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Question: Do you find genetically modified food safe or hazardous?

It's safe for health
It's hazardous
I've really no idea


« Created by: dima on: 14. Mar 2010 at 13:25 »

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GM Food - yes or no? (Read 3011 times)
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GM Food - yes or no?
14. Mar 2010 at 13:25
 
Are you pro or contra? Do you consume GM or not? What's the people's attitude to the issue in your area/town?
Thanks for sharing your opinions! Wink
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #1 - 14. Mar 2010 at 14:45
 
This depends how you define GM food. Technically speaking, GM food could be crops that were selected by the farmer since they grew bigger, tasted better etc. Therefore lots of (if not all) of our food would be considered GM!
 
But that aside, I still consider it safe. I think a lot of people don't though, since they picture people mating tomatoes with animals and get freaked out.
 
I am also curious to see everyone's thoughts/insights on the subject though.
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #2 - 14. Mar 2010 at 16:12
 
I vote hazardus for now. I have done some reading, learned about it in college. I do believe it has potential to do good but also, in the wrong hands, is a disaster waiting to happen. There needs to be tight controls and long-term studies, often two things that do not happen.
 
GM to me is the tomatoes with fish genes, not grafting tangerines and oranges to produce different tasting fruits. New apples are developed frequently, this is good. Nature also provides this type of expirementation, example Cara Cara oranges.  
 
Mostly I am in favor of organically grown foods, or close to it, as natural and as local as possible.  
 
Lastly, we all consume GM foods. Corn and soy are in so many prepared foods, we don't even realize it and those are two heavily GM'd foods. Supposedly GM foods are to be labeled as such but I don't think this is done regularly at this time.
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #3 - 15. Mar 2010 at 05:15
 
Quote from InsaneKat on 14. Mar 2010 at 14:45:
This depends how you define GM food. Technically speaking, GM food could be crops that were selected by the farmer since they grew bigger, tasted better etc. Therefore lots of (if not all) of our food would be considered GM!
 
 
Yep this is an excellent point that most people tend to forget about in the GMO debate.
 
 
Anyways, in general I am concerned about the trends the food industry and nutrition "science" has taken in the last 70 years. What we think we know about nutrition is actually very limited, and in general is gone about in a flawed, reductionist way. Many of the changes we've made in our Western diets in the name of "nutrition" have had unforeseen and deadly consequences. So until our base of knowledge has expanded significantly, I think the genetic tampering should be minimal.
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #4 - 15. Mar 2010 at 13:11
 
hazardous without any doubt, as we still have very little information and insight as to the potential side and long-term effects of genetically modified food.
 
that said, for those countries suffering droughts and insect plagues gm food could be a (short-term) solution to fight famine.
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #5 - 23. Mar 2010 at 02:13
 
No. GM should stick to doing what they do best - making cars.
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #6 - 23. Mar 2010 at 20:15
 
Quote from bob_32_116 on 23. Mar 2010 at 02:13:
No. GM should stick to doing what they do best - making cars.
 
 
And they don't even do that very well!  Grin
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #7 - 23. Mar 2010 at 23:01
 
Anything could be dangerous in the wrong hands, imo. and gm does have it's upsides.
 
but I think we should just let nature run it's course as much as it is still possible.
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #8 - 25. Mar 2010 at 12:25
 
Quote from InsaneKat on 14. Mar 2010 at 14:45:
This depends how you define GM food. Technically speaking, GM food could be crops that were selected by the farmer since they grew bigger, tasted better etc. Therefore lots of (if not all) of our food would be considered GM!

 
choosing a particular food because it grows bigger or tastes better is hardly genetically modifying it, is it?  Huh
 
i wouldn't knowingly touch gm food with a bargepole. who knows what all those mad scientists are doing to it or what the side effects of their genetic modifications may be.
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #9 - 25. Mar 2010 at 14:42
 
It is, technically speaking, you are selecting for specific genes (supposedly), a particular phenotype, that is the biggest, freshest etc. It is at the very least, biotechnology.  
 
And I don't think it's like scientists are running rampant modifying the food we eat. That is hardly the case. To even begin to research they need 1) money (that has to come from somewhere, usually the government) 2) approval. Then once it is approved for research tons of testing has to be done. Trials of how it grows in the environment and so on and so forth.  
 
I don't disagree with organic food (obviously), but getting more crops to feed people in third world countries is an important thing. However, with everything there are always disadvantages to that.
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #10 - 25. Mar 2010 at 15:16
 
Quote from InsaneKat on 25. Mar 2010 at 14:42:
It is, technically speaking, you are selecting for specific genes (supposedly), a particular phenotype, that is the biggest, freshest etc. It is at the very least, biotechnology.

And I don't think it's like scientists are running rampant modifying the food we eat. That is hardly the case. To even begin to research they need 1) money (that has to come from somewhere, usually the government) 2) approval. Then once it is approved for research tons of testing has to be done. Trials of how it grows in the environment and so on and so forth.

I don't disagree with organic food (obviously), but getting more crops to feed people in third world countries is an important thing. However, with everything there are always disadvantages to that.

 
1) choosing something because a specific gene is NOT has nothing to do with gm foods. its just like choosing to grow bramley apple trees instead of granny smith apple trees. you are choosing a variety of something to grow because it suits what you want to grow, not because its been modified. if a certain crop or foodstuff grows bigger or is more tasty than another naturally then its nothing to do with gm.
 
2) the uk government are spending hundreds of millions of pounds on research and trying to talk farmers into growing gm crops by giving them huge grants. these trials have been going on here for quite some time. but like much our government do, its hard to find out just where the fields being used for experiments are. there is no guarantee of avoiding cross polination either, so natural foodstuffs may well become contaminated. and no one would know.
 
by the very nature of the phrase no food can be classes 'genetically modified' unless it has been tampered with in a way that is outside nature.
 
getting more crops to feed africa would be great. but we don't want to be feeding them something which in 10 years time might give 3/4 of the population cancer or something else. man really shouldn't tamper with nature. we'll only screw it up like we do everything else.
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #11 - 25. Mar 2010 at 18:22
 
First, I thought GM made cars, not food.  Second, if we're talking General Mills, they have some good cereal.  Mmmmmm ....  Cookie Crisp!  Smiley
 
carry on - as you were.....
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #12 - 25. Mar 2010 at 18:29
 
Quote from InsaneKat on 25. Mar 2010 at 14:42:
I don't disagree with organic food (obviously), but getting more crops to feed people in third world countries is an important thing. However, with everything there are always disadvantages to that.
 
 
Unfortunately, this argument, which is often used to support GMOs, is flawed. There is actually more than enough food being produced in the world right now to feed every human alive; that is not the issue. It is a social/political issue that GMOs wouldn't fix.
 
Quote from arctangent on 25. Mar 2010 at 15:16:

1) choosing something because a specific gene is NOT has nothing to do with gm foods. its just like choosing to grow bramley apple trees instead of granny smith apple trees. you are choosing a variety of something to grow because it suits what you want to grow, not because its been modified. if a certain crop or foodstuff grows bigger or is more tasty than another naturally then its nothing to do with gm.
 
 
Wrong. By farmers choosing a particular strain of, for example, wheat which produces the most and can tolerate growing in tightly packed fields, they've intervened with natural selection. Today, it's just been taken to another level with modern science; but essentially it is the same thing farmers were doing in Mesopotamia.  
 
The problem with what we've started doing these days is that the way we are able to modify foods accelerates the rate at which we are able to make these selections; this, combined with the industrialized trend in farming (which is already proving to be a very bad move), could have many unforeseen consequences. And, in my opinion, it is not necessary, especially considering the potential risks.
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #13 - 25. Mar 2010 at 18:30
 
Quote from InsaneKat on 14. Mar 2010 at 14:45:
This depends how you define GM food. Technically speaking, GM food could be crops that were selected by the farmer since they grew bigger, tasted better etc. Therefore lots of (if not all) of our food would be considered GM!
 
 
That's not gm that's genetic improvement as Arc rightly points out.
 
We *edit* I plant a lot (about 500,000) of generically improved trees each year, through careful selection of seed from parent trees where stem quality is better, branches are finer and growth is more vigoruos, but none have been modified in any way...kinda like natural selection.
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #14 - 25. Mar 2010 at 22:33
 
Quote from Brainwashed on 25. Mar 2010 at 18:29:
Quote from InsaneKat on 25. Mar 2010 at 14:42:
I don't disagree with organic food (obviously), but getting more crops to feed people in third world countries is an important thing. However, with everything there are always disadvantages to that.


Unfortunately, this argument, which is often used to support GMOs, is flawed. There is actually more than enough food being produced in the world right now to feed every human alive; that is not the issue. It is a social/political issue that GMOs wouldn't fix.

Alright fair enough, I don't know enough on that particular subject to make a point for or against, honestly. I shouldn't have stuck my foot in my mouth Wink
 
And sorry Scots and arc but I still disagree. That is still a way of genetic modification, to me they aren't separate in the technical sense of the word, but I know what you are saying about "physically" going in and modifying the genes at the level of DNA/RNA.
 
I'm more of the opinion that there are advantages and there are disadvantages, especially in a changing climate. Which is at least true where I live (Canada).  
 
I think opinions on this differ from the US to Canada to Europe and probably between countries in Europe. Excuse my ignorance here, but in... well anywhere, do you guys have a separate committee (or something to that effect) that monitors this sort of thing? I know that Canada has a specific portion of the government whose sole responsibility is monitoring ANY plants that are modified genetically. And this is all before it can get approved for human consumption. This portion of the government has to approve it at several different levels just so that it can even be grown. But I can't speak for other countries since I haven't looked into it.
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #15 - 25. Mar 2010 at 23:19
 
Quote from InsaneKat on 25. Mar 2010 at 22:33:
I know that Canada has a specific portion of the government whose sole responsibility is monitoring ANY plants that are modified genetically. And this is all before it can get approved for human consumption. This portion of the government has to approve it at several different levels just so that it can even be grown. But I can't speak for other countries since I haven't looked into it.
 
 
I'm not 100% sure how it works here in the US; however I'd be willing to bet that GMOs have to be evaluated by the FDA (personally, I think they're just a joke). But the big thing is that foods with GMOs don't have to be labeled as such (there was an attempt to make it law identifying GMOs, but it was lobbied against out of existence).
 
I'm not sure how other government bodies in other countries deal with their food stuff, but here in the US the FDA is pretty much the epitome of corporate controlled politics.
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #16 - 25. Mar 2010 at 23:48
 
Quote from Brainwashed on 25. Mar 2010 at 23:19:
Quote from InsaneKat on 25. Mar 2010 at 22:33:
I know that Canada has a specific portion of the government whose sole responsibility is monitoring ANY plants that are modified genetically. And this is all before it can get approved for human consumption. This portion of the government has to approve it at several different levels just so that it can even be grown. But I can't speak for other countries since I haven't looked into it.


I'm not 100% sure how it works here in the US; however I'd be willing to bet that GMOs have to be evaluated by the FDA (personally, I think they're just a joke). But the big thing is that foods with GMOs don't have to be labeled as such (there was an attempt to make it law identifying GMOs, but it was lobbied against out of existence).

I'm not sure how other government bodies in other countries deal with their food stuff, but here in the US the FDA is pretty much the epitome of corporate controlled politics.

Ah okay, yes I was under the impression that it was the FDA as well. I'm 99% sure that Canada does have to label genetically modified foods as such, although at the moment, supposedly there isn't any on the market?
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #17 - 26. Mar 2010 at 11:38
 
Apart from any other pros and cons of GM foods, I have concerns about the fact that it potentially leaves open the possibility of Monsanto controlling the patents to much of the food we eat. That would be like - oh I don't know, like say having one company market the operating system for most of the PC's in the world.
 
Except that, at a pinch, you can turn your computer off.
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #18 - 26. Mar 2010 at 12:06
 
Quote from Brainwashed on 25. Mar 2010 at 18:29:

Wrong. By farmers choosing a particular strain of, for example, wheat which produces the most and can tolerate growing in tightly packed fields, they've intervened with natural selection. Today, it's just been taken to another level with modern science; but essentially it is the same thing farmers were doing in Mesopotamia.

 
i'm sorry i just cannot equate one farmer choosing to grow one crop over another because it grows better/tighter/gives a better yield with altering any plant at a cellular level to make it immune to one particular disease or another or what ever other modification might be made.
 
you are right - choosing one particular crop over another is what farmers have done since the dawn of time. its what farmers do... and no farmer is likely to plant one crop when another one will grow better/faster/give a better yield. but choosing what to plant, whilst possibly interfering with mother nature, is not genetically modifying that plant.
 
in the uk i would imagine that genetically modified crops would come under the auspice of DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). as this is a government department i wouldn't trust them to tell us the truth about any gm experiments being carried out in the uk, where they are taking place or how successful (or otherwise) they are/have been.
 
we will probably only be told after we have been eating gm food for years and have all grown a third arm, second head or have all died of an incurable disease which was an unfortunate side effect of stopping an insect eating 0.2% of our wheat crop.  undecided
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #19 - 26. Mar 2010 at 13:49
 
I've always said two heads are better than one  Roll Eyes
 
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #20 - 26. Mar 2010 at 14:06
 
Quote from Scots Pine on 26. Mar 2010 at 13:49:
I've always said two heads are better than one Roll Eyes


 
yes. but not necessarily on the same pair of shoulders.  Roll Eyes
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Re: GM Food - yes or no?
Reply #21 - 26. Mar 2010 at 19:22
 
Quote from bob_32_116 on 26. Mar 2010 at 11:38:
I have concerns about the fact that it potentially leaves open the possibility of Monsanto controlling the patents to much of the food we eat.
 
 
Yes, we should all be worried about Monsanto. Already they own the patents on the large majority of the crops grow throughout the world; as we speak they are working on perfecting "terminator seed" technology--essentially creating seeds that grow but do not produce more seeds. I don't know about you, but that sounds extremely dangerous.
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