# The Future of GM Technology...

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by ULTRA, Mar 10, 2011.

1. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

Messages:
7,829
SOURCE PLEASE for these assertions?

Nope, that was the reaction of the scientist that they asked to test for allergic reactions.

Arthur

to hide all adverts.
3. ### SkepticalRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,449
Ultra
Please be specific. What minority claim?

to hide all adverts.
5. ### ULTRARealistically SurrealRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,555
Sceptic. You claimed that GM foods were 100% safe, fact. Unsupported by any scientific evidence whatever, fact. Your claim therefore is crap, fact.

I wonder if GM products confer "Information Blindness" as exhibited so often here in this thread. It also seems to confer a peculiar comic belief in the myth of safety, much akin to the reasons theists believe in God, with the same non-existent level of proof required. As with any other cult, delusons take the place of facts.
But, as willing guinea-pigs they may yet provide some useful purpose. Maybe they should be encouraged..
Perhaps it is merely more trolling. Perhaps the mods should force Sceptic et al to prove their claims.

to hide all adverts.
7. ### iceauraValued Senior Member

Messages:
30,994
Your links will do - the time frame of the whole thing is laid out adequately in them.

Or Wiki.

You mean "yep". Trusted scientific consultants from allied research programs are "them".

8. ### SkepticalRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,449
Ultra

What I said was that GM foods had a 100% safe history. Actually, I may not have said that initially, but I corrected the statement to mean history. I do not claim to be a prophet, and I will not make claims about what may happen in the future.

What I claim means that no human has suffered any harm because the food he/she ate was GM . That is correct.

And of course I cannot supply a reference to 'prove' that. As I said before, that would be proving a negative, and it is widely known that this is an impossibility. I can no more 'prove' that GM foods are all lacking harm than I can 'prove' there is no God.

However, as I pointed out, it is really, really easy to prove a positive. To prove there is a God, all that is needed is for said deity to come calling and perform a few miracles in front of me. For you to prove that GM foods are harmful - a positive - all you need to do is cite cases where people have been harmed because the food they ate is GM.

Because you cannot do what is easy (it is easy only if you are right) and prove a positive statement, you demand I do the impossible and prove a negative statement. Sorry, Ultra, but you are being unreasonable.

However, in the absense of being able to 'prove' a negative, I can still say, that in 12 years of following GM arguments, I have never seen a claim of harm to a human, because the food he or she ate was GM, that stood up to scientific scrutiny. If you have seen one, post it.

9. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

Messages:
7,829
Bull

You said:
And

Not one shred of evidence to support ANY of those assertions has been presented.

What we do know is the company paid an independent University for the specific tests on humans to see if they had an allergic reaction and when the results said they did, they did not proceed to market with the product.

So it was not caught by accident.
No outsider or whistleblower has been identified in any reference as to why they did the testing nor any indication that anyone forced Pioneer to do the testing.
No evidence that any soy escaped auditing and control or showed up someplace where it was not legal has been presented.

Nor does Wiki say nothing to back up your assertions either.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food

You made very specific claims and now when asked to back them up you say GO FIND THEM

What kind of BS response is that?

Arthur

10. ### chimpkinC'mon, get happy!Registered Senior Member

Messages:
4,416
Here's a study I linked back on page 9 of this debate:

http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm

It's a 90 day rat feeding study. It seems to show organ abnormalities of significant proportions.

Adoucette dismissed this as preliminary...I agree it is preliminary...in order to really study a product, I believe it should be fed in part to the rats, along with an otherwise balanced diet, for their lifespan-including reproduction, and the animals carefully monitored, then autopsied carefully at death...and of course using double-blind methods, a control population, and large enough numbers to eliminate natural variation in organ size/function as a cause.

The thing is...90 day rat feeding studies seem to be exactly what Monsanto does to check the safety of their products prior to marketing. Along with a 45-day study of broiler chickens (broiler chickens are bred to grow so fast that this does make sense)

http://www.monsanto.co.uk/news/ukshowlib.phtml?uid=8845

http://www.monsanto.com/products/Pages/animal-safety-assessment.aspx

So...are you-all STILL going to say this stuff is tested thoroughly? Are you still going to insist we know it's safe for human consumption?

The thing about epidemiology is that it's very hard to pinpoint a diffuse cause of disease. Unless you've got, say, a geographic cluster...you just don't know. So it might be making us sick now in sublethal ways. Again, we don't know. We aren't looking. NOBODY'S LOOKING.

I think that's why you GM boosters aren't posting links-because there's really no conclusive research either way. There's not enough research and environmental monitoring of what's a very powerful technology

WE NEED MORE RESEARCH, MONITORING, AND ALSO CAUTION. THAT'S WHAT I KEEP SAYING:wallbang:

With all due respect...Ice, I think that the bubonic plague getting transgenes sliced into it is highly unlikely...
The way that would have to happen is an infected rat would have to eat a transgenetic meal, the plague bacter would have to take up the DNA, and in the short period before the rat croaked, that transgenic bacter would have to make it into a capillary to get sucked out by a flea...ehhh...

Look, genetic engineering, farming, biotech, and all that is not my field of study...I'm far more into social science. I've also come to the conclusion that the Great Wall of China will fall over before Skeptical will reconsider anything.

I have posted links, done my homework, and now I'm buggering off.

11. ### SkepticalRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,449
Chimpkin

I have never said, and I doubt Arthur has either, that more testing would be undesirable. As a science nutter, I see extra data on almost anything as desirable.

The reason 90 day feeding studies are done on rats is because of their short life span, and the ease with which they can be kept and bred under laboratory conditions. They live only 2.5 to 3.5 years, which makes 90 days an appreciable percentage of their entire lives. It is the equivalent of feeding something to a human for six years.

The thing that you anti-GM boosters fail to appreciate is that every GM crop or food has to satisfy regulatory authorities in roughly 80 different countries. Not an easy ask. For this reason, nothing gets into the human food chain or into widespread agriculture that does not have excellent evidence on its safety.

And we still have not seen any good data from iceaura, ultra or yourself to suggest any GM food that has been in then human food chain over these past 16 years, that has caused any harm whatever to human consumers because of the genetic modification.

12. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

Messages:
7,829
Actually I didn't dismiss it for that reason, what I did was show that when the study was evaluated scientifically it didn't stand up.

such that

http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/sci...s/factsheets2009/fsanzresponsetoseral4647.cfm

Actually what they do in these tests is feed it to the rats as 33% of their diet, so as to try to accelerate problems.

Why is that?

Well rats aren't designed to get 33% of their diets from just one food.

They, like us, are OMNIVORES, and they normally live on a varied diet.

So the testing they do expects to see some abnormalities.

The POINT of the study is that even when day after day 33% of their food is CORN, they still do ok.

What you focus on is the minor abnormalities they find on this bizarre diet.

Well guess what?

How well do you think you would be doing if 33% of your diet was CORN?

Well guess what?

We know.

You would be in bad shape.

See the studies done on the Native Amerians in Florida who after the Spanish arrived subsisted on a high corn diet.

It wasn't pretty.

Arthur

13. ### leopoldValued Senior Member

Messages:
17,455
question:
how did they determined GM was the cause?
you do realize that some animals, dogs for example, has almost a "super nose".
do you think that the rats and mice simply avoided eating GM food because it didn't "smell right"? an insufficient diet can cause you to become sick.

if that is indeed the case it can explain the "withheld scientific data".
maybe science does in fact have evidence of rats and mice becoming ill but it could be a matter of avoidance rather than a cause.

14. ### chimpkinC'mon, get happy!Registered Senior Member

Messages:
4,416
Yes.
I believe I've addressed that multiple times as to why I can't give you that:
1. it's exceedingly hard to pinpont an individual cause in epidemiology
2. nobody's looking.

That doesn't mean it's safe, or not.

It means we don't know.

Yet we're rolling out use of a technology that reproduces itself and crossbreeds with other crops of the same type, when we don't know what it's capable of.

We're using it all over the place, instead of in test locales.

We're not doing aftermarket monitoring and testing to make sure there's no unexpected problems in the consumer, the livestock, or the environment.

As we say around here, y'all appear to be down with the okey-doke on that.
You think it's grand.
You want more of it.
You don't even think I should be allowed to choose non GMO foods to eat via required labels.
(For me it's not a safety issue so much as a political one, as I eat conventionally-grown foods anyway. I don't like Monsanto. I don't want my money to end up in their coffers.)

15. ### SkepticalRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,449
Chimpkin

It is wrong to say nobody's looking. Heaps of people have been intensely looking for a fault in GM foods. Just look at how many anti-GM organisations exist!! What is true is nobody has succeeded in finding anything. When you fail at something often enough, there is a tendency to give up looking. That is actually what seems to have happened.

Currently, the testing and evaluation is that which regulatory authorities require. You guys seem to think that those authorities are idiots. They are not. They hire highly qualified scientists to help establish priorities. While I cannot talk about the FDA, I can talk about the NZFSA, since I know several of the guys working there, and I have moderately frequent contact. They are well qualified and very experienced professionals who take pride in their work, and are not in the least bit corrupt.

Do I want more GM?
With certain stipulations, yes. That is, I would like to see more GM work of the nature of the 'golden rice' work. GM crops and foods can be a major boost to increasing food supplies to the starving millions, and the nutrient content of those foods.

It is kind of a shame that the bulk of GM work to date has been by large companies like Monsanto in order to enrich themselves. That is not bad or evil in itself. After all those companies, and hundreds of others, exist purely to make profit for their shareholders. What is sad is the lack of effort being put into more humanitarian research projects, which is where the greatest potential for GM lies.

Growing food in places like Africa is difficult, and to increase yields and increase nutritional variety, would need lots of \$ which the African people do not have. However, when some group like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supplies GM seed, all that money is no longer needed.

For example : a drought resistant corn would be of enormous benefit to the starving peoples of arid parts of sub saharan Africa. Insect resistance and resistance to various crop diseases would also be of immense benefit. Increasing protein content of crops ditto.

So yes. I do want more GM, of the kind that helps those who most need it.

There is another question you did not ask. Why am I so down on those who oppose GM? The answer is that the anti-GM groups are doing enormous harm to the most vulnerable and needy people globally.

Golden rice has been available now for a decade. It has been offered to third world nations free of charge. It would, by now, have saved the lives of literally millions. Except that the anti-GM groups have been so mercilessly aggressively opposing it, that its use has been consistently postponed in the countries that can most use it. The last I heard is that it may reach large scale cultivation in another couple years. Every year, at least 500,000 rice eaters die of vitamin A deficiency, that could be fixed by substituting golden rice for normal rice.

Golden rice is the merest tip of the iceberg. The good that GM could be doing, if all those anti-GM people stopped fighting it, is immense.

16. ### chimpkinC'mon, get happy!Registered Senior Member

Messages:
4,416
The ones elected in my country don't have science backgrounds for the most part, and aren't going to bother to take the time to understand the potential threats.
And they can be purchased through campaign contributions.
At worst, some of the US CongressCritters are idiots, I'm sorry to say...

It also seems that those in the leadership of the FDA have worked for Monsanto.

One: grain amaranth-drought-tolerant, high in protein, leaves are edible (taste like spinach). Use that in Africa.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaranth
No need for GM grain, we have a crop that will do.

Two, a potential vegetable crop to introduce to Africa...maybe, would be the SPINELESS cultivar of prickly pear... I know the spined variety has gone invasive in Oz, so I say it with reservation...
But people can eat prickly pear pads and fruits, cattle can eat the pads, it's tasty.

Three: with the starving millions-it's politics more than crops that cause them to starve, as the world produces more than enough food for us all.

It's just that the starving have no money, have no land, and nobody's feeding them for free.

We have hungry people in the US...and since I'm a dumpster diver, I know we toss out enough food to feed them...so it's politics, not capacity. Really.

I forget which site I read this on, but golden rice, while an okay source of beta-carotene...isn't as good as vegetables. And beta-carotenoids are oil-soluble. If the poor people are so poor they can't buy cooking oil, they won't get the benefit of the golden rice.

Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
17. ### SkepticalRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,449
Chimpkin

There are always many ways of achieving a goal. Sure, we could feed the starving in Africa with methods other than GM. With a hell of a lot of difficulty. And how many hundreds of millions will die of malnutrition in the mean time?

When you have a major social problem, you use every tool in the tool box to fix it. GM is one of the most powerful tools we have. Only insanity is sufficient reason to justify not putting it to full use in solving those problems.

18. ### chimpkinC'mon, get happy!Registered Senior Member

Messages:
4,416
Um, we could grow Amaranth now...we have spineless prickly pear now...Are we using all the current tools in the box? I don't think so.

19. ### SkepticalRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,449
I agree, chimpkin.
So let's use all those tools. Amaranth, spineless prickly pear, GM - the lot!

20. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

Messages:
7,829
These people who are VAD eat plenty of RICE today, so switching the VARIETY of rice they grow is by far the simplest solution to the problem.

Asking them to try to grow and cook something totally alien to them is a non-starter.

Arthur

21. ### chimpkinC'mon, get happy!Registered Senior Member

Messages:
4,416
I'm not going to try and stop poor farmers from acquiring already-released GM crops, if they want such crops...

But if the people of the countries concerned don't want it, it shouldn't be forced on them either.

So...if GM crops are to help peasant farmers...it might be instructive to look into the circumstances of said small farmers.

Yes, the way I garden-I plant certain things in full sun, other things in part shade...you maximize the conditions you have. After all, you're working it by hand. Besides that, cross-pollination with different varieties is said to give a heavier yield...

Regarding golden rice:
...Which of course means their diets are deficient in an array of other vitamins and protein as well. Rice is just a simple starch.

So even if transgenic plants can help some small farmers *if* just given to them or sold below cost (they probably can't pay full price) it may or may not be useful. If it is, it's likely to be useful in a here-and-there sort of way...since they aren't working the kind of prime land GM crops are usually made for.

I don't necessarily say GM won't be useful in the third world...but it looks like what would be really useful for feeding the starving is not using all the prime land for export crops. Gm would be of less utility compared to that.

http://www.landaction.org/display.php?article=189
http://www.landaction.org/display.php?article=190

Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
22. ### SkepticalRegistered Senior Member

Messages:
1,449
Chimpkin

The first great thing about GM is that it is a one off donation. Once a farmer has a superior seed, he can grow it and collect the seed from his crop for the next crop. The same GM seed will serve him and his family for generations.

The other great thing about GM is that it is almost limitless in what it can do. GM can make insect resistance, disease resistance, drought resistance, virus resistance, greater yield, more protein, more vitamins, etc etc.

There are even teams working on GM crops that can fix their own nitrogen, thereby obviating the need for nitrogen fertiliser.

Your ideas on amaranth and non pricky prickly pear are fine, and may be used. But they do not bear a candle on the sheer versatility of GM. With the proper use of GM, we can change the world, very much for the better.

That is why it is sad that the anti-GM mob are sabotaging efforts to do just that.

23. ### chimpkinC'mon, get happy!Registered Senior Member

Messages:
4,416
We already have nitrogen-fixing crops though...you just have to rotate them with non-fixing crops!
Or interplant like I'm doing at home-I have beans and squash in the same raised bed.
Yes, it's very powerful.

You take a genome, break it down into a soup of RANDOM FRAGMENTS and then insert it into something millions of people will eat.

And no matter how much worrisome data I pull up, you're going to go with the tame scientists' assessment that it's all okay, it's all quite safe...and nobody needs to worry their silly little heads about post-market monitoring of any product out there!

Nobody needs to demand neutral third-party testing of the products prior to release!

I feel like hammered batshit tonight and I'm truly sick of arguing with you about this crap which is NOT my field of specialization OR interest, and quite frankly, through pulling up things to support my arguments, I now think WORSE of GM than I did when this thread was started!

As in the monitoring situation is even more abysmal, and the data even nastier, than I thought!
Humanity is bound and determined to reduce this planet down to the bacterial level again anyway. I don't know why I bother to try. Frak it.

Last edited: Apr 9, 2011