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The Great GMO Discussion  RSS feed

 
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GMOs have been highly debated and I know many of you have very strong opinions on the subject. Currently I am on the fence and I just wanted to state why and maybe start some friendly conversation about it.

The bad:
Large corporations doing unethical things and methodically snuffing out the little guy.
GMO crops being heavily sprayed with chemicals.
Messing with millions of years of evolution. Impossible to know the outcome.

The eh:
GMOs themselves aren't necessarily bad. Just because the DNA is changed, doesn't mean it's automatically poisonous.
DNA is altered unintentionally all the time. That's how we evolved. I don't believe GMOs with turn us into lizard creatures.
Many of the genes introduced into GMOs cause them to produce or be resistant to things that don't affect us (Bt for example).

The good:
Allows food producers to make enough food (even if it's low quality) to bring the cost of food down and feed more people.


Basically my stance on GMOs right now is that I would avoid commercially produced GMO products due to the amount of chemicals they contain. I also don't want to support the large corporations because of their unethical practices.  
I wouldn't be concerned if I somehow obtained GMO seeds. The way I see it, if I plant them, along with non-GMO seeds, the best traits will eventually survive and any poor traits will eventually disappear (creating landrace).  Genetic diversity is genetic diversity and survival of the fittest still applies regardless if the genes were created in a lab.
And I'm not running a commercial operation so I'm not worried that they will come try to shut me down because I'm violating their patents.

I know I didn't source any scientific articles here (I planned on it but I can't access them where I'm at) but I just want to throw in for credibility purposes that I do have a degree in Biology and have a good understanding of how genetics work so I'm not entirely speaking out of my rear. I will try to provide sources when I get the time...

So what is your stance and why? Remember, be nice

 
Mother Tree
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I've moved this thread to the 'toxic gick' area of the cider press, where it belongs.
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pollinator
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For me, GMO belong in a lab, possibly strictly for medical purposes.  They don't belong in our food supply or out in the landscape.  I don't need to support this position with "reasons" this is an esthetic position.  I think GMO in food and the landscape are icky, wrong, and bad.

Also some of the stuff in this article:  https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/ad0e3a20-1983-3ce2-aea1-67408584fe51/ss_are-you-anti-science-if-you.html?nhp=1

 
Tyler Ludens
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Miranda Converse wrote:
The good:
Allows food producers to make enough food (even if it's low quality) to bring the cost of food down and feed more people.



Or not:  

http://www.ewg.org/agmag/2015/03/claims-gmo-yield-increases-don-t-hold

http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/our-failing-food-system/genetic-engineering/failure-to-yield.html#.V5t50iMrJZg

 
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Almost all insulin is made from GMOs, which is nice to have around if you don't like type 1 diabetic kids dying.  

Some of the older GMO products have been in use for over two decades now, so the "not enough testing" argument against these products is starting to lose some credibility in my opinion. I'm still rather skeptical about the new GMO products.
 
pollinator
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Firstly I could think of a couple of good uses of this technique - Dates and bananas need help , rice that grows in brackish water would be useful . but it's not going to happen
Secondly it has so far been used mainly  to make profits for Monsanto et al
And because of the second reason any debate will become polluted by trolls thus causing the whole technique to be rejected by many peope who can spot what's going on and have rightfully lost trust .

David
 
Tyler Ludens
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David Livingston wrote:Firstly I could think of a couple of good uses of this technique - Dates and bananas need help , rice that grows in brackish water would be useful . but it's not going to happen



Looks like it might be happening with conventional plant breeding:

http://blogs.wsj.com/indonesiarealtime/2013/04/16/baby-rice-plant-may-be-breakthrough-in-salty-farming/
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Worlds-most-salt-resistant-rice-discovered/articleshow/19596574.cms

Most significant breakthroughs in plant genetics may come through conventional plant breeding techniques and not GM.  For one thing GM is an expensive technology compared to conventional methods.  A lot of people here on permies are working on breeding plants with conventional methods.  I submit that next to none are using GM technology.

http://civileats.com/2014/10/10/plant-breeding-vs-gmos-conventional-methods-lead-the-way-in-responding-to-climate-change/


Cost of developing one new GMO:  $136 million

https://gmoanswers.com/ask/how-much-time-does-it-take-and-how-much-does-it-cost-successfully-develop-hybrid-one-or-more
 
David Livingston
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I have seen these stories about salt tolerant rice for many years it's a bit like the nuclear fusion of plant breeding , it's always a generation away .
I accept what you say i feel it's the potential for the good of mankind wasted of the alter of coporate greed that upsets me .
Who the f@@@ needs transgenic salmon grown in the dersert for instance!

David
 
Tyler Ludens
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David Livingston wrote: it's the potential for the good of mankind wasted of the alter of coporate greed that upsets me .  



Yes, it seems any potential good of this technology is lost because the purpose is not to produce more food, or more adaptable plants, but to sell chemicals and patented seeds.

http://www.gmwatch.org/articles/non-gm-successes
 
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