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Science Forum

  1. 27 May '13 13:19
    I believe the dangers posed by genetically modified food products is our greatest current risk. Please go to www.responsibletechnology.org. On the menu hit GMO Education, Fraud or Autism for more information. I urge you all to take a look especially if you or a loved one is interested in starting a family or if you have children. 50 countries, including France, Germany and Italy have banned or estricted GMO's, while the U.S. doesn't even require labeling.
  2. 27 May '13 13:20
    What are the dangers specifically?
  3. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    16 Jun '13 16:23
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    What are the dangers specifically?
    One big danger is the problem that genetically modified plants are essentially clones and thus share a common gene pool, and each new generation will have essentially the same gene pool as opposed to plants reproducing in the wild where each new generation has a slightly different gene mix.

    The problem with that is if a virus or other kind of blight hits those GM plants, the entire crop will be killed and people could starve not having enough foodstuffs.
  4. 16 Jun '13 16:37
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    One big danger is the problem that genetically modified plants are essentially clones and thus share a common gene pool, and each new generation will have essentially the same gene pool as opposed to plants reproducing in the wild where each new generation has a slightly different gene mix.

    The problem with that is if a virus or other kind of blight hit ...[text shortened]... GM plants, the entire crop will be killed and people could starve not having enough foodstuffs.
    But then they can just switch to a different crop, no?
  5. 16 Jun '13 17:28 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    One big danger is the problem that genetically modified plants are essentially clones and thus share a common gene pool, and each new generation will have essentially the same gene pool as opposed to plants reproducing in the wild where each new generation has a slightly different gene mix.

    The problem with that is if a virus or other kind of blight hit ...[text shortened]... GM plants, the entire crop will be killed and people could starve not having enough foodstuffs.
    why would a GM crop necessarily be all clones? most are not. But even for the few that are, with all else being equal, the probability of a disease wiping out a whole crop that consists of all clones should not be much higher than one that does not consisting of clones. A huge amount of emphasis is usually placed on the importance of genetic variability in crops in preventing them being wiped out by disease which is not backed up by the evidence. I am an experienced farmer and farm laborer and have a C&G qualification in the science of it and I have seen whole tomato crops wiped out by blight which were not all cones thus them having genetic variability didn't help much there! And I have seen numerous examples of the same thing occurring to other crops. Even if there is the odd tomato plant that was resistant to the blight, if 99.99% of the crop is wiped out for not having resistance then it doesn't make much difference.
    Typically with a given variety of crop, I observe either the whole crop is resistant to the disease or none of it and I have yet to observe any significant variability to disease in any given crop of any given variety. In all the decades I have worked on farms, without a single exception, I have only ever observed very slight differences in disease resistance of any particular disease between any given two adjacent crop plants of the same variety on the same crop area. So I know for a fact that such genetic variability doesn't help much!
  6. 16 Jun '13 17:35 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Phranny
    I believe the dangers posed by genetically modified food products is our greatest current risk.
    First of all there are many many GMOs out there, are they all risky, or just some?

    50 countries, including France, Germany and Italy have banned or estricted GMO's, while the U.S. doesn't even require labeling.
    Can you give the reasons why they were banned, and any specifics about these bans?
    I know that Zambia banned them for a while partly for political reasons. It wouldn't surprise me if the Europe banned them for purely political reasons too. Protectionism amongst farmers is standard practice throughout the world.

    And lastly, if the risks are so great, can you point to any statistics showing significant ill health in the countries where they are common place as opposed to countries where they are banned. If for example you say they cause Autism, show us some Autism stats.
  7. 16 Jun '13 17:38 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by Phranny
    I believe the dangers posed by genetically modified food products is our greatest current risk. Please go to www.responsibletechnology.org. On the menu hit GMO Education, Fraud or Autism for more information. I urge you all to take a look especially if you or a loved one is interested in starting a family or if you have children. 50 countries, including Fran ...[text shortened]... ermany and Italy have banned or estricted GMO's, while the U.S. doesn't even require labeling.
    the link does not show what the scientific evidence is of this claim of toxic effects. I have tried googling it but found no references to this evidence which makes me wonder if it really exists or is this just the usual crazed vindictive environmentalist propaganda against the chemical industry and GM we get from time to time?
    Can you give a direct link to the ACTUAL evidence or research that shows this rather than just the hearsay from a journal?

    in addition, I should be ALL things are genetically engineered! By evolution! And selective breeding is also genetic engineering. So ALL food has been always genetically engineered whether by nature or by man. So that begs the question on what rational premise you would believe that genetic engineering is dangerous? Even if that herbicide is irrefutably proven to be extremely bad for health, that would mean it is only the herbicide that is dangerous and not genetic engineering. Most genetic engineering does not involve making a crop resistant to that herbicide but, much more commonly and typically, is about making a crop resistant to a decease. For example, some genes in wild potatoes for blight resistance have been artificially been transferred to a modern potato crop variety. So why would that crop potato varieties now be dangerous to health as a result of being GM in that way? Please explain.
  8. 16 Jun '13 17:42
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    One big danger is the problem that genetically modified plants are essentially clones and thus share a common gene pool, and each new generation will have essentially the same gene pool as opposed to plants reproducing in the wild where each new generation has a slightly different gene mix.
    This applies to all crops, to the extent that it is true ie GMO plants are not clones, they are not produced vegetatively, and no large scale food crops "reproduce in the wild".
    If anything, adding GMO crops to the mix has introduced new genetic diversity not less. Of course if the whole world foolishly buys one strain of wheat from Monsanto, then there will be trouble ahead, but different climatic conditions around the world would suggest that farmers would not do so. Monsanto and other GMO producers would need to create varieties for different climates.
  9. 16 Jun '13 20:31 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by humy
    the link does not show what the scientific evidence is of this claim of toxic effects. I have tried googling it but found no references to this evidence which makes me wonder if it really exists or is this just the usual crazed vindictive environmentalist propaganda against the chemical industry and GM we get from time to time?
    Can you give a direct link to th ...[text shortened]... potato varieties now be dangerous to health as a result of being GM in that way? Please explain.
    sorry, misprint: No idea how my edit went so idiotically totally wrong there but the start of the second paragraph should have been:

    "in addition, I should point out that ALL living things are genetically engineered! By evolution! ....."

    there, that makes sense now
  10. Standard member RJHinds
    The Near Genius
    17 Jun '13 07:18
    Originally posted by humy
    sorry, misprint: No idea how my edit went so idiotically totally wrong there but the start of the second paragraph should have been:

    "in addition, I should point out that ALL living things are genetically engineered! By evolution! ....."

    there, that makes sense now
    No it doesn't, because evolution does not have a mind and can not engineer anything.

    The Instructor
  11. 17 Jun '13 07:39
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    No it doesn't, because evolution does not have a mind and can not engineer anything.

    The Instructor
    same old straw man. Yes we KNOW evolution does not have a mind nor intelligence, but it functions just fine without it, just like you do.
  12. 17 Jun '13 07:51 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Phranny
    I believe the dangers posed by genetically modified food products is our greatest current risk. Please go to www.responsibletechnology.org. On the menu hit GMO Education, Fraud or Autism for more information. I urge you all to take a look especially if you or a loved one is interested in starting a family or if you have children. 50 countries, including Fran ...[text shortened]... ermany and Italy have banned or estricted GMO's, while the U.S. doesn't even require labeling.
    I think if you like chocolate bars / processed food in packets there is room for GM ... the box is very processed so why not the plants -

    I don't see them being a risk to health at all. The only risk is having nothing but GM but that won't happen in the UK and would be almost impossible in france where they are even more pikey..

    I think it should require labelling though - not doing so is going down a bad road where companies will use anything in food...
  13. 17 Jun '13 08:39
    Originally posted by e4chris
    I think if you like chocolate bars / processed food in packets there is room for GM ... the box is very processed so why not the plants -

    I don't see them being a risk to health at all. The only risk is having nothing but GM but that won't happen in the UK and would be almost impossible in france where they are even more pikey..

    I think it should requi ...[text shortened]... ng though - not doing so is going down a bad road where companies will use anything in food...
    I don't see much point in labeling food as GM because that would mean labeling ALL foods as GM because ALL food is GM because what GM was not done by man was done by evolution! And what about GM by selective breading? should foods that have been selectively bread all be labelled as GM because of this? I don't see any reason why we should totally arbitrary distinguish between a gene that was put there by man and a gene that was put there by evolution. Is the hand of man so cursed that a magical force makes any gene we either make or transfer to something more dangerous in some way than genes made by nature? if so, I like to know how so.
  14. 17 Jun '13 10:18
    Originally posted by e4chris
    I think if you like chocolate bars / processed food in packets there is room for GM ... the box is very processed so why not the plants -

    I don't see them being a risk to health at all. The only risk is having nothing but GM but that won't happen in the UK and would be almost impossible in france where they are even more pikey..

    I think it should requi ...[text shortened]... ng though - not doing so is going down a bad road where companies will use anything in food...
    I would be against labeling food if it contains GM products, because it is misleading for the consumer, since it would suggest GM products pose a health hazard, and in general they do not.

    I do favour labeling for things that do pose significant health risks, like high sugar or salt content, or things that some people are allergic to, like gluten or lactose.
  15. 20 Jun '13 01:02 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I would be against labeling food if it contains GM products, because it is misleading for the consumer, since it would suggest GM products pose a health hazard, and in general they do not.

    I do favour labeling for things that do pose significant health risks, like high sugar or salt content, or things that some people are allergic to, like gluten or lactose.
    No no, you must label it, people have the right to pick what they eat, Some people don't want additives , GM , gluten even they need that right, when you have x million folks some will have serious allergies to things or simply not want them.

    I'm picky about additives - eg sodium benzoate. But If I like a drink with it in I'll buy it, but I won't make it a staple product for me, its wise to give people that choice, I wouldn't go to a supermarket that didn't label its food, but that won't happen in the UK