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  #1    
Old April 4th, 2013, 07:40 PM
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Thought it relevant given the recent passage of the Mosanto Act.

Is/are genetically modified organisms safe for human use & consumption? What kind of regulations do you think appropriate, and what role should governments take in enforcing (Or not enforcing) those rules and regulations?

Discuss!
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  #2    
Old April 4th, 2013, 08:05 PM
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I think they're safe, I'm just kinda creeped out by the idea. XD

I think they should be allowed, but that the products be appropriately labelled
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  #3    
Old April 4th, 2013, 09:13 PM
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I still need to do some more reasearch into this, but Penn and Teller pretty much hit the nail on the head on what I have to say on GMO's for now.

NOTE: You'll have to skip the first half of the episode, because the first half is about stupid diets that don't work...although that's worth paying attention to as well.



For my official message to anti-GMO people, skip to 24:30. Be warned, it's a harsh one.

They are also completely right about Norman Borlaug. That man was a saint, saved thousands or maybe hundreds of thousands more lives than you ever will in your lifetime, and people are complaining about GMO's and other forms of biotechnology? God.
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  #4    
Old April 4th, 2013, 09:34 PM
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GMO's are like selective breeding on steroids to the point that you can select the individual genes that you want in your product. The precision is more like a scalpel vs. the baseball bat of crossing two species, hoping for the best and selecting a few specimens out of its many offspring, some of which do not have the characteristics you intended. They suck because biotech companies would probably IP and patent that, and would not make more people better off, but put thousands of farmers out of business. I think that's one of the reason third world countries are cautious about adopting GMO's, because nobody's doing anything for free. You can fix malnutrition at the cost of putting your farmers out of business.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 12:06 AM
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I think they're relatively safe what with the massive trials and testing they undergo before approval. I do think that we and the developers of the product do need to be very wary of side effects though. I mean known materials used in current products have been tested and used so much that we can fairly anticipate their effect on the human body.

GMOs however, without properly testing them on every possible type of consumer, might be potentially dangerous and could cause harmful side-effects. It's a bit of a long-shot, but it should still be considered imo.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 12:45 AM
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I think that with relevant and reasonable amounts of testing underway, that GMOs in our food sources should be deemed safe.

But as with anything of this nature, I also believe that it's the consumer's duty to moderate intake of GMOs so that they are less likely to incur long term risks. It's kind of unreasonable to require them to undergo 10 or 20 years of testing before they see a shelf, even 5 years is a little steep. However those selling something like this should be naturally be prepared to quickly pull them off the shelves and recall them immediately if something dangerous is found about them.

With common sense and moderation I don't think the risks are a problem. I don't believe food GMOs are capable of being dangerous in the short or long term, as some vocal minorities seem to think.
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  #7    
Old April 5th, 2013, 08:39 AM
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I think they are fine, but they ought to be clearly labeled as being GMO's so people can make their choice correctly. I generally think people should know what they're purchasing.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 10:04 AM
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The thing I don't like about GMOs the most is that some of the people making them (Monsanto being the first name that comes to mind) create their plants so that they produce sterlie seeds. You have to keep buying the seeds from them. You can't just replant like normal. And since there's all kinds of cross-pollination and contamination with crops you, a farmer in Somewhereville, USA, might suddenly find that your crops are contaminated with Monsanto GMOs. This is all so that Monsanto-like groups can make more money even though it's a stupid, stupid thing to do to plants that we use for food. Plus, since the big agribusinesses typically push out all the competition a farmer may not have a choice but to buy from and become dependent on them and their variety of crops.

As for GMOs being safe to eat or not, well, I dunno. I'd rather have some long-term studies done, but they're in so much food now it's kind of a moot point.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Scarf
This is all so that Monsanto-like groups can make more money even though it's a stupid, stupid thing to do to plants that we use for food.
This is why I can't wait to start working for biotech! Muhahahahahaha! On the subject of GMOs, some of the modifications are actually quite simple and elegant. Only two enzymes were added to golden rice for higher vitamin A yields. You take an enzyme from its leaf and allow it to be expressed in the rice. It's not that complicated.




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  #10    
Old April 5th, 2013, 03:19 PM
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let's see.

Okay, I don't care that if you think GMOs are unsafe, just look at this rationally.

You think GMOs can cause disease? Clinical trials. Yum.

You think GMOs can damage unmodified crops? Cross-breed until a harmful mutation arises. If no significant genetic diseases are seen in the hybrid crops, then it's safe.

You think GMOs are called "Frankenfoods"? …I…I can't live with you around. I'm sorry, but we're going to have to put you down.
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Old April 5th, 2013, 05:46 PM
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GMOs are fine. The only real major problem is Monsanto, which is positioning itself as a monopoly by selling their modified-to-be-sterile crops at or close to a loss, which forces farmers to use their crops or fail to be competitive. Using sterile crops means you're forced to buy Monsanto every season. This is unethical.
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Old April 20th, 2013, 07:16 AM
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People need to realize that we've been genetically selecting/manipulating our foodstuffs for a long time now. The modern world could not have been conceived or maintained without corn. (And other Colombian exchange foods) This is what corn used to look like.

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Old April 20th, 2013, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Livewire View Post
People need to realize that we've been genetically selecting/manipulating our foodstuffs for a long time now. The modern world could not have been conceived or maintained without corn. (And other Colombian exchange foods) This is what corn used to look like.
But then selective breeding isn't the same as making genetic changes in a lab. And the people making the changes could have different goals. If you were an old farmer from way back in time you bred the crops that seemed to give the biggest yields and over time that's the kind of change you created: bigger yields. If you're a lab tech today you're probably working for some byzantine company whose goals could be something other than making food more abundant.
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Old April 20th, 2013, 04:06 PM
Kanzler
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Genetic modification is just super-selective-selective breeding. You actually have more control over your end product because you know which genes are going to be where, but when you're just breeding you don't know that and have to observe it empirically and decide which specimens are the best out of your batch - since you can't guarantee all your fave traits are going to be in a specific offspring due to Mendellian genetics.

Quote:
If you're a lab tech today you're probably working for some byzantine company whose goals could be something other than making food more abundant.
I guess that's why testing is important because companies probably aren't going to reveal which genes they added where. But it should be better than antibiotics and all the other additives they put into our foods - if you could find natural replacements - for example finding a way to beef up an animal's production of their growth hormone versus supplementing artificial look-a-likes in their feed. I don't think increasing growth hormone expression naturally is a bad thing - just take the example of a man who works out and a woman who doesn't - there's already a genetic difference in HGH production that is magnified by their difference in activity levels.
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Old April 21st, 2013, 02:59 AM
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To the issue of sterility, they mainly make their plants grow sterile to avoid the uproar of 'contaminated' pollen being released in to the world.

Although some genes could potentially be passed on, it's still an unlikely (and possibly not a bad) thing to happen. It really is just to stop anti-GMO groups shutting down all progress and operations.

GMO is the way forward, golden rice being a prime example.
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  #16    
Old April 21st, 2013, 06:01 AM
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The only problem I have is if they get out of control.

Case being this: Let's say we have corn, and the corn is genetically modified to break down a certain protein in a herbicide that kills weeds in the fields. Now, just imagine there is a weed in the field that is a bit related to corn. Plants can reproduce amongst each other easily in some cases, so a genetically modified corn crossed with a weed could result in a weed that cannot be killed by herbicides, thus ruining the whole point of the mutation to begin with.

They just need to watch what they make, and where it can travel.
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