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Advantages/Disadvantages of GM foods

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  #1  
Old 01-07-2008
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Join Date: May 2008
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star Advantages/Disadvantages of GM foods
  

While we agree that the science behind genetic engineering is improving day by day, there are concerns among farmers, scientists and other concerned people about the way GM foods are being promoted by corporate interests.

Some of the points under discussion:

1. Food shortage is an economic and political problem. There is enough food, its just not available equitably. So, do we need GM foods?

2. GM is an expensive technology. It is being actively marketed in developing countries (enforced upon them even) when they cannot afford it.

3. Patenting laws are skewed against the poor. Biotech companies patent indigenous products and end up exploiting the poor even more than they usually do.

4. GM is a young and untested technology. We don't know all the answers yet.

5. Most important, GM promotes crop uniformity, which is a death knell for genetic diversity, making crops more vulnerable to insects and pesticides and requiring more and more engineering, just to keep up.


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  #2  
Old 02-07-2008
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleksandra
While we agree that the science behind genetic engineering is improving day by day, there are concerns among farmers, scientists and other concerned people about the way GM foods are being promoted by corporate interests.
If you disagree with how they are promoted disagree with that, not the food them selves.

Quote:
1. Food shortage is an economic and political problem. There is enough food, its just not available equitably. So, do we need GM foods?
There only enough food if we give up meat production, I'd love that, but it never going to happen. Asking if we need high producing crops is like asking why we should have even started messing with nature to being with when we started selectively breeding them, oh that right because then 9/10 of us would not even be alive today if it was not for mass produced food!

Quote:
2. GM is an expensive technology. It is being actively marketed in developing countries (enforced upon them even) when they cannot afford it.
How it being force upon them? Again this is a disagreement of policy not a disagreement on GMO them selves.

Quote:
3. Patenting laws are skewed against the poor. Biotech companies patent indigenous products and end up exploiting the poor even more than they usually do.
Again this is a disagreement of policy not a disagreement on GMO them selves.

Quote:
4. GM is a young and untested technology. We don't know all the answers yet.
Fallacy: Appeal to tradition, appeal to fear. Just because it new does not mean it bad. Everything has unknown factors, even selectively bred plants have occasion demonstrated offspring that are toxic or allergenic, I would advice that every new breed no matter how it came to being should be tested for health effects.

Quote:
5. Most important, GM promotes crop uniformity, which is a death knell for genetic diversity, making crops more vulnerable to insects and pesticides and requiring more and more engineering, just to keep up.
Generalization. By your argument even if I was to make a GMO that cured AIDS you would be against it because it a monoculture? Future agriculture design rely on mix crops using engineered seasonal plants to be perennials (this actually requires a mixing of advance breeding ad genetic engineering to make the offspring viable), thus reducing the need for water, fertilizer and plowing by several fold. Technically we have been in an arms race with pest since the start of agriculture, unless you want to go back to a world that can feed at most .5 billion we are stuck in the arms race. Oh and by the way with GM tech we can mix resistance to pest faster then with selective breeding.
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  #3  
Old 03-07-2008
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 991
Quote:
Originally Posted by MindSpace
If you disagree with how they are promoted disagree with that, not the food them selves.

How it being force upon them? Again this is a disagreement of policy not a disagreement on GMO them selves.

Again this is a disagreement of policy not a disagreement on GMO them selves.
I think the fact that genetic engineers who are under fire in the west and are using developing countries as a "testing" ground for their techniques, is not a fact that can be ignored in the debate. Especially when these populations are already vulnerable to food insecurity, any process with unforseen future consequences, which can negatively impact both quality of life and longevity in vulnerable population groups is a major concern.

Quote:
There only enough food if we give up meat production, I'd love that, but it never going to happen. Asking if we need high producing crops is like asking why we should have even started messing with nature to being with when we started selectively breeding them, oh that right because then 9/10 of us would not even be alive today if it was not for mass produced food!
Ironically, the countries where GM food is most actively tested are not countries which consume a great deal of meat.

Quote:
Fallacy: Appeal to tradition, appeal to fear. Just because it new does not mean it bad. Everything has unknown factors, even selectively bred plants have occasion demonstrated offspring that are toxic or allergenic, I would advice that every new breed no matter how it came to being should be tested for health effects.
So you would add something to the food supply without knowing if it was safe? Not everyone is willing to risk their health and the health of their children simply because they have not developed enough to have an IRB with the same stringent regulations on human testing as is present in developed countries.

Quote:
Generalization. By your argument even if I was to make a GMO that cured AIDS you would be against it because it a monoculture? Future agriculture design rely on mix crops using engineered seasonal plants to be perennials (this actually requires a mixing of advance breeding ad genetic engineering to make the offspring viable), thus reducing the need for water, fertilizer and plowing by several fold. Technically we have been in an arms race with pest since the start of agriculture, unless you want to go back to a world that can feed at most .5 billion we are stuck in the arms race. Oh and by the way with GM tech we can mix resistance to pest faster then with selective breeding.
And by your argument, we should try out GM foods even if they make us more vulnerable to AIDS simply because we can. Once released into the either, a transgenic gene or foreign DNA sequence cannot be recalled, no matter how virulent or disease prone.
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