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 Post subject: GMO's
PostPosted: Sun May 3, '15, 11:13 pm 
How do you feel about GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms) in your foods? Yay or Nay?

Interesting article about them here: ... 44649.html

 Post subject: Re: GMO's
PostPosted: Mon May 4, '15, 12:09 am 
I have no problem with it. Genetic modification, like any technology, is not inherently good nor bad, it depends on the use. And we've been modifying our food basically since the dawn of agriculture, just using selective breeding. All the same potential risks that people talk about for genetic modification apply to the selective breeding we've been doing for millenia.

Now, I do think the way we use genetic modification, overall, is not the best use. It's often used now to create plants that basically make their own pesticide. Fine in theory, the problem is that it's just a new way to keep perpetuating an old problem - insects and other pests will eventually evolve their own resistence to it, and back to square one. I think a far, FAR better use is to give staple foods nutrients they wouldn't have otherwise. See a great example, Golden Rice.

It's a type of GM rice that has vitamin A in it. A huge portion of the world eats rice as the staple of the diet, but it has no vitamin A. In these areas of the world, vitamin A deficiency is a common problem, often leading to impaired sight or total blindness in children. Golden rice aims to solve this particular deficiency. Crops can also be genetically modified to better withstand certain types of weather, such as flood, drought, and temperature extremes. A very promising idea, considering climate change.

I feel the science is pretty good that GM, as a technology, is not a risk in itself. GM foods to have to withstand a lot of safety testing, but in terms of long-term, well, it's pretty easy to keep saying "we don't know the long term effects" basically forever. There's not really a way to find out in a lab. Which is why these things often get monitored because long-term problems can start to crop up. But it's hard to test for every single possible scenario and potential harm. Sooner or later, you have to either let a technology out or not, and monitor it once it's out for public use.

The science is sound on this that GM is pretty safe. After that, each case should be evaluated on its own merits. People advocating against the technology, while well intentioned, often demonstrate a lack of understanding of genetic and food science that forms a basis for their views. Big companies deciding to take GM out of their food isn't necessarily a sound move from a scientific perspective, but may be a sound business one since a lot of people are against GM, whether for good reasons or bad ones.

The ethics and business practices of biotech companies, however, is another discussion entirely and one for the industry to have.

Last edited by Wolf Bird on Mon May 4, '15, 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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