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Dave Martell
08-12-2012, 01:26 AM
So what do you guys think about this?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAP6ZtfP9ZQ&feature=related

James
08-12-2012, 02:29 AM
IFF done correctly (meaning only the target gene+promoter+any regulatory genes are inserted), I don't believe that there is a problem. Genetic engineering is simple in concept, but in practice, it's a PITA. Tons of things can go wrong - wrong DNA sequence isolated and gene inserted, several genes inserted, promoter/regulatory sequences have adverse effects on other genes, yada yada yada.

IMHO, they're fine for the most part. The issue with the crop producing the bacterial toxin was a huge oversight on the part of the company producing the plant and this definitely calls for very strict testing of the foods, which I do think the FDA is doing in the states.

Crothcipt
08-12-2012, 02:34 AM
Um from the same peole that says agent orange was safe for humans. Used to have roundup as biodegradable. Crooks are taking farmers to court for growing their product when seeds blow in. Wod go into moer detail but typing on a phone sux.

eshua
08-12-2012, 03:16 AM
If you get a GMO product that isn't safe for human consumption, you probably have a corrupt or incompetent government agency.

GMO food are tested MUCH more strenuously then non gmo foods. The thing people SHOULD be concerned with is the legality of seed saving, what happens to an environment over many generations, how will it affect change in the insect populations, and these studies take much more money time and legislation --- all of which they deserve.

I spend a lot on money at the farmers market doing restaurant buying, and have 25-30 tomato plants in my garden, and while I see abuse of workers, carcinogenics pesticides, wasteful southwestern irrigation, and under regulation of gmo foods....There is still almost no greater improvement made to modern health and global security than scientifically sophisticated global food production and distribution. Immunization beats it out in my book but not much more. People need to expect more from regulatory agencies instead of demanding the impossible of small local farmers.

I don't normally swing this far in this direction but I just listened to this guy speak lol

http://www.amazon.com/The-Locavores-Dilemma-Praise-000-mile/dp/1586489402

mr drinky
08-12-2012, 06:34 AM
Well, the video is made to scare and to some degree I hope it does scare people into a bit more awareness. I lived in Europe for quite some time before I relocated back to the US and I was bit shocked at how little the term GMO was raised, how few times it popped up in the news, and how little people understood what GMOs were. And though I don't like many of the developments that companies like Monsanto and other chemical companies are doing in this area, there are a lot of other negative consequence that rarely get publicized. The Franken Tomato is headline grabbing, but there are other problems too.

* This isn't just about one farmer choosing to buy Monsanto seeds and pesticide to increase his yields. The GMO crops can migrate to other fields and cross pollination can spread them to other species. So the organic farmer next door is ultimately also at risk -- his crop can be polluted by GMO crops quite easily. And all it takes is a GMO product finding a sexually compatible weed and off it goes. Escaped transgenic plant populations happen, so it is only time before that tomato that withstands the cold passes those traits onto another plant/weed, which then allows that plant to spread to climates where it normally couldn't grow. So a GMO plant/weed hybrid in Kansas may eventually destroy a potato crop in North Dakota because it can now handle the cold.

* The 'benefits' of GMO crops are also very sketchy outside of industrialized row-crop ag countries such as the US and Canada. The 'miracle' corn and plant seeds cost more PLUS they are often linked to that company's pesticides. In developing countries you might buy the seed for better yield BUT you are also stuck buying their expensive pesticides and equipment to apply it. GMO is not a revolution to feed the world.

* Additionally, even though it seems somewhat logical to take a naturally occurring pesticide or bacteria and insert it into a plant's DNA to combine the benefits (people have been hybridizing plants for hundreds of years), a lot of insects are quickly becoming resistant, and the benefits of many naturally occurring pesticides are now being lost to the world. It's not much different than antibiotics becoming less effective in humans from overuse and misuse. The percentage of crops lost every year to insects is actually rising even though the amount of chemicals being used by farmers is much larger. Sure, we may get the benefit for several years of higher crop yields, but eventually we are losing those valuable natural traits that have kept things in balance for so long -- but hey, at least Monsanto got 20 years of good profit from wiping out a bacterial benefit of nature that has been around for millions of years ;)

* And call me crazy, but the idea of Monsanto having patent rights to a food/seed and making farmers obtain a license to work the crop annoys me. And btw, if your neighboring field ever gets infected by spillover GMO seeds, companies such as Monsanto have sued farmers for working their 'food' without license. So they will exercise their patent rights when it suits them, but when their seed breeds with a weed and creates an invasive species causing costly damage, they somehow don't care about their patent claim. It's the American way: privatize profits and socialize risk.

So IMO it is not just about the icky idea of eating a fish tomato, GMOs are supercharging biodiversity changes in ways that can cause other harm too.

k.

mainaman
08-12-2012, 07:35 AM
Well, the video is made to scare and to some degree I hope it does scare people into a bit more awareness. I lived in Europe for quite some time before I relocated back to the US and I was bit shocked at how little the term GMO was raised, how few times it popped up in the news, and how little people understood what GMOs were. And though I don't like many of the developments that companies like Monsanto and other chemical companies are doing in this area, there are a lot of other negative consequence that rarely get publicized. The Franken Tomato is headline grabbing, but there are other problems too.

That is because the GMOs in Europe are very strictly regulated and not many foods are GMO there.

ecchef
08-12-2012, 08:02 AM
GMO...one more step towards corporate world domination.

EdipisReks
08-12-2012, 09:20 PM
GMO is as old as agriculture. any other opinion is, simply, wrong.

EdipisReks
08-12-2012, 09:21 PM
* The 'benefits' of GMO crops are also very sketchy outside of industrialized row-crop ag countries such as the US and Canada. The 'miracle' corn and plant seeds cost more PLUS they are often linked to that company's pesticides. In developing countries you might buy the seed for better yield BUT you are also stuck buying their expensive pesticides and equipment to apply it. GMO is not a revolution to feed the world.

corn, wheat, rye, watermelon, bananas, everything else we grow and eat, are GMO foods. plucking the bad looking plants or using a retro-virus, it's all exactly the same. this county doesn't really like science, is the problem. Europe has crazies they can't shoot. that's their problem.

franzb69
08-12-2012, 10:07 PM
i hate gmo with a passion.

chinacats
08-12-2012, 10:09 PM
I personally hate Monsanto and try my best to eat locally grown heirloom varietals whenever possible. Just like many things, there are risks and benefits. I happen to just like natural foods, grown by traditional agriculture without genetic modification. I also enjoy my meat animals to be grown free range without hormones or antibiotics. The problem is the risks (some known and some unknown) to neighboring farms and people who consume the food.

All this being said, I'm just an old happy hippy, so it works for me:biggrin:

EdipisReks
08-12-2012, 10:48 PM
Monsanto sucks. All agricultural products are the product of genetic modification, whether done by a Mesoprotamian armed with a stick or a biologist armed with retro viruses. There is no such thing as natural agricultural. I'm done with this, as nobody who already has a negative opinion of gmo, due to whatever stupid, probably anti-vax, source they read, will listen.

chinacats
08-12-2012, 10:56 PM
All agricultural products are or have been selectively bred which is different than genetic modification by means of Monsanto and like companies. Traditional (natural) agriculture in my mind is using selective breeding techniques, organic fertilizers and no pesticides. It is more labor intensive, produces great tasting food that cannot be trucked across country and still be 'ripe.' That's all I am trying to say. As to reading, there are many things that you could read that would make you change your mind on either side of this debate. I read quite a bit as well and this is how I formed my opinion.

EdipisReks
08-12-2012, 11:01 PM
All agricultural products are or have been selectively bred which is different than genetic modification by means of Monsanto and like companies. Traditional (natural) agriculture in my mind is using selective breeding techniques, organic fertilizers and no pesticides. It is more labor intensive, produces great tasting food that cannot be trucked across country and still be 'ripe.' That's all I am trying to say. As to reading, there are many things that you could read that would make you change your mind on either side of this debate. I read quite a bit as well and this is how I formed my opinion.

There is no biological difference.

Zwiefel
08-12-2012, 11:05 PM
Monsanto sucks. All agricultural products are the product of genetic modification, whether done by a Mesoprotamian armed with a stick or a biologist armed with retro viruses. There is no such thing as natural agricultural. I'm done with this, as nobody who already has a negative opinion of gmo, due to whatever stupid, probably anti-vax, source they read, will listen.


All agricultural products are or have been selectively bred which is different than genetic modification by means of Monsanto and like companies. Traditional (natural) agriculture in my mind is using selective breeding techniques, organic fertilizers and no pesticides. It is more labor intensive, produces great tasting food that cannot be trucked across country and still be 'ripe.' That's all I am trying to say. As to reading, there are many things that you could read that would make you change your mind on either side of this debate. I read quite a bit as well and this is how I formed my opinion.

The only thing all of my reading on this topic has made me sure of is that both sides have a strong tendency to oversimplify the issues.

Crothcipt
08-12-2012, 11:07 PM
There is no biological difference.
What????
Tell that to the cotton farmers in India.

chinacats
08-12-2012, 11:10 PM
There is no biological difference.

Sure there is...anything that can be grown in Florida and shipped to New England and still be at it's peak (though not very good) is completely different than something I can grow in my yard, pick at the peak of freshness and eat ripe off the vine. The Monsanto lawyers would argue this point all day and it is why they can prove the difference or similarities if it works to their advantage in court. They sell this story all the time, their plants are 'genetically superior' because they have been bred for specific purposes. Not trying to be argumentative, but again this is Monsanto's argument that makes all the patented seeds they produce so valuable--and so supposedly secretive.

If genetically different is not biologically different then we have a discussion that cannot be resolved.

At least we both agree that Monsanto sucks!:)

obtuse
08-12-2012, 11:15 PM
Asking this is almost like asking for a political or religious discussion! I for one am anti GMO. I buy Organic whenever possible, whatever that means.

James
08-12-2012, 11:39 PM
There is no biological difference.

I have to disagree with you there. Yes, selective breeding has occurred throughout the ages and it does favor certain genes and mutations over others, and it eventually creates new species, but it's a more natural process than GMO. With selective breeding, we're dealing with the plant in it's original form and changing it slowly by emphasizing certain attributes. GMO, however, introduces alien genes into the host genome, which leads to the production of alien proteins in the host.

The biological difference between GMO and selectively bred organism is the presence of alien proteins and their effects on the life functions of the host organism.

ThEoRy
08-12-2012, 11:47 PM
So I watched that video and next thing I know I'm watching some Brits jacking off a super bull with a big gulp sippy cup!!!! You have been warned!!

chinacats
08-12-2012, 11:52 PM
One other very important thing to remember is that the great potato famine occurred because the Irish had decided that one type of potato was all they needed to grow. Once something new attacked it, they lost everything, had there been some genetic diversity among the potatoes being grown, there is a convincing argument that the famine never would've happened. Think we only need one super breed of corn, potato, tomato, etc.? This argument is what Monsanto is selling farmers throughout the world.
If Monsanto thinks they can outsmart nature, then they should look into the most recent medical conundrum involving antibiotics and gonorrhea.

Crothcipt
08-12-2012, 11:52 PM
Ah animal husbandry at its best.

EdipisReks
08-13-2012, 10:12 AM
One other very important thing to remember is that the great potato famine occurred because the Irish had decided that one type of potato was all they needed to grow. Once something new attacked it, they lost everything, had there been some genetic diversity among the potatoes being grown, there is a convincing argument that the famine never would've happened. Think we only need one super breed of corn, potato, tomato, etc.? This argument is what Monsanto is selling farmers throughout the world.
If Monsanto thinks they can outsmart nature, then they should look into the most recent medical conundrum involving antibiotics and gonorrhea.

that is a political and business problem, not a science one.

Eamon Burke
08-13-2012, 11:24 AM
The biggest problems with GMO crops is not the crops themselves, but our insane agribusiness and patent laws.

The problem that those causes(Monsanto, Bayer, et al + US Government) that is greater than the GMO problem is the monoculture problem. Most of the issues with GMO crops would be negligible or nullified altogether if it didn't lead to 4,000 unbroken acres of one variety of aggressive corn.

I buy as local as I can, from the people I like the most.

Zwiefel
08-13-2012, 11:42 AM
The biggest problems with GMO crops is not the crops themselves, but our insane agribusiness and patent laws.

The problem that those causes(Monsanto, Bayer, et al + US Government) that is greater than the GMO problem is the monoculture problem. Most of the issues with GMO crops would be negligible or nullified altogether if it didn't lead to 4,000 unbroken acres of one variety of aggressive corn.

I buy as local as I can, from the people I like the most.

+1

As always, the consumer/farmer needs to educate themselves and take well-understood and appropriate risks.

bieniek
08-13-2012, 01:43 PM
corn, wheat, rye, watermelon, bananas, everything else we grow and eat, are GMO foods. Europe has crazies they can't shoot. that's their problem.



Humans does not know anything about genes, DNA is one huge mystery, we even have a problem with naming proteins, yet we push for the hardest tasks without even thinkig of concequences.

So now, can you tell me for sure, 100 % clarity, straight, one word answer, that GMO is safe? And Im not saying about some chinese growing 3 legs or arms, but can you assure me, that i 50 years perpective, were not going to have any additional[read: difficultier] problems with soil, health of people or animals, air, insects and so on.
Im neither like or dislike it, but when I read about Monsanto and such, I know they dont give any shite about worlds hunger. Ony thing they care about is their dollar-hunger, thats about it.

The other problem I see is that we try to make everybody equal.
[while the fellow in netherlands producing fake-lab-meat]
Poors in africa/china/india/wherever have to get their steak like we here do, so we could feel better. For me its not, this is not the way to go.
Lets get back to basics - youre poor, sorry, or youre lucky and you make it and give better chances to your kids or f*ck off and die!
I know it doesnt realy sound politically correct, but hell, if we continue to grow worlds population like we do, and even if monsanto invents corn that is a size of buss, we are not going to make it.

EdipisReks
08-13-2012, 02:06 PM
nothing is 100% safe. many foods that were "traditionally modified" are not safe. oxygen isn't 100% safe. mother's milk isn't 100% safe. nothing is. foods and other products that are modified by humans in labs have to pass stringent safety tests. if you take medications that are prescribed to you by a medical doctor then you are tacitly approving the same regimen required for GMO safety.

Deckhand
08-13-2012, 02:15 PM
This is all Gregor Mendel's fault damn Augustinian friars!

EdipisReks
08-13-2012, 02:16 PM
This is all Gregor Mendel's fault damn Augustinian friars!

yep, him and his stupid pea plants.

Dave Martell
08-13-2012, 03:12 PM
I've been enjoying this discussion except for the personal insults, etc. Please keep the talk civil, we don't all have to agree and we're all entitled to our opinions.

I'm off to remove some of the inappropriate comments/posts.

Deckhand
08-13-2012, 03:22 PM
Back on topic:
Monsanto made agent orange, poisoned Hawaii,buried a fox news story, and has a vice president that works at the FDA now.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/monsanto-petition-tells-obama-cease-fda-ties-to-monsanto/2012/01/30/gIQAA9dZcQ_blog.html
I trust them.:D

Dave Martell
08-13-2012, 03:22 PM
My opinion on this is one of sadness. I'm saddened by the human need to improve things that may not need improving. Why do we constantly mess with things to the point of destruction? We improve many things that give us short term benefits while paying deeply with long term consequences.

My belief is that this is all about $$$$$$$ and not at all about solving hunger problems.

On a side note, I live on the edge of corn country - it's everywhere here - and all I see are placards for modified corn crops everywhere as I drive around. We are literally living in the middle of a genetic experiment which at one time was simply a farming community.

I shop at local farms and the farmer's market but now I feel that I need to start questioning them about GMO and their use of this stuff. Isn't it sad that I can't trust that the Amish don't use this stuff? :(

maxim
08-13-2012, 03:24 PM
:plus1:

As i live in DK i dont have to think about GMO to much. I always try to buy thinks local and organic if i have a chance.
But my opinion of GMO will be, if it can help pur population then why not :)

But as i see it now, it been mostly used to make bigger profit and modifying things in to easier use. But it is not only GMO it is all food in General.
We see it more an more, and unfortunately it will probably be the future of our food.

haha wile i read my last line i sound like an old man :clown:

bikehunter
08-13-2012, 03:27 PM
Back on topic:
Monsanto made agent orange, poisoned Hawaii,buried a fox news story, and has a vice president that works at the FDA now.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/monsanto-petition-tells-obama-cease-fda-ties-to-monsanto/2012/01/30/gIQAA9dZcQ_blog.html
I trust them.:D

Hey. If you can't trust Monsanto, the FDA and The Dept. of Agriculture....who CAN you trust. LOL

EdipisReks
08-13-2012, 03:44 PM
My opinion on this is one of sadness. I'm saddened by the human need to improve things that may not need improving. Why do we constantly mess with things to the point of destruction? We improve many things that give us short term benefits while paying deeply with long term consequences.

My belief is that this is all about $$$$$$$ and not at all about solving hunger problems.

On a side note, I live on the edge of corn country - it's everywhere here - and all I see are placards for modified corn crops everywhere as I drive around. We are literally living in the middle of a genetic experiment which at one time was simply a farming community.

I shop at local farms and the farmer's market but now I feel that I need to start questioning them about GMO and their use of this stuff. Isn't it sad that I can't trust that the Amish don't use this stuff? :(

Dave, there is no difference between a gene being inserted by a scientist using a retro-virus and a novel gene emerging randomly and then being incorporated into a plant or animal through cross-breeding. hell, many genes in both our genome and in the genome of the things we eat were naturally inserted by retro-viruses in nature. almost nothing we eat is "natural," as anything grown by man has been modified. bananas didn't start out as seedless easy-to-peel marvels. they were made into that by cross-breeding lines that had different random mutations. the end result of that is no different than finding the gene you want and inserting it directly. all agriculture is a genetics experiment. all agriculture consists of GMO, because whenever you choose to allow one seed to be planted over a different seed, you are genetically modifying your crop. the politics and the science are completely separate.

and of course it's about money. almost everything is.

Zwiefel
08-13-2012, 04:35 PM
I think this is a case of "in theory there is no difference in theory and practice, but in practice there is."

I don't think that the gene insertion techniques used in labs make anything new possible. they do have a huge effect on the LIKELIHOOD of certain events though. e.g., it's possible that virus could migrate a gene from a fish to corn...but it's incredibly unlikely. Does that mean it's bad? as always: it depends.

In terms of the role of GM in food production. If we switched all agricultural activity to organic techniques, the food yield across the planet would decrease so much that the number of starvations would increase dramatically. The usual metric for this is: 1,000,000,000 people. one billion. So, for the foreseeable future, organic crops will remain a choice for relatively wealthy people, and super poor people (who don't have the capital for modern agri techniques)....the extreme ends of the spectrum.

EdipisReks
08-13-2012, 04:58 PM
e.g., it's possible that virus could migrate a gene from a fish to corn...but it's incredibly unlikely. Does that mean it's bad? as always: it depends.

that's not how it works. a retro-virus is used to deliver a genetic payload into a germ cell, and the payload is tailored to be inserted into a specific place on a specific chromosome of a specific specie's cell nucleus. it's not present in the final product, and even if it was, the virus no longer has a payload to deliver, and even if it did, there almost certainly wouldn't be a place for the payload to be delivered . there is a possibility of whatever you plant that is GMO being cross-bred with something else, but the possibility of harm isn't any different from anything else. the only real possibility of harm in that scenario is to whatever company is trying to sell the characteristic in question. there is an awful lot of fear with an awful little amount of basis. i blame high schools for it.

Zwiefel
08-13-2012, 05:04 PM
that's not how it works. a retro-virus is used to deliver a genetic payload into a germ cell, and the payload is tailored to be inserted into a specific place on a specific chromosome of a specific specie's cell nucleus. it's not present in the final product, and even if it was, the virus no longer has a payload to deliver, and even if it did, there almost certainly wouldn't be a place for the payload to be delivered . there is a possibility of whatever you plant that is GMO being cross-bred with something else, but the possibility of harm isn't any different from anything else. the only real possibility of harm in that scenario is to whatever company is trying to sell the characteristic in question. there is an awful lot of fear with an awful little amount of basis. i blame high schools for it.

Certainly I'm not a geneticist...but we do have a LOT of cruft in our DNA from these kinds of processes--virii depositing DNA segments into our DNA...obviously this is only inherited if it occurs in a sperm/ovum that is then part of conception. Clearly, this is not where MOST of our genetic code comes from though, so yes, point taken. Was just drawing the closest analogy my education offers.

EdipisReks
08-13-2012, 05:14 PM
a pretty big part of our "active" genome is derived from virus transcription, actually. you can likely think a virus for the fact that starches turn sweet in saliva, as a gene responsible for amlyase production was transcribed from digestive tract code. i'm not a geneticist either, but i worked with them for years, in a technical capacity (i kept their experiments running), and it's a strong interest of mine.

jaybett
08-13-2012, 06:10 PM
Norman Borlaug and the Green Revolution was one of the big success stories of the late twentieth century. Paul Ehrlich had written "The Population Bomb" in 1968, that millions of people would die in the 1970's and 1980's, because of lack of food. Borlaug cultivated a high yield wheat, that dramatically increased the production of farm lands. Mexico went from importing wheat to exporting it. Bourlaug went to Pakistan amidst a war, and planted his wheat with artillery shells going off in the distance. With in a decade Pakistan and India were growing enough wheat to feed their populations. Millions of people didn't die, because of the Green Revolution.

Now we got people wringing their hands over genetic modified food? Please, all vegetables as we know them are genetically modified. We used to say cultivated or breed. Genetic seems to conjure up images of scientists working in labs, injecting vegetables with unknown substances. The so called modification is that a particular trait is desirable, like carrots being orange. I don't know why that trait is desirable, but apparently the Dutch liked it.

Jay

maxim
08-13-2012, 06:49 PM
9109

Yeah something to think about. Another thing is that in DK we have very large pig farming and all the fertilize for vegetables and corn come from pigs. Because of that we have large pollution in our sea and rivers. So if they made corn and vegetables that did not had to be fertilized we can safe a lot of fish and pollution in the waters and soil.
So it is 2 sides of the story

bikehunter
08-13-2012, 06:57 PM
When your free range are mammoths, and you must kill them with spears... Plus, the occasional plant turns out to be deadly poison... tends to shorten life span. ;-)

dragonlord
08-20-2012, 02:00 AM
I think that the problem with conflating gm with selective breeding is the scope of change. One of which is that a lot of the gm crops are sold sterile (ostensibly to comply with various laws). Another is that in selective breeding, the results come in gradual, easily testable results that over time will get to where we want without introducing unknown unknown side effects (e.g. Could bees be allergic to this strain due to the inserted pesticide).

The last point is that the grains that aren't sold sterile can cross contaminate for miles around, so even if you wanted do a controlled test and you found that there was a problem, there's no way you could guarantee that you had destroyed all of that strain. (and they need to have some non sterile crops to get the seeds that are subsequently sterilised). It also means that if the company ever goes bust, every farmer that they supply won't be able to grow grain again.