersexual couples who think they can tell gay people why they shouldn't be allowed to get married.
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Yes No?

Post by Mirthomaniac » Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:17 pm

JamesBurkill wrote:I find it difficult to stomach arguments for a blanket ban on GM food coming from people who have food in their bellies.
This.

From Wikipedia, Borlaug's response to critics:
Norman Borlaug wrote:"some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They've never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things".
Even if all the research points to GM being a danger to biodiversity, a potential health hazard and all manner of things, it is feeding people who would otherwise starve.

Famous example: GM rice engineered to produce (IIRC) the precursor to Vitamin A, thereby combatting the problem of blindness in third world countries that have rice as a staple food. It's not always about increasing yield. In fact, the phrase 'increasing yield' has the potential to be misconstrued as simply meaning 'making more money', and everyone loves to hate on corporate gain.
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