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Post Reply Why are people so fearful of GMOs?
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Posted 8/8/15

querkle wrote:

to many science fiction movies anything with the word genetic is viewed as evil because of the christian lobbyist.


I don't think so Tim.



Doesn't look like members of the Christian Lobby to me.

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Posted 8/8/15
Probably because they don't know the science behind it and have a strange fetish for "natural" products. In the US, it seems that a lot of people think that natural is always better and that artificial stuff is bad.
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Posted 8/8/15
Ultimately will be very beneficial, but we have a bit of a history of accepting technological food a bit "too" quickly. Scientists can't even get their story straight about eating eggs after all.

Artificial sweetener supposedly way healthier than sugar, 20 years later causes cancer, may cause diabetes faster than sugar ...

Tobacco has (and probably still is in places) marketed as being healthy for crying out loud. When money is involved, things get weird.

My direct concern is not with the scientific concept, but with the potential for "oopsies." Using a benign virus to enact genetic changes, only to find out that after 5 years the virus mysteriously stops working on corn. Or using needles to inject cloned rna, but turns out that rna was actually stimulated to grow by using toxic chemicals in the lab and those trace elements build up in the resulting food products, etc.

More sunlight will make for better ultimate adoption rates.
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Posted 8/8/15 , edited 8/8/15

marklebid wrote:

Ultimately will be very beneficial, but we have a bit of a history of accepting technological food a bit "too" quickly. Scientists can't even get their story straight about eating eggs after all.

Artificial sweetener supposedly way healthier than sugar, 20 years later causes cancer, may cause diabetes faster than sugar ...

Tobacco has (and probably still is in places) marketed as being healthy for crying out loud. When money is involved, things get weird.

My direct concern is not with the scientific concept, but with the potential for "oopsies." Using a benign virus to enact genetic changes, only to find out that after 5 years the virus mysteriously stops working on corn. Or using needles to inject cloned rna, but turns out that rna was actually stimulated to grow by using toxic chemicals in the lab and those trace elements build up in the resulting food products, etc.

More sunlight will make for better ultimate adoption rates.



Is there an association between artificial sweeteners and cancer?


Questions about artificial sweeteners and cancer arose when early studies showed that cyclamate in combination with saccharin caused bladder cancer in laboratory animals. However, results from subsequent carcinogenicity studies (studies that examine whether a substance can cause cancer) of these sweeteners have not provided clear evidence of an association with cancer in humans. Similarly, studies of other FDA-approved sweeteners have not demonstrated clear evidence of an association with cancer in humans.
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Posted 8/8/15
I was strongly anti OGM until I watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnGiKr90zu8
The guy's YT channel seems pretty neutral and not oriented exclusively against a target or in defence of a particular industry. Seems legit, without irony.

I'm still not 100% in favour of OGM because I hate the idea that they refuse to clearly indicate on the product that it contains OGM, but it made me realize that some of my worries were made of misinformation and misunderstanding.
Still, knowing how Umbrella Corp whoops I mean Monsanto behaves in southern countries... It's only natural to be suspicious of anything they do...
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Posted 8/8/15
honestly a scientific study could go out today showing that GMO's cause cancer and I'd still fuckin eat them.
Posted 8/30/15
Because Genetically modified organism is a really scary name. If they had called it something better like "extra healthy super crops", it would have been more popular.
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Posted 8/30/15 , edited 8/30/15
You shouldn't be afraid of the food. You should be more afraid of the companies that make them. I've seen monsanto's private army and they got some of the best soldiers and equipment money can buy. They're probably better than any army in the world.
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62 / M / Central Florida
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Posted 8/31/15
Ah GMO are every where but they are not, right now in the US basically corn, soybean, cotton, sugar beets and rape (Canola) seed. The trait being used is resistance to glyphosate that seems to get the most attention. The reason farmers like this stuff is it works very well in no-till systems thus reducing energy costs since you plant in last years crop stubble rather than plowing it under. Soy is a case since weed control in soy is a PITA. Rule of thumb is the weed species that have the same need as your crop are the most problematic. So broad leaf weeds are really a problem in soy and since soy tends to be sensitive to herbicides that kill broad leaves. So soy farmers liked the fact that one chemical could give control of both grasses and broad leaf weeds. Also growing Round-up ready corn means you don't have to worry about carry over of herbicides, in other words soy being damaged by the herbicides used on last years corn crop.
Of couse BT crops use the same toxin as is used in organic production. This is fatal to larval stages of insects that ingest it. The toxin is inactivated by acidity but binds to an insect's gut killing it so unless you are taking acid pills for you indigestion you should have no problem.
On the patent issue, i.e. you can't patent life, you would be amazed how much you sign when you buy patented plants. Most of these aren't GMOs . When it comes to plants we are all pirates! After all you can't cut up your i-phone and grow millions of copies. So when I hear somebody was sued by monsanto for growing plants with their patented genes. I tend to be a skeptic that he was an innocent dupe with no idea that the crop was round-up ready. Hint soy is self pollinating so finding 80 or 90 % with the gene means it didn't get there by accident.With DNA tech it is real easy to prove that someone is infringing on your patent even with conventionally bred plants. When you get a patent you have to be willing to sue the pants off pirates and monsanto has the deep pockets to do that.
Of course a friend of mine worked with GMO papaya in Hawaii. The problem there was a virus was wiping out the crop. The virus was vectored by aphids so you might get some control by using insecticides to make a "death valley". The GMO solution was to introduce the DNA for the protein coat of the virus into the plant. The plants cells then read the sequence as an error and turn off the protein sequence so the virus is stopped in its tracks from replicating this makes the plant resistant. GMO papaya produces as much fruit in one month as a non-GMO varitey does in a year. The real ironic thing is since it is resistant to the main problem in cultivation in Hawaii it can be grown with organic methods but since it is GMO it can't be Organic.
I find this somewhat similar to the killer tomatoes scare. Park seed company had a payload of tomato seeds put in orbit. When they were finally brought back to earth they were distributed to school children to compare the growth of seeds that were space to those that were stored on the ground. Since the Challenger disaster meant this was many years later than it would have been there were dire warnings of toxic killer mutant tomatoes that one bite could kill. Of course utter nonsense since if the mutation was possible it is as likely to happen somewhere in the world. How many tomato plants are grown worldwide? If the mutation occurred once in 7 million seeds how often would it appear among the trillions of tomato plants grown yearly world wide? Enough rant for now.
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Posted 8/31/15 , edited 8/31/15
No domesticated food source is unmodified.

The only question is modification technique used.


Eviltwinkee wrote:

You shouldn't be afraid of the food. You should be more afraid of the companies that make them. I've seen monsanto's private army and they got some of the best soldiers and equipment money can buy. They're probably better than any army in the world.

Agreed. Monsanto is a truly frightening corporation.
Posted 8/31/15
attack of the killer tomatoes..is all the reason we need to fear ;o;
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Posted 8/31/15
There is a legitimate reason for being cautious of GMOs from an ecological perspective. Using monocultured GM crops decreases biodiversity and may impact the surrounding biomes in negative ways. Of course, the negative ecological effects of chemical pesticides and fertilizers are a matter of history so are they lesser evils? Can't really say.

Many people also object to the business tactics of the corporations involved (see: Monsanto hate) and for a pretty good reason.

When it comes to being afraid to eat a food because it has been genetically modified ie that "Frankenfood" fear well, that's pretty silly.

It is best to choose organic and buy local if you can afford it/get it but don't be afraid of something just because it contains GMOs.
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Posted 8/31/15

n00bsaib0t wrote:

Enough food can be produced for people using conventional methods (not necessarily organic). The problem is a due to distribution, not production. There's a reason why there's lobbyists and subsidies for corn etc. farmers. Most of the time they don't even turn a profit, but are forced into these contracts and massive debts to keep producing GMO crops. It's all business. That's all it is.


Thats actually not even close to true, GMO crops have generated crops that are resistant to drought, provide higher yields, and are more resistant to disease. These advancements have allowed for land that was thought to be too arid for crops to be used as farmlands. It has also limited the spread limited the crops that are lost to other environmental factors like disease, making it for far more crops to be available for consumption. GMO production has been calculated to have increased yields by 22%. If you were to take 22% of the crops out from any system, there is no way that a redistribution of goods could compensate in the long term. Not to mention the economic implications for the farmers, who would also lose 22% of their net income from GMO crops.

As for the comment about farmers not really making a profit, there was a meta study covering nearly 20 (1995-2014) years looking into socioeconomical effect of GMOs, and found a great number of benefits, specially economical benefits for farmers.. It was a study published on PLOS ONE which is a peer-reviewed journal with a good IF, and was also reviewed and found to be reliable by foodinsight.org which has no ties to any kind of corporation or investment remotely related to GMO producers. Ill link the study and reviews below.

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0111629

http://www.foodinsight.org/blogs/effects-biotechnology-close-look-latest-study

There are many concerns with GMOs and with companies like Monsanto and their business ethics, but whether GMOs are safe for consumption or not is not one of them. Ignoring the fact that i have personally done benchwork research on this matter, due to my career and I value academic integrity above everything else, there isnt a single study published from a RELIABLE peer-reviewed journal that suggests otherwise.

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Posted 8/31/15 , edited 8/31/15
There's so much truth in a lot of what's been said here.

1. Monsanto is not nice at all. They don't seem to have ever learned to play nice with others. They have gone out of their way to sue small farmers out of existence either taking their farms or forcing them to sell at extremely low prices. There are many many stories on this everywhere you look. Monsanto is one of the biggest suppliers of Corn, Wheat and Soy in the US.
2. GMO foods are "engineered" by scientists. You notice I didn't say "grown". With all the drug recalls over the past few years from supposedly "safe" drugs (look up Vioxx for one of the best examples) do you actually want these people in charge of your food supply.
3. Since the debut of GMOs food in the USA has grown more unnatural. It's at the point that diseases and bugs that affect crops are growing immune to the ways we've managed to fight them for years. It's been pointed at as the reason of all the outbreaks (listeria, salmonella, botulism etc) we've been seeing lately. Also the fact that GMOs are heavily used to create food additives that are expanding an items ingredients list from 5 to 20 items long should be a tipoff (there is even GMO wheat starch, Carageenan sourced from corn and seaweed and corn-based dextrose in most chocolate based ice cream).
4. For years it had been said that high fructose corn syrup was safe, nitrates and nitrates are safe and antibiotics and hormones in meat and milk were safe. Now it's been proven otherwise. Many top companies are starting to remove those items from their foods.
5. In Europe studies are done by independent scientists. In the US studies about foods have been done by the very companies involved. Over the past year or two a new head official was put in charge of the food and drug administration. So far it's begun to shape up and take charge of what needs to be done. All the new food labeling laws (for allergens and transparency) are just the beginning it seems. In the past European countries have looked at studies worldwide to determine effects of their target products, in the US it was said that only the US-based studies count. Luckily the new head of the FDA mentioned changing that way of thinking as well.
6. Food allergies and Intolerences have increased drastically since the inception of GMOs and even Monsanto itself has found it to be potentially from their "super grains". A lot of us react to GMO corn and soy but not non-GMO corn or soy. The specific science can be found at the sites below...

http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers/health-risks/articles-about-risks-by-jeffrey-smith/Doctors-Warn-Avoid-Genetically-Modified-Food-May-2009
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/09/14/glyphosate-celiac-disease-connection.aspx
http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2985157/growing_doubts_over_gmo_safety_a_scientists_experience.html
http://portlandtribune.com/sl/268784-139803-gmo-industry-suffers-rare-setbacks-
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